Newsletters

Dyck Family Update

November 7, 2017

Greetings from Uganda and Vancouver!

Not much longer until the family is reunited, we are very excited! We are never in the Lower Mainland this time of year but there is something fun about looking forward to snow days, bundling up to go outside, and spending the Christmas season with our families.

We can’t believe that it was already a year ago that we were in the midst of one of the biggest droughts in the Rakai district of Uganda. That continued until February when finally the rain began and crops were growing. It was unknown to us then that this was all the beginning of a very hard year for Kibaale and our own family. There was difficult staffing issues, multiple vehicle breakdowns, several students hit by motorcycles, and the highest numbers our medical clinic had ever seen.

We have shared already about Avin and the illness she has been struggling with since March on the blog. There are so many things we can now look back on to see how God has been with us throughout this time and orchestrated the timing of things perfectly. Without her having gone to Canada when she did her infection would not have been diagnosed, we are so thankful for His provision over our family and a diagnosis and treatment through BC Children’s Hospital which has been amazing! Avin has also had a strong sense of peace and God’s love throughout this time, which is such an encouragement to us.

Due to Avin’s latest test results her Doctors told us to be prepared that we’ll possibly have to extend her IV antibiotics and our hospital stay beyond the 6 weeks we were first told, unless her next MRI looks really good, then she can be discharged and move to oral antibiotics. Please pray with us that her MRI on November 10th shows the infection in her back is gone! We will know the results on November 14th, thank you!!

Although there have been several issues to overcome this year we have also had a lot of things that we’re really excited about. There were many new visitors to Kibaale and out of that came a lot of new sponsors, Kibaale School is at 90% fully sponsored right now! We were also able to invite Village Church to join us as a ministry partner, they sent their first official team in November led by the church missions director and they have committed to send several teams each year, which is very exciting! They are looking at especially assisting us with our medical clinic; with staff training and ensuring we have the supplies that are needed to properly run our clinic for the community of Kibaale.

Jeff was in the lower mainland at the end of the summer to do some fundraising for the medical clinic and the new phase of the Timothy Girls High School in Masaka that will allow for 100 more girls to attend school! It was very successful, $230,000 was raised during that time and construction began before Jeff even arrived back in Uganda. The new dormitories are going up under budget and ahead of schedule, which is amazing!

We’d love it if you would join us in praying for the coming year; for wisdom for the sponsorship office in Kibaale as they process hundreds of applicants to our Nursery school which has only 54 spots, for all our students waiting to see how they did on their exams, and for the health of our staff and students in Kibaale and Masaka. Also please pray for the construction project in Masaka to continue well.

We are very thankful for all of your support towards our family in Uganda, your prayers, communication, and financially, it would not be possible to serve here without you. If you haven’t already, please consider being part of our financial support, we have a yearly goal to meet of $35,000.

Our family has had a lot of extra costs these last few months due to Avin’s illness, with flights especially and we would love to raise the money for these additional expenses that our board has been covering while we’re in the midst of this difficult time.

All donations will receive a tax receipt. Here is a link to give online http://www.kuwasha.net/missionary-support/or you can contact Rachel Sledding at the Kuwasha office in Canada rachel@kuwasha.net

We have felt your prayers over these last few months, both overseas and while Avin, Mazzy and I have been living in the hospital, we are so thankful also for your practical support; vehicles, homes to stay in, and food, gift cards or your visits that brighten Avin’s day in the hospital. 

There are many photos and more details of things going on in Uganda, Avin’s medical treatments, and the rest of the family on the blog-www.jeffshan.blogspot.com

Love Shannon, Jeff, Joel, Avin, Finn & Mazzy

Avin continues to write this verse that really touched her this summer in every hospital and room we get moved to, it is something we continue to believe!

“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you” 2 Kings 20:5




December 8, 2016

Greetings Family & Friends!

The end of this year has flown by! We had an amazing time this summer in Canada; it was very refreshing for our family as well a time to get a lot of work done. Being with our board and co-workers face-to-face saves a lot of time; we were able to move ahead on a lot of things we’d been working on!  Although it had been 2 years since we had seen most of you we were very warmly welcomed, taken out for meals, extra time spent with our children, as well we were so graciously offered cars to drive and homes to stay in, we felt very loved and supported!

