Visit of Wiebe and Heleen

I am definitely looking forward of welcoming them at Entebbe Airport Monday evening and to spend time with them. This time includes a visit to Murchison Falls National Park before I will go to Adi for a week.

Murchison Falls, here we come…!

Yes, I will go back to Adi. My home church doesn’t permit Wiebe and Heleen to come because of security concerns. I was very disappointed, because I know that Adi is safe. However, my disappointment may be great, I plan to give it all to give them a good time and even while not being able to share my ministry in person, I will try to share it every way I can.

In Uganda

I left Adi on Wednesday August 7 to go to Koboko and the next day I had a long bustrip to Kampala on Thursday. But the reception at Matoke Inn was, as usual, warm and friendly. I stayed there for a couple of days until Sunday afternoon the AIM conference for Central Region started. It was about rest. We need time alone with God, to be built up and just rest in His arms. It was a good time, but still with a lot going on.

Abedju and Aru

Ayila is teaching in Abedju

July was busy and sometimes hectic, as in the beginning of the month I was sick. I even had to cancel two workshops that I had planned in the first full week of July. One I could plan in later in the month and it went well. The school chaplains and headmasters of secondary schools in the church districts of Aru and the new church district of Ariwara came to Abedju for a two-and -a-half day workshop of Channels of Hope. I went there with Ayila, with whom I worked in October as well.

Checking on the team work that was organised per church section.

July 30 was a very special day. Graduation day for Margaret Badaru, my friend who I hope will be involved in the treatment program for people living with HIV at the hospital and also in the AIDS Program. She graduated as a registered nurse after three years of intensive study.

Margaret Badaru at her graduation as a registered nurse.

The three days following the graduation, I stayed in Aru to have a rest and time off to connect with God, which was a very good time. Saturday August 3rd a big wedding was organised in Aru and I was invited. I knew the groom, had given him advice and help about his studies (Theology at the University Shalom Bunia) and his wedding. His wife is the daughter to the Bible Institute director in Adi. At the reception I got a big surprise, I was given one of the wedding cakes. After the wedding I went back to Adi again.

Bride and groom during the reception
The wedding cake

Moroto

After conference I went with a former short termer Caroline Bell and her colleagues to Moroto where they are serving with AIM under the Karamojong. Margaret went with me. We hope to see some of the work.

Visit from Wiebe and Heleen, Members of my home church in The Netherlands

I will be going back to Kampala at the end of this month, to wait there for Wiebe and Heleen. I am looking forward to their visit. There are some questions and issues to be solved, so I like to ask your prayers for these.

Facebook

I posted a photo on facebook. A picture that I placed on FB in 2012 and I have fond memories of that month. It was when the daughter of friends visited and she worked in the maternity as in The Netherlands she was studying at that time to be a midwife. The picture then only received positive feed-back. What was on there? A woman on the delivery table, face not really visible, but legs and tummy showed. The midwife and the friend’s daughter were waiting for the woman to deliver her baby. The delivery was approaching.

Facebook popped it up as a memory and I posted it again last week. I was bombarded with remarks, and they were all negative. How could I post a picture like that??? This was not to be done!!! I tried to delete the photo, but apparently I failed. More remarks made the picture pop up again and again. I became angry. Frustrated. Not only with the remarks, that were from good friends, but also because I just could not delete the picture.

That evening when I went to bed, I started thinking. What about all those young girls, young people, who place in their innocence a nude picture of themselves and get bombarded with all kinds of negative remarks, and also threats that if they don’t post more of those kinds of pictures, it will be made public, to parents, other friends, and whoever… Girls even committed suicide because they could not turn it back, because they could not delete the one picture they uploaded in good faith on the internet.

I don’t know if my picture still circulates on FB or not. I don’t care. And I don’t care anymore if I will still get all kinds of negative feed-back. However, that said, I like to ask people to think before they post anything on FB (that one is for me) or before you react to a picture or a post. If it is negative, instead of just being negative, try to be positive as well. Or send a private message.

And maybe someone can help me, and all those young people. How can you delete a post from FB, if the delete button doesn’t seem to work???

Workshops cancelled

Yes, I had to cancel the workshops. No, not because of the situation around ebola. That has not arrived in Adi. But malaria is another disease that reaches out its grabbing arms to all and this time it got me. Friday I woke up after a unrestful night, with lots of crazy dreams, and I had a fever. My blood smear was positive for malaria and I started with medication. That day I really felt terrible and I decided to spend the night at the neighbour’s place. Also because of the medication being intravenous. Saturday I already felt better, though very tired. So, together with Ayila (my co-facilitator), we decided to cancel both workshops. The one in Koboko cannot be organised easily again, as that depends on the meetings of the Uganda church leadership of CECA. However, the other one for the school chaplains in Aru, will probably be near the end of this month.

EBOLA Alert

Last year in August an ebola epidemic started near Beni in the North Kivu Province. Since then 2.275 have been confirmed as having ebola, and 1.598 have died (as of July 3). Ebola is spreading because the fight against ebola knows lots of problems. The region where it started is a region that is invested with rebel groups and these groups even have attacked treatment centers and killed aid workers. Also they make people believe that ebola does not exist and that it is a dream of the government to suppress the people.

