Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My son's art show

Simon has been working and working for this show. I couldn't go to New York to see his works, but luckily he posted his show online. I am posting the link for my family and friends. You can give him your feedback in his site.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Semester

Our school started on August 27th. I have four courses to teach this semester, and they are all full. One of the reasons that I chose teaching career is for the love of learning... I definitely learn from my students. This is especially true with Web 2.0 technologies.

I use Firefox as my main browser, but when I do blogging I like to use Flock which is the secondary browser for social networking. Flock makes easy to organize and manage websites, pics and videos, feeds, blogging.

William from Rwanda is visiting us for a week. He is now a blogger, and he has been blogging for three days, and having a good time doing it. He also is learning how to swim. Rwanda is a land-locked country, so most people do not know how to swim. William is so determine to swim. He has been in the pool almost everyday past few days. I joke with him that he will be in Olympic swim team from Rwanda in 2012.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Morning Devotions

Within the blink of an eye, my summer is gone. School starts next week, but I am not yet ready to return. It has been over a month since we came back from Africa, but still my mind is occupied with our Africa mission.

The other day, Chris asked what I remembered most about all the things we did in Africa this past summer. I considered seminars that I conducted, churches that I visited, people that I met, a house that we built, goats that we gave away, and places where we traveled. I told Chris “My most cherished memory has to be the morning devotions”.

I truly miss the morning devotion that gathered at 5:30 every morning in our Christian Fellowship House in Butare, Rwanda. For the two weeks I lived there, I grew accustomed to waking up at the sound of the steel gate opening, followed by the footsteps of children, then their mothers entering into “the sitting room”. In this 15 by 20 foot room, children sat in the center on floor mats while their mothers sat on benches near the walls. After early morning praise, the mothers hurried off to the fields and the children went to school.

Even though it is called “morning devotion”, it seemed like a full service to me. Our African sisters praised and worshiped God with passion. The early hour didn’t make any difference. I joined in with the singing and dancing. What a great way to start the day.

Can you believe that this many people fit in our living room?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Where did my summer go?

Within the blink of an eye, my summer is gone. I am ready to go back to school. My mind is still occupied with Africa, VBS, death of Mr. Wilbur, my kids in DC and NY. My husband and I are thinking about starting a homework club for our neighborhood. One night when we came home, we found two teen agers were doing their homework at our church steps. They told me that their house is too noisy to do their home work. Some kids from immigrant families at our neighborhood do not have their own room to study. My heart goes out for them. If we could open our church space up for these kids, it would be great. I learned that some churches are doing the exact things that I am talking about. We need to visit some of these places. We have some seniors who can help kids to read and do their home work in a safe environment. I am thinking about adding homework club to my plate. Am I crazy or what? Perhaps. I will be teaching four classes this fall. In addition to my college teaching, I am also teaching a 4th and 5th grade Sunday school, and teach a Wed. Bible study.

Well, teaching is learning. I like to learn, and it is the best way for me to learn is to teach others. So I should be grateful for opportunities I have.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Where heros are made

We have an awesome church! Twenty-five adults (mostly seniors) volunteered for the VBS to serve 30 children. Most of these volunteers are seniors, some are in their 80's. Each volunteer played his or her position well. We taught children about how heros are made. Everyone is a hero in my book. All of us together made a history for our church.

Teachers are thanked by the VBS director

at a rally...

At the craft class

"Game Day Central" sticker on her face

Washing hands before snack

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Having a great time

I have 12 kids in my 5th and 6th grade class this week. We have over 30 students enrolled in this year's VBS. God made a way for us again. Knowing we have only one kid in our regular Sunday School, our church prepared a VBS with faith that God will provide kids. Where these kids came from? Fifteen kids came from a Hispanic church, and rest of children are grand children of our congregation.

I thought I would never be able to keep up with 10 year olds, but I am doing Okay. They are great kids, and fun to be with. I teach them two 30 min. sessions each day. The topic of this year's VBS is "How Heros are Made". Heros know their roles and they know their game plans. Kids are playing a ball game outside. I am taking my break while they take their craft class and sport class.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vacation Bible School

Our church is going to have a VBS from Sunday, July 29 to August 2nd. I am a head coach for preteens, and studying the material like I am studying for a bar exam. Now I know that it is not fun or easy to follow someone else's lesson plan. This year theme is about How Heros are Made.
More info is here:
LifeWay's VBS -- Game Day Central

Friday, July 20, 2007

2007 Summer Mission Photos

As soon as we got back from Africa on July 14th, Chris started organizing photos and editing videos to put on the internet. He sent out the following e-mail to friends yesterday. If you didn't see the photos, here is the link you can go and check out photos and videos..

**Chris' e-mail
Dear friends of Come and See Africa,

I have finally posted all the pictures of our Mission 2007. It was a challenge because there were 4 people taking lots of pictures (344 posted). I hope to fill in some narrative at future date. If you have a slow internet connection, it may take some time for you to see all the pictures.