We came back to Uganda able to jump right in to work, no major issues to deal with which we were so thankful for. This is a first in our time here that our Ugandan staff were left without a Canadian on the ground, and they really stepped up! We are so thankful for the leadership in place right now in Kibaale and at the Timothy Centre.

There has been a lot going on since we’ve returned, in all departments! Term 3 began in September, a busy time in the school for our teachers and students as they work to complete the school year as well prepare for exams. At the Timothy Girls School in Masaka we have decided to not only be an A Level school next year (grades 11 and 12) but also an O Level school (grades 8-11), so we are making arrangements now to open our school to grade 8 students in February. Our clinic has been especially busy these past few months, partly because since the election government clinics have not been properly stocked with medications, meaning more patients at our private clinic, as well there are just more patients in general during this very long dry season, the dust causes a lot of illness.

The hardest thing we returned to see was the famine in Kibaale, there had been no rain between May and October, the longest dry season in 25 years, which is how long the Kibaale Community Centre has existed!  Our offices are getting people from the community every day asking for help with food, as well our students families are coming in for assistance. If you would like to help with the famine relief a $30 donation is a huge help to a hungry family, giving them food to last a month, here is a link to donate:
http://www.paoutreach.net/catalog/14

Our co-worker Rachel Sledding came in October with her husband and 2 other couples that have had children attending Pacific Academy School for many years now, it’s always a treat to host families who have been sponsoring children and given to Kibaale so generously over the years. As they left we began the final planning for a family team (4 families with 11 kids!) that arrived on October 31st. our kids were especially excited to help us host this team with lots of new friends for them to spend time with. It was an amazing group of people that made a big impact on Kibaale and to each of us!

Our own children began their school year in September; Mazzy is now in grade 4, Finn in grade 7, Avin in grade 8 and Joel into grade 11, yikes!! It actually gets a lot easier to homeschool as they get older; they become more independent as well help each other out instead of asking Mom every question they have. They are all doing well so far and have a good attitude about this year; the summer was very refreshing for them as well!

We’d love it if you would join us in praying for the coming year; for wisdom for the sponsorship office in Kibaale as they process over 700 applicants to our Nursery school which has only 54 spots, for all our students waiting to see how they did on their exams, and for the health of our staff and students in Kibaale and Masaka, especially during this time of famine in our community.   

We are very thankful for all of your support towards our family in Uganda, your prayers, communication, and financially, it would not be possible to serve here without you! If you haven’t already, please consider being part of our financial support, we have a yearly goal to meet of $35,000 and are still short for 2016. All donations will receive a tax receipt. Here is a link to give online http://paoutreach.net/catalog/6 or you can contact Rachel Sledding at the PAOS office - RSledding@pacificacademy.net

You can see photos and more details from the last few months on our blog – www.jeffshan.blogspot.com


Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn & Mazzy


“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.”
Psalm 119:35



April 25, 2016

Greetings Family & Friends!

Today marks our 3rd year back in Uganda, we are still so thankful that God has provided this opportunity for our whole family to serve here!

We hope that you are all enjoying a beautiful spring! We have been right in the middle of rainy season, which was very needed for the crops, but the rain has started to slow down and we are getting hot sunny days again which we love!!

A highlight for us these past few months was hosting 2 families and an outreach team from Pacific Academy School, it’s so encouraging to see how God allowed these families to serve in Uganda this year, they were not only a blessing to the centre but to our own family as well!

Good friends of ours, the Anderson family, came to spend 2 months with us at the beginning of the year, they have 3 girls our own children’s ages so it was such a treat for our entire family to have them here. They raised money before they came to go towards several needs in Kibaale. They were able to purchase gift baskets for every new student at our school this year, a slide for the daycare playground, a mud hut, water tank, many bed sets for needy families, and a community outreach clinic day! We appreciate the sacrifice it took for their family to serve alongside us for these 2 months, memories we will cherish forever.

We had never met the Schultz family but Christina had been to Kibaale with Pacific Academy School 20 years ago, when her husband was given a sabbatical they decided they wanted to spend some time in Kibaale as a family. Kevin and Christina came with their 2 boys and jumped right in to life in Uganda, helping with sports days, mud huts, the Awana program and chapel services. It was our pleasure to meet their family in Uganda!!

