#TFBloggers in @churchtimes by @davewalker

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2013/22-march/features/features/putting-uganda-in-the-picture

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2013/22-march/features/features/putting-uganda-in-the-picture

An extract from the article:

That said, finding a use for my cartooning skills here has been incredibly difficult. It feels as if most cartoons, especially those involving any comparison between aspects of life in Uganda and the UK, would be inappropriate. Although, perhaps, a better cartoonist would manage it. There is plenty of humour being shared by the people, but I would need to stay longer than a week to begin to be a part of it.

There are many aspects of this trip which I want to remember: not least, some of the lessons learned. Chief of these is to be slow to complain about difficulties in my life, when I have so much; and to remember that a great deal can be made from just a little.

Read whole article (including my photo credit for Dave on a bike!)

Daily Audio Reflections from #TFBloggers

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Listen Here (MP3) – 5 days, around 3-4 minutes a day. We were in the dining room – that’s what blogging on the move does for you – it’s a bit raw, we were quite tired, and doing this on the hoof, but listening back to it, I think it’s great what was captured each day.

See #TFBloggers page on Tearfund, and don’t forget to check out the project we saw parts of. CODEC has now bought the same machine to encourage more of these kind of ad hoc conversations – now to decide on some topics…

We Met: Grace #TFBloggers

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Grace highlighted that PEP had taught her that it’s important to stand up tall as an individual, and that you are the answer to all/most of the problems that you have.

Her child had some charcoal to sell, worth less than 50c, and she thought she couldn’t do anything with such a small amount of money, but was able to harvest and dry some cassava. She wanted to turn this into bread but needed some cooking oil (about 1500UGS), but only had 800 from what had already sold. She asked a shop owner for a loan for oil, bought sugar/bananas, and took what she baked to market. She was able to clear the debt and buy more things to make/sell.

Baking is time consuming, as need to be up early to bake, and then take it to market. She had reached 8000Sch, and decided to change business, also selling the millet she had to have a total of 16000Sch. She bought small fish to sell (which she does at 1000Sch a cup), and formed a savings group with others in the village. She never told her husband how much she had saved until she had 390,000UGS – enough to buy a cow – which has now produced 2 calves.

Last year she had a break in the business as she was pregnant, so decided to buy 2 pigs. She then sold one pig, and the other has produced piglets. She finished by saying (or the translator did) that she no longer needed to dress in rags, but could look smart all the time (and she does!).

This is the last in the “We Met” series, although I have plans for a handful more #tfbloggers posts.

We Met: Philip #TFBloggers

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 Before PEP, Philip has a wide, children and land, but was digging other peoples land to earn month rather than his own. PEP challenged him to think about this and he started to develop his own land.

Philip started by growing cassava and groundnuts – and as a result getting his children through school which is a very big change in lifestyle, especially as he is growing in his own “garden” not others. He has grown so many groundnuts he has now been able to buy sheep, of which he has many, and has also been able to purchase Oxen, so ploughing is no longer a problem.

We Met: Jennifer #TFBloggers

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When Jennifer came for PEP training, she was told that as a housewife she shouldn’t be sitting back and waiting for her husband to feed her, but should put self to work, making oil, etc in order to make money to contribute to the family.

She “put the knowledge into action”, harvesting cassava, which once sold she decided to move into growing/selling tomatoes, also some fishing. She now has chickens in the home, and increasing the number of those means that she’s now been able to buy 2 goats, and continues to expand.

Food is no longer a problem as she can eat whatever she wants as she can grow it, and the school fees and ‘scholastic materials’ can be purchased for the children. She is incredibly thankful for PEP.

#BigRead13: Day 22: Fix

#LentPhotos today asks us to look at “the road ahead” – so I looked back to our first full day in Uganda, where we spent much of our time bouncing along badly made roads, but was also reminded of the fact that we were going to engage with a different culture… and this poster opened our eyes to one aspect that we hadn’t realised – many Ugandan men spend much of their time drinking, and then beating their wives – a huge problem – and one that PEP was taking huge steps to change:

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#BigRead13 Thoughts

Today’s Bible verse:

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

And now am I confused between ‘Fix’ and ‘Turn’ – although either is about focusing on Jesus, rather than on the things that annoy us (she says, having been a bit of a Mrs Grumpy Pants this morning):


I don’t know about you, but I’m always so busy, I keep forgetting at important times – been a real encouragement to be in a place where that is the first thought of many! We always think we have a solution, but reminder to self – and the point of #notbusy – take time to be (hence why am being encouraged to do a short day today!)

@40Acts

An interesting one today – to go and hug someone (whether they need it or not – but thankfully not whether they want it or not!). I used to hate being hugged, but I’ve a very good friend who overcame that, and now I don’t mind with most people! I’m not sure I’d want to go out giving free hugs, but I like the idea of small acts of encouragement – and I give smiles away like they are going out of fashion much of the time!

Brian Draper: Lent 40

I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is for me
.” (7.10 NASB)

Brian reflects upon Brennan Manning who spent 30 days just engaging with these 2 lines on a silent retreat – at the end of which he said:

‘The drumbeats of doom in your head will be replaced with joy in your heart, which could lead to a twinkle in your eye … you will not be dependent on the company of others to ease your loneliness … the praise of others will not send your spirit soaring, nor will their criticism plunge you into the pit … You will move from I should pray to I must pray … You will live with an awareness that God not only loves you, but likes you … You will stop comparing yourself with others … And off and on throughout the day you will just know that you are being seen by Jesus with a gaze of infinite tenderness.’

Other

Pam: If we do not want judging on what we might have done in the past, we should give others the same privilege.

Every day: #Do1nicething Lent Challenge today – Catch a bus (#Do1NiceThing for the environment) and say thank you to the bus driver

#LiveLent: Bishop Stephen Cottrell on a good way to live out today’s #livelent challenge to be a good neighbour http://bit.ly/YSE6wo Please don’t forget that in the modern world we have restricted our notion of neighbour to the geographical one – they are important, but the digital allows a much wider spectrum of neighbours!

We Met: Pastor Syrio #TFBloggers

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Again, Pastor Syrio referred to the fact that PEP encourages you to work with what little you have, but to look at it in a more ‘resourceful light.  He had running water, but it was wasted – just running off.

He decided to build a channel which directed the water to a store (for dry times – which this time is apparently a bit too dry – they are expecting rain very soon),  and also planted around the source as the soil is well-irrigated there. He uses the area to plant vegetables to feed the community, but he’s still supplying vegetables, and water for those making bricks for their houses.

We Met: Philemon #TFBloggers

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Philemon was another keen supporter of PEP, and demonstrated how it had helped them to see what they could do with the little that they already had. He started by growing some cassava, and when the last team visited the village, he has just managed to buy a plot of land. He’s now started building, and is sleeping in a (part-built) house on that land.

As with many others, he used the term “PEP was an eye opener”, giving knowledge that was implementable – and he noted that he is already ready to sell the cassava they he’d bought.