"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Talitha!

Little Talitha just turned 3 years old!  She was so excited to finally get her birthday cake!  All during the day on her birthday, she would jump in my arms and exclaim, "Happy Birthday!!" and then proceed to tell me that she was soon going to be four.  What a little blessing she is!




And here are a couple shots of a few of my other blessings goofing off while waiting for cake.  :)


Koica in Kama

Koica is the South Korean version of the Peace Corps.  There is quite a group of them located in Mbale.  We've gotten to know a few who attend our church here in town.  

Recently Koica decided to start work in a local village (Kama) where one of our OPCU churches is.   They go out about once a month to teach and bless the people (particularly the children) of the village.  Last time they went, Katelyn and I decided to go and see what kind of things they were up to!

They began their time by teaching the kids how to wash their hands and gave each of them a chance to practice.


Then they distributed de-worming medicine to each of the children.  If they took their medicine nicely, they received a bar of soap as a treat!

Then they did something really fun...a birthday party!  Birthdays are rarely celebrated here, so this was a new experience for many of the kids.

They even brought cookie/cake pieces with Happy Birthday candles on top.

Then they selected a few kids to be birthday representatives.  They got to wear a hat and help blow out the candles.  This guy wasn't quite so sure.

But she thought it was hilarious!

After all of that, they offered a free wound clinic.  Any children with wounds could come get them cleaned and bandaged.  I thought this was a really neat idea!  They used all local, easily accessible first aid products.  So while they were treating the wounds, they were also teaching how to take care of the wounds...keeping them clean, using antibiotic cream, etc...  A few kids came with larger problems.  For example, one child had an ear that was discharging a foul smelling puss.  These situations presented a good opportunity to explain that they needed more help and direct them there.
Cleaning a wound on a foot

Examining a case of scabies
It was so fun to watch them, a non-Christian agency, bless all of these children (many of whom are in our church there) so generously.  They don't hold back.  Made me thankful for the opportunities that we have to physically bless the people around us because not only can we give similar physical help, but we can pair the deeds we do with the words of Christ...bringing not only momentary help and blessing, but eternal help and blessing.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seeing Christ

 "For you must give up your own right if you would discharge your duty: a regard to your own interests must not be put in preference to Christ’s glory, or even placed upon a level with it. Whithersoever Christ calls you, you must go promptly, leaving off all other things. Your calling ought to be regarded by you in such a way, that you shall turn away all your powers of perception from everything that would impede you. It might be in your power to live elsewhere in greater opulence, but God has bound you to the Church, which affords you but a very moderate sustenance: you might elsewhere have more honor, but God has assigned you a situation, in which you live in a humble style: you might have elsewhere a more salubrious sky, or a more delightful region, but it is here that your station is appointed. You might wish to have to do with a more humane people: you feel offended with their ingratitude, or barbarity, or pride; in short, you have no sympathy with the disposition or the manners of the nation in which you are, but you must struggle with yourself, and do violence in a manner to opposing inclinations, that you may keep by the trade you have got; for you are not free, or at your own disposal. In fine, forget yourself, if you would serve God.' --John Calvin

I have to admit, we've had a hard summer and it's turning into an exhausting fall.  Somewhere between malaria, pneumonia and typhoid, somewhere between water outages and broken vehicles, somewhere between a dearly loved young person stealing from us and dearly loved friends moving away, we had to find Jesus in it all.  We had to.  We can live a crazy radical missionary life all we want, but if we don't see Jesus in the very middle of it, we are the most to be pitied.

It is because we see him...his glory, our heavenly reality, the joy that he wants for us...that all the mess of life begins to hold such great value.  All of the struggle is worth it, if one soul is saved, if one child hears about Christ, if one person is saved from physical death because we are here to act in mercy and reflect our merciful God.  Years ago, we had a friend, one who had spent many many hours around our table talking about Christ, kill himself.  It was tragic.  At his funeral, we were given roses to lay on his casket as we left, as if it would somehow provide a bit of closure.  For me, it only served to open my heart, as I told the Lord in that moment that I would never fear the many struggling people that he would bring to me...that I would seek to look for Him in those moments...because it truly is a matter of life and death.

