Updates from Elyakim- Jewish Hanukkah in Japan 2020

Last week I had the chance to share with my kindergarten pupils about the wonderful holiday of Hanukkah. I was asked by the main teacher to share and explain about the story of Hanukkah.

 I really enjoyed letting kids know for the first time in their lives about God’s story of the Bible and how it relates with Jesus being the light of the world and how we can celebrate Jesus with Hanukkah.

 Hope you can enjoy the pictures and share it with brothers and sisters.

Shabbat shalom

Final Updates from Miriam-Uganda 2020

Hello friends

I returned to Israel to visit in mid-October:

* Two weeks of isolation – I did the isolation at my parents’ new house in Netanya, to which they moved six months ago. Quality time with my mom who works from home. During this time I learned from her to sew in a sewing machine (my mother has been a professional seamstress since the age of 16). It was exciting to continue this family legacy and I also discovered that my great grandfather was also a professional seamstress, probably it is in my blood. I was happy to learn another skill that I can pass on and teach machine sewing to women in Uganda.

Also the isolation was a good time to think, digest, look at the year and calculate God’s blessings in that special year.

* Time with family – I have not seen my family in the last year. This is a very special opportunity to spend time with them. Especially with my sweet nephew Lior who is one and a half years old … I last saw him when he was six months old, a real baby but now he is a little boy. Although I have seen him grow and develop in pictures and videos but it is completely different to really get to know him in reality and his character, so special and exciting!

* Traveling in our beautiful country, meeting friends and sharing about God’s work in Uganda and the mission year I had. Because of corona constraints it is not possible to speak in congregations but it is rather special to meet people in person or in home groups and share about the experience I had this year and the wonderful work of our God in Uganda.

So if I have not yet met with you I would be very happy to do so, feel free to write me in private and we will arrange a meeting.

What are the plans?

* I am currently working on arranging some things in terms of how my accounts are conducted in an orderly manner in Israel and Uganda, I would love to pray for wisdom on how to do things in an orderly manner in terms of taxes and brokerage.

* Plans to return to Uganda for another year in January. One of my friends in Uganda wrote to me: “Miriam, we know Uganda is your new home, so know that we are waiting for you at home for Christmas.” Wow what an exciting one! I definitely miss my friends in Uganda!

Thank you so much for your support and prayer

Updates about Elyakim activities in Japan.

5.08.2020

Updates about Elyakim service in Japan.

… “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”    The Acts 1 : 8

  Already the fifth month began from the beginning of Elyakim’s stay in Japan.

  The Lord provided for him a ministry with children and worship in the church in the city of Osaka. There is some pictures with the pastor and children in this church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Elyakim plans to serve a full year in Japan. He is well advanced in the study of the language and local culture.

 It is a privilege for us to support a young brother from our community to serve in Japan.

 

 

 Please support him with prayer in his request for a missionary visa in Japan.

Half a year in Uganda

Today, half a year I’m living in Uganda, the pearl of Africa!!!
New experiences, new culture, new dress code: only dresses and skirts, new food menu, new world view, new friends, new connections, horizon expansion, long distance relationships with family and friends, thankful for zoom and whatsapp,
corona, blockade, change of plans, recalculating route…

Life in African village, cooking on fire, outdoor bucket showers, head lamp, mosquito net every night, children shooting “muzungo bye”, fliplops all year long, life out of the suitcase without a closet or mirors. Washing by hand.

Not always easy, but I love my life in Africa, love the beautiful people, the rich culture, love African rhythm, music and dance, colorful clothes, love the life in the nature, closeness to the soil, green everywhere.
Love the challenge and the adventure, love my confidence in God on a more deeper level. Love the ability to appreciate the little things, getting excited about picking fresh vegetables from the garden. I love the simplicity and the joy!

Thank you to all my friends and family for the encouragement and prayers, and thank you especially to my Ugandian family, without you this would have been impossible, I NEED you! Thank you for your hospitality and your friendship, I appreciate it very much!

Uganda update – 3 month, 2 dresses, 1 Bible

3 month
2 dresses
1 Bible

When Jesus sent his disciples, He said to them not to take a bag or two pairs of clothes…I also learned this lesson lately.
As you remember, I came to visit my friend Leez for a week, and I’m here already 3 month with two dresses that I wash every day and change ? The joy in simplicity!
There are also no mirrors here. In my previous visits to Uganda I remember that the kids were excited to see themselfs in the camera. For some of them it was the first time they saw themselfs. ?
About my clothes. The kids are wearing the same cothes and before when I was changing clothes regularly, the kids had  hard time recognizing me. In their eyes the clothes define you…it’s crazy!
For someone like me, who came from a selfie, self centering and focusing on how you look  generation, this was a powerful experience to be free and focus more on my surrounding. To open up my heart and eyes, to look outside of me and not only inside…

So what I did in this past 3 month? I’m using every opportunity to bless the people around me…

#On Sundays the neigbors children come to “church” in our backyard. We’ve started with 10 kids and now we have more than 30. From time to time the number grows. We are dividing them to groups, because of the restriction on gatherings.

