Sunday, November 20, 2022

In All Things Give Thanks

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Even though we are not in America, I still love holiday traditions.  Our traditions in Uganda look a little different but they are still special and important to us.  I am learning how important and powerful being thankful in all things is.  No matter our circumstances I can praise the Lord.  Hard but life changing.  So here are a few of the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving...

Definitely on the top of the list is my husband Josh!
We have been through everything together and I am thankful to say it has only united us more. 

My kids and our homeschool!
I am thankful for every day I get to be with my children.  They teach me so much.


My time with the Lord.
I love God's Word and the Truth that gives me hope!

The joy of a good dark roast coffee. :)
My cup of coffee is usually shared with my devotions or an afternoon ice coffee with my daughter Grace.
Thankful for our church, UCFM.
Last week the leaders brought us together to have a day of thanksgiving for the ministry we do here.  Now that is impressive and touching to be thanked and appreciated!  I am thankful it isn't all about us but the partnership with have with the church.  I am thankful it is like my family here.
Thankful my kids are involved in church too.
Freedom in Christ Uganda!
So thankful to partner with these teachers to disciple God's children.

I am thankful for Josh's gift of preaching and teaching.
He is my favorite because I learn the most from him.

Thankful for people coming to salvation in Jesus Christ!
Josh had the privilege of leading this Muslim family to Christ, but it was through the work and friendship of Pastor Martin who shared Jesus with them.

I thank God for our home!
It is a place of peace, fun, ministry, memories, faith, joy, rest, love, security, safety, acceptance...


I am thankful for friendships my children have here.
I love that my kids feel at home here.


The games and fun they have together.


This young girl reminds me that I can be thankful in all things. 
She is always smiling even with a bar attached to her bone (long story I hope to share on another post).
I am so thankful for health and safety!!!


I am thankful for the simple life here.
Playing games together each night, reading to Makai, meals together, my fun-loving kids, making cards in school, rain and harvest, a peaceful village to live in...



I am thankful for good Indian food :)
Thankful for the holidays and making things fun and being creative!



Our families 2022 Thanksgiving list.  In ALL things give thanks to God!


So here is where your picture comes because I am thankful for you too!  I could add SO many pictures, people and things!!!  This post is simply a small glimps of all I have to be thankful for.  Thank you to our parents, family, friends and supporters for your part in my life!  Thank you for your love and prayers.   Most of all I thank God for who He is and all He has done!







Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Believe it or Not

 In light of my last blog on the burial and the witchcraft involved, I thought I would show you this.  The kids in our village had this advertisement.  We laugh at it but this is what some people believe - and pay for!  Unbelievable.  Sad and definitely based in fear - all fingerprints of the evil one.  Oh Lord, use us to bring Your Truth and set people free! 


Thursday, November 3, 2022

Burials



There seems to be a lot of burials here.  It feels each week  or so someone dies and there is another burial.  Maybe it is because everyone is related to everyone and as a relative you are expected to come.  Burials are a big ordeal too.  A couple days or more depending how close of a relative you are, mourning, visiting, service and burial, hundreds of people, feeding, meetings, money...  Nothing easy about it, but never hear people complain.  

The clan we live among has now had two nieces and an auntie die since we came back in July.  Their aunt was over a 100 they say.  The one niece, Rose, was a young mother with 9 children, one still a baby.  Rose died of cancer it seems.  She was suffering with pain, open sores, and at the end couldn't breath.  It was very sad.  I am very thankful her husband was very present and showed a lot of love for his dying wife.  Unfortunately, they are told she was witched (cursed) and that is why she died.  So now they blame neighbors.  They are a Christian family so we pray they do not let their minds be troubled by this but believe in Truth that will keep them free.  Their 9 children are now divided among the relatives to care for.  Two of the children now live in our village.  And life moves on...

This week another niece, Brenda, died a very tragic death.  She was fine then in the evening got sick and died by night.  She has 5 children.  The oldest girls has lived in our village with her uncle for years now.  She came because of her father's abuse and witchcraft he was involved in.  Now it seems the mother died from possible poison.  (Yes, sadly it happens here.)  The husband has continued in witchcraft and has been says he was going to do something.  Brenda came to our village to get away the last few months.  Relatives tried to meet with the husband who has gone basically mad from evil.  He was then heard saying he had to sacrifice his daughter or wife to get rich (that is witchcraft).  So things line up to look like the husband killed his wife.  I am telling you it is evil.  You can't believe these things happen.  This is one reason I hate that the western world entertains themselves with these things on tv, hollaween and movies.  Yuck, wrong, real...

