”HUMILITY is a great virtue, a very essential ingredient for a life of prosperity and good spiritual health.” Tabby Mutua
This 8th year of the Survey Practicum our devotions have been focused on what it means to live life in humility. What it looks like in relation to working in teams, working in an office setting and classroom and also in the field. Below are some of our students stories.
Our field camp this year was to Empower Ministries/African Children’s Choir/Music for Life. This video which promotes these ministries, shows the beautiful site of this year’s field camp and all the buildings completed with the the official school opening in January 2020. https://www.facebook.com/africanchildrenschoir/videos/empower-international-academy/409798142951016/
Trying to stay warm on a rainy miserable day surveying…..but not melting. Joseph, Tabby, Sandra and Edith
I was lost in my ambitions long before receiving Jesus Christ and all I wanted was to do everything possible to achieve my own set goals. Then after receiving Christ and in discipleship while studying the word of God, I realized that self ambition where everything is about you leads to pride. Pride always leads to a fall and indeed I have fallen many times.
At EMI we are assigned groups to work as teams thus offering each one an opportunity to have people around you in every assignment. since members are from different back grounds, I have experienced a wonderful moment of great learning through the team work . Everyone had their own idea which they felt was the best to work out the different tasks assigned to the team. This made decision making very difficult and thus delay in starting work, confusion and frustration. This was a result of lack of humility among the team members. Nothing seem to work out and we almost gave up blaming one another for failure.
But Glory be to God who through discipleship revealed to us the different gifts and talents each carried and made us see His special plan in positioning us in one team to complement one another perfectly. we now appreciate and listen to one another! This gave us victory in the field camp to even achieve our desired goal to be humble to God and one another.
I have learned that humility is wisdom from God the Father. It brings peace in every conflicting, difficult stormy situation thus an uplifting in all areas in life. Am more determined to continue this walk of humility day after day!!
Obuku Joseph Obong
Well at EMI it’s impossible not to have a story to tell, the issue is which part to tell and which one to leave out. Nevertheless, EMI has been a like life-learning lecture with real life experiences packed in it ranging from learning about how design, Christian discipleship and diversity are balanced in a work environment, learning to make right relations with colleagues having parallel mindset to mine, and learning to relate to my boss.
I would like to tell you that as you interact with various people misunderstandings rooting up from ‘God knows where arise’ and it wouldn’t be a nice experience. For example once we had a challenge among the survey practicum trainees on who would set up a total station and target a telecommunications mast in the shortest time possible so as everyone had their chance to do the assignment with a keen timer next to them timing and noting their times in split second after their done, my turn came and I did the assignment but after I was done my timer seemed not to care to stop the ticking clock even after I yelled ‘am done, hey am done’ so I got furious with him because I thought I would miss my prize after missing first place nonetheless, prizes weren’t given. After this experience I came to the knowledge that I had an issue with pride which blinded me from the reality that it was not intentional for the person timing to disrespect my feelings.
Yaa, I know this seems like a petty story but in my experience that’s where pride arises from and only humility can counter its growth in us. Bearing in mind that life isn’t just about you, the habit of self-centeredness can be tamed and contained.
AMONG EDITH RESTY
With every day that passes by, we are heading towards our journey of success, the people we meet and interact with, how we interact with them, the mountains and seas we climb and sail on are all part of our journey predefined by the Maker. I often think and talk about people being put in our lives for a reason and there is always a lesson to be learned from them every day that passes by, some are good while others are bad, I heard a minister describe them as sand paper because God uses them to form. Of course, some people feel like belt sanders or grinders rather than sand paper but they too have a reason for being in our lives, they are there to help us learn and grow. When I was told to write my story, I begun thinking about the various people either currently in or having passed through my life who worked like sand paper to shape me -I’m grateful and now I’m at EMI for more of it, I have felt it and I’m going to write about a pinch of it. I have finished 4 weeks in this practicum but the journey has been wow! I don’t even know where to start from because there are very many things! Generally, EMI has been a profession builder and a family to me, the parents want to see their kids successful, the sister that you can lean on and the brother that always wants to protect his sister.
On the first day of the practicum, I was given scholastic materials and a discipleship guide. These may seem ordinary however I took them deeper in the essence that I saw it as power. “To whom much power is given, much is required”, to me, I took it as, the scholastic materials are wishing me success in my journey of professionalism while the discipleship guide is the Potter’s hand molding the clay to the statute of Christ and all that combined is “work hard and glorify God at the same time.”