# Learning and teaching hand craft in the village. One day I went to a local shop to buy things and on the way I saw an older lady sitting and making mats out of palm branches. I asked her if she will be willing to teach me? She agreed happily, and so I set with her several times to learn how make the mats…on my way home I saw a younger woman braiding a bag from the same material; the palm branches. I set with her and showed her what I just learned to do with the branches.
We’ve exchanged expiriences, I tought her how to make mats and she tought me how to make bags. From here to there, few women asked me to teach then diffrent hand craft.
Tgis is a huge privilege for me to sit with diffrent women in the village to teach and to learn hand craft, to hear their stories, to encourage and to pray with them. I’m thankful to God for this wonderful privilege!

# Regular work around the house. I’m improving my cooking skills on the fire and washing by hand…

# Encouraging and building relationships with the staff of Leez and her husband’s
NGO. They are mainly training teachers, runing a private school and sunday school. Things that so close to my heart. So I’m here so far.

Update from Uganda

Dear friends,
Greetings from Uganda!
We’re still under lockdown (for two months already). Yesterday the lockdown was extended for 21 more days.
So I’m still staying with my friend Liz and her family ? I have a lot of time to think, read… I use every opportunity I have to bless the people around me.

Leez and her family:

Life in Africa ??‍♀
when you want to eat chicken and have to slaughter it first.

The safest place to be in: the will of God

The safest place to be in: the will of God
Before they closed the borders in Uganda, the Israeli consul in Uganda urged all Israelis to return Israel as soon as they can, because of the uncertain situation.
A thought crossed my my mind – should I go back to Israel?
But then God reminded me that the safest place to be is in His will, and God put me here now.
I’m thankful to God for the privilege of going through this time of crisis together with the Ugandan people. It’s a privilege to support, pray, encourage, stay with the even when it’s hard, go through the storm together….

Shutdown continues
A few days ago when the 21-day shutdown expired, the Prime-Minister of Uganda extended the shutdown for 21 more days, until the May 5th.

Update from last month:
Mansur group
In the beginning of March a group of 4 young people arrived here – 2 of them from Israel and 2 from Australia. I joined them. We made a good progress with the school building, and they also made some videos for fundraising.

With the Mansur’s group at Alfreds graduation.

At Alfred’s
I stayed with Alfred and his wife Betty for 2 weeks. In the afternoons I spent a lot of time with their young 3-year old son Ebeneezer. During these 2 weeks I visited the nearby school, spent time in all the different classes (1st grad – 7th grade). I learned a lot about the education in Uganda, noticed the challenges and difficulties, exchanged ideas and experiences with the teachers, and also had a good conversation with the principal of the school regarding his duty at the school and the various challenges.

Staying with Liz
Right before the shutdown I came to visit Liz my friend and her family and stay over for a few days (or so I thought), but found myself staying for over a month after all, due to the shutdown.
I’m having a blessed time with the family. I’m learning lots of things: cooking over the fire, washing clothes by hand, building stuff for the home, language, day-to-day life.

Prayer requests:
There are 20 more days for the shutdown.
Many families in Uganda are having lack of food because of the shutdown. The government is giving out food but there are still lots of families in need.
Pray that the little food that the people have would increase and would be sufficient for them for the time-being.

I’d appreciate prayers for guidance and wisdom to know what I should be doing during the current times. How to bless others? How to help? How to meet people’s needs?

Happy Passover & Shabbat shalom!

Coronavirus in Uganda

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has come to Uganda. As of today, there is nearly a complete lockdown, no public transportation, general transportation is prohibited, and all businesses are closed except for selling food. The borders have been shut a while ago.

Two weeks ago, a day before they closed the borders, two airplanes from Dubai landed carrying 400 passengers. Since Dubai was not listed among the Corona “infected” countries, they weren’t checked, and they continued home. The very next, they discovered that 8 of the passengers on those flights had contracted Corona. The 400 passengers from the flights where scattered throughout Uganda and refuse to be checked. Within two weeks, the number of sick people grew from 1 to 33… In order to prevent the continued spreading of the virus, the government has prohibited all transportation, including that of personal vehicles.

People here are worried about the impending hunger/starvation. The minute they shut down all transportation and shops, that automatically sentenced hunger upon hundreds of thousands of families.

I just wanted to remind and highlight what you have: an abundance of food, running water and soap that are readily available, the personal toilet room you enjoy within the privacy of your own home, your ability to lock your doors at night and feel safe, the ability to receive medical treatment if (God forbid) you need it. There are millions of people who live without these things, and if things continue this way it will only get worse.

I’m writing this out of a sense of deep appreciation that I am safe and full, and out of a huge concern for my many friends here and for the rest of the local congregation (church). Simply appreciate what you have, and pray for those who have not.

I am well, and am in a safe place with friends of mine in Mokono. I thank God for the opportunity to spend this difficult time with the Ugandan people, praying, supporting, and encouraging them.