"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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Attending a wedding...

This past Saturday, Eric and I were asked to attend and help with a wedding.  I was asked to do the photography and we were asked to drive the wedding party.  It ended up being a long day, but a neat chance to see a little more of Ugandan culture and make the day a little more special for this couple. 


This little girl wanted to meet the Mzungu

Receiving the gifts from the guests.  The bride and groom stay at the table and the guests "dance" their gifts to them.

Lest you think I didn't dress up for the occasion! :)  These are two of my friends here...Jane (left) and Rachel (right).  Rachel is the wife to pastor Charles, the pastor of our church here.  They live in the other house on our compound.

Traditional Dancing

They had a traditional dance group perform at the wedding.  It was fun to watch! 


Gotta love the shoes! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Katelyn's Birthday: Horse Back Riding On the Nile....

This past Saturday was Katelyn's 10th birthday.  To celebrate we took her on a horseback ride along the Nile River.  Oh the sufferings of living overseas! 
Every year, we get our blog printed off in book form as a sort of scrap book for our family...so for that purpose (and perhaps because you might enjoy it too...) here is a huge photo dump from our day. :) 
 Katelyn, Timothy, Tessa and I went for a one hour ride.  But before we left for our ride, the younger kids...Matthew, Rebecca, Jimmy and William all got to do a half hour ride.


While they were gone, we got on our helmets...

...and played in the grass...

 Tess and I have mostly used a Western style saddle before...we had a good laugh at ourselves when we realized that in our minds we were expecting a Western saddle, but that it makes more sense that a former English colony would have English saddles, not Western saddles... :)

The owner gave a brief riding lesson to the kids, but also sent some guys to walk along side...just in case.  We were impressed with how professional and well kept this place was.

Then we were off!

Riding under the power lines almost made me forget we were in Africa...

But the monkeys in the trees, remind us quickly, that we are still in Africa. Yay!! :) 

There was a group of monkeys jumping all around the trees where we started; this one had paused to eat a jackfruit (and to let me take his picture :)

After our ride, we went to a Mzungu hang-out in Jinja (Keep Cafe).  We quickly realized why so many Mzungus hang out there...they have an amazing assortment of Mzungu food.  Katelyn used her birthday money from Grandma to buy a Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake.  And I, not having any birthday money to spend, decided to consider a Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake absolutely necessary to my survival in Africa and bought one too. YUM!!  Since we have nothing of the sort here in Mbale, we might just have to stop in Jinja more often... :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Missionary Associate Needed!

Dear friends - please be in prayer for us as we are seeking another missionary associate. 

We have enjoyed and been blessed by our current Missionary Associate, Tessa. She has helped us not only survive our first few months overseas, but to thrive during our transition here. The kids enjoy her company and Eric and I enjoy her laughter and sense of adventure. She has also blessed us by helping with meals, teaching, babysitting and just being an extra set of hands.

Living in a third-world situation requires much more work than in America. It takes much more effort to "make a home" (be a home-maker!) here. For example, to gather groceries, we buy eggs from "the egg woman" on one street, produce from the market (where we barter for every single item), other general items from the supermarket, and still other things, like medicine and clothing from other stores. In America, all of this can be accomplished in one short trip to Wal-Mart, even ending in getting a frozen meal for supper if you are really short on time, but here, for me to do a major shopping run takes most of the afternoon and there are no frozen meals to be had. :) Another set of hands to carry on with school and chores and making supper, or to run to the stores for me has been such a huge blessing!

Tessa's commitment to us was through December, so she will be returning to her family and church before Christmas. The time has passed quickly!

Another great blessing to having Tessa here, is that her own family values closely mirror ours. Not only is she reformed in her view of scripture, she also believes children are a blessing, the making of a Godly home is important, and that there is value in homeschooling.  She also enjoys being with our large family. It is so important to us to have the young women that comes to help us be a Godly role-model for our children.

We are praying that the Lord will raise up another young lady who will be a good match for us and be willing to come serve our family as a missionary associate. Our hope is that this kind of relationship would not only be a blessing to us, but also to the young lady that the Lord provides. We also feel like this is a great opportunity for a young lady to have a time of service on the mission field, but under the protection of a family. We are looking for at least a high school graduate.

We are trusting the Lord to answer our many prayers and provide us with just the right person. We would be delighted if you could pray with us to this end and contact us if you or someone you know might be interested in this position, or if you have any questions.

Andrew Murray on Holiness

"The greatest test of whether the holiness we profess to seek or to attain is truth and life will be whether it produces an increasing humility in us.  In man, humility is the one thing needed to allow God's holiness to dwell in him and shine through him.  The chief mark of counterfiet holiness is lack of humility.  The holiest will be the humblest."

God grant us this grace.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Movie Night

Tonight we had some of Eric's students over to watch Courageous.  Much of family life in Africa is a mess.  AIDS, drunkenness, polygamy and poverty have wreaked havoc on the family.  Many children are growing up without fathers in the home.

After the movie, the men testified that they were challenged and encouraged by this film.  Despite a language barrier (too bad they don't have Swahili subtitles! lol!) they got it...even the "Snake King" part... :)

I believe this film and Fireproof have great potential to be a strong encouragement to the husbands and fathers here.  We look forward to more movie nights! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lulwanda Children's Home

Since last Tuesday was a public holiday we went to Lulwanda Children's Home to visit.  Lulwanda is probably the best run orphanage around.  They have 109 children that live on campus.  They also have an excellent school that opens it doors to other community children. 
We spent the morning just playing with the kids. 

playing with felt characters

playing hop-scotch
 Luwanda is in a beautiful area.  The grounds used to be a hide-out area for men who would rob trucks traveling the near by road from Kenya to Mbale.  The local people feared this area until Luwanda bought the property.  Now the property has been redeemed and the lives of the children living there are also being redeemed.

The children are taught a lot of manual labor jobs because they will need these skills when they leave.

 Benaiah was completely overwhelmed.  Everytime we looked up we heard children yelling, "Benaiah! Benaiah!" and we would see him ducking and pushing his way through a group of kids.  It was quite funny. :)
Talitha was also the center of much attention.  These kids have hardly ever seen Mzungu kids and so they are quite taken with the little ones. 
 Timothy spent some time learning how to make chapatis. 

Chapatis are our favorite quick food here.  They are yummy, yummy. :)

 Towards the end of our morning the Luwanda kids did a music presentation for us.  After they were done singing, Uncle Jered (who introduced himself as "bushman" to us :) had our kids get up and learn a new song.

After he taught them the words, he had them line up like this and then he started the music.

When the music started the little kids suddenly ran out and underneath the bridge and then they all started dancing.

This is a video of a couple of their songs and the last one with our kids.  Sadly my battery ran out so I missed most of it, but it was super fun.