Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sunset in Kampala

Dinner in Kampala

Tonight we had a wonderful dinner at my friends home, Vincent and Beatrice Langariti. It was delicious food and wonderful fellowship. What a blessing to have friends around the world that we can partner with in the Great Commission!

THANK YOU all for sending us and praying for us. Please continue to pray as we board a British Airways flight tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. and are due back in Boston tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., God willing.

We hope to keep you updated during our journeys with short emails from Sue's phone--which even gets service here in Kampala! We love you and thank God for you! And we will send you more photos upon our return in Boston so keep checking the blog over the weekend!

In Jesus' triumphant love,

Good Byes in Sudan

Last night and this morning in Yambio were full of goodbyes and prayers.

We enjoyed visiting with many of the pastors, pastors in training, youth and children. This morning the visitors started at 7 a.m. and came so often that I could not even shower until 9:30 a.m.! But it was fantastic! Some of the children brought us ears of corn.

Asha brought Sue honey that she had made and some beautiful home sewn fabrics. Many of them told us that they knew God loved them by sending us to them. I say that with such thanks to Jesus. That was the overall goal of our entire be ambassadors of His love and to remind them of His everlasting, unchanging promises to each one of them, no matter what their age.

Venasio, the youth leader, told me this morning that no one has ever come to minister to the young adults and youth and that they were so encouraged. This morning we had a wonderful prayer time with Bishop Andrew and continue to learn about how God is working in southern Sudan. Please join us in praying that the peace maintains for many years to come. I'm convinced even more that missions is so much more than sending money--it's about developing and maintaining relationships for eternity.

In Kampala Today

Thursday, July 24 10:04 p.m. KAMPALA, UGANDA

Greetings again from Kampala! We arrived safely this afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. We left Yambio at 1:00 p.m. There were 10 passengers on our small plane including the passenger. It was a smooth ride.

The Homeward Journey

July 24 Chartered Plane--MAF Depart Yambio
Spend evening in Kampala

July 25 Depart Entebbe (Uganda) 9:25 a.m.
July 25 Arrive London 4:10 p.m.
July 25 Depart London 6:05 p.m.
July 25 Arrive Boston 8:20 p.m.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

End of a Perfect Day

On the way out and back from Beguga, Matthew and I were riding in the back of the pickup standing with the wind whipping through our hair.. The kids were great in that they all wanted to shake our hands as we arrived and departed. They loved the crosses that we handed out and of course the candies.. It was quite a sight to see and they had hopeful looks as the grond was broken. They are truly a wonderful people.

Back to Kampala tomorrow before our long journey home to see everyone. We have some great stories to share..

Thanks for your blessings

An Awesome Day At Beguga

Wednesday, July 23 4:30 p.m. ish

We had an awesome day at Beguga! We were very humbled to be at the groundbreaking for the first two buildings for the Beguga school classrooms.

Pastor Nicholas led the groundbreaking ceremony and Bishop Andrew spoke as well as the local chief of Beguga. Sue, Bob and I each dug into the ground with a hoe. Bishop asked Bob to say 'in the Name of the Father' as he dug and I did 'in the Name of the Son' and Sue 'in the Name of the Holy Spirit.' Tears welled up in our eyes as we looked into the eager faces of these children who are very excited to have permanent classrooms where they can learn.

Praise God that we can be a part of educating the future doctors, teachers, engineers, farmers, etc...of southern Sudan through this Beguga primary school. We spent about an hour teaching the kids as well! They loved the Daniel Bible skit--Bob is a wonderful Daniel! Some of the children were lions and they enjoyed growling at Bob in the lion's den!! The kids loved 'Shepherd Says' which is an adaptaion of Simon Says. What fun!

Last night our dinner at Pastor Nicholas's was very special. He is such a Godly man and his wife Florence and baby Nancy are precious. We nearly got stuck driving in the roads/fields to get there--but it was worth it!

Love and prayers,

Sunday School Students Bring Groundnuts to Sue

Seminary Students and Matthew

Pastor Nicholas, Florence, and Baby Nancy

The Mobile Medical Clinic

Matthew Teaching Seminary Students

July 23 Update

Wednesday, 23 July

We are winding up our time here in South Sudan and thoughts are beginning to shift toward home. We leave Yambio tomorrow morning, spend one night in Kampala and then home, by way of London. I has been a wonderful time and I have already started thinking about plans and projects for next year. Thank you all so much for supporting us, both with finances and prayers. The faces of the children, each with their hand extended wanting to shake ours and ask "how are you?"; their laughter ringing as we sing a silly song or tell a Bible story with the puppets; their excitement over a small trinket or piece of candy. I have had the pictures of their faces on my screen saver on my computer all year since our last and I was amazed how many I remembered. They have grown, but their smiles are the same.

