My Summer at Kasana

These are the current members of the worship team started in 2009 with 10 kids.

My 2011 Summer

At New Hope Uganda’s Kasana Children’s Center

I first came to New Hope Uganda’s Kasana Children’s center in the summer of 2008 for three weeks. I fell in love with it and returned in ’09 to stay for a year. In 2010 I returned to Utah to teach in a special education class at a public elementary school. This was a fabulous experience and I’m excited to return to the same classroom this next school year. As a teacher I am blessed to have a long break during the summer. God lead me to spend this one (2011) back at New Hope Uganda. It was a very full 2 months. Because I had already built relationships during my year stay, it was not difficult to feel right at home again. I was welcomed with opened arms and opened hearts. It is an incredible blessing to feel so apart and connected. God is an amazing designer. I could not have planned the last 3 years of my life anywhere near as well as He did. God has proved Himself trustworthy over and over again. He is teaching me to be content and grounded wherever He takes me. It’s hard transitioning back and forth between cultures but He’s teaching me how to keep my eyes focused on him. Philippians 4:4-7 became this summer’s theme verse.

Here are some of the ways I was involved during my 2 month stay:

Awesome relationships.

• Building upon established relationships

• Spending lots of time hanging out and laughing

• Forming new relationships

• Teaching guitar & Teaching vocals

• Counseling several boys

• Teaching a worship seminar at New Hope for all those involved in leading worship in the Kasana community church (there are 60+ members currently involved)

• Teaching the basics of guitar to 3 teen boys at New Hope’s Kobwin site

• Teaching on worship to the staff and kids at Kobwin

My 3 guitar students in Kobwin.

• Helping lead worship 3 Sundays

• Helping train the Heart of Worship team (which has nearly doubled in size)

• Helping the Heart of Worship team do 2 worship nights

• Recording songs written by 3 of the youth at New Hope

• Tutoring a girl in reading and math at the primary school

• Helping P7 week by doing a little worship

This list is not meant to bring any acknowledgment to myself but to show how amazing God is. I had some ideas about what I would be doing but He opened so many amazing doors. My time was such a blessing and I feel humbled that He chose to use me in the ways He did. I love Uganda and my family there and I also love Utah and my family here. It’s an incredible blessing to have two homes and feel so connected in both places. I know I will be teaching in Utah this coming school year and am trusting that God has amazing plans. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for me but I know God does and I’m willing and excited to follow his lead.

Recording original songs in my living room.

Yours in Christ,

Joshua Craner