Throughout this time, I have been exposed to a lot of things. As humans, we make mistakes, some we may not realize because we may not even be aware that they are mistakes. I thank God that I have made mistakes but get corrected in a motherly, sisterly and brotherly way. The things that are now bonded in my heart briefly include; willingness to support others by helping without hurting, heeding to instructions, giving accountability for example every morning we ought to submit homework that was given, willingness to share information, willingness to adjust and become better, faithfulness in work in the substance of you ought to do the right thing even when no one is seeing to thank you for it. The one thing that lets us down in our journey to success is pride, I remember Jaja Margie calling it “ebola” sounds funny right? but true. Whenever you are humble, you get wisdom, revelation and favor. Pride instead blocks your blessings, the more you accept your mistake and is willing to learn the more you get knowledge. I remember when we had issues with our levelling exercise and we could not understand how it happened, we didn’t raise a conflict or fight each other, instead, we woke up very early the next day to repeat the exercise and by God’s grace it was successful, I wouldn’t say it was successful because of hard work because we had used the same points for the exercise but because we had set down our pride and planned together in mutual agreement to also learn from each other and be firm like a three legged stool. I thank God that by His grace I keep learning from people and everything around me, my teammates keep encouraging me, everyone in the practicum 2019 is family, how we share tasks when we get home, stories and everything is really an amazing blessing in that even when by mistake the rice has no salt, we call it sweet rice and all eat it happily. One thing that is exquisite and I have never experienced anywhere else was when I was feeling a headache and the leadership strived to get me pain killers immediately and suggested that I have a rest if it was that bad, I learnt that you ought to portray God’s love and empathy even in a work place, to top it up one day during a practical my supervisor-the practicum lead carried an equipment for me during the entire exercise because due to other “circumstances” my hand was not in a position to carry it, I learnt that even as a leader you can put yourself to lower levels emulate care by being “a leader who is a servant to all” to glorify the Lord’s name.
I’m still on my journey to success at EMI and I’m grateful for what I have received so far as well as warming up for more, field camp is coming, I’m thrilled but I have also heard very amazing stories about it, I’m excited and I know God will be ahead of all of us in every step.
I always wanted to become a better person but always there were forces pushing me back and this made me realise that I needed greater forces from the better side! It is at that moment that I got an opportunity to spend my internship period at eMi, from the time I read through the expectations of eMi, I knew that this was a life changing opportunity for me and therefore I quickly thanked God and asked him to lead me through.
For the one month I’ve been at eMi, I’ve noticed a great change and development in myself both spiritually and professionally and for this I am really greatful, thank you eMi.
I have learnt to be humble because through having humility, I get an opportunity to listen and learn from many ideas being shared and this has opened my mind that there is a whole lot more than just surveying, that I need to use my talent together with surveying to bring about a big change I have always wanted to see.
Through daily devotions, eMi has taught me that God, fellowship and prayer always take number one position no matter what situation I face because God is a faithful God and once he is at the center of your work, excellence will prevail.
From eMi I have also been able to do great team work because it is through team work that great success is achieved! I remember in the first two weeks, my team had issues of not finishing on time, always lagging behind but this was an issue of poor communication, poor team work but ever since we learnt that communication and agreement were key to good work, a big positive change was achieved so from this I picked that always having humility in your heart and being ready to listen even from your colleagues is very important and its something that should be done
Nkonte Joshua Edgar
When the Bible says that let no man count himself above others for we are only perfect in spirit; this brings a reckoning to my mind and spirit.
It’s true we ought to be excellent while supporting others as the Bible says love your neighbour as you love yourself.
I just thank God for his spirit and this came after keen reflections. It’s difficult to slow down when you know you can do something faster or when you understand things faster than others. It takes a certain maturity and contemplation to do so.
I had to put pride and arrogance of thinking that I was good and perfect at doing certain things so as to work as a team and ensure general learning.
I had to learn patience even when we had to take a shot several times I had to increase my belief in people because in the first place, someone believed in me to come to eMi
Philipians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself”
I come from Arua district in the North-Western (West Nile) part of Uganda. Fourth born in a family of 5 children, to a disable (deaf) Mr. Abiria Jonahanisi and Mrs. Erimitia Dinah.