We went to Baguga this morning to spend some time with the kids and, also, to participate in a ground breaking ceremony for a new school building. During the ceremony, the Zande Chief, who originally gave the plot of land for the school, announced that he was adding another piece of land to the school ground. Bishop Andrew was very please to hear that and so excited to have the ground breaking. All the children were there for it and the oldest ones even were asked to do some "dirt turning" for the footings of the foundation. It was very exciting to be a part of this, especially after Asha Designs has raised money for just this day.

  • Asha Designs

  • God Bless,

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Making Melodies

    As you can see, without the power of the Spirit none of these things would be possible! But He is giving us strength and joy and we are so thankful. I continue to be very humbled that God would use us to build up these men and women and boys and girls. Yesterday at the teacher workshop in Beguga I really believe that each teacher left not only with practical teaching tips and ideas but with a renewed sense as to how important their job as teachers is to God and to the children. Awesome!

    We love you and thank you for your prayers! We're off to Pastor Nicholas's home to visit with his wife and new baby--Nancy! Love, matthew

    Matthew Beish

    Jumping Rope

    At 11 a.m. ish we spent time with the children at the Yambio school--there are about 200 children there now! We did a Bible skit on Daniel and encouraged them to have strong faith in God.

    We sang songs and played games. Yesterday these teachers joined us in Beguga as we held the teacher training workshop. Because of your kindness as our senders, we were able to give the school many supplies--from crayons and markers to soccer balls and jump ropers! Thank you Senders!

    At 2 p.m. we spent 2 hours with the pastors in training at the church. What an amazing blessing to teach and encourage these men of God! There are 17 men training to be pastors.

    Greetings From The Internet Cafe

    Tuesday, July 22 5:30 p.m.
    Greetings from an internet cafe sponsored by the Catholic Church in Yambio!

    This is the first time we visited this internet center and it's a blessing. We are so thankful for the power of the Holy Spirit. The past two days He has empowered us to serve and encourage.

    Today (Tuesday) we spent time with the Mobile Health Clinic staff--Francis and Mark. Bob and Sue brought many medical supplies for them--aspirin, band-aids, neosporin, etc...They were very thankful and gave us a list of supplies they need.

    Bob came up with the idea that maybe we can mail supplies to the MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) office in Kampala which is the airline that flies into Yambio. Then they could bring the supplies to Yambio if we pay for the expenses. We hope to inquire about this Thursday when we are back in Kampala.

    We were also able to bring one of the children, Noah, to the mobile clinic because he has badly infected sores on his leg. They were able to treat the wounds of this 12 year old boy with compassion and love.

    Sue and Joshua

    After returning to Yambio from Baguga we spent some time with the Sunday School children from Yambio Lutheran Church. I loved seeing so many familiar faces and it was great to realize how much they remembered us and the songs they learned from us last year.

    We told them some Bible stories and had a quiz about the 10 commandments, then, outside to play with Frisbees and kickballs. We rolled the balls to each child to kick. Greg & Kevin, you would be proud to see them using the sides of their feet to kick instead of their toes. They are really fun kids, excited by any new thing or any small sweet.

    I was able to take copies of photos that had been taken last year to hand out to the children (and to adults, too). Those were a huge hit and I’m sure we will do that again next year, Lord willing.

    God Bless,

    Headmistress Katura and Children of the Yambio Primary School

    Going to School

    Team With Yambio School Kids

    Matthew did a great job in leading the teachers through the different ways of teaching styles. They were very receptive to the ideas and at the end of the session we handed out gifts. On the way back to the guest house, we had 11 people in the truck.

    Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement..

    Red Sox Nation - Global

    Teacher Training Class

    When we arrived we were surprised to see the children still there. We weren’t expecting them since we were going to be with the teachers. After a short introduction with the staff, the headmaster wanted to release the children, approx 450, so he rang the bell. As a former military man, I was impressed to see them standing at attention. The headmaster told them to stand at ease, then brought them to attention again. Matthew and Sue led them in song before they were dismissed.

    The Road To Baguga Jul 21 - 22

    Tuesday July 22

    We finally made it to Baguga yesterday and the road was everything I expected. We had an equivalent of a Toyota Tundra, 4 door, short bed. There were 9 of us on the way out. I felt sorry for the rear passengers because the road is so narrow, you can’t help but brush against the vegetation on the side. There were many dips & turns as we bottomed out only once.