Every year a highlight for our whole family is hosting the PA Outreach team during spring break. Most of the students on this team have been at PA since Kindergarten, hearing about Kibaale and supporting it most of their lives! It’s so special for us to introduce them to the project and to see them fall in love with Uganda. They are very busy during their time here, serving with outreach projects, chapels, sports day, building a mud hut and going on home visits, they had great attitudes about everything we had planned for them and they all worked really hard!

We had an extra long term break this year due to the presidential election; we were so excited for the kids to return this year, the first day of school was a really fun day! The Nursery class is especially fun to see, as it is these kids first year ever going to school and for a lot of them the first time seeing us Mzungus!

We have had a few challenges at the beginning of this school year, our clinic has seen a major growth, government clinics have not been properly stocked with medications or supplies which puts a lot more pressure on the private clinics like ours. Also, one of our Directors in the sponsorship office, Uncle Cephas, has been quite sick; he spent the last few months in a hospital in Kampala and had to suddenly retire from his position. We are very proud of the staff in our sponsorship office for stepping up to fill these big shoes. We are happy to share that Uncle Cephas is now feeling much better and recovering at home.

Our agriculture programs are doing very well so far, the weather has cooperated allowing a good crop to grow already, we’ve had so much rain there has even been flooding on the road to Kibaale! Our boarding school that we run in Masaka at the Timothy Centre is also thriving this year, admissions is high and the students are performing well. We have 4 students at this school that are from Peace Portal Uganda in Mpigi, a project supported by our home church in Canada, we are pretty proud to say that our top student at the Timothy Centre High School last year was Rachel, one of the students from Mpigi!

We’d love it if you would join us in praying for this year; for continued good crops, for safety and health for our staff and students as well our own family, and for the impact we have on the communities where we serve.

We are very thankful for all of your support towards our family in Uganda, the emails, prayers, and financially, it would not be possible to serve here without you! Thank you for considering being part of our financial support, we have a yearly goal to meet of $35 000 per year.

Here is a link to give online http://paoutreach.net/catalog/6 or you can contact Rachel Sledding at the PAOS office - RSledding@pacificacademy.net

You can see photos and more details from the last few months on our blog – www.jeffshan.blogspot.com

Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn, Mazzy


Come Work With Us In Uganda!

We are looking to expand our team to include a Program Coordinator based at the Kibaale Community School location. This self-funded position would suit an adventurous person or couple willing to commit to a 1-2 year term, starting in January 2017. 

Full job description here: www.kibaale.blogspot.ug


Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:3




 December 11, 2015

 Greetings Family & Friends!

We hope that you have had time to enjoy this holiday season with your families and friends. Our family loves Christmas in Uganda, the pace of life, the sun shining, and no malls nearby to fight our way through! It does take some work to actually feel like Christmas though, Jeff discovered a recipe for homemade eggnog and has been making us all the yummiest lattes, mixed with a day of Christmas baking and it’s starting to feel festive!

A highlight for us these past couple months was hosting a team from Pacific Academy School who came to put together and give out over 1300 gift baskets to each and every one of our students. It was a lot of work but so appreciated!! Many families rely on the meals the students get while at school every day so sending each student home with a bag of maize flour, a staple food here, is so helpful! Thank you everyone who gave so generously to “A Gift for Every Child” this year!

The school year in Uganda finished up today, it’s always sad to see the kids leave on the last day of school, Kibaale does not feel the same without the thousand children running around. This coming year there will be an election in Uganda, which will delay our first day back until February 22; it’s going to be a long break for our students and teachers!

In January two teachers from Pacific Academy School will arrive to start a new year of Teacher Training, where teachers from not only our Kibaale school but all over Uganda come to learn practical lessons on teaching from a biblical worldview.  Please pray for both the Canadian teachers as they prepare to come to Uganda to teach this course for 3 weeks as well for all the organization to go smoothly in Uganda as we register teachers and prepare.

Our family will also be busy during the break getting ready for the teams and visitors coming to Kibaale in the New Year, we already know of 10 different groups coming! Hosting and sharing our life here is one of our favorite parts of living in Uganda, so we’re all very excited about these groups that we get to introduce to Kibaale and the different programs going on.

We’d love it if you would join us in praying for next year; for a full school at Timothy Centre, for wisdom for the sponsorship office in Kibaale as they process over 700 applicants to our Nursery school which has only 54 spots, for the health of our staff and students in Kibaale and Masaka, the people in those communities that we work with, for a peaceful election on February 18th and for everyone preparing to visit and work alongside us next year.

