"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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wednesday Afternoon Prayer Time

Every Wednesday, our church has prayer time together.  It is mostly attended by the kids of the church.  We usually follow the ACTS model: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.  Many of the kids have learned to pray here.  It is a really special time!


I am especially prayerful for these young men.  They are all around ages 13-15 right now.  Praying that these young men become powerful warriors in Christ's kingdom both now and in the coming years!  Praying that they will not be put to sleep by the cheap distractions of this world, but that they will be made alive by the Holy Spirit and fit for heavenly service!  God is able to raise them up as strong leaders in their families, church and communities.  May he be glorified to do that!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bless the Lord, O my Soul

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


There has been a lot going on in our lives these past couple weeks.  Some things have been very exciting and I can't wait to share the news when the time comes.  Some things have been very hard and will never be able to be shared on this platform.  It seems like each day, we haven't known what kind of news the day would bring, for good or not quite so good.  We've been living with a bit stronger reality that we can't know what the day will look like at its ending compared to its beginning.  And we've been living with hearts full of grief and joy... a paradox of heart that only Christ can bring.

This song has been running through my head over and over the past couple weeks.  Actually, I have been intentionally playing it every morning as I'm finishing up my run or getting ready for the day.  The lines "whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes." has been a prayer of my heart each morning.  And knowing that the day is coming when we will sing God's praises for ten thousand years and then forever more is such a huge comfort!  Just think!  Ten thousand years and we will just be getting started!  This life and all its trials pale in comparison to the glory that is waiting!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Picnic in Plaid

Yesterday, the girls decided to have a picnic.  But what's a picnic if you don't all match by dressing in plaid?  They enjoyed their time talking, laughing and eating for many long hours.


The boys followed suit and decided to also have a picnic.  They weren't all matching, and many wanted to show how much they were enjoying their food for the picture and apparently (at least the girls tell me) that they took most of the cooked cabbage for their rice.  But the boys reported a grand time and the amount of noise from their corner of the yard gave ample evidence for that fact.

Monday, April 6, 2015

12 Kilometers, Ice Cream, Novida and a Waterfall

What started out as a small amount of all-in-fun trash talking over running times between Eric and some of the young men that come to our church, ended up as a 12 K race between Eric and this crew.  If they beat Eric, Eric would buy them some ice cream.  If Eric beat them, they had to buy Eric a Novida (soda).


Considering some of the world's fastest runners come from this part of the world, I was a bit nervous for my husband...haha!

The guy that placed first in our little race did the full 12.2 Kilometers in under an hour.  But I'm happy to say that both Ice cream and Novidas were exchanged by the end.

Afterwards, we went up to a local waterfall to play in the water for a bit.



Well this looks safe and secure... haha!


Talitha and Sarah...

Geoffrey, Shalom and Matthew...

William deep in conversation with some friends...

The whole gang...

Happy Easter!

From New Life Presbyterian Church in Mbale, Uganda!  He is risen!!



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Good Friday Glory

Just hours after 148 Kenyans were killed, many because they were Christian, two former Muslims were baptized in the name of the Triune God on a tiny piece of land up the mountain, in a small village called Butaga.  Only a handful of people and a host of angels took notice of the glory that was to be had on this particular Good Friday Morning.  But what a joy to see darkness turning to light and joy coming in the morning!

A another man from this church who was recently baptized, when asked why he wanted to be a Christian, powerfully answered, "Mohammed didn't rise from the dead."  What a beautiful truth to consider this Easter morning!


 This sweet girl is now marked and sealed as a first generation Christian.  Her entire family still visits the mosque and her grandfather is a leader there.  My children, who are now a part of her new family, pooled their money together to bless her with a Bible.


This is a beautiful reminder that even while there is death and destruction and Satan is alive and active, working to deceive the nations, God is still yet more powerful and is still doing mighty works in all the little corners of his creation.  Praise the Lord with these saints and continue to lift them up in your prayers!



Saturday, April 4, 2015

A few smiles from the last few weeks...

God gives us many reasons to smile throughout our days, but here are a few reasons that I caught on film...

Timothy's following of little boys that love him and look up to him...

The way William is always ready to make a friend...big or little...he loves people!

Sticker bracelets lovingly made and given by a 3 year old during school...

Talitha who played the perfect hostess to her new friend Anna when Anna's family came for lunch...

Katelyn cheerfully and faithfully doing chicken chores in the morning...