Since last weekend, the end of June, a woman has been diagnosed with ebola in Ariwara, only 45 km from Adi, and has died since. And it is worse. A team of ISTM, a school to train registered nurses in Aru, has been in Ariwara, to supervise students, before coming to Adi. We are waiting for vaccines.

In the mean time, we take preventative measures. Washing hands has been installed again and the hospital personnel really makes sure that everyone entering the hospital washes his hands!

Washing hands is again obligatory

Channels of Hope

Teaching to be a Channel of Hope

A comprehensive workshop discovering how church leaders can be involved in teaching about HIV and care for those living with HIV. It is a workshop that I have followed in South Africa in 2013 when it was organised by AIDSLink. And I have developed it into a workshop of 2-3 days for DR Congo. I have organised two workshops last year, in the CECA 20 church districts of Aba and Watsa. This year in November I will go to Bunia and teach the new CECA leadership. And…

Next month I will be for a two-day workshop in Koboko, Uganda. CECA has expanded into Uganda and the beginning of July some 12 pastors will meet for their executive council. Following these meetings I have been given the opportunity for this workshop. The teaching will be on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 July! And of course it will be in English this time, so I have been translating what I translated from English to French back into English again.

July will be busy, as the school chaplains in the church district of Aru have asked for a Channels of Hope workshop also. That will probably follow the one in Koboko.

Lighting candles of commitment

Pray for our Bethsaida project

Bethsaida is our project that assists orphans to go to school. This year we have 28 students we support, both in primary and secondary school. One of the students, Heritier, who is in first year of secondary for the second year because he didn’t do well, was followed more this year and while he didn’t do well in the first semester, after having talked with him, his teachers and his uncle, he is on the way up.

Talking with Heritier and his uncle

However, another boy, who is in fifth year of secondary and was doing well, quit school in May and we are trying to pursue him to talk with him and with his grandfather. A meeting set up for this morning didn’t take place as the grandfather didn’t come.

Please pray for these two boys and their families. The other children, who are doing well, would appreciate your prayers also.

General Assembly of CECA, part 2

It has been quite an adventure to go to Bunia with all the delegates of the two church districts of Adi and Aru. They had hired a bus only for us. And yes, I was the only woman. And no, it didn’t bother me. I was well looked after. The first start we had on Easter Sunday, when we went by motorbike to Ariwara, where a youth concert took place and the place of CECA 20 Ariwara was packed.

Youth concert in Ariwara on Easter Sunday

Easter Monday we had an early start at 6am and a stop was made in Aru where we picked up more delegates (and had a meal). Until around 4.15pm we had smooth going, but then we got stuck behind trucks. And were not able to make any more progress. A truck packed with wood (planks and the like) had capsized and had touched two trucks in its fall. All three wouldn’t move. A fourth truck was blocking the only part of the road that was kind of okay, but too muddy for the truck to go on. And we had to pass the night there, together with about forty or fifty other trucks. That is called ‘Congo roads hazards’.

Four trucks are blocking the road

The next day it took another two hours before we finally got on the way, and got stuck again about 10 km further down the road. That took all morning. It was the middle of the afternoon that we finally arrived in Bunia and were welcomed with a meal at the church.

Delegates of the General Assembly, we were totalling 165 voting members

General Assembly took four days and were intens and hard work. But also, revisiting with old friends and making new friends. It was an Assembly in which we were to vote for another church president, and we did that on Saturday, April 27. And all the candidates that were chosen in leadership were chosen with unanimous votes. It was great to see that the Lord brought unity among so many voting members.

Agupio, Amanio, on the left, is the new church president for CECA. Pilo Guna, on the right, has another term as vice-president. They will make a good team.

It has been a good time to make new friends, as I mentioned earlier. One new friend works as a pastor in Uganda, and with him I have made plans to organise the workshop ‘Channels of Hope’ in Uganda after they have had their board meetings in Koboko. Because Koboko is not far at all from Adi, we have opted for that time somewhere in June. I started translating the participant syllabus back into English. I will go to teach with Ayila, who helped me in Durba in October. The only thing is that Ayila doesn’t speak English and has to do the teaching in Swahili. It will be another workshop with several languages!

Newsletter/Nieuwsbrief April 2019

It took a while, but I can now post my first newsletter of 2019 for you to read and pray for. Thank you. Here is the link: https://www.annemarieboks.com/from-summer-to-winter-to-summer/

General Assembly of CECA

CECA is the church denomination AIM, and several other mission organisations work with here in the DR Congo. It has its office in Bunia and works in three regions, 11 church districts and around 60 church sections. Adi, where I am based, is the seat of the church district of Adi and of the section of Adi.

Next week CECA organises its General Assembly and as a missionary in Adi District I am one of its delegates. We will leave for Aru after Easter service and continue to Bunia by bus on Easter Monday.

It is an important assembly as we will choose a new Church President. Reverend Kokole Idring’i Jean-Pierre has been president since 2004. He was voted in during the first assembly I attended as a listener (I was one of the people counting the votes then).

Please pray for travel mercies, and that the General Assembly will be led not by men but by God’s Holy Spirit and that the man of God’s choosing will be chosen to succeed Reverend Kokole as church president.

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