We are very thankful for all of your support towards our family in Uganda, the emails, constant prayers, and financially, it would not be possible to serve here without you! Thank you for considering being part of our financial support, we have a yearly goal to meet of $35 000 per year. 

Here is a link to give online http://paoutreach.net/catalog/6 or you can contact Rachel Sledding at the PAOS office - RSledding@pacificacademy.netRSledding@pacificacademy.net

You can see photos and more details from the last few months on our blog – www.jeffshan.blogspot.com

Summer 2016
We are very excited to share that we will be spending the month of August in Canada; we’re looking forward to visiting with you all in person! If you or someone you know needs a house sitter during that time please let us know, we are looking for a place to stay while we’re back. Thank you very much for your help!


We pray you all have a very Merry Christmas and holiday season!

Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn, Mazzy & Buff the Dog!

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9



September 16, 2015

Greetings Family & Friends!


We are happy to share that the last few months have been very encouraging. At times during the years we have been here it has been hard to see progress and we seem to be simply “maintaining”. Recently though this has not been the case. Our projects have been thriving; success with our agriculture initiatives, schools performing well academically, the Timothy Centre is now full with 100 girls, and our Ugandan leaders are continuing to grow in their roles making wise decisions and plotting their own courses for the direction of the Kibaale Community Centre. We have 1500 students, and 200 staff members, so having great leaders in place to run and manage programs of this size is essential.

This coming year, we are focusing a lot of energy on sustainability, specifically with our agriculture projects.  Maize is one of our greatest expenses at the school, it is not only fed to the students everyday but is given out to families in need during famine relief and each student is sent home with a bag to sustain their families over the long Christmas break. We have started a community maize garden where we have the families of our younger students come to our farm to help grow the food that will eventually be fed to our students and given to these families. It’s been very exciting to see the enthusiasm of the more than 100 families coming to help out!

Last year was one of our most challenging with homeschool for our own 4 kids, mostly because we took on more online courses than our slow Internet could handle! This had us especially looking forward to the summer, which was a great mix of spending a day at the lake or pool and still working in Kibaale, hosting teams and visitors, and even taking care of a couple preemie baby boys! Friends of ours in Masaka run a babies home, 2 of the newest arrivals were preemies, each weighing about 3 pounds. These baby boys needed to be held all the time and fed every 2 hours around the clock, so we began helping out by taking one of the babies 3 to 4 days each week. We have a lot of extra hands at our house to dote on one little baby, and everyone really did pitch in! A highlight for us is always hosting teams in Uganda, and a favourite this summer was a young adult group from Broadway Church in Vancouver. Introducing people to Uganda never gets old and it's always a nice reminder when they work alongside us in Kibaale of the great things that are being done in the school and community every day. We are now heading into September with excitement for this new school year, new curriculum, several more visitors and teams, and the return of routine!

We will continue this coming year to share our week between the two school locations. Living in two homes seems to be something that a lot of you at home wonder how it would work, but it actually is a routine that we all love. We can’t imagine not being in the village setting of Kibaale, it is the heart of what we do in Uganda as well the largest part of the organization, where most of our staff and students are each day, so of course requires the most attention! Being at the Timothy Centre in Masaka is also a crucial part of running Kibaale though, as that is where we have regular Internet, the bank nearby and it’s an hour closer to Kampala. It is a schedule that we not only have eased into over the years but also really love.

We are so thankful for all of your prayers and support of our family and the work we are part of in Uganda. Whether we are in a season of trials or rejoicing we have such peace knowing that you cover us in prayer.  We also could not be here serving if not for your financial support, so thank you to everyone who gives each month, or each year, so generously. We currently need to still raise $28,000 for the coming year, so we ask you to prayerfully consider supporting our family on a monthly basis or with a one-time donation.

Here is a link to give online http://paoutreach.net/catalog/6 or you can contact Rachel Sledding at the PAOS office - RSledding@pacificacademy.net

You can see more of our summer in Uganda and photos from the last few months on our blog – www.jeffshan.blogspot.com


Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn & Mazzy    


December 18, 2014

Greetings Family & Friends!

