How I Got Here

Andrea_givans Posted by Andrea Givens on Mon, 23 Oct 2017 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Andrea wrote the following blog at the end of September, shortly after we introduced her on the CMSI website but the post didn’t go ‘live’ due to an oversight on the part of the CMSI staff team.

My name is Andrea Givans – I am 46 years old, married to Colin for 23 years and have twins of 20, Andrew and Julie. I am the youngest in my family and was very close to my daddy whom I lost when I was 19. Daddy and I went to church togather every Sunday and when he died at the age of 53, I became angry with God for taking him away from me. I stopped going to church on a regular basis, only going on special occasions; I contionued in that pattern for many years.

My mum passed away 5 1/2 years ago, 21 years after daddy, and I slowly started going back to church again. I have some great friends in Ballinderry Parish and they helped me so much. They encouraged me to join the Mothers’ Union, which was one of the best things I could have done. I met new ladies some of which have now become good friends.

My minister, Canon Barry Paine, was a fantastic strength to me. His belief in me helped me to believe in myself, which I had never done before, and my faith began to flourish. I joined Bible Discovery classes, which got me thinking about things on a different level, and I asked God for forgivness and to walk with me every day. He hasnt let me down.

I was sitting at home one morning early in January, reading a book of insperational quotes, and it was as if someone walked in and hit me on the back of the head…and I thought" “I’m going to Africa.”

I spoke to Canon Barry and he give me names of different charities that work abroad and CMSI was the one that stood out for me. A phone call later and the ball started rolling. It took almost four months and a lot of meetings and interviews before I was accepted at the start of May. We looked at dates and decided we would go with a 10-week placement, beginning on 28th September.

The Diocese of Madi West Nile (Uganda) was identified as a place that would best suit my skills. The women’s ministry in Arua appealed to me, as I was struck by the simplicity of the lives they lead and felt this might help me to strip everything back.

Andrea sent this update from Arua on 10th October:

My first week in Arua was spent getting to know everyone who I will be working along side and working out a timetable for the home and cookery skills that I will be teaching. The Diocese has been very welcoming and helpful. David and Heather Saarland (CMS Britain Mission Partners) have been fantastic in introducing me to Uganda customs, which have helped me so much.

On Sunday 8th October I accompanied Rev Alice to St John’s in Riki for a MU commissioning service which was really nice but the roads were very bad. I am going back out there to another parish on Thursday.

Today (10th October) is my official start day with the girls and I am excited about it. We will spend today getting to know each other and tomorrow will be my 1st teaching day.


Gillian Maganda said Tue, 24 Oct 2017 01:52PM
Delighted you are settling in and praying God will use you to be a blessing to many xo

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