Monday, July 26, 2010

Let Your Kingdom Come

We made it back home safely after 48 hours of traveling. It's so good to be home, although we miss those sweet faces! Thank you for your prayers and for following our blog.

While we were in Uganda, we came across this song called "Power of Your Name" by Lincoln Brewster. It truly expresses how we feel and what we saw. It is our continued prayer, "Lord, let Your kingdom come."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Day to Remember

On Monday, both of us were able to visit our sponsor children through World Vision. They are children that live with their families, but their families are very poor. Our monthly support helps them and their community by providing things like wells, English education, and AIDS awareness. The day started early by meeting the World Vision staff in Kampala. From there, they drove us about five hours southwest to the district of Rakai. We first visited Andrea's child, Peace, and her family. 
Having been to Africa before, I am used to the excitement that the village children have when a "mzungu"visits. However, I was completely overwhelmed at the response of Peace's family and friends. There were at least 15 children that greeted us by the truck. Then, they led us up the pathway to the hut they had so sweetly decorated. Later, the father told us that everyone had gathered for this special event and was so excited. But, because we were a little later than expected, they began to lose hope and thought maybe we weren't coming. He was thrilled when we finally arrived! 
We brought some gifts for our girls and their families. Here you see Peace enjoying some of the stickers I gave her. As part of the special event, classmates of Peace's sister came from school to sing us a few songs and share a poem. I am amazed at their innate rhythm and beautiful voices. 
I think I was most touched by their sacrificial giving. Nearing the end of our time together, Peace and her family went inside their humble house and came out presenting gifts to me! I was shocked! Here I was wanting to give to her family and they were blessing me! I could not believe their generosity - especially knowing they do not have much to give. I received handmade dolls and soccer balls, a basket, two floor mats, LOTS of fruit, and two live chickens!! It was more than I knew what to do with, but I knew I had to accept their gifts because they were given out of love. Not only that, but they were given with SO much joy! Not once did I feel like this was something they had to do. It reminded me of the story of the widow's mite and how she gave all she had. It challenged me in the way I give to my Lord. This was a day I will not soon forget. I will continue to keep in touch with Peace and her family through writing letters and praying for them.

After we spent time with Peace and her family, we went to visit Annah. Annah has been a sweet picture on my fridge as a reminder to pray for her. After this trip...the pictures of many memories will always be in my heart! We parked by the road and walked about a quarter mile to where Annah and her family live. As we got closer, you could hear a song Annah and her friends were singing, "We are very see you." I don't know if she understood how happy I was to see HER! 

Annah, her friends, and her family all congregated and we all talked to each other through our translator. I was so excited to give them the gifts I had brought! I don't think anyone was more excited than her brother, who was VERY excited to receive this soccer ball!!!
They also gave me fruit with a couple handmade things. This basket is something Annah and her family made for me. They were telling me how they made it! It's made out of the plastic that they buy flour out of. 
Sometimes it's very overwhelming to know of the many people around the world that are starving and are in need of food, water, and education. All around the world, there are so many that could use help. What I have realized this summer is that there is something we can all do to make a difference, however small it might seem to us. 

It reminds me of the story of the old man who walks by a young boy on the beach. The tide had just gone out leaving thousands of starfish on shore that would dry out and die before the tide ever came back in. The old man told the young boy, "Do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile. You can not possibly make a difference." The young boy bent down, picked up one starfish, threw it back into the water and then told the old man, "I made a difference to that one!"

The irony is that I might be the one that is sending monthly support, but I feel like Annah is making a bigger difference in me!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


On Saturday, we went to Jinja, which is the second largest city in Uganda. It is about 2 hours from where we are in Wakiso, Uganda. Once we got to town, we went about 3 miles north to see Bujagali Falls. The dirt roads are fairly hard to drive on, but when you are behind 2 semis, the sandstorm makes it even harder.
Bujagali Falls is beautiful! It's incredible to actually be right at the edge of the Nile River!!
In 2008, we rafted this part of the Nile River (below). While it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we enjoyed viewing the falls from the safety of the shore. After going to the falls, we went to some of the markets in town. We met Alice who taught us how they make paperbead necklaces. Here she is showing us how they roll the strips of paper around a needle to make the individual beads.Here is the final product!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Joyful Singing

Roger, this video is especially for you and your Sunday school class. Shillah, the girl you sponspor, is the one leading the line. What personality she has! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seeing the Kids in a Different Light

This week was the start of the third term at the Rafiki School. We were asked to fill in as teachers for the remainder of our time here. Andrea is teaching first, second, third, and fourth grade language arts.

In the morning, Jess is helping in the three-year-old, four-year-old, and kindergarten classes. In the afternoon, she is teaching several different P.E. classes. 

Since yesterday was Jess' birthday, we had a surprise party for her after dinner. Our new South African friend, Cricket, helped pull it all off. She is a full-time missionary here in Uganda.
For her birthday, one of the missionaries got her a unique Ugandan gift. It was handmade by one of the mamas. It is something they put on their head in order to stabilize whatever they are carrying. That means just about EVERYTHING; we have even seen Ugandan women carrying couches on their head!! So, next time you are moving, Jess is ready to give it a try!!

Monday, July 12, 2010


On Sunday, we had the privilege of going to a local Baptist church in Wakiso. The humble building tells nothing of the joy and worship found within it. From the moment we stepped foot inside, we felt welcome. Even more importantly, we truly felt the presence of God and knew we were among fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The music was incredible....rhythm is in their blood. The pastor spoke from Ruth chapter one and did an incredible job. 

Later Sunday afternoon, we went for a walk in the local village. Usually school is in session when we take this walk. However, because it was a Sunday, we were able to take some pictures of this private school. As we looked around, it was hard to believe that this was a private school. This school actually has nicer facilities than most government schools.

Thanks for your patience. The internet here has been very unpredictable. We are just thankful to have it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Some Highlights (in no particular order)....

  • Waking up to the sound of birds chirping and children singing praises to God  - Luke 19:39-40 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
  • Seeing God's beauty and creativity in a different land
  • Raised eyebrows as their way of saying "yes."
  • Watching their drama performances of the Miracles of Jesus.
  • When we try to speak Luganda and the Ugandans laugh at our attempt but very much appreciate it. 
  • Watching the kids slip and slide.
  • The laughter of children - I love the smiles and laugh they give from being shown some attention. It is a reminder to me that we are an extension of God's love to them. They are valuable in His sight and He adores them!
  • Walking in the village and being greeted by each person as we go by.
  • Teaching the kids new songs and hearing them sing the songs back to me during their play time.
  • The way the children smile with their eyes.
  • The boys stay up late listening to the World Cup and want to talk about it the next day.
  • Singing with the children.
  • It's quiet here. At church this past Sunday, the pastor talked about how all the noises in Uganda distract us from our relationship with God. I was amazed....if it is noisy here, what of our lives in the states?