"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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Little Football Action

The kids in the neighborhood love to come and play football on our compound.  Since we received a few One World Footballs...indestructible, nerf-like, solid-foam balls, we've been able to use our entire compound as a playing field.  We no longer have to worry about those pesky sharply thorned hedges that do a great job of keeping bad guys out and eating footballs for dinner.

The other night I took a video of the kids playing.  As you can see there is a LOT of bantering in Lumasaba (the local tribal language) and a LOT of interesting objects to avoid including, but not limited to: trees, a banda, a banana garden, a volleyball net and an unfortunate tire swing at about 00:35.  (Sorry, Max...way to sacrifice for your team).

Many of these kids have become our dear dear friends and we continually pray that as they grow they will become dear friends to Jesus.  I am ever struck with how much Satan hates this aspect of our ministry here though.  So thanks for praying with us and for them...they truly are the church of the not-so-distant future.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Surprise Trip!

Come now, wife who says, "Tomorrow I will go out for breakfast with my husband, come home and do school with 7 kids, clean up, work through the afternoon, have prayer time on our compound, eat supper, and fall into bed exhausted...you do not know that after your breakfast date, your husband will turn right out of Endiro instead of left and end up taking you for a surprise trip to Entebbe to an amazing hotel, a wonderful night away, supper on the roof watching the sunset, shopping and then driving home to 8 amazing children."  (James 4:13-14, Dianna's applied version)

It's true... my wonderful husband pulled off an amazing surprise.  I never would have guessed what he was up to in a million years.  And even more amazing was that he had most of the kids in on it and not a single one of them spilled the beans. (5,000 shillings in bribes gifts of appreciation may have helped towards that end...haha!)

Little known to me, we had air miles about to expire.  Eric realized that he could trade them in for a night in the Business Class Executive room of a nice hotel in Entebbe.  (It happened to be the only hotel in all of Uganda that participated in the program...haha!)  While we were eating breakfast out, Katelyn packed all my things (and did an amazing job!!) and brought them on a boda to Endiro and snuck them into the car.  When we started driving out of the city, I was confused until Eric finally told me what he was up to!  It took a minute (but not that long... haha) to switch gears.  What a precious memory this will be!

This family of mine...they are so wonderful!!  Love them dearly!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Drive into the mountains...

Today we took a drive up into the mountains today.  It was a super pretty drive.  We were taking advantage of our last few days of dry season since the roads we drove will be impassable in a few weeks, Lord willing.  

You can see the dust is still abundant.  We had one week of a little bit of rain...we all thought that rainy season was here (and sadly, many people planted their fields)...but then it dried back up.  You can pray that the rain comes quickly, because people are really starting to feel the hunger season.  Those that did plant are now very worried that their seed is dying and those that didn't plant are anxiously awaiting the time when they can.

Happy Birthday, Timothy!

I find it hard to believe that my oldest is now 14 years old!!  Wow!  He's almost as tall as me and his feet are quickly passing mine.  

He's a great older brother (very tolerant of the younger members while doing Algebra), helpful, kind, and eager to take on life.  I'm so very thankful for all the many ways God has and will bless us through this young man!

Talitha and Divine are having a blast together these days.  They were crawling around pretending to be kittens while waiting for cake.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Baptism of Baby Sua

This morning we were blessed to witness the baptism of Baby Sua.  Her Daddy works with the South Korean humanitarian relief organization called Koica at the Mbale Regional Hospital as an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor.  They have become dear friends to us and to our church.  What a joy to welcome little Sua into the covenant family!

We sang this song after the baptism.  It is a Luganda hymn... "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

My Benaiah...

I love this kid...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Marriage and Family Retreat for the Pastors and their wives of the OPCU

This past Monday night to Tuesday, Eric and I took the pastors and their wives for a one night retreat to focus on marriage and family and ministry issues.  We had 12 couples in all, including us.  We had a session on marriage and ministry led by Eric, a session for the men led by Eric and for the women led by me and then we finished with a session with a session on family and ministry.  We also had a time when the couples could spend time with just the two of them talking and praying.  

We praise the Lord so much for how he blessed our time together.  Family life, in general, here in Uganda is so weak (even more so than in America).  In addition, the pastors and their families are under constant attacks from the evil one.  What a blessing it was to be able to get away with them and give some much needed nourishment.  This was especially true for the wives.  The men tend to get more training when they attend Knox Theological College.  Eric often brings marriage and family issues into his lectures.  This is wonderful!  But it is also hard for the wives to start to be led by their husbands in ways that they have never heard of or been taught.  They were so eager to hear God's wonderful design for being godly wives and mothers!

The beautiful Sipi Falls...

Me and My absolutely amazing husband...  I love this guy so much!

The group...

I was really thankful for our kids this week too!  We left them overnight for the first time without a Mzungu watching them.  During the mornings we had our friend here who works for us, during the afternoons they were on their own and at night Carol was here. So, while there was always an adult around, these adults weren't babysitting them; for the most part they were in charge of themselves and on their own.  Timothy took a boda into town and picked up pizza for all the kids for supper (and soda and doritos--they were all quite pleased with his choices...haha!). After supper they all cleaned up and the big kids got the littles in bed.  During the day on Tuesday, they home schooled themselves with the big kids helping the little kids.  We were pretty impressed with their growing maturity, although promises of milkshakes at Endiro might have helped a wee bit towards that end too... haha!  This is one of the many ways that our kids participate in ministry.  If it weren't for them, the night away wouldn't have been such an amazing success!  I'm so thankful for this crew the Lord has blessed us with!