Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just Life

Oct. 25
I don’t have much to write but it has been awhile. We only have two weeks before we leave and it looks like it will be busy. This week we have five people from Set Free Ministries in Grand Rapids are coming to do a conference. We look forward to having them and to see God work through this conference.

Luka has just popped through his second tooth. He is now standing up everywhere and all the time. He loves standing! He pulls himself up and gets into anything he can. Josh walked past the bathroom the other day to see Luka standing in there by the stool (thankfully it was blocking the way to the toilet). I found him in our pantry he turned around and smiled at me with onion skin coming out his mouth. The girls are learning quickly that high places are no longer high enough. They do not enjoy their baby bothers new ability and curiosity. Everyone who sees him crawl are amazed at how quick he is. It is a busy time with Luka. He loves to be held and chases you around the house till you pick him up. Or he loves to get into things. We really have to watch him right now. I still wonder what he will be like on the plane – or at Grandma’s house. Watch out Grandma here Luka comes!

The girls continue to ask about going to Michigan. They must think it is never coming. Lydia only has 8 more days of school. I am starting to get emotional about it all. It has been a special year. Hard to believe Karen wont be here when we come back. She is such a part of our lives. I will miss hearing them do school each morning in the classroom. What a blessing it has been! I have to trust God will provide another wonderful teacher for our children. Grace and I were taking a walk the other day and she fell down. She stood up and said, “I am falling apart today!” She has been faithfully praying for people who are sick or lost. She prays for David, Avalien, and Claudia. I love the faith children have.

You remember David? The teenage boy who was a former LRA solider that Josh met with several times? Well seems the story is all messed up and David is a great con artist. The whole thing is disappointing. From what we know he is a street kid from Kampala, was in jail, stole a lot, has a girlfriend with a new baby, and who knows what else. The fact is he still needs a lot of help. He is not living for Jesus. Our pastor friend who took him in went through a lot. Finally, we handed David back to probation where he came from and now he is suppose to be at a government rehabilitation camp for street kids. I don’t know what will happen. All I know is that we were faithful to God and did our best. I have no regrets. David heard the gospel and knows the truth. We will continue to pray for him. God can still work in his life.

We have also been really praying for Angie and Tim as they wait to know if they are pregnant (they are adopting by Frozen Embryo). What a lot of emotions. It has been a long, hard two weeks. God has even taught me through. As I have been praying and doing my Bible study it was as though God was teaching me to wait in Him. He was telling me to hope in Him and know peace. We can always trust in Him. He is so near to us, so powerful, and listens to all our prayers. What a loving God we serve! I can’t wait to hear the news Monday because I know God is at work.

We went with our Indian friends to their New Year celebration. It was just fireworks but I am always thankful for time we can spend with them. They opened a second grocery store this week in Soroti (because their first store is so busy and doing so well). It is a really nice store. They had some kind of offering setting out to their god. I am sure it is to ask for blessing over the new store. It is our prayer someday they know true blessing from the true God.

Other than that we have been doing the normal – visiting, women’s Bible study, team meetings, looking into housing for new team mate, teaching, fixing our fence, celebrating birthdays, battling colds, and preparing for our time away. We are doing well and are so thankful. God is good isn’t He!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

4 years old!

Oct. 14

Grace is now 4 years old! Saturday we began the celebration. We put up decorations, went for supper, and had a party for her. Our team and friends came over to celebrate. We had cake, homemade ice cream, and of course gifts. Grace is totally different than Lydia. Lydia tells everyone it is her birthday and loves the attention. Grace does enjoy it all but doesn’t need all the attention.

Sunday, October 11, was Grace’s actual birthday. She did tell our church it was her birthday and they sang to her as she smiled behind Josh’s leg. We had a birthday lunch and in the afternoon the girls friends, Betty, Spe, and Abela, came over for birthday bingo. They loved it. We had fun celebrating Grace. I hope she felt special and knows she is loved. Every year goes by so fast. What great memories. Grace is a gift from God to us. She keeps us laughing. Her giggles, smiles, and songs fill our home. She loves to color and write her name on her art work. She is strong too (aka strong willed). Her voice is often heard in our home and her second name. Oh well, God can use that too. I am still amazed at the Bible verses she can learn. Last night she said 2 Timothy 3:16-17. It is beautiful! I pray God fills Graces forth year with many blessings. I pray she continues to grow in Him and accept Him as Lord. May He be with her and use her all the days of her life.