School in Uganda is officially on break, giving us a few slower paced days before we get ready for the New Year! It is nice having time these weeks before Christmas to spend as a family without the many distractions we’d have in Canada. Although we do miss making gingerbread houses, bundling up to look at Christmas lights, or attending a Christmas service at church, instead we try to find ways to cool down on these very hot and muggy days! It is just a little bit different celebrating in Africa!

A highlight of our last few months was getting to host a team from Pacific Academy School who arrived to help us put over 1300 gift baskets together and then hand them out to every single one of our students. It was a lot of work but so appreciated by all. Many families rely on the meals the students get while at school every day so sending each student home with enough maize flour to last their families the 2 months break is a huge help. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to “A Gift for Every Child” this year!

In January two teachers from Pacific Academy School will arrive to start a new year of Teacher Training, where teachers from our school and all over Uganda come to learn practical lessons on teaching from a biblical worldview.  Please pray for both the Canadian teachers as they prepare to come to Uganda to teach this course for 3 weeks as well for all the organization to go smoothly in Uganda as we register teachers and set up.

We are excited for a new year in Uganda and ask you to pray with our family; for a full school at Timothy Centre, for wisdom for the sponsorship office in Kibaale as they weed through over 650 applicants to our Nursery school which has only 54 spots, for the health of our staff and students in Kibaale and Masaka, and for the people in those communities that we work with.

Our own family is healthy and the kids are doing well with school this year; we have felt God’s hand over our family and the work we are doing.  

We are thankful for all of your support towards our family in Uganda, your emails, prayers, and financial support continues to bless us! If you are able to donate monthly or with a one time gift towards our financial goal of $35 000 a year, you can email Rachel Sledding – Rsledding@pacificacademy.net Thank you for considering to support us in this way.

We pray you all have a very Merry Christmas and holiday season!

Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn and Mazzy



August 31, 2014

Hello family & friends!

It has been a very refreshing time to be in Vancouver for part of this summer; spending time exploring the beaches, lakes, mountains, and many parks in the sunshine. It’s also been great to connect with many of you! Although as the end of our time here comes to a close we find ourselves thinking more about Uganda and getting excited about being back to work there. It is wonderful to know that we will to return to what now feels like home to all of us.

Our kids are very excited to be going into grades 2, 5, 6 and 9! We are continuing with Shannon homeschooling, online school and a few hours a week spent with other missionary kids. Please pray with us that the kids are able to adjust back to life in Uganda quickly and jump right into their school week!

Jeff is excited to get back and continue working alongside our staff in Uganda to develop more sustainable projects with farming at both campuses as well growing both our secondary school in Kibaale and the Timothy Girls School. Shannon will be working right away with our sponsorship office as we prepare for Christmas special gifts, which is a very busy season at the school! We are thankful for a team from Pacific Academy School arriving in November to help with giving a gift to each of the 1200 kids in our programs.

Jeff and I are very excited for a year ahead that has many groups and visitors scheduled to come, hosting is still a favorite part of our role in Uganda, watching as people fall in love with the beautiful country and see first hand the impact that Pacific Academy has had! If you are interested in sponsoring a child where 100% of your sponsorship dollars goes directly to the student please take a look online at the available students – www.kibaale.net

Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we serve in Uganda, we are so grateful for your prayers, friendship and support. We are still needing to raise $20, 000 for this coming year, if you would like to support us financially with a one time gift or on a monthly basis please contact Rachel Sledding  - RSledding@pacificacademy.net or - 604.634.3159. We also love to hear from you personally and to pray with you as things come up, so please let us know how you are doing - dyckuganda@gmail.com

Love,
Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn & Mazzy





June 20, 2014

Happy summer family & friends!

We are all quite happy to be officially finished with our school year and onto summer. It was definitely a favorite homeschooling year and we are so proud of how well our kids performed as well adapted to another year schooling in Uganda. The combination of online school, homeschool with Mom and 2 days with other missionary kids was perfect and we’re excited to continue with this schedule next year.

Our co-worker from this past year, Lizabee has just returned to Canada, she will be very missed but we are so fortunate to have her returning several times next year as she leads the Teacher Training program at the Timothy Centre. It’s so great that we can to continue to work alongside Lizabee as we’ve now spent 3 years working together in Uganda!

