"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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Talitha Greeting

Talitha has learned to "greet" since we have been here.  She will walk right up to people and hold out her hand to shake.  Yesterday, she just wanted to greet the little girl, but the little girl wasn't too impressed.  Talitha finally gave up and just gave her a hug...and left the little girl in tears...oops!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Village Church

This morning we worshiped in a village church.  There was a set of super cute twins...Jacob and Esau. :)

So cute!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Camping on Mt. Wanale

When we were up Mt. Wanale last week, we were chatting about how much fun it would be to go camping up there for a night.  Then on our Thursday night/date night, we thought, "why not go camping?  And why not this Sunday night?"

So we did.

And it was a great time!  We went with the Magalas, Ezekiel from next door, and Timothy's friend, Daniel.

And about 50 other locals who wanted to watch the Mzungus do unusual Mzungu things...like camping!

They were polite though, and sweetly kept out of our "camping bubble" and it was great too, because they were so helpful.  We were able to hire someone to slash (cut the tall grass with a machete) the camping area, fetch us water, and sell us passion fruit, onions, and bananas.  By the time night fell they all wandered back to their homes...my children tell me that it may have had something to do with daddy telling them that at night Mzungus children turn into monsters...

The girls had great fun inside their own tent...

Daniel and Timothy (who slept outside with Eric)

Paul and Martin

The very first time we went up Mt. Wanale, we met a sweet Christian lady who's name is Silvia. We visit with her now, every time we go up.

This is her daughter Peace.

The sunset was pretty

This is Ezekiel.  He came along to help guard (along with Paul and Martin) our camp site and vehicles during the night.  He looks nice enough during the day.
 But pretty tough at night!  Is that a gun?  Well, no...that's the jack to the Land Rover that they carried around at night to make people think they had a gun... and it worked as they over heard people talking about it...haha!

Sunrise in the morning...

It was cold!  It normally dips down into the upper 50s at night in Mbale.  But up on the mountain the wind was blowing hard!  I'm sure with the wind chill factor it felt more like 40s.  And of course we way underestimated how cold Uganda can be at night, so it was a bit of a long night.  But a beautiful night...especially when the power on the radio towers went out.  The whole Milky Way was lit up and we saw lots of shooting stars.  So lovely!

 For breakfast, we introduced our Ugandan friends to bacon.  We can buy bacon in Kampala, but most people here have never had it before.  I had the most awesome kitchen view as I cooked breakfast.

Eric let the kids ride on the roof of the land rover for about a kilometer on the way down.  Hooligans!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hospital Visit

The steering committee of the Mbale OPCU church, decided to start a ministry of visiting the local hospital on Saturdays.  The hospitals in Uganda are much different than hospitals in North America.  They do not provide food, bedding, or clothing.  The patients family is expected to provide all of this.  But there are often people hospitalized who do not have a sufficient support system and so a hospital stay can be very difficult.  Members of our church, then, go to the hospital, find people like this and visit with them.  They share the gospel, pray for the person and then leave them with a bar of soap.  To fund this outreach, they are using 5% of each weeks offerings (usually about $2.50 or so).

This is exciting, because this was completely the idea of the church.  (No missionary involvement at all.)  And their generosity and desire to reach out to others is so encouraging and challenging to me.  They aren't waiting until they have their own property and building.  They aren't waiting until a higher economic stage is reached.  Now.  They are giving now.  They are investing in eternal rewards now.  Lord, help me to never wait until later!  Help me to give generously now!

I'm also excited about it, because my Timothy was able to join them today.  I love finding ways that he (and all my children) can reach out to others.  But the hospitals here are more "graphic" than in America.  They don't attempt to hide the suffering.  As a parent, there is always a twinge in my heart, when I know my kids will see suffering. It is a temptation to want to present the world as a pretty place.  Wouldn't it be easier if I could hide their precious hearts from disease and death?  But, I also know that disease and death are a reality...and it is a reality that the gospel can reach.  And I want my kids to see that. And thankfully, it doesn't bother him as much as I would like to fear it will...or maybe as much as the Liar would like me to fear..."mom, you wouldn't be able to stand it, but it didn't really bother me." is what my man-cub told me upon his return!  He makes me smile!  And so does this...that Christ touches suffering.  Gospel answers suffering.  I want my kids to breath and live and smile in that reality, too.

Timothy was glowing when he returned and gave us a good accounting around the dinner table tonight.  They handed out 9 bars of soap and prayed with the receivers.  But what really excited him was that they prayed with one man in response to a gospel presentation.  Praising the Lord for that, and praying that God will make the gospel a reality in that man's heart...

...and make it bigger in my son's heart...

...and more powerful in the hearts of my brothers and sisters in Mbale OPCU.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mt. Wanale with friends

Today was another great "Daddy's Day Off" adventure.  We went back up Mt. Wanale, but this time we traveled with friends.  

Lexi and her daughter...

Jane, who works for the mission and does laundry for us...

Christi, our new missionary associate  (who's officially here and over jet lag! Yay!  So happy to have her on board!)...

And Charles and Rachel.  Rachel, Jane and Lexi had never been to the top of Wanale before, so it was great fun to show them around.  

While we were at the top, Charles and Eric got it in their heads that it would be a fabulous place to propose (American style) and decided to try it out.  

We said yes... :)

The part of the Magala family that joined us.

 After we spent some time at the top, we drove down to our favorite waterfall and ate our lunch.  Talitha was a grump when we got there because I told her to wear her hat.  She has a little personality already!

The kids had a lot of fun playing in the water and were soaked by the time we were done!

A great day and a great memory!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bullet Post

So here is a bullet post containing a few small, yet news worthy (family memory worthy?), notes...

:: How far does one go to see the Hobbit? 
We left our house at 6am last Monday morning, drove 4 hours to Kampala, Eric, the four oldest kids and a few friends watched the Hobbit on the big screen (while I got my first hair cut in Uganda and went shopping...bliss!), and drove 5 hours home.  It was a long day, but a good memory.  And we had our first taste of the "In your face, chicken place" -- chicken sold on the side of the road.  It was so so yummy.  :)

:: The Bunny
...did not make it... While we were in Kampala, the little boys and Talitha stayed here with a friend.  They had a lot of fun with the bunny...sadly...I don't think the bunny had too much fun.  About the time the little boys came in saying, "We were shaking it and squeezing it but it's not waking up" we knew it's short life was over.  The little boys learned a good lesson on needing to be tender with little creatures and the big kids learned how to forgive and show patience to little boys.

:: Chris
...is still in the hospital.  The wounds on his shoulder and arm got severely infected and are taking a long time to heal.  He's been in the hospital almost 4 weeks now and will likely be there for 2 more weeks.  The good news is that he is sitting up and letting his mom carry him now.  (for the first 3 weeks, he only would lie on his bed), the not as good news is that he still isn't walking.  His feet and legs are swollen from the lack of activity.  His momma is growing weary.  She doesn't have anything to keep her occupied.  She doesn't read and there are no TVs or videos.  So you can pray that she will keep her eyes on the Lord through this trial.

::wild dog adventures
Last night, I woke up at about 12:30 AM and heard the puppies yapping away.  It's not terribly uncommon for them to be yippy at night, so I spent the next hour awake, thinking and praying.  Finally, I decided that the puppies should have stopped by now and something must be wrong.  I got up to inspect and when I realized I needed to go outside to see what they were yapping at, I...like any good wife...ask my dear husband to go outside... :)  We found that a wild dog/puppy had gotten into our compound.  The puppies were yapping at it and it at them, but on they whole they were leaving each other alone, so we went back to bed.  But I never fell back asleep until about 4:30.  The kids woke up and Eric got up and I choose to sleep in.  I came out, bleary eyed at 7 AM and asked if they had seen the puppy.  Immediately, all the kids ran outside to see...dumb idea...the puppy felt trapped and went after William's feet.  William kicked back and then the puppy bit him.  I started yelling for all of the kids to get back inside and while they were coming in, the wild puppy got in too and started trying to bite and nip any person in sight.  The kids were screaming and scared, William was screaming that he was bleeding and we started jumping on the couches and chairs to get out of it's way.  Eric tried to reach to get it and it bit Eric on the thumb quite badly.  (It's a deep cut, but thankfully it's staying together, so it doesn't need stitches)  Finally, most of the kids were able to escape into the hallway and close the door (everyone except Talitha and I) and the puppy, by God's grace, ran back outside.  Pastor Charles was able to catch it and he threw it outside of the compound.  I started tending to Eric and William and cleaning up blood and getting breakfast out.  After 30 minutes the dog had snuck back on our compound.  This time, Eric, Charles and Paul (Charles' son) went out and killed it.  And I came in and started coffee.  All day, I keep thinking...did my day really start with a wild dog in my living room?????  Sigh...

:: Christi
...our new MA from Canada is flying in this Wednesday.  We are super excited to welcome her aboard our team and praying that God will bless her abundantly while she is here with us.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mbale OPCU Congregation News

It's the start of a new year and the start of a new location for our little church here in Mbale.  We met together New Years Day to worship with our church and a few visitors from the other churches in the Presbytery.  Previously, we had been worshipping at a local primary school.  The benches...being made for primary school students...were horrendously uncomfortable and it was a drain of resources to be putting funds into renting a facility week in and week out.  So when Eric and I offered the use of our compound for services, the church's steering committee eagerly took us up on it.  The church was able to purchase these chairs and for now, we are just meeting in the yard and praying for no rain. :) 
The Lord has loaned us a beautiful yard here... what a blessing it is to us to have the same opportunity that Aquila and Prisca had.  (Rom 16 & I Cor 16)  

Pastor Charles (pictured left), our pastor, preached from Philippians 3:12-14. (& one of Eric's students, translated into Luganda) The greatest blessing for me in the sermon was when he reminded us that we walk through life taking one step in faith, the next in suffering, one step faith, the next in suffering.  But all in God's grace and with his strength.

And evidently, our cat thought...like most cats do...that we were there to worship it.  He spent some time surveying the affair, and then found his seat right up at the front, where he remained until the end.  Silly cat!