We also celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday. Since more than half of our team is from Canada we should have a party for them. It didn’t start out so good. Josh got home from teaching, we packed the van with pumpkin pies, vegetable, lemonade, decorations, and kids, and were on our way to the party…almost. I locked the padlock to the house not knowing the keys to the house and van were in the house. Oh man! We went around to all the windows, doors, attic looking for a way in but there was nothing. The good thing is we feel safe in our home, the bad thing is our keys were still safely in the locked house. We didn’t know what to do. We really didn’t want to break something to get in seeing as how we are still fixing up the house and didn’t need anymore things to fix. We called over to Karen and asked her to send over Tim’s hack saw. With in minutes the padlock was sawed open and we were in. Yeah! Thankfully, the ordeal only cost us $4 for a new padlock. We even got to the party on time and enjoyed a wonderful turkey dinner. After supper we had a time of worship around the campfire. What a lot to be thankful for!

Last week we visited our watchman, John, home in the village. I was surprised to learn that he bikes 1 ½ to 2 hours one way every day to get to our house. Wow! I was humbled. He really wants a job or really needs it to provide for his family. Would we even think of biking to work let alone 2 hours one way? I have never heard him complain about it either. I get such mixed emotions visiting the village again. It is so quiet, has all the familiar smells from Nigeria, and I wonder if it isn’t these people who seem to have no one that need us the most. But I am just not made for the village. By the time we left I was sick of the mud, bugs, and so thankful for our home. What a wimp, I know. It is good for me to get out. I am glad we were able to see John’s home and meet his family. I know appreciate it.

The kids are doing well. Grace talked to her grandparents on her birthday and even saw some of them on skype. Now they are really anxious to go to MI. Almost every morning Grace asked if we are going to MI today. Luka’s nail is falling off because of a screen door accident. Grace pushed it over his finger, ouch! He is also starting to talk like he is really telling us something. He uses his little hand as he talks. I love it! Lydia is plugging away at school. Hard to believe we less than four more weeks with Karen teaching. It has been a true blessing. Today Lydia had three tests and didn’t get any wrong! She is really reading – whole books.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kampala, toothless, and sick again

October 4, 2009

Wow, fall time. It is rainy here at night but still gets into the 90’s everyday so not too much like fall. I did however put up my fall decorations. I love fall time! Five weeks from tomorrow we will be on our way to Kampala to start our journey home (MI home that is). That makes it an exciting time around here. The girls can’t wait!

We had a wonderful break in Kampala last week. We stayed at our favorite hotel one night. I just sat back, looked around, and felt so thankful. I love watching my kids play in the pool and playing with them. I enjoy seeing their excitement as they rode the horses. I love nice places where we can totally relax. We had so much fun as a family. Of course I loved the food – no making it, no clean up, no planning – just enjoying. Yummy! I am so blessed to have a husband who loves his family and sees the value in special family time even when it cost a little extra money. I am so thankful to God. He always provides just what we need.

The big news from Lydia is that she lost her first tooth. She was (is) so excited! She woke us up Friday morning to tell us her tooth was loose. All day long she wiggled it. By afternoon the tooth came out at the pool. She looks so cute. The funny thing is she dropped it and we could not find it. The next day at the pool we found it again. Then the next day she lost it again – for good. Thankfully she didn’t seem to mind. She is too excited trying to get another tooth loose. So now we have one child loosing teeth and one child getting teeth.

Luka learned to clap. He thinks he is pretty special when we all cheer because he claps. He really likes to be held lately. Josh has said more than once how we need a grandma around.

Our first day back from Kampala Grace had a fever. I couldn’t believe it. How can we have another sick child? By afternoon her fever got up to 104degrees! I almost panicked. She didn’t have any other symptoms other than a cold and her stomach hurt. We gave her a bath and waited for the medicine to kick in. And we called our team and family to pray for her. Grace is a very good girl when she is sick. We prayed over her that night and I just knew God was going to heal her. Sure enough by morning she had no fever! I give all the credit to God. You do not go from 104 fever to nothing. God heard and answered our prayers! He loves us so much. I love Him so much. I am so grateful He is the one who created my children, knows them, and takes care of them. I am not sure why we have had so much sickness the last month. Maybe we are being attacked to bring discouragement? Whatever the reason I am so glad God is always with us.

We also took Tabitha, our house help and friend, to the doctor in Kampala. About a year and a half ago we took her and they said she had PID (Pelvic Inflammation Disease) but nothing has changed so we went to another place for a second option. Anything medical here seems to be frustrating. It takes a lot of time and money – and we still don’t have answers. They said she has a UTI, a cyst, and probably scar tissue from a surgery. We are supposed to go back in a couple months for a repeat ultra sound and they gave her more medicine. Now the medication is finished and she was so sick again yesterday she couldn’t work. Nothing has changed. I feel like the doctors we see don’t get how sick she is and don’t test enough. I don’t know what to do. I just want to give up, but if I were her would I want to live in pain? What to do?

That is the update for now. We are doing really well. Looking forward to Grace’s 4th birthday a week from today! (Actually, Mom is having a hard time seeing them grow up so fast.) I will write again as soon as I get a minute or have something to write about. Love you all and am grateful for each prayer.