The Teacher Training program is a course that we offer to teachers from our own schools but also as a ministry to other Christian schools throughout Uganda. It runs during the term break and involves practical lessons on teaching from a biblical worldview. It has been running for 3 years and we have heard great feedback from teachers that have attended and are continuing to hear of others hoping to come to the sessions, which is very encouraging. We’re excited to see the impact this program has in Uganda, not only as far as bettering the education but also furthering God’s kingdom through Christian education.

Over the past several months we have been focusing on sustainable agriculture projects at both the Kibaale Community Centre and the Timothy Centre. In Kibaale we are feeding lunch to over 1200 people every day as well providing famine relief of maize flour during droughts. Maize is our biggest food expense in Kibaale so we have decided to plant acres of it on our 150-acre property, although we wanted to find a way to do this without adding a large expense of labor. Our students in Kibaale have a block of agriculture so they have been helping with digging and planting. We also have started to have community work days, where families that have children in our sponsorship program or have received famine relief come to work in the fields. At our last workday we had almost 100 families working and giving back, it was an amazing day to witness and be part of! At the Timothy Centre we run a girls boarding school so food is a large expense. We’ve concentrated this past year on growing the items that were the highest cost to our kitchen and our students are also using some of their agriculture block to help in this area. It’s so good to see the pride and joy they have when they are able to take the food they have grown directly to the kitchen to be prepared for supper!

We were extremely blessed to have just received a donation of solar power in Kibaale, meaning we will now have daily consistent power! This is huge for not only our classes and offices but also the clinic that needs power to get accurate lab results.

Jeff continues to be especially encouraged by the leadership team that we work alongside in Uganda at both the Timothy Centre and in Kibaale. We could not have these great successes without their consistency and hard work.

Please pray with us for the staff and students at the centers; that we continue to work together making strides forward, for good health especially in these coming months when Malaria becomes very common as well there have been many cases recently of Typhoid, and for all of us to not lose sight of our main reasons for serving here, showing God’s love.

Thank you again to all of you, we are so grateful for your commitments both financially and in prayer, we feel so blessed to have you in our lives!

We are still in need of raising  $17,000 for this coming year. If you are interested in supporting us financially with a one time or monthly donation, please email Rachel Sledding – Rsledding@pacificacademy.net

Or you can give online through Love Global - http://www.loveglobal.com/project.aspx?asset=1876 

Blessings on you as you enjoy summer with your friends and family, we hope to have the chance to see you while we’re in Vancouver this August!!

Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn & Mazzy


FEBRUARY 2014
Dear Friends & Family,
It’s hard to believe it was just over a year ago that we were first writing about moving back to Uganda! We continue to feel so thankful to God for opening the door for us to return to work with PAOS at both the Kibaale Community Centre and the Timothy Centre.
We love being back to routine after the term break, working again half of our week in Kibaale and half at the Timothy Centre in Masaka. Our kids would say they prefer their time in Kibaale, there is more space to explore, trees to climb, and they love the community of families living at the school, so do we!! There are definitely perks to our days in Masaka though; it’s closer to Kampala, banks and grocery stores in town, and has consistent power and Internet, which is very helpful with work and school!
January and February are busy months getting organized for the new school year. Jeff has been finalizing budgets, going over contracts with our 180 employees and meeting with the management and leadership committees about the coming year. Despite a few problems, which always seem to come up at the start of a school year, things have been quickly dealt with and have gone relatively smooth! This past year we began to work with our staff to focus intently on what our core values are, and then design goals for ourselves around those values.  Our primary focus in Kibaale is providing Christian education to the neediest of needy children. Our own goal for the year is to have each of our staff members understand the purpose and vision of our organization, and then figure out where he/she fits in. We are so thankful for all of the teachers and staff who have committed to work here this coming year, please pray for the staff with us.
Joel has had a great last month with our co-worker Lizabee’s two teenage nephews who are here for 3 months. It’s been good for him to have boys his age around with similar interests to hang out with, which usually means they are playing sports, doing stunts or shooting things with air soft guns, taking full advantage of the acres of space! Joel has also recently been joining in with some American friends to play (American) football, it’s not something he played a lot at home but he’s really enjoying it.
Avin just had her 11th birthday and is growing into a young lady at a rapid rate! She is a studious and very independent student and is already looking forward to taking on more online courses next year. She is also a huge help to me with Mazzy, not only with her reading; she’s recently started helping with her Math and is very patient and kind when she teaches. Mazzy actually says she’s her favorite math teacher!
Finn and Mazzy continue to do well with homeschool but definitely prefer the two days each week at the local missionary school. They both do better with group work and a lot of activities going on, as well the kids at the school are mostly their age and they love being with their friends. I am trying to add more fun and breaks for them while learning at home, but it’s just so tempting to get everything done and have the afternoon to play outside!
All of our kids have loved their teacher at the school’s passion for soccer lessons and games, it was one of the hardest things for our boys to leave behind so it’s been an answer to prayer for them. Also, our girls are doing gymnastics after school where there are lots of kids they’ve had the chance to become friends with. Please pray with us for the kids as we start our 3rd term, to finish the school year strong and do well with their final projects and tests.
Please also pray with us for our Sponsorship Office, as this is a very busy time of year for them. They are finalizing class lists, ensuring all the students have appropriate uniforms, and confirming all of their personal information so we can quickly get them on the website for sponsorship.
We’re happy to share that we are only $5,000 away from this year’s financial goal with our personal support. We continue to be overwhelmed by how you have supported our family and the work we are doing in Uganda, by your generous giving, prayers, and the way you have loved and cared for us. If you would like to be part of helping us meet our financial goal for this year (by May 1st) please email Rachel Sledding – Rsledding@pacificacademy.net
It’s with excitement that we announce we’ve officially signed on for another year and with that will be coming home on furlough this August. We hope that we can meet up with you to hear how you are and share more about the work we are doing in Uganda. My family has graciously offered to share their home with all of us this summer, but if you know of anyone needing a house sitter, pet sitter or babysitter, send us an email!
Thank you again for your support and prayers, we couldn’t be here without you! If you have any specific prayer requests please let us know so that we can be praying with you as well.
Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn & Mazzy
You can also support us financially online through Loveglobal –