From the humble (poor) back ground with no role models or mentors, studying was a Miss-try considering the financial implications, peoples understanding of Joblessness and the general negative attitude of the people towards education. Trying to beat the odds, I went to Opia primary school for my early primary education until I Join Arua primary seven.
Then Joined the secondary level with hopes of getting scholarship from the municipality as a result of the Primary Leaving exams performance but little did I know that it will history (the money never came), Hopes of schooling started to fade since I was the senor fees defaulter at school. Here came some lady in whose heart God had placed a giving spirit, she gave me 100,000/= to go back to school on a Thursday prayer session at church, that day changed a lot of things in my life, then placed in my heart that one day I must help support people who are in the same position that I was in.
Until I finished my senor six in 2012 then I knew that school was coming to a stop, I was admitted for Bachelor of Statistics in Kyambogo University certainly I didn’t not join. Instead I did join Institute of Survey and Land management for Diploma in Land surveying after an advice from a friend, that is when I saw the biggest provision and favor of God upon my life, never at any moment did lacked tuition. After completion in 2015, I went for voluntary service in the district Lands office, there God opened more doors and I joined Kyambogo University for an upgrade in Surveying and Land information system from 2016 to June 2019.
I heard of EMI back then 2016 from a friend, I visited the website and read many inspiring stories and what God is doing through EMI. Since then I have always wanted to be a participant in the survey practicum one day so as to tap in to the wide knowledge and values shared in EMI.
It has been a whole new life experience for me, the training aside, the life and character of people around the office, simplicity and Gods Love you see in them is enough to change one’s life. EMI survey practicum 2019 has opened a new step of life to take, it has taught me that it’s not just about what you do but why and the people you do it.
I have learned so much of Engineering surveying, use of equipment, soft wares, data collection and management and organization, life skills etc, How I can use my profession to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have always known that once you accept Christ Jesus as your personal lord, humility is part of your nature and this has been important and helpful in my daily walk of life. My time at eMi has been a wonderful experience for me with humility. It has been a strong key element in my heart.
One of the practicum students said something profound during orientation two weeks back. It went “we live life forward, but we understand life backwards” and staring at my blank page wondering how I can speak my truth and tell my story brings me back to that phrase. I have told my testimony more times than I can count and I have watched Patrick and Joan Cochrane share my testimony with a parental pride that warms my heart on countless occasions to anyone that will listen really. And yet when Joan Cochrane approached me last week and requested I write my testimony for the blog, my mind went blank because what can I truly say that has not been said. Therefore sitting in the dark with a blank screen, I had an “aha” moment. Summarize it! Its only three nouns after all. The prayer, the marker and the declaration.
I was in my second year of university when I declared that I would put Patrick out of a Job as the practicum lead. And as the quote states, it is only looking back now that I understand and see the turn of events and hand of God in it all. It was a hot afternoon midway through the practicum in 2017 when the bold statement “No! I will be the one to take Patrick’s Job” escaped my mouth in response to Patrick’s then best intern Nathan who had vowed to be Patrick’s successor. I look back and think “who said that LOL! Because that definitely was not me. I mean, the audacity!”
But to understand the shock of the last noun, I will have to introduce you to the first noun that got me threatening a good man’s job security and that is prayer.
I am Achan Solome, the first and only girl in a family of four siblings. And for as long as I can remember I have been inquisitive, aggressive and eager to be the change I want to see. In a family with a surgeon for a father, he wished we would follow in his footsteps and when amoeba in biology class did not spark much interest or my mixture turned green in opposition to brown in the chemistry lab, engineering was the go to for university because I had the passion to build. And as I made my plans, God laughed because he had other ideas in mind. I got land surveying from the government and with no knowledge about what it was I remained open. My excitement did not last when I heard the disheartening stories about the integrity of the surveyors and saw myself following these footsteps for my entire professional career. But then in my year one recess term, the practicum comes to my university to teach on data collection software and watching the practicum students speak with such confidence about professional ethics, integrity and having our work be an act of worship, I saw light at the end of the tunnel. And when Patrick asked for someone to close in Prayer, my hand was up. When he later approached me and requested that I apply for the practicum before departure, I was set on a path I never would have imagined.
