Sharing skills, seeing growth

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Wed, 27 Dec 2017 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

In addition to the two Con(n)ors, 2017 has also seen two, more recent, Short-Term Experience Placements (STEPs) in Uganda – one at Kiwoko Hospital in Luwero Diocese, the other in the Diocese of Madi West Nile.

Learning and growing

In August, Emma Lougheed began an eight-month STEP at Kiwoko Hospital, where she’s supporting the Baker family, as well as inputting to a local nursery school. With the Bakers returning to live in Northern Ireland in March 2018, Emma is helping to prepare Lana for life and school here. She’s also been getting involved in other ministries at the hospital.

As Emma reflected in her latest blog, these STEPs are intended to offer a chance not just to serve CMSI’s partners, but also to learn and grow – to develop a deeper understanding of God, faith and mission. It’s not just Lana who has been learning new things.

My mornings are spent in the nursery but I have most afternoons free. To be honest, I panicked a little at first about having extra free time as I am so used to being busy at home and thought I thrived on it. However, I have learned a big lesson that it is in fact OK to have some free time, and just spend it doing things that I enjoy.

As Kiwoko Hospital is God-centred, there have been so many great opportunities to serve Him. I am helping lead a weekly small group of first year Lab students with Wasswa and Moses, where we have been working through Christianity Explored. We have such a great, dedicated group of students, I have really enjoyed getting to know the leaders and students and we have had so many great discussions and very interesting questions.

Cooking-up new skills

In late September, Andrea Givans set out on a ten-week STEP in Madi West Nile Diocese. In one of Andrea’s early blogs (From Theory To Practice), she explained some of the work she’d gone to Uganda to do:

For the past two weeks, I have started teaching cookery theory as well as basic hygiene to the women of the diocese, with Rev Alice translating. This week begins the practical sessions in the kitchen, which should be interesting – with many women squeezed into a small space. Particularly interesting for me as we are cooking on charcoal and firewood!

I have no doubt that I will gain much more from the ladies in the diocese in terms of how to cook without all the usual mod cons, but hopefully, I can teach some recipes that will broaden their cooking knowledge and enable them to support their livelihoods. I know that even in the unknown, God is the one who will see me through and be with me every step of the way.

Several weeks after posting this blog, Andrea provided an update entitled Graduation Day, in which she recognised that even short investments of time, teaching and love can make a difference to people’s lives…

Today saw the graduation of the girls that I have been teaching and what a day we had. All 14 of the girls were involved in the day. They split into groups and decided which tasks they would undertake. They made chappati and moringa sauce, potato bread and omelettes and fresh finger rolls.

To say I am proud of the girls is an understatement. When I started with them five weeks ago, they had no idea how to handle a knife, so to watch them today preparing and cooking the food was truly fulfilling. I really realised today that I have made a small difference in Arua and to these girls’ lives.

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