Newsletter January-July 2010

Psalm 73:28
But I’m in the very presence of God – oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made God my home.
God, I’m telling the world what you do!

Dear prayer friends,

What a long time has it been that you have received a newsletter from me. I wrote one the end of last year, but because of the snow and the cold weather in The Netherlands, that one has not been sent out. After that it just has been too busy to write. At the moment I am in Kampala because the program car needed to be there for the 10.000 km service, which gives me a bit more time for other things that have been waiting. Yesterday I was working with three computers in one go. Two needed an anti-virus program to be downloaded and in Adi the connection that I have is just too slow for this, plus the fact that another provider is disturbing the network connection doesn’t help a bit. However, now that I am in Kampala, when the car is out of the garage, one of the things to do is to visit the SIL/Wycliffe office to get the equipment for a VSAT, a communication satellite that we can take over. Within a short while communication will be much easier from office and home.

Three laptops in one go

Maybe I can just follow the months and headlines of important happenings to write this letter.

January 2010: Knew the AIM missionary conference in Jinja. I liked being there, but it is an impossible timing. Just after Christmas and New-Years-Eve is a time full of stress to get ready for conference. After that we went to Dhidhi for the Participatory Integrated Community Development. I like the work, but it is only sideways connected with AIDS. Still…it was asked by Help A Child.

Kids watch after school time

February 2010: We had our retreat as a team of nine in Ariwara (with Benjamin who joined our team for financial administration and Moyindo as a driver) and we had a visit of four HACA personnel at the end of the month for evaluation of our organisation. We have a lot to improve. I also preached in a youth service on February 14 (just after bumping my head which needed stitches in hospital).

March 2010: Following the HACA visit they had organized a partner conference for Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi in Burundi. Abraham and I attended and had a good time and we could establish or reinforce many contacts. I even could establish contacts again with two Burundian pastors whom I know from my time at the Bible school at Heverlee. I enjoyed this very much. A big storm hit Adi and blew off the roof of one of the wards.

April 2010: One of the children who was placed in Bethsaida at the end of last month, became sick and was hospitalized where he died at the end of the month. I wasn’t feeling well the beginning of the month but I preached on April 11. During the General Assembly of CECA one of the pastors present there had a stroke. Pastor Nyadria Benoit (president of the church district of Aru, where Adi also is part of) is doing much better now but he still needs our prayers. My cat died just before giving birth but a new kitten entered my household at the end of the month.

Rafiki

May 2010: We have established more contacts with the medical authorities of the territory of Aru and made more plans for a training about ARV, prevention of transmission from mother to child, care for AIDS patients for the hospital personnel…We plan it to take place in August.

With the Stabells

The second half of the month, I have taken two weeks of holiday and went to Bunia, Beni and Oicha. In Beni and Oicha I have met Tim and Susan Stabell. They worked in Beni when I was based in Oicha. Mark, their oldest son, who is now a missionary in Mozambique, had also taken holidays to meet up with his parents. It was great to see them again. It was also great to see the AIDS work in Oicha (yes, I did work during my holidays). Nérie still is mainly working alone (Matambo only has one day a week for AIDS), stigma around AIDS is still huge (bigger than in our area), and people living with AIDS are often rejected by their families and left. They know to find their way to Nérie who gives them shelter and food. They do not have financial support.

Nerie (left) with a grandmother and her HIV+ grandson

June 2010: I made a good start typing “Choosing Hope” in Bangala in the computer. The plan is to have it ready for printing this year after which we like to make it available for pastors and Bible Schools who rather have the Bangala version. The rest of the team went for a week of sensitization activities (film nights, night markets, visits to community leaders and schools) to the Health Zone of Adja. Also Congo knew the 50th anniversary of Independence on June 30.

July 2010: In Ariwara a new church section was dedicated and Reverend Kokole, church president of CECA 20, preached there. The following week he spent in Adi and joined us in a board meeting where the decision was confirmed to open a bank account for the program in Arua, Uganda. It will be much easier to have money available for all activities. In Keri, a small village bordering Uganda and Sudan, a baptism service was organized where we showed a DVD the Saturday night before. More than thirty people decided to follow Jesus, under whom the oldest son of the evangelist who started the work in Keri. This month we also made a good start writing and editing of scripts for our AIDS DVD that we like to produce and launch on World AIDS Day. The school year ended with all our orphans doing well.

Baptism in Keri

Praise
– For Gods strength every day anew and his presence during the first seven months this year
– For our team and all the undertaken activities
– For my holiday and the time with the team in Oicha
– For the PICD work in Dhidhi
– For the new team members: Moyindo (driver) and Benjamin (finances)

Prayer
– For a growing collaboration in our team
– For the production of the DVD about AIDS
– For the work on “Choosing Hope” in Bangala
– For more personnel for the program (administrator and animator for Adja)
– For mama Anna and all the orphans
– For Ruth and Augustin (her son born in January)

May God bless you,

Annemarie Boks

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