Saturday, May 12, 2018

I love God's Church

A couple weeks ago we were invited to come to another church in another village a few miles from our house.  There were actually three churches joined together that day to celebrate the roofing of the church.  It was a celebration!  I loved their music with all the local instruments!  It is so beautiful.  Thumb pianos are my favorite.  We were impressed that even with the kids choir the children played the instruments.  I just love the expressive joyful worship here.  The people walked to church in the rain and mud, they live in poverty, most were sitting on the dirt floor in the church...yet they praised the Lord!  I continue to learn circumstances shouldn't dictate my worship, joy and praise.  No one is looking at their watches or wondering what time it is.  The Spirit leads.

They made us feel like honored guests which can be hard to handle, but they truly want to welcome their guests.  We were touched by their appreciation and hospitality.  We were even showed with gifts as we left.  It is humbling.  They give generously out of their little.  I continue to be challenged by their true offerings which are a sacrifice.

It can be difficult to go to new places where people are not as use to us and our kids can be overwhelmed with stares and touches.  Our kids broke through that when they sang in Ateso and Josh introduced and prayed all in Ateso.  They loved it and felt we are one of them.  Our kids helped with hand washing and meal and after we ate played games with the kids.  Everyone was so impressed.

Josh preached and the pastors of the denomination who were also visiting saw that Josh has the gift of teaching.  They said their people need to know the truth he brought.  I am so excited to see what doors God is opening to disciple others.

I love God's church!





Our gifts!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Welcomed Guests

We were happy to have my Uncle Dave and Aunt Sue (actually my mom's Aunt and Uncle) come and be part of our lives and ministry in Obule!  Aunt Sue visited Uganda five years ago so we were glad to have her back and share Obule with her.  This is our day in Soroti where we went out for local food and to the market.

We visited Christ the Answer Primary School





Town market



A couple friends had our guests over for a meal
Dad and Dave got papyrus for me

Village market.  Sharpening our tools.

Aunt Sue loves to sew so we had fun looking at material.

We cause quite a crowd at market.
Worship


Walking back from church.

Uncle Dave is interested in woodworking so we brought him to meet the carpenter we use.
Dave was impressed with all he could do with his simple workshop and tools.

We visited Adiama a blind man who received an orange orchard about 8 years ago.

Adiama was so glad we visited and of course blessed us with oranges.

Our week together went too quick but we have to share with my sister too (in Uganda). 
On their way out we stopped by Sipi Falls.  It was beautiful as always.


Can you see all three falls?


One last bonus picture of a beautiful Obule sunset - God's artwork!
Thank you for coming Uncle Dave and Aunt Sue!  You came as learners.  You asked great questions, you were flexible, you engaged with people, you wanted to experience our real lives and the ministry, you tried new things...Your heart for the Lord and love for His kingdom was evident.  Thank you for being a part of the prison ministry, encouraging Josh in his teaching, and loving our family.  The kids loved that you visited their friends with them and played games with them.  Thank you for blessing us by your visit.  We love you.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Retreat

Welcome to Mombasa!



We were able to attend the Resonate Global Missions retreat in Mombasa, Kenya (we are partners).
We enjoying getting to meet new people and see old friends.

Shaardas and Ribbens together again (began mission work in Nigeria together and reunited last year in South Africa where they serve now).


After the retreat we had a two day family vacation.
Mombasa is interesting.  Every time you go on the beach people try to sell you something - boat rides, camel rides, crafts, clothes...  I definitely prefer to be left alone but usually if you say no they leave you alone.  I don't like being rude but...  I know everyone needs to make money.  It just isn't always relaxing to always finding the balance between kind and firm.  I did try to be intentional about sharing my faith through these interactions.  I hope I was an encouragement to the Christians I met and a witness to those not yet in Christ.   

Mombasa is unique.  The tide is extreme (depending on the moon) and when the tide is out and the water is very shallow you can walk out and see sea creature that remain behind.  The water is so warm it is almost hot at times.  It is an adventure seeing what you can find.  And yes, we are nervous and careful where you step.  "Guides" walk with you out there to navigate you around and show you creatures.  Hoping for a nice tip of course.



Grace and a sea cucumber and our guide


One afternoon we went to Fort Jesus in Old Mombasa.
We loved it.  History is amazing and it was a great home school adventure. 
The fort was built in the 15th century by the Portuguese.  






Baby Humpback whale bones - not sure why they were at the fort other than the dead whale washed up on shore near there - but they are awesome!

We walked through Old Town with our guide from the fort and loved seeing all the architecture, cultures, and history.  We saw the first pool, hotel and post office in Kenya.  Where the queen stayed and still normal everyday life there.  It was interesting.  



Swimming in the Indian Ocean


Walk on the beach...


TRYING not to get sunburn but it was hard with our white skin and intense sun.
We had to reapply sunscreen three times a day with all the swimming.


We had the privilege of going snorkeling as a family in Mombasa.  It was the kids first time and they LOVED it.  We all did!  We snorkeled in the coral gardens by the reef.  It was amazing!  I felt like I was in an aquarium.  There were all different corals, colors, and fish of every size and shape.  We all praised God as we watched His creative creation!  We saw stingray, starfish, tiny to big fish, a school of hundreds of fish...it was awesome.  We were so thankful to see another part of God's creation.






We all loved snorkeling so much we actually did it again!  What a treat!  The second time we went out further by the reef and then snorkeled in to the coral gardens.  I loved seeing even more variety.  The captain snorkeling with us showed the kids many things and stayed with them while Josh and I had a snorkeling date.  Holding hands and snorkeling - how fun!  Lydia and Josh enjoyed taking off their life jackets and driving down for a closer look.  I tried but just took in too much salt water when I got hit with a wave.


We had wonderful and beautiful meals at the hotel.  The servers were so nice and knew our kids by name.  One of the waitresses saw Luka pray before his meal and she came and thanked him.  We enjoyed getting to know some of them and encourage them in their faith.

At night we liked to walk on the beach and find sand crabs.
Luka learned how to case them so they ran by his sisters and made them run and scream.

Luka loved the entertainment each night at the hotel.

Thankful for a great trip...