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Victor in Youth Choir, Praising Jesus

    The Yambio Sunday School Kids and OSLC Team

    Team Teaching Yambio Youth at Retreat

    Sunday Worship - Youth Choir Singing

    Greetings from Yambio on a beautiful Sunday afternoon!!!

    It is so amazing to be here again with these wonderful people. Being here a second year has deepened their trust of us. Yesterday during the retreat we hosted for the youth leaders and college age students, they were very open and honest in asking questions and sharing prayer requests. It is so humbling to be able to love them and encourage them in Jesus' Name.

    Our goal for yesterday was that each young person would leave built up in their faith, confident that God is in control of their todays and tomorrows--and we believe that happened based on their comments to us. Worship today was wonderful--I love to dance and sing in Africa!

    When I look into the faces of these dear people, I marvel that God would use a forgiven sinner such as me to bring encouragement to them. From Baraka--a 6 or 7 year old boy to Jackson, a 28 year old youth leader soon to be college student... to Pastor Nicholas, a pastor in his 30's to the dear older woman who was singing in one of the pictures we sent back to you--each of them has a story and God is involved in their lives.

    Life has improved here via cell phones and more passable roads, but as Sue shared in her blog--the needs continue to be many and often overwhelming. But we talk to the God who spins the planets and is able to supply all the needs--and we pray with faith and confidence that this will happen.

    We love you all and are so privileged to represent you. We've heard very often--tell your church and family and friends thank you for sending you! We agree--and thank each one of you from the depths of our beings! We love you!

    Love and prayers from Yambio,


    Sue and Bob at Worship Service


    Benjamin is a student that Sue and Don Sponsor.

    Sudanese Woman In Worship

    Singing Praise Songs

    Sudanese Children

    Pastors In Training, Studying The Bible

    Matthew, Jackson and Gideon

    Matthew Teaching a Youth Class

    Matthew Singing With Kids

    Blogging Bob

    Hi Everyone,

    It was a great day of worship. The equivalent of our Allelulia Singers were many, vocal, and moving & grooving. It was really a great sight to see. The service last for approx 2 hours and Wendy would enjoy the 4/5 breakout sessions of song.

    After the service, we gathered the Sunday school children together and handed out bracelets. Then the pied piper/big kid got the children to go outside for a couple of songs. Please enjoy the pictures..

    Thanks for your prayers and continued encouragement for these great people


    Sunday July 20 - A Prayer Request

    I just want to bring some prayer requests to you:

    1. Bishop Andrew has been battling a re-occurrence of malaria that has really been bad for him, keeping him in bed for 10 days. He is very weak and has lost a lot of weight.

    2. For the public schools in Yambio. They are having a lot of trouble getting and keeping good teachers. The children actually had a protest to bring the lack of teaching to the notice of everyone. The state Governor is now getting involved, hopefully, he will be able to straighten it out.

    3. So many of the high school kids have a great desire to continue their education by attending university, but, there is no money for that. It is very inexpensive to send them to university, about $1000 per year, but to them, it may as well be millions.

    Thanks for your prayers so far. We can certainly feel them!

    Love to all,

    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    Bob Teaching Youth

    Part of what we did today was leading these youth leaders through the 5 Purposes. Yes, even I got up front and led the class through 2 sessions.

    During the testimony phase, one of the seminary students, Abel, told us a part of his story when the war was going on. The enemy stuck guns through their windows and opened fire. He was wounded in the buttocks, but no one else from his family was hurt.

    That was an early confirmation for him that God was in his life. He felt called to join the seminary to become a Pastor. He asks that we pray for his continued faith and that both he and his family can remain strong. With his father passing away he is responsible for his mother, siblings, his wife and two children.

    Its very difficult being far from home, but he knows the sacrifice is well worth it.

    Thanks for your continued prayers and blessings.

    Jackson And His New Guitar

    Also, we presented Jackson with his new guitar last night and he was thrilled. He hasn’t let go of it yet and played it for us today in our time with the youth.

    The weather as been cool, the Sudanese have told us “It’s too cold!” It is now about 77 and I thank God for the coolness. It is very humid, since yesterday it rained, but, it is certainly bearable.

    Love and prayers,


    Sue and Asha

    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    We had a wonderful day with 13 young people from the church here in Yambio. We had a time of sharing, testimonies, Bible lessons and singing. It was so great to see some of their faces again.

    I was able to see Asha & Sylvia, my two favorites, and talk to them. Asha has been very ill and is very thin. She has been suffering from severe headaches for several weeks. Please keep her in your prayers as you pray for us. Both girls are so sweet and their smiles could light up a room.