It was not without its challenges of course. I applied to EMI which was all I wanted and to other prestigious companies as well to avoid giving my parents a stroke because in whose house was I going to say that I had faith in this one thing and therefore all logic be thrown out the window. Anyway long story short, I am accepted to EMI and the other organisations to which I sent my letters humbly declining their positions. I was not financially ready for the practicum expectations and my parents did not see the reason for holding onto the idea of EMI, but a call from Patrick about an anonymous sponsor for the ladies made my accommodation possible and with that I was ready.
I felt inadequate during orientation when all the students had a lot to offer with impressive surveying backgrounds. And as though to make up for my inadequacy, I vowed to learn as much and as fast as I could and before we knew it, my team had a chance to lead the rest through different activities. And as I continued to grow, giving back was inevitable. And that is when the last noun “marker” comes in.
During the closing graduation lunch, Patrick hands me the white board marker I used as I instructed the rest of the team through exercises asking me to consider being his intern the next year. And the summer of 2018, I reported with the marker theatrically saluting saying “reporting for duty”
And I have continued to grow and learn from Patrick, Joan, Duane, Phaidra, the EMI staff, the students and everyone I have met. Patrick has taught me to approach him with solutions and not problems, Joan has taught me humility and held the mirror up so I can see myself every time, Duane and Phaidra reminded me that “we were the salt of the earth” from Matthew 5:13 when my mind got complacent and thought the bare minimum was good enough, and I could go on and on about the lessons I have learned from all the beautiful souls I have met but those are different stories all together.
So in conclusion, I look back at the instinct to pray and Patrick’s invitation to that scared lost second year student in 2017 that had me become a trainee at the practicum. That whiteboard marker that represented a baton passed on ushering me in as intern for 2018. And finally, the bold declaration from 2017 that came to pass in 2019, putting me as the current practicum lead and I cannot help but see God’s hand at every turn and only ask that he continues to guide me through this new role as I continue to grow and pour out into the students in my care.
My inspiration – Giving Glory back to God
Matthew 15:4 “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’”
I was inspired to do surveying by my Dad who is also a surveyor and has been practicing since 1975 up to date, retired from government in 2009 and now practicing as a private surveyor. I grew up seeing surveying instruments and my dad could over travel and then one time I asked him why he was never home and he said work but I didn’t understand because I was a little gal by then when results for senior four came back I had passed science especially math and physics and those being the essentials for surveying at university, I developed the mind of surveying.
While in my senior six vacation, I started going to field with him and I saw the way he used to do his work with love, care and integrity. My dad loves his work to date and does it with all his heart and life he is so passionate about surveying ,he is someone who can’t sleep well when things go wrong in field and it will be the first thing for him to rectify the next day ,he does not leave any job unfinished. He has such a big heart that he even used his profession to show love to Gods people through supporting them as well as caring for them, I remember my mum telling me that in each district he went to he would get two best students and educate them and looking at this I told God I want to be like my dad that is to say I want to study surveying get money and not keep it to myself but use it to glorify Your name.
He has mentored some people professionally and spiritually and it’s so nice that some of the people he mentored have always mentored me in so many ways, they have lectured me , trained and supervised me for example Samuel Opesa who is a practicing surveyor was also mentored by dad and Sam has lectured me and taught me many things. Side Bar – (Opesa Samuel was a student of the Survey Practicum 2014).
I remember interacting with some interns whom he trained with, one said he enjoyed training with my dad because of the impression he got on the first day he reported for internship ‘he (my dad) and others at office welcomed me like they knew me before, the environment was so conducive and in the whole intern period everyone at office showed me love and care as if I was one of his sons.’ Said the internee.
Another internee I remember didn’t have a home in Soroti and didn’t have money for rent so dad decided to bring him home and we stayed with him (internee) for all his entire internship period this inspired me especially looking at how dad balances work and using his life to glorify GOD by helping God’s children and the needy This too inspired me to become like my dad i.e. to have a helping heart. These and many more have truly contributed greatly to my love for the profession and my prayer to God is he should grant me the heart, love and passion like that of my dad.
I must thank eMi for the great chance and opportunity that you gave me to be part of you during my internship it was truly wonderful you people did things just like my dad and this has left me conceived that this is the right way surveyors must do things, conduct themselves and relate with others. I surely should say thanks and may the good Lord richly Bless eMi and continue to provide for all the staff there.
For God and My country