DECEMBER 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Dear family & friends,

We hope that you are enjoying this Christmas season!

The last few months have flown by for us in Uganda. We loved being able to recently host 2 teams from Canada. The first team was from South Delta Baptist Church, they fundraised for a water well that they purchased for a very poor community near Kibaale called Kamuli. The second team was from Pacific Academy School; it included staff from the school, a friend from our church whose children attend PA and our good friend Rachel Wiebe who came to do some consulting work in our finance office. It was so nice to have familiar faces here as well meet new ones! The timing of the team was such a blessing with being able to help our sponsorship office organize and hand out special gifts at their busiest time of the year, we are happy to share that enough money was donated for every child to receive a Christmas gift!!! They were also a blessing to us personally, as they spent time getting to know our whole family and learn more about the work we are doing here.

This last spring was one of the longest dry seasons that Uganda had seen in many years, meaning that this rainy season was not enough to produce the crops needed to feed families through these months. We are so thankful for donations that came in to PAOS for Famine Relief recently; we were able to give food out to very needy families who had no crops left or access to buy food on their own. God has blessed this community so much by Pacific Academy friends and family and it is our privilege to be the one’s on this end to see these smiling faces in thanks.

Jeff has been quite occupied since we arrived in Uganda with many administrative tasks involving government offices and a lot of driving but everything wrapped up successfully this month, which is a huge answer to prayer.  At the Timothy Centre we are working on plans to promote our school for the next year as we are still trying to get to capacity of 90 students as well begin to get ready for the next Teacher Training course in January. Jeff is also working closely with our Director in Kibaale, Peter, as they handle staffing issues, work out budgets for next year and meet with all of the staff to implement new structures and programs in the coming years that will work towards an attitude of sustainability.

The students in Kibaale have been giddy with excitement the past couple weeks as they finish up school for the year. It feels like June at home, which seems a lot more fitting with the weather we have then to be getting ready for Christmas anyway, our own children only wish they were also getting 2 months off school right now!

We just received the kids first term report cards and they not only did really well academically but they are all really enjoying this school year so far.  They especially love the time they get to spend twice a week at a small expat school in Masaka with children of all their own ages from Uganda, USA, England and Denmark. It’s a great time for them to work with other students, learn from other teachers, and make great new friends!

