"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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Seven Years and Now this Call

Today marks 7 years since we first moved to Uganda.  Our "Ugandaversary" has always been a point of celebration, even if only in my heart, simply because every year marked God's faithfulness to us in what was sometimes a difficult post that the Lord had called us to. 

This past Sunday in church we sang the Kristin Getty song "What Grace is Mine?"  The chorus sings,

"So I will go where ever He is calling me.  
I lose my life to find my life in Him  
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies; 
I bow my heart, take up my cross and follow Him." 

Seven years ago, I would have sung this with gusto.  The missional thought of going where ever He called me, stirred in me a sense of purpose and joy as Eric and I boarded the plane with 8 small children in tow.  I was willing to lose my life, to give my all and to take up my cross as I served him in Uganda.

Last Sunday I sat in church in America, with 9 growing children in tow and our home in Uganda so very far away.  Our dream of serving Christ there for many years to come has died a painful, horrible death and the tears flow every day still.  The first time we sang the chorus through, this glorious missional song felt like sandpaper on the open wounds of my heart.

Then the Holy Spirit, the Great Helper, began to prod...

"Am I not the one that has sent you to this new place?"
     "But God, we don't want to be here and not like this!"

"But will you still go where ever I call you? Just like you did 7 years ago?"
     "But God, Uganda seemed to have a purpose, but here all I see is how we failed."

"Will you lose your life in this place because you want to find it in me?"
     "Lord, I was willing to give up so many comforts in Uganda...water, power, safety... but I don't want to lose my life in this way and in this place, it's too much Lord!"

"Are you willing to take up your cross and follow me?"
     "In this place and way, Lord? I don't see anything beautiful about it."

But deeper still The Great Helper searched me and tried me, "Well, actually God, if it is you that is doing the calling, then I am willing...a thousand times my answer will be yes...if only you will give me more of yourself.  If you really will fill me with more of you, I'll follow you here.  If I really will find myself in You, I'll lose my life in this painful way.  Lord, I went to Uganda in obedience to your call.  I will now come back from Uganda in obedience to your call.  If you want me here, then in truth, I don't want to be anywhere else.  Lord, it is a big, heavy, rough, burdensome cross that I never in million years wanted to carry.  I don't like how it feels. I wish it would be taken away.  But I'll do it for you."

"God, I believe.  But please, Lord, I beg you... help my unbelief."

Monday, June 17, 2019


God has blessed us in so many ways this past month!

The biggest gift we were so thankful to receive is our van.  For our first few weeks in the US, all we had was a minivan.  So anywhere we all wanted to go required two trips.  haha...it was quite a juggling feat!  An anonymous donor gifted us a 12 passenger van, that has a nice cargo space in back.  Redeemer OPC in Atlanta did all the leg work to find it and purchase it.  My dad and I went and picked it up last week. Whoever you are, thank you so so much...many tears of joy were spilled when I heard about this gift.

Another great blessing was getting a new puppy.  We had so much loss when we flew back from Uganda, including all our animals...dogs, cat, rabbits, chickens, Guinea fowl, and ducks.  This sweet one, who we named Louisa May, has been a soothing balm to our hearts.  She's a St. Dane...half St Benard and half Great Dane.  She's still a puppy, but oh so sweet.  She comes running with me in the morning and is pretty spoiled the rest of the day.  

 We also were treated to a day at a waterpark.  We had a great time! 

Timothy is now in Oregon for the summer/fall working at an organic dairy farm.  Before he left, he managed to finish his 40 hours of driving time and get his full permit.

The Lord blessed us with a few weeks for the chaos of our move to settle down and then he blessed us with a week of Vacation Bible School at our new church.  This, of course, is a very new experience...my kids were the ones who kept running barefoot and complaining about the air conditioning being too cold. haha!  The kids had a blast though...the three littles as participants and the older ones as helpers.  On the last evening, they had a feast for the kids.  They dressed up like royalty and had a grand time.  The greatest blessing of the week was that it gave my kids a chance to make some new friends.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Jesus Wept

This morning was rough.  As we sat at breakfast, silent except for tears, all of us were feeling the pain of the recent weeks.  The initial turmoil....the revelation of Satan's work, the unexpected packing, the rushed goodbyes, the 24 hours of travel, jet lag, the chaos upon landing, the joy and heartache of grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins visiting....has all ended.  Now we are in America.  Eric and I are legally separated.  And life just hurts.

This morning was communion at church.  At breakfast, I reminded the kids that as real as it is that we can taste and see the bread and juice, that's how real it is that Christ died for us on the cross.  And because we know that Christ died for us and we can trust him for our salvation, we know that we can also trust our future to Christ.  But this takes eyes of faith to see because we certainly don't "feel" it right now.

As I held the bread in my hand, I began to pray so earnestly that God would meet us in our pain.  Then Benaiah, who also held his bread while bent in prayer, leaned over and asked, "mama, did Jesus cry?"  The only answer I could give was a fervent yes with a hug, as my own tears spilled over.

Jesus wept.  He saw the damage, death, and decay that came with sin and he sobbed for it.  He knows our pain.  He knows betrayal.  He knows who the enemy is.  And he wept.

Christ gave us hope through the cross and the sacrament of communion drives that hope deep into our hearts.  As we sat together for lunch, somehow a wave of joy had peeked through again...a reflection of the grace of God to meet us in our pain this morning and fill our hearts with a peace that truly passes understanding.