"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, January 28, 2015

More Construction Pictures...

To say that this has been a disruption to our lives would be a vast understatement.  I normally consider myself to be very flexible and very easy going, but this is testing that fact to the max.  But we are surviving and the end of the first phase (and hopefully the worst?) is in sight.

After they finish each room, this is what the walls look like.  They have to all be washed down really well, but even so, the entire house is going to have to be repainted.

 And the dust is absolutely amazing, as you can see in the sunlight.  It takes at least 3 or 4 days for the dust to settle completely.  We are having to mop the floors almost every day.  Each room that gets finished has to have at least 3 complete cleanings before it will stay somewhat clean.  This is quite a project!

Apparently the dust requires a bandanna and glasses... ;-)

Please continue to pray for patience for us...even as we have still begun school this week despite the mess, for good breathing for Benaiah (his O2 saturation rates regularly dip into the upper 80s/low 90s...praise the Lord for his inhaler!), and also that none of us would get malaria from all this.  We have not been able to sleep under nets the last couple weeks when we've been home and the mosquitoes are really bad right now.  Some of the kids are just covered in bites even though we've been careful to use copious amounts of bug spray.   Oh, and just for kicks, our water has been out for over 48 hours now....it would be a blessing for that to return too...  Did someone around here pray for more patience or something?!  :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ordination of Pastor Herbert of Mazimasa

This morning we were blessed to witness the ordination of Pastor Herbert at Mazimasa.  You may remember when Herbert married his wife and when they had their first born and when his wife joined Mbale OPCU while they lived in town.  We are so excited that Herbert was called to serve the Lord and build his kingdom in Mazimasa.  We are praying for his labors there and for his wife as she is preparing to give birth to their second child.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fires in Karamoja

This week we were in Karamoja in order to escape construction for a mission meeting.  (The timing was pretty convenient!)  While we were there, the fields around the station compound were overtaken by a wild fire.  These fires happen yearly, so the mission prepared well by slashing a wide fire break between the fields and the compounds.  But it was still quite something to see the power of fire and wind.

This fire was started by some boys roasting rats.  Martha Wright, who lives and works up there, wrote, "According to our neighbours, yesterday's fires were - as is often the case! - the result of shepherd boys roasting rats out in the bush. These shepherd boys! Controlled fires can serve some purposes but this kind are a hazard. I did hear Nakaale homes didn't suffer any serious damage, though. And LOTS of people were eating rats last night & this morning!"

This picture is taken right outside of the Tricarico's house.  The birds had a feast too as all the little critters were running away.

Here the fire is burning outside of Dave and Sunshine Okkens house...

It wasn't long, however before it moved forward, covered the trees and was burning outside of the Knoxes and Wright's houses.  The Karamajong workers were really kind to work through the heat, smoke and ash to make sure that the fire break held.

Even as we left in the late afternoon and were being pulled across the river (it was still a little too deep for our air intake), the fire was still burning in the brush on the side of the road.

Our drive home was dusty and bumpy, but quite uneventful save for a few cows in the road.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And the construction marches on...

And now the contents of our bedrooms have thrown up into our living room....

Our house is in an "L" shape...they have finished the one wing and main area and now they are doing the wing with all our bedrooms.  So we have to move out of the rooms for a couple days.  No problem, right??

Poor Talitha was a bit overwhelmed by all the mess...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


The boys have been wanting goats for a while and today they were able to bring some home.  They are both females and they are hoping to breed them and sell the offspring.  We'll see.  First they have to survive the dogs, which was no small ordeal this afternoon when they were trying to get the dogs out of the pen and put the goats in.  The pass-by didn't go so well and one goat ended up with a few wounds from the dog.  :(  For now, we will be keeping them off the compound, but hopefully we will be able to figure something out soon.  Matthew's goat's name is Phoebe.  Jimmy's has yet to receive a name.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Construction Zone...

My life took an unexpected turn this January by diving full tilt into construction.  We weren't expecting our school break to look like this, but when the landlord came and announced his plans, we knew that it would be much better for Benaiah and his asthma in the long run even if the short run kinda stinks.  They were able to get the main parts of the house mostly finished while we were in Kampala, but now they are moving on to the bedrooms.  As you can imagine, forming ceilings out of concrete is messy, messy business.  Today we spent all day cleaning up dust, moving more furniture, and well, cleaning up more dust.  