    (Asha is the namesake of "Asha Designs", Sue's project to make jewelry to benefit the Baguga School and its students. See the link to the companion blog in the top right margin)

    "Bob is My Co-Pilot"

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    Friday Word of the Day: "Familiar Faces"

    Friday's words of the day are: Familiar Faces--what an amazing joy to be with these dear ones again--young and old alike! And Bob is meeting and greeting them with great joy too!
    (Greg, Kevin, Janet and Peggy--everyone is asking for all of you and sends their love to you! Angelo the driver has the card we gave him last year in the visor above where he drives. Peggy--they still have the sheep puppet too! Wow!)

    The Schedule For Next Week

    Here's the outline so you can be praying for the ministry opportunities we have:

    Saturday, July 19 10-3 We're hosting a mini-retreat for the young adults of the church---we hope to build them up through our encouragement, teaching and gift-giving
    4 p.m. Teach the Sunday school children of Yambio church (they have Sunday school 3 times a week--monday, wednesday and saturday at 4 p.m.)

    Sunday, July 20--Worship all morning with the Yambio Lutheran Church and fellowship with these dear people

    Monday, July 21--Host a Teacher Training workshop at the Beguga School with teachers from Beguga school and the Yambio school. The workshop will be 6-7 hours with a fellowship lunch.

    Tuesday, July 22-- 9 a.m. Medical training with staff of Mobile Clinic
    11 a.m. Teach the children of the Yambio school
    12:30 p.m. Time of evaluation/modeling with teachers from Yambio school
    mid-afternoon--Time on encouragement with the 17 students who are pastors in training from all over southern Sudan! We are so excited to meet these men and encourage them. They are staying at the guest house with us as well. What a privilege!

    Wednesday, July 23--Morning at Beguga School--Groundbreaking for the new school buildings--OSLC and Lutheran Church of the Savior in Bedford are financing these new classrooms! Praise God!
    Time of teaching with the Beguga kids
    12:30 p.m. Time of evaluation/modeling with teachers from Beguga school
    mid-afternoon--more teaching and encouragement time with the 17 pastors in training


    Matthew, Bob and Susie--from SUDAN!

    Familiar Faces

    We had lunch (eggs, meat, bread and pineapple) at the guest house and then met with Pastor Nicholas to plan our schedule out. Please pray over this schedule with us that all will be a huge blessing here.

    We walked to town center so Bob could see Yambio, exchanged some money and came here to the internet center.

    After we're through here we are walking to Bishop Andrew's home to greet him. He is still recovering from malaria so please continue to pray. We are very excited to see him. For those of you wondering--yes they still have the 'squatty potties' as Sue likes to call them. But we are healthy and thankful to be here.

    Bullen, our host from Kampala last year, is now running the guest house. He got his degree in hotel management so it's wonderful to see him putting it to use. Pray that we will be a refreshing blessing to all whom we meet here. It has been so wonderful to see these familiar faces again--children, staff and pastors too! What a gift from Jesus to be here!

    The Yambio Airport

    ( photo from last year )

    Friday, July 18 4:32 p.m.

    We arrived at 11:30 a.m. this morning on a 12 passenger plane with ALL of our luggage! We did not even have to pay extra for the weight so praise God with us! We are so thankful to have our ministry supplies and resources.

    We were greeted at the airport by Pastor Nicholas and Deaconness Ketura. They picked us up in the bright yellow mini bus that the church uses for its mobile clinic so everyone knew we had arrived! It was about a 30 minute drive from Nzara to Yambio and the roads were ok. There has been significant road improvement since last July.

    12-Passenger Aircraft - And All Their Stuff

    A View of Yambio From The AIr

    On The Ground in Yambio - 11:30 AM (local)

    Hi Mel! Here's a short blog update from Yambio. We can't send photos today but God willing will get some to you tomorrow. The computer center that Bishop Andrew started to raise funds for the church has closed, so we have to come into the town center to another internet place. But we will do it to keep you all updated!

    (photo from last year )

    Thursday Word: "Nile"

    Thursday's word of the day was: Nile--because we visited the source of the nile and then did our Bible study on the first few chapters of Exodus where Moses floated on the nile in a basket as a baby!

    First runner up was: CHAMUKA! That means 'that's great!' in the Beganda language in Kampala. That phrase is on posters all over Kampala advertising a soft drink called Mirinda.

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    The Nile is 4,160 miles (6,695 kilometers) long.

    Things are safe in Yambio

    Things are safe in Yambio. We visited the Southern Sudan embassy today in Kampala and they said their is no need for safety concerns in southern Sudan. In fact, there were two young people going to serve in Yei in southern Sudan with YWAM who were getting their visas today from the embassy.