We went to the burial and we had been warned the family had peace because they are Christians but the clan was mad and wanted to kill the husband if he showed up to the burial.  Well he did show up and you could feel the tension.  Thankfully the family was wise and had the police aware of the situation and police were sent to the burial to keep peace.  Still everyone was watching, murmuring, and gangs of young boys and old men were saying once she is buried we will get him.  I had never seen this before.  But I knew from stories that they were serious and mob justice could  literally happen.  Actually, Josh and the FIC teachers teach people every week in prison for such a thing.  I prayed before we went to the burial, at the burial and continue to pray.  I was thankful our church people were there being the presence and peace of Jesus. 

I feel for the five children.  Sin is so ugly and hurts so many people.  I was glad I could go to the burial to be with Whinnie the oldest child who lives in our village (in our church and was in our youth group).  She goes to High School in the South West so it was a about 13 hour bus ride one way to come home for the burial.  The children were already living with other relatives because of their father's behavior.  But now their mother is gone too.     


So my prayer has been that God would change the husband's heart of evil and turn it to Jesus.  A Saul to Paul.  Something only God can do and get the glory for!  Something that seems so impossible that it will bring a testimony to everyone else.  God turn what was done in evil to good!  Today I got good news.  I was told that the family heard that the husband wants to give his life to Christ.  He is tired of his life and where it is heading.  He wants the Christians to come and get rid of all his witchcraft.  Oh God, I pray this is true and he repents and gives his life to You!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Hi From Uganda


I just have to try to share our road with you.  We live about 8 miles from the edge of town and it takes about 20 or so minutes to get there.  Every week the road gets worse.  These pictures are from weeks ago so the pot holes and washouts have only gotten more and bigger.  It deters me from going anywhere!  The wear and tear on our van let alone bodies and minds is too much.



And then we share the bad road with trucks, motorcycles, people, animals and bikes...


But we still go to town to get out and get supplies...  A few weeks ago the kids and I went to the "Soroti Fair".  We tried to have fun but it was hot, the workers come right for you wanting your business and of course Makai wanted to give to them, and there wasn't too much there this time.  We made the most of it though.  Makai road in a car, jumped on a bouncy house, and went into the zoo.  The zoo is 75 cents to get into.  It only has a few animals; crocodile, monkeys, ostrich, monitor lizard, camel, and snakes.  Quite terrifying actually when the worker taunts the cobra and it opens it's hood and has the mamba crawl on the top of the cage!  Get me out of here!!!

Luka trying to win money or soda.

The cotton candy for like 25 cents was a nice treat!

I just can't believe some things here.  This dangerous chemical jug is what the restaurant uses to wash hands!  What?!

Makai is really picking up on the language here and calls motorcycles "piki piki".  He even loaded his piki piki with wood.

We have so much fun with our kids and I am enjoying every moment I get all together!
We went to Jinja so Grace could get more medical help for her hip, to go to the dentist, and get away to beautiful place with good food.  We called it our fall break.


I think this is the tallest pine tree in Uganda!

These were at the guesthouse where we stayed.  I love them!  No one can tell me a name or what they are.  What I learned is they are found in the sand by the water.  They feel and look like glass which makes sense because glass is made with sand, right?


Instead of enjoying fall colors we are enjoying tropical temps, swimming and colorful flowers. 

Lake Victoria - the source of the Nile.






 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Fixing Up


This is the wood from our porch eaten by termites while we were gone.
On top of the termites the screens were rusted through and falling off.  All this lead to home improvements around here.
What a mess!


Thankful it turned out!



Then we moved onto a small basketball court.  Luka has been begging for one, so for his 13th birthday we gave him a gift certificate for one.  Luka had been playing on our water tower but it was only about 6ft high and since he has grown it wasn't much of a challenge anymore.  Now he can really play basketball!



What a learning process.  Making the court, finding parts and having the welder make the basketball hoop, putting it in right...  It was a test in patience.

But we made it!  This was Luka's first shot on the new court!


These are some of the termites that do so much damage around here!  They build their castles on anything.  You can literally leave wood or paper on the ground over night and the one side will be all eaten by the next day.  Plant a tree and they will sharpen the bottom like a pencil.  Can we get a good Michigan freeze please!!!

The termites ate the legs off this cupboard so we went with brick this time.

I also found some home improvements inside the house.  I love being creative!
I put black material on what was our green chair. 

Make some new pillow covers.

Grace made me these paintings


And Josh helped me make and put up new curtain holders in our house.
The kids think I am changing a lot of things.  I told them it will be 9 years ago in December we moved in, so it is time to improve a few things around here. (: