"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, June 27, 2014

A couple prayer requests...

We appreciate so much when people pray for us!  It is such a blessing!

::Our Land Rover is broken again.  The second blown head gasket in 2 weeks.  This morning it got picked up and taken all the way to Kampala where there is a Land Rover repair place.  My parents are coming in two weeks, we would appreciate prayer that the Land Rover would be fixed and in good condition for their visit here so that we can use it to pile everyone into.

::Our second prayer request is for healing for Talitha.  We thought for a while that she had Rubella, but because the sickenss is lasting so long, we think it is something else...but we have no idea what!  She has had a fever for 11 days now and this horrible rash for 9.  She has a hard time walking because of it and is acting like most 2 year olds act during such long sicknesses...like a bear!  ugh...it's just no fun!  Spiritually, this has actually been quite difficult for her.  A few nights ago, she asked me if she could pray.  She prayed the most beautiful prayer I have heard from her!  "God, please help me to feel better.  Thank you for dying on the cross to wash my sins away.  Please help me to love you!  Thank you for keeping me safe."  The next morning when she woke up still sick, we were cuddling on the couch and she asked me in a very serious moment, "mama, why God not make me feel better?"  It is quite something to hear a two year old wrestling with God's somewhat difficult will for her little life.  I have been studying and thinking about suffering recently, and I was impressed with the idea that even when our children are suffering God is using it for good.  He is working in her endurance, faith, hope, and fruits of righteousness!  It is hard to stand aside and let God do this good work.  But we do trust him, that in time he will relieve her, answer her prayers (our prayers), and leave an early mark of sanctification upon her life.  May God be glorified to do this.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers!

Monday, June 23, 2014

After 13 years...

...our family is diaper free!

I perhaps picked the very worst week to potty train, but I happen to have an amazing daughter who, despite

daddy being in South Africa for a conference


coming down with, what we are pretty sure is Rubella (German measles)

she was mostly accident free from the second day in!

Poor thing, she's all speckled and spotted and has been feeling pretty crummy all week.  But she's a big girl now and nothing seems to steal that joy from her.

And she was very happy to have daddy back home.  I think daddy was equally glad to be home and thawing out as he forgot that it was winter in South Africa when he was packing to go.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Another Baptism

This past Sunday, our church was blessed to witness the profession of faith of a dear friend and the baptism of her daughter.  What a precious thing it has been to see this sister grow in her faith.  She wasn't serving the Lord, but towards the end of her pregnancy, she began to attend ladies Bible study and then church.  Now she is eager to do what the Lord wills, but always asks for prayer that her heart won't wander again.  

"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart Lord, take and seal it, 
seal it for thy courts above!"

May God keep our sister near to his heart and help her as she raises her daughter for him as well!

School Break Fun...

"mom, can we turn on the water?"


"mom, can we have a tarp?"


"mom, can we have some laundry detergent?"

"so we can go faster..."

"why not..."

now, if only the power would come back on so I can also use the laundry detergent to do some more laundry because that tarp just wasn't quite long enough... 


Our home school project this summer is raising a flock of egg-laying chickens.  We had a coop and pen built and are looking to have about 20-25 birds, but right now we have 16 of varying sizes, colors and ages.  The kids are having a great time figuring out what the chickens will eat, naming them of course (everything from Snowman to Jasmine), and checking for eggs (although most aren't laying yet).   

We also recently got a new dog.  Another mzungu in town had him and couldn't keep him where she was living.  He has several names including Afayo, Beebo and Scout.

So the Tuininga Farm now has 3 dogs, 4 cats, 10 pigeons, and 16 chickens...hopefully no mice and definitely no more snakes.  And, just like I said a few animals ago, I think that's enough for now.  ;-)

Trade Fair

Last week there was a trade fair being held in Mbale.  Many of our Ugandan friends told us that they had many animals there including snakes, zebras and lions.  So, since it was only $0.40 per person to go in, we thought it'd make a great outing...

there were no animals...

...except perhaps some ants on the ground...

but they did have some sketch swings to ride and a bounce slide...

...for another $0.40 of course...

...but at that point you have to do something to make the time worth it, right?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dinner and the World Cup

Last night, we enjoyed a "truly Ugandan" experience.  We went down town around 6:30 PM, right when the streets begin to come alive, to eat dinner.  Our goal was to find some grilled chicken and chips (french fries) and a place to sit and eat.  We exceeded our goal when we found a place that not only was selling chicken and chips, but also had sectioned off a part of the walkway, rigged up a TV and had the world cup playing...something our kids had been wanting to watch.  So, for $2 a person (including sodas), we had a relaxing dinner as the sun set and watched Mexico Vs Cameroon.

Selecting chicken (actually, we bought all they had...haha...) at the "check-out counter."

Watching the game...

The little ones, not quite so interested in the game, were stuffing chips in their mouths and goofing off...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Last Day of School!

Today we celebrated our last day of school for this year!  We went to Endiro, our favorite restaurant, for milkshakes.  The kids have done a great job this year.  They accomplished so much!  We are so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with another wonderful year together.

A few stats...

We have had 4 missionary associates helping us through the year...Christi began the year with us, Emily came next and finally Morgan and Haily.  What a blessing these gals were!
We had 2 kids who began to read this year...William and Benaiah.  
In all, they completed a total of almost 700 math lessons!
They memorized 125 Latin and Greek root words, 6 new poems, 60 catechism questions, and 18 Bible passages.
They learned to locate all the countries, mountains, and major water features of Europe. 
We did school for 120 very intense days this year...that's the beauty of homeschooling...we make each of our days count, so we don't have to drag things out for 180 days like the public schools do. 
The six oldest kids contributed to a total of about 70 books read.
for the first time ever in our homeschooling career, we actually finished all of our history and science books.  :)

It's been a good year.  We plan to take only a short break through our summer.  The Ugandan schools take their long break in December and January, so we hope to start early enough to be able to join them in taking that time off too.  Our new books are in the mail and Lord willing will make their way here soon.  Living here has only increased my appreciation for homeschooling.  In America, we often talk of our "right" to home school.  Here, I see it as much more of a "privilege."  I praise God for these kids and the job that God has given me to do.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The only good cobra is a dead one...

Many of you probably saw this on facebook already, but for the sake of the blog book, I'm putting it on here too.  Yesterday, a friend who was on our compound building a chicken coop for us, saw a cobra in our bushes.  He tried to kill it, but the it got away before he was able.  After a few hours, someone spotted one of our cats playing with a snake.  The snake was reared up and the kitty was batting at its face!  This time, he was able to kill it. It was almost 5 feet long!  The people who saw the first snake aren't convinced this is the one they originally saw...they said that one was longer...but I don't know...I think this might be it.  This is actually the first cobra we have had on our compound in almost 2 years now, so I'd be surprised if there were more.  Of course, a lot of the kids (minus a few who would just assume stay away from it) wanted their picture taken with it.  Then we buried it and congratulated kitty on doing a good job.  :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

New Members and New Visitors...another wonderful Sunday!

This morning we welcomed into membership Mama Beth and her family.  Her oldest two boys...Adrian and Emma (short for Emmanuel) also made profession of faith.  What a blessing it has been to know this family and to watch them grow.  About 9 months ago, the boys began coming to church and coming to our house to play.  They told us that often their mother had to travel to the village to try to find money and help.  They were often left alone for many days at a time...and often their food ran out before their mother would make it home with more.  One night, very early in our time of knowing them, the boys were playing at our house and told us they had no supper.  We were cooking pizza for ourselves that night, so we were wondering if they were telling the truth, or if they just wanted pizza...so we sent them home.  Neither of us had a peace about it.  So we loaded up our leftovers on a plate and drove out to their neighborhood as the sun was setting in hopes of finding them.  We did find them...outside their empty room that served as home...no food in sight...they were preparing to just go to sleep, and they were very happy for the pizza!  Adrian, the oldest, always seemed to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders.  Emma was a  protector and provider to his younger siblings...he and Andrew (the next youngest) would usually cook all of the food when their mother was gone.  One time, we were out with the four boys and decided to get them each a box of milk to drink.  The shop only had two cold ones and two warm ones.  Adrian and Emma immediately gave the cold ones to the younger kids.  They are so loving to each other!  During those months, they were always inviting their mother to come to church.  They wanted their mother to be a part of the fellowship here and to sit under the teaching.  Finally, after many Sundays of asking her, she came.  If I could describe the way she looked that first Sunday, I would use the words defeated, discouraged and down trodden.  The effects of an alcoholic husband who had left them, the poverty that followed, the constant desperate struggle to provide basic necessities most certainly had left marks upon her heart, but even her physical countenance had been changed.

Today, she stands as a confident, beautiful woman.  The haggard look on her face is long gone.  Her boys, even the older two, are able to play more freely like kids should.  She is a wonderful mama to them and rarely needs to go the village.  She is blessed by the preaching and teaching of the church.  She has also been blessed by the physical assistance of the church, including diaconal help and help obtaining a part time job.  

She is a beautiful example of the blessing of word and deed together working.  She is a testimony as to why the ministry of mercy is powerful and good!  She is a testimony as to how the preaching of the Word can be useless apart from good deeds of mercy.  But together, they are a powerful combination!  James 2: 14-17:  What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."  

May the church both in America and Uganda always be a people who is excited to be involved in works of both word and deed...at home and abroad.  May we feel God's smile upon us and look towards our heavenly reward as we sacrifice our temporary earthly pleasures so that the Mama Beths of the world can come to and experience a gracious and giving Lord.  Works of deed breathe life into our faith and word...just like they breathed life into Mama Beth and her boys.  We praise the Lord to have been able to watch this life-giving transformation of this family!  May God bless Mama Beth, Adrian, Emma, Andrew and Geoffrey with an active, living, persevering faith and they serve him all their lives!