    The embassy staff said that their Juba office in Sudan would have called them and told them to stop giving visas if there was concern. Khartoum has only had small demonstrations surrounding the indictment of Omar Bashir.

    Bishop Andrew has also assured us that we will be safe and should come. He is also feeling better today! So thank you for your prayers! Lord willing, the next update you will receive will be from Yambio, Sudan! Until then, please know how thankful we are for you our senders!

    With a grateful heart,


    Paschal, Bob and Sue

    Packing Luggage For the Last Leg of The Trip

    We then returned and sorted all our luggage. We're each only allowed 33 pounds for our 6 passenger flight from Entebbe to Yambio, and we brought 400 pounds of luggage! Oy vey!

    But Air Serv, the airline we're flying with, thinks they will be able to get most of the extra luggage on and the rest could come on a Monday flight into Nzara. We practiced our children's ministry presentations today and are excited about those. We're focusing on the unstoppable love of God!

    Our Bible study for this trip is through Exodus and today we read Exodus 3--reminding ourselves that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One who is the Great I AM, is with us and calling us to serve His people in Sudan.

    At The Head Of The Nile

    Thursday, July 17 10:24 p.m.

    Tomorrow's the big day! We are off to Yambio and are very excited! We had a wonderful day today at the Nile.

    The Head of the Nile

    A Sugar Cane Field

    It’s July and typically the hottest month of the year, but the rainy season has started approximately one month early. We got a dose of African rain while returning from the Nile. The roads cleared of all pedestrians, mopeds, and motorcycles. It made our traveling a lot easier.

    Last night we experienced Indian cuisine with Vincent and Beatrice. The meal was delicious(are you shocked Gloria?). We are now heading to experience Chinese cuisine at Fang Fang. Tomorrow we're off to Sudan! --Bob

    Visiting The Head Of The Nile - July 17

    We read the blog today and it is awesome! Thank you so much!

    Attached are some photos from today.

    Here's a little blogging for today:
    Thursday, July 17, 2008
    Our driver George took us to visit “the source of the Nile”, which flows out of Lake Victoria, and to Bujalage falls. The falls were more like class 4 rapids than a waterfall, but, beautiful, none the less. The birds were incredible! There were birds of every size and description. It was so good to get out of the congestion of the city and see some of the countryside and the lush, forested landscape of Uganda.

    Love and prayers, Susie

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Kampala Uganda - 7 Hills

    Word For The Day "Pandemonium"

    Wednesday's Word of the Day is: Pandemonium. That's what the streets of Kampala are like, that's what the situation has been like trying to get photos to the blog for all of you, that's what the Sudanese people endured during 23 years of civil war. Pandemonium--that's the Wednesday word.


    Bishop Andrew

    We spoke with Bishop Andrew on the phone tonight. They now have cell phone service in Yambio which is amazing! He is looking forward to us coming and said everything is fine and safe in Yambio. PLEASE PRAY FOR BISHOP. He's getting over malaria and today (July 16) is the first day he's been out of his house in Yambio since July 4. Pray for God's healing. He's planning on meeting us at the airport on Friday. (LITA, PLEASE SEND OUT TO THE PRAYER LIST FOR EVERYONE TO PRAY FOR BISHOP's HEALTH & RECOVERY--THANK YOU!)

    We love you all, dear friends and family! Matthew

    The Hotel In Kampala

    A Visit With Friends

    Wednesday, July 16 10:43 p.m.

    We think we figured out how to get photos out to you all! What an adventure that has been. Our computer and camera cards haven't been cooperating but God is good and hopefully these come through! If so we will get you some more photos tomorrow. Today's been wonderful. Bob and Susie already spoke about it below. Tonight we had dinner at an Indian Restaurant with Vincent and Beatrice Langariti, friends of mine from Gordon-Conwell. Indian food in East Africa?!*!--it was delicious! What a blessing to spend the evening with Vincent and Beatrice! We brought a pressure cooker and clothing for them from Dan and Lita Schlueter--Dan and Lita, they were so excited to receive this!

    Going Bananas

    While at another market yesterday, I noticed to some young women who had a very recognizable accent. I asked where they were from and sure enough they said Boston. They are PhD students from Simmons College doing field work in Social Services. One of their professors is from Kampala and invites a group every year to conduct study here for a few weeks versus the US. Shared with them what we were doing and they were very gracious and wished us their best. One of the women said that more work like ours is needed.

    Love to Gloria, Max & Madeleine. Thanks to all for your blessings.