Benaiah is being quite a trooper.  He had to stay out of our house for 24 hours when we got back from Kampala because the house was just too dusty for him.  He played at the Magalas and slept in a tent with his sisters.  Today, he's been able to come inside some, but only with a mask on for most of the time. Even with these precautions, he is needing his inhaler a lot.  Then tonight, just before bed, the poor guy slipped and hit the back of his head on some wood and split it open.  Thankfully, our neighbor came to the rescue with some superglue.  We would really appreciate prayers that the Lord will keep him from another asthma attack during this time.

Tonight the girls are having a slumber party in the tent since they've been displaced from their room for a few days.  Next week, it will likely be ours and the boys turn outside.  Fun times, right?  

Friday, January 16, 2015

January Photo Project: Day something or other

Haha...well I guess this project kinda got derailed...

 a sinus infection, preparations to have our ceilings replaced, (having to empty our entire living room, dining room, kitchen and hallways while packing to get out of the house for a week) and a trip to Kampala can be blamed.  I'm feeling a little better and hopefully the ceilings will be somewhat finished...at least tolerable?  by the time we get home tomorrow.  I'm very thankful for the work that is going on as it will hopefully be a huge help to Benaiah's asthma and to the rest of us that seem to have developed new allergies since living here.

Here is what I was ready to post before all the craziness set in:

Originally from Holland.
Now calls Mbale home.
Deliverer of milk.
Maker of cheese.
We are very thankful for him!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January Photo Project: Day 7

Paul Magala

Son of the Magala family, with whom we share our compound.
Home from African Bible College for Christmas break
but still hitting the books hard.
Majoring in Radio Communications.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January Photo Project: Day 6

Baby Divine

Lives with her Mama, Carol
And now they are also living with our family.
They needed a room.
They are already learning about crazy mzungu things like 
washing machines, early dinner hours and board games.
Baby Divine is also quite fond of the kitty.
All the kids are quite fond of having another baby around.
So happy to have these humans with us!

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Photo Project: Day 5

Deviating from the JPP theme a little...

Last night we had another lovely camping trip up on Mt. Wanale.  This time we went with some missionary friends that work at a nearby children's home.

Like a lot of life here in Uganda, we do things in a fish bowl.  Lots of kids came around to watch the goings on.  They got such a kick out of coming around Talitha, picking on her a little and then hearing her reply, "I will beat you!!" before we intervened.  Thankfully they left once it was dark and gave us some time with out being watched as if we were a TV reality show....until the next morning...

The little boys pretending to fall of the mountain...haha...I love their faces and their sense of humor!

Once again, we froze...it is really hard to believe that we can be that cold on the equator.  Benaiah said in the morning, "mama, every time I fell asleep I got cold."  Yup...that about sums it up.

Ivan and Jimmy...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

January Photo Project: Day 4


One of many children who comes to church without his family.
Lives in Mooni with his Mama.
Doesn't remember his Daddy.
In the spirit of John 6 he
brought two tomatoes today to contribute to our church's fellowship lunch.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

January Photo Project: Day 3

Baby Shua

Born unassisted at home 3 months ago.
2 years old in South Korean culture.
Welcomed by her daddy, an ear, nose, throat doctor volunteering at Mbale Main Hospital
and by her mommy, a pilot

Friday, January 2, 2015

January Photo Project: Day 2

I said I would do a January Photo Project and here I am, having already missed the first day.  Haha!

This year I hope to focus on people around us.  The Humans of New York Facebook page has almost 11.5 million likes because people find it interesting to see glimpses of other humans.  Perhaps you would find it interesting to meet some humans in Mbale?

Meet Mama Maria.  She is the mother of Rachel Magala with whom we share our compound.  She is from Kenya and just came for a visit.  She will stay for a few months and no doubt leave a few pounds heavier with all of Rachel's yummy cooking.  Mama Maria never learned to read, but she has entire chapters of the Bible memorized and can sit and talk about God and the scriptures for a long time.  Her love for Jesus radiates through her smile.

Mama Maria surprised me today by giving me a traditional milk jug.  It's so pretty!