Homeschooling takes up most of my (Shannon) time, but this has also been a great school year for me. Joel and Avin are very easy to teach, they are both independent learners, self-starters, and they like to excel in their work. Finn and Mazzy however like to keep me on my toes! Finn is a true boy and just wants to be running around outside playing sports or exploring, so his goal at the start of this year was to finish quickly, not well! Despite this challenge he has done great at staying focused in the mornings so he can spend his afternoons outside. Mazzy loves school, but she is very artistic and would love nothing more than to paint, draw, sew and create all day. There is so much here to foster that she could easily become distracted, but she’s also done really well at staying focused in the mornings so that she can spend her afternoons creating! I have especially loved this year seeing how individual each child is; in their interests, their favorite subjects and how they learn or study best. I’m looking forward to a little break to just be Mom for a couple weeks though too!!

Although we have yet to have times of being really homesick, there are days that are just a struggle because of something we’ve seen, experienced or even feel. This rainy season also brings mosquitoes and recently Joel and I had malaria, although both cases we were able to quickly treat! We are reminded in these times how blessed we are that God is with us wherever we live and serve, and He has been so faithful to our family. We are so thankful for you who have supported and prayed for us, we are blessed to share this journey with you!

We are excited for a new year in Uganda and ask you to pray with our family; for a full school at Timothy Centre, for wisdom for the sponsorship office in Kibaale as they weed through over 500 applicants to our Nursery school which has only 45 spots, for the health of our staff and students in Kibaale and Masaka, and for the people in those communities that we will touch.

We pray you all sense His peace and presence this season. Merry Christmas!


Love Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn and Mazzy




FEBRUARY 2013


Going to Uganda. Again!!


Our family is very excited to share with you that we’ve been given the opportunity to serve in Uganda again with Pacific Academy School!

We have been so thankful for the past 2 years back in Canada; it’s been great to be part of our home church, we were both blessed with jobs we love, for the kids to be in a neighborhood school and activities in the community, and we’ve all especially loved this time to connect with family and friends. There has been a part of us though that never felt completely “home”. We had no definitive plans to return to Uganda but knew we someday would and just prayed God would let us know very clearly when that door was open.

The longer we were back we did notice that Uganda would come up more frequently in our conversations, which made it very natural to talk about this opportunity when we were first approached about returning.

In 2007 when we considered moving our family to Uganda, when it was a bit scary and all very unknown, we prayed constantly for clear direction and open doors. Although we didn’t have any nervous feelings this time about living in Uganda, or the jobs we were asked to do, we wanted to make sure that this was God’s plan for the 6 of us. So we continually prayed about it, talked about it, and asked God to be very clear once again. Months later we have no doubt that He has opened this door for us and we couldn’t be more excited to take this next step. Our kids are thrilled to be moving back also, which is such affirmation.

So at the end of April we will say “so long” to Canada and once again call Uganda home. Jeff will be the Field Director of Kibaale and Timothy Centre, overseeing the Directors and programs in place at both schools. Shannon will be assisting with office administration, the sponsorship program in Kibaale, and oversee the homeschooling of our 4 kids.

Kibaale School has had a lot of growth lately; we’ll be kept busy when we arrive with sponsorship, maintenance, and also with the construction of new school buildings! There are also a lot of exciting things happening at Timothy Centre with teacher training and the continued development of the all girls’ school.

We’re also looking forward to spending time at the Peace Portal Alliance project in Mpigi, again acting as the eyes and ears for our church in Canada. We feel very at home on the 10 acres and can’t wait to be involved there again.

We have been so blessed by everyone’s love, prayers, and support of our family in the past and would love to ask you to be a part of this journey with us once again.

Your prayers are invaluable to us as we are working overseas! We’d love to have a team of prayer warriors who feel specifically called to pray for our family and the work we will be doing, if you would be available to pray for things as they come up please send an email -
<mailto:dyckuganda@gmail.com>

We also have a need for financial support, our goal is to raise $30 000 towards our salary. Monthly and one-time donations will receive a tax receipt.

Cheques can be mailed to:
Pacific Academy Outreach Society
10238 168 Street Surrey, BC Canada V4N 1Z4

You can give online with PayPal - <http://bit.ly/14GDugT>

Or you can email Rachel Sledding - <mailto:RSledding@pacificacademy.net> to set up monthly giving or for more information.

We will continue with our blog, so make sure to check for updates and photos - <http://www.jeffshan.blogspot.com>

Thank you for prayerfully considering partnering with us through prayer or financial support, we can’t do this on our own!

Love,
Jeff, Shannon, Joel, Avin, Finn & Mazzy


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9