"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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

PCU Youth Camp

Two weeks ago, our church youth attended youth camp put on by the Presbyterian Churches of Uganda.  It was held in Kapchorwa...just under two hours from here.  We had about 108 youth from our church and presbytery attend!  Our oldest five went too and had such a great time!  These pictures are mostly from Eric and Katelyn's phones.

Loading up a bus that they hired to get everyone there.  (They also used a smaller bus, plus our van)

Our Karamoja station also sent a group of guys to attend.  For many of them, it was their first time out of Karamoja!

The little guys and I had a great week at home, but we did make it up on Wednesday to visit everyone.

Some of our youth leading singing.

Some of the girls from our church doing a dance for talent night that Sarah had taught them.

They took a hike to some nearby waterfalls one day.

Sugared up and...

sleep deprived... ha!  Isn't that what youth camp is supposed to be?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Christmas Traditions

Our family has two Christmas traditions which, we admit, are quite on the odd side.  One is that we have one dinner while "Reclining" at the table...something like what you read of the culture of New Testament times...minus the pizza and soda?  haha... Daddy's idea was to eat our reclining dinner in the pavilion...the kids opted for the roof.  So they did all the prep work and up we went...benches, pizza, mattresses, pillows and all.  

Our second yearly tradition is to sleep around the Christmas tree.  So since all the festivities were on the roof...well, clearly, the tree had to be moved up to the roof too, right?  Up it went...fully decorated!

I'm not quite sure what I was doing here, because clearly...had that thing dropped, there is nothing my little self could have done.  haha!

Sleeping on the roof doesn't give the most restful night of sleep.  The next day, we found William crashed outside on the pavilion step.  Poor kid!

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year- New Word

Last year I tried something new--I chose one word to have as a theme for the year.  The word was JOY.  It was a blessing to me to be able to come back to that as a theme during our time on furlough (when joy came quite easily), during our time of transition back (when joy was a little more difficult to find as our emotions were yanked across oceans) and during my many days of sickness (when it was just a downright fight for joy).  God gave me two major endcaps to the year 2017.  The first was a ladies retreat last January in Colorado that I spoke at.  The topic was joy and it was a huge blessing to begin to dive into studying it deeply.  The second endcap was our team retreat this past December, where we studied Job, what it means to worship in our suffering (including having joy!).  It was here that God baked and hardened the lessons that he had been teaching me all year.

As I've been prayerfully thinking about a new theme for this year, the word ABIDE has been coming to mind from John 15:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

There is no greater gift I can give my husband, children, and ministry this year than the gift of a wife, mom, and missionary that abides in Christ.  I want to be a doer of the word (not just a hearer), but before I can be a doer, I must be soaked, saturated and abiding with Christ...in his word and in prayer.  And what beautiful promises to those that abide: answered prayers, fruit, seeing God's love, joy!  I'm looking forward to learning more about abiding in Christ this year.

What about you?  Did you make any New Years resolutions?  Do you have a word that you have chosen to focus on this year?