The One with Thanksgiving & a CSB Website

Well, friends. This blog really serves two purposes:

  1. Show you more pretty pictures of Thanksgiving here with Team Bundi.
  2. Celebrate with you the launch of Christ School Bundibugyo’s official web presence!

Three months living out here, and so much has happened. So much transition, so many new friends, so many exciting projects tackled for Christ School. And even though we weren’t able to have turkey like you guys (chicken with gravy is essentially the same thing), today I’m thankful for all of the crazy that accompanied the last month and a half. Here we goooooo..!

— Thanksgiving in Bundi! —

Such an odd concept, celebrating an American holiday focused on quality family time while living very far from my own. It definitely brings new ways to practice thankfulness, that’s for sure! There is much to be thankful for in this place. I tried explaining Thanksgiving to my friend Gladisi one day last week. Her response basically went like this:

“So… In America, there is an entire holiday… Just for thanking God? And for having a meal with family?” 

Her confusion made sense, honestly. Here, everyone thanks everyone for everything. Thank you for greeting, thank you for coming, thank you for cooking, thank you for working, thank you for carrying, thank you for appreciating, thank you for worshipping, etc. The list goes on. People walk down the street thanking perfect strangers for doing whatever task they may be doing. Community is at the heart of this place. And sharing meals with family (even with as many as 15 people gathered in one location) is so commonplace that I found myself stumbling through my explanation when I realized what she was processing. Of course she was baffled! She practices thankfulness daily. Such a neat perspective and reminder to take home with me to a country that often struggles to remember the good. Webale kwegesiya, Gladisi! Thank you for teaching.

After that, I walked down to team leaders Josh and Anna’s house for the team meal. And let me tell you. We ate food.

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This is the view walking from my house to Josh and Anna’s. Those Rwenzori mountains will never, ever get old.
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The BEAUTIFUL table arrangement thanks to sister Sarah Crane!
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Baby Daniel Dickenson posing with all his Aunties. This is his happy place.
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Look at this beautiful team! (And some visitors from the States.)
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Aaand the beautiful roomies. We watch a lot of Lost, eat a lot of nachos, and chase a lot of goats off the front porch. Solidarity at its finest.

All in all, it was a wonderful holiday with this pseudo-family of mine here in rural Uganda. Got to FaceTime with all my closest people in America to remind them of my thankfulness, even when I’m 7,000 miles away. And I slept for 12 hours when it was all over, partly because of a food coma but MAINLY BECAUSE…..

— CSB WEBSITE LAUNCH!! —

The Christ School website is finally LIVE, people! I’ve been waiting to show this to you pretty much since late September. It’s something Sarah Crane and I (and countless others, make no mistake) have been dreaming of and talking about for years. A place where people in America can get a firsthand look at what Christ School is and what we’re all about. A place where pictures and videos are easily accessible, ways to partner are easily grasped, and two-way communication can truly begin for financial partners.

Sarah Crane rolled up her sleeves and completed the grunt work to get the ball rolling ages ago; I jumped in with both feet when I got to the field. Copy writing, copy editing, meetings with local CSB board members for approval on phrasing and terminology, organizing pictures taken by friends at The Archibald Project, communicating with Serge staff stateside, communicating with a wonderful web designer steadily for weeks, communicating with a graphic designer, and digging through archived CSB documents written by founding members two decades ago. Most importantly, praying MANY prayers for the Holy Spirit to carry the message of Christ School through this site in ways that bring dignity to this people group, honesty to friends in America, and glory to Jesus. God knows I could never accomplish that on my own.

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Early Thursday morning: here I am in all my sleep-deprived glory. Clicking the live link for the first time. (Photo cred: roommate Ashley Patterson)

This CSB team has worked so hard. We’re proud and excited! Sarah and I both cried happy tears when it was finished (on Thanksgiving Day), just in time for Serge to launch its 2016 Giving Tuesday campaign benefiting CSB. Sarah also wrote a beautiful blog post that went live on Serge’s site this past Friday. Check it out here!

Lots of blood, sweat, and tears, friends. Tweaks will be made and growth will come from here, no doubt. But I can honestly say that I’ve never been more thankful to be a small part of something so beautifully foundational. Check out the website here:

www.christschoolbundi.org

Grace for completed work, faith for a million unknowns. Thanking our God for all of it and everything in between. And specifically thanking our God for each of YOU, because this would never be possible without you guys. The realization humbles me every time I think about it, which is often.

I always end like this, and I hope it never loses its truth: Thank you for walking with me to the rural East African jungle in the name of freedom and truth.

All my love,

Ashland

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