Chris A. Foreman
Come and See Africa Intl.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

God has made a way

In Rwanda, a piece of land doesn't belong to an individual. When you buy a plot to build your house, you are actually paying for a title to use the land. We were looking to buy a piece of vacant land right next to the front gate of the university. Last summer, the owner said that the price for the plot is 10 million francs (about $20,000 USD). A friend of ours who shared the CASA vision gave money to buy the land. The owner got greedier when he learned that a missionary wants to buy his land. He raise the price to 30 million francs (about $60,000). We decide not to buy it. We believe that God has a place for us to build His house, so we waited on. When we were in Butare this summer, we found a piece of plot that is perfect for us. It is about 500 steps away from the back gate of the National University of Rwanda, and has a nice view of the university forest. This land has an interesting story. Here is the plot which the CASA is buying. Click the picture to view the plot.

Here is Chris' e-mail to the donor about the land.

Dear friend,

Your generosity has born fruit in Rwanda. As you can read below, CASA has just purchased property in Butare. In all honesty this plot of land is probably better suited for our purposes than the plot we looked at in January. We paid 8 million Rwandan Franks or about $16,000. We are using the money that you donated specifically for this purpose.

We are indeed blessed to have this land. Rwanda is a rock of stability in East Africa and land prices are rising quickly. The university plans to increase enrollment and this newly constructed "Christian Fellowship House" will be strategically situated at the university's back gate. I am posting pictures of the plot tomorrow and will send you a link to them.

The property has an interesting history which needed special handling. This plot once belonged to a president of Rwanda from the former racist government. The man was a professor at the NUR before being president and his personal home was on this plot. He went on to serve as president for only 3 months. At the conclusion of the genocide war, the patriotic army destroyed his house. The land has be vacant since then -- with a very small cinder block building in one corner.

Blessings, Chris

Giving Goats

We bought 10 goats and gave them to two orphans, two widows, and six Batwa families. Our church members gave me money to buy goats. One goat costs about $20. One goat for a poor family is a big thing. Goats will produce little baby goats for household income.

Village people are waiting anxiously for goats to appear. We didn't tell who is going to get a goat. It was a surprise.

We put the donor's name on each goat.

An orphan boy got the goat named Ken D. He is telling everyone saying that Immana (God) gave him a goat

These batwa family gave thanks to Immana and the CASA team with their dance.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What do we eat in Africa?

People ask me what kind of food we eat when we are in Africa. I tell them we eat well, too well. Every time I go there, I come home several pounds heavier. I eat lots of fried food. There is one menu for mujugus (it means "white people") I m not whitle, but they call anyone who is not local, they call mujungus. For breakfast, we eat fried egg, white bread, bananas, papayas, pineapples, passion fruits. For lunch which is the biggest meal, we eat rice, fried potatoes, mutoki (cooked or fried banana), a piece of beef or chicken. For dinner, the same thing we ate for the lunch. I eat much better and more when I am in Rwanda. All these great foods are prepared in this outdoor kitchen by Esprance.

And served in fancy pots. Lots of different dishes. Do you see a big dough like thing on the table, that is a traditional African food called "ugari" It is made from casaba roots. It is a lot like Korean dduk (rice cake) I wish every African family eat like this. But it is not. This is a meal for guests, and Africans are famous for their hospitality. They will go without food for themselves for a few days in order to treat their guests with a good meal.

When we are in Burundi, we cook for ourselves. Paul is preparing tea, Nate is making french toast for a breakfast.

The best fish I ever had was in Burundi. Here it is. Every time we go to Brundi, we go to a beach restaurant and eat fish caught from Lake Tanganyika. Chris is serving to us. I hope he washed his hands.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Global Citizens

Originally uploaded by come and see africa
NUR is blessed with many talented professors. The talents are pulled from all over the world. Elena and Oleg are from Russia, and they teach physics and astronomy. Jose and Jahwar are from India. Some of these professors are from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya. And yours truly who is a Korean-American came to Butare from SF. Most of these professors speak three or four languages fluently. They are holding a certificate of completion of Web 2.0 workshop. Each of these professors are now have their own blog and their wiki site.

4th of July

Four of us celebrated 4th of July in Butare, Rwanda. We celebrated it as Independence Day, Rwandans celebrated it as Liberation Day.

Morning Glory

Originally uploaded by come and see africa
These children get up at 5 am, and come for the morning devotion at CASA house. They sing and dance, and hear God's words before they go to school. Many of these children go to sleep without a dinner, and they go to school without a breakfast. And yet, they give thanks to God. Bless are the poor... This picture is taken at 6:30 am, right after the morning devotion.

What can you see when you are in Rwanda?

I have visited Rwanda eight times, and yet I have not seen any animals other than goats and chickens. Rwanda is famous for gorillas, and yet I have not seen one. You have to go to a special park to see it, and also it is quiet expensive to get into to the park. Chris was lucky to see a monkey on his way to Congo.

These two mujungus are enjoying goat meats they bought from a street vendor.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Visiting Burundi

We drove around about an hour to buy gas in Burundi. We paid over $10 for a gallon of gas.

A grocery store in Burundi. We bought goat meats and peanuts for lunch

Queen Leila and Pastor Chris

Spoke to students about January conference. The theme of Jan. conference is Joseph in Egypt, it is about leadership. There are 16 universities in Burundi, these students are leaders from each campus.

Photography.English.Bible.Techology Classes

Twenty students from NUR learned to use 35mm camera. Don collected 10 cameras from his church in Tiburon, and taught students.

Nate teaches English to children and youth.

Pastor Chris teaches NUR students about Christian Leadership

Professor Kim teaches NUR professors on Web 2.0

Last year, Prof. Singleton taught these students. They meet once a week and practice.