Kids who insist on taking your picture...

A green pepper that smiled at me when I cut its top off...

Friday, April 3, 2015

Turtle Bread

It's a yearly tradition that in the week before Easter, we make something called Turtle Bread.  It's just a sweet dough (same dough I use for Cinnamon Rolls) shaped into a turtle.  Nothing fancy.  It was just something I randomly did one year when the kids were very little and then it somehow became a tradition. 


I love 3 year olds.  They are old enough to really really appreciate and enjoy traditions, but not old enough to remember doing them the year before.  So it makes it a lot of fun to introduce them again!  This year, as I was mixing the dough, Talitha, who could hardly wait to make Turtle Bread, came into the kitchen and asked,

 "Are you finished mixing the Turtle Bread?"

"I'm working on it," I replied.

Then she asked, "Have you put the turtles in yet?"


William

William just lost his two front teeth.  I love that kids usually loose these two teeth together.  It's so cute!  I think it is one of many small ways that God lets us delight in these little creatures that he's blessed us with.


William wanted to pose next to the dog.

The dog, in turn, gave William a big kiss of appreciation.

Rainy Season and White Ants

God has been so gracious to our little corner of the world to bring the rains back once again.  Dry season was harsh this year...and a few weeks longer than normal.  By the last 3 weeks, city water was being cut off by 8am most mornings and it was dry, dusty and HOT!  We felt uncomfortable in the city, but the people in the villages had it a lot worse than us as streams dried up and water tables dipped lower than the boreholes.  

But we praise the Lord that once again the weather is back in the upper 70s/low 80s and the skies are clearer and the grass is turning green.  The people are busy digging and planting in eager expectation of a harvest in July.



With the rain also comes the invasion of the white ants.  They are the sure sign that the rain is here to stay.  I took the following pictures and video with my cell phone this morning on my way out to run.  I couldn't even get out our front door there were so many!!

The entire outdoor sink was full!  Timothy scooped them out and bagged them up for his friends.  As you probably know, these make for good eating.  They will collect them and roast them... but it's kind of like blue berry picking... quite a few get eaten while they are being picked up.  On my run this morning, there were lots of people lining the road catching them all... every year at this time, there is a festive feeling in the air...everyone is refreshed by the rain, kids are excited to see the white ants, adults are out laughing and chatting with neighbors while collecting...it's kinda fun to watch.  And of course, this tends to be the hardest time of the year as stores of food from last year are starting to dwindle, stomachs are still hungry for food and the harvest won't be here for a while.  These white ants really are a provision of protein to the people during "hunger season."

When the kids showed up at our house this morning.  Eric asked them how they were.

"Not fine...we haven't caught any ants yet..."
Then Timothy brought the two bags out that he had scooped out of the sink.
Cheers and laughter erupted and there was no need to wait to roast them... breakfast was served.
God is good to provide our daily bread...

and ants...


This is a video I took this morning.  I tried to get close enough to show the sink full, but eww!!  I got too many bugs in my face... that's why it ended abruptly...haha!  :)
video

Bukonde

A few weeks ago, we worshiped at Bukonde... a village OPCU church halfway up Mt. Wanale.  The Friday night before, Eric, Timothy, Katelyn and a few others from our church had attended an "overnight" there.  An overnight is when they begin church at 7pm and end at 5:30 am.  They have a lot of singing and 3 sermons with a break for tea in the wee hours of the morning.  When Eric was talking to the pastor about it, he said, "A church needs to meet more often than just on Sundays."  There is wisdom in that!  When Eric was preaching at 2 am, he kept the congregation awake by telling them to stand up and say "Amen!" every time he said, "Praise the Lord!"  What can I say...an all night service deep in the village can help the "frozen chosen" to thaw out a little.  ;-)  

On Sunday, they had several baptisms and we celebrated the Lord's Supper.  



Towards the end of the service, the pastor asked if there was anyone who had never professed faith in Christ but who wanted to.  A few ladies and children came forward.  Eric talked to them about the gospel and the need to not just start well, but also finish well.  Then he prayed with them.  As they were sitting down, the pastor asked for all their names.  When he came to this lady, she said, "I need a new name.  I was Muslim and have a Muslim name, but now I am a Christian and I need a Christian name."  So the pastor turned to the congregation and said, "What shall we name her?"  They eventually decided on "Mulokole" or "the saved one."  Please pray for her!

After church we enjoyed a meal together.