And so we steady the course.  We push up our sleeves.  We dig back in.  We open our gate...and our hearts.  We share our God-sized story with others.  Because once we see Christ in the mess of life, we are no longer free to walk as those who are blinded to the truth.  And when things get hard...as they are sure to do... we do violence to any inclination that would keep us from going where God goes, staying where God stays, doing what Christ would have us to do.

And the Christ we serve is so amazing.  Because not only do we see him in our heavenly-bliss-producing-good-news, but we see him in an amazing day-by-day grace.  We see him in the medical treatment, we see him in the provision of dear friends to help us deal with no water, we see him in the provision of a new van, we see him in the deafening thunder that rattled our house as we prayed with our young friend to find forgiveness in Christ.

Christ is worth it.  I want to see him.  Will you join me?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Missionary Associate Needed!

Hello friends!

Hmmm...I think this blog has been a little too quiet.  We've been very busy with school and life the past couple weeks.  While I wish that I had lots of fun pictures to show, I actually only have an announcement/request to put out here.

As many of you know, we regularly have Missionary Associates come to help us out.  Our MAs are a huge blessing to us.  They help us with school, cooking, babysitting and anything else that needs doing around our home and compound.  Life tends to be a bit more difficult here than life in America:  We have regular water and power outages, shopping is not quite as easy, we have more visitors coming and going, and everything just takes significantly more time.  Because of all of this, it is a huge blessing to have an extra set of hands at home.  It helps relieve my stress and therefore assures that Eric can focus on the work of the mission, without worrying about the details of life at home.  In this way, our MAs are a very important part of the work here and we are so very thankful for each one of them!

We have been truly blessed that the Lord has provided us with Godly young women.  Our MAs have shared a love for the reformed faith, believe that children are a blessing, that there is value in homeschooling and that the making of a godly home is a good thing.  They have also loved on our children and we have been so thankful for their love!  We also believe that this opportunity is a great blessing to the young ladies that come.  They are able to experience the mission field, life in Africa and a taste of God's work here, but all under the shelter of a family.

We are praying that the Lord will provide us with someone who is at least a high school graduate.  We need this person for the Spring semester...starting mid January through the end of May.

Do you know someone who might be interested?  Please forward this!  Do you have anymore questions?  Feel free to contact us at ericdianna@hotmail(dot)com.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Football Tournament

Last week, Wednesday night at about 6 PM, my husband decided to host a football tournament for all our neighborhood friends.  On Thursday at 12 PM, we had 8 teams and an afternoon of football.  How he manages to pull these things off, I still can't understand...but I love him for it.


He set up three small fields on our compound, painted lines, secured goal posts, found three referees (hailing from Kenya and South Korea), and set up the playing schedule.

Each team had to have at least 1 girl and have less than a 45 year cumulative age.  That opened it up for everyone to play.

There was lots of cheering...

lots of goofing off...

Shoes were optional...

But mud wasn't...

The final games were exciting as the last two teams had one set of brothers against another set of brothers...



And the sports commentating was a bit hilarious...

Rubber boots and rain coats were a blessing through the afternoon showers...

Finally the results came in...Adrian, Emma, Jimmy and Rebecca...after two overtimes and two sets of shoot outs... won...

The winning team received notebooks and pens for school...

And everyone (about 50 people in all!) finished the day with ice cream.

Fun times!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Joyous Day!

Eric was recently blessed to be able baptize Abdallah...a former Muslim.  Abdallah was converted under the care of some friends who are missionaries with Engineering Ministry International.  What a blessing to be able to witness the symbol of Christ washing sin away, turning darkness to light and causing the blind to see.  After so much "not-fun" stuff this summer (no water, malaria, typhus, friends leaving, etc...) it is this kind of "amazing grace" stuff that puts a spring back in our step and encourages us to press on.  


May God always bless Abdallah with a simple sweet trust in Jesus.

The Littles

When we were in Kampala a few weeks ago, we stopped by KFC for a treat.  There was a lady that was doing ballons and face painting.  She gave the boys each a sword and gave Talitha an animal.

Talitha was slightly miffed.  She wanted a sword too, of course.  And felt no shame in taking the air filled lioness back to the lady and asking for a weapon.

These three...who are now my "littles"... keep me on my toes these days.  A very precious bunch.  A very busy bunch.  But I do love these years.