Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan. 2010 (112 photos), by Mandy Shaarda

I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.
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What are we to do?

January 30

I don’t know what it is lately but I just can’t stop thinking. I feel like God is working in me. He has something for me. I am so troubled by sin, innocent children being hurt, and the need for Christians to do ministry. I can’t know it and ignore it. We have to do something. We have to do more as God’s people, His church.

I read about North Korea where people are dying of hunger. Parents are leaving their children in the streets to die because they can’t bare to watch them starve to death. I think about the babies I was told about in Kampala, Uganda that prostitutes give birth to in the dump and leave them to die. I read about all the dear girls sold as a sex slave – some the same age as my Lydia! I hear about Haiti. I think about the millions of kids around the world with no family to love them. I see the children around me who are hungry and have no father to protect them and care for them. I want to cry, “God have mercy!” How can you bear to see it any longer? It hurts just thinking about it. That’s when I know I am not God. He does have mercy that is why He is waiting. He wants all to come to know Him so they do not perish. I can just imagine our loving God with His arms filled with babies and children whom are now home with their Heavenly Father. I don’t understand it all. I never will. I do know I hate the sin in this world. It is ugly and hurts. Over and over I see that it is children who are hurt the most. I must trust in my Almighty God. He knows and knows best. He is here with us – with all who are hurting and suffer. He is our only hope and peace.

Thinking about all this I feel I am simply not doing enough. I am so self-centered. I spend my time exercising, preparing meals for people, keeping my home, shopping, home schooling, and caring for my family. These things aren’t wrong but it is all about it’s me, my time, in my control. Maybe I should be out of control a little more for Jesus. Maybe I should let the kids friends eat with us more instead of protecting family time, go to help the women at the hospital instead of exercising in the morning, or give until I have to sacrifice something instead of giving so I feel good. I am really searching to know what God is asking me to do? I want less of me and more of Him. I want others who are suffering to know His love. I want to reach the world in His name.

Then I think about Christ’s church, what are we doing? The suffering in this world is REAL. Whether we choose to ignore it (which we are very good at) or believe it we are still held accountable to do something. Too often we look around us and complain because we don’t have it as good as someone else. Why don’t we look around the world instead and see how we can help someone else? I really think that if every Christian really did their part we wouldn’t have all the hunger, all the dying, all the sickness, all the hurting. Wake up dear Christian! What is God calling YOU to do? How can you be Jesus in this world? Is God calling you to get on your knees and pray for North Korea, or to give to the ministries helping fight child slavery, or is He asking you to go and give His love to someone hurting today? Whatever it is DO SOMETHING! Together we can bring hope to this world and glory to God.

A New Baby

January 29

So much to write about lately. Today our watchman’s wife had a baby girl (okay second wife – and he is old enough this should be his grandbaby but we wont go there). I just returned from the hospital where I held their one hour old baby. They named her Mandy. She is just under 6lbs. So precious! Every time I see a newborn I am just amazed by the miracle. She was just in her mother now I am holding her – a perfect little human.

I also sat there thinking how do these women do it. John’s wife was lying on a mat on the floor (after JUST giving birth!) because all the beds were full. There were women everywhere – NO PRIVACY. One mother had made a “tent” around the bed trying to bath her daughter who just gave birth. Ladies can you even imagine?! There is no care unless your family comes to care for you. It is no wonder so many women die. There are no doctors around. And unlike our hospitals, churches, stores, school…there was no hand sanitizer to be found. I live here in Africa and these things still blow me away. Every time I am struck by it all. I would much rather give birth at home. I simply can’t imagine no shower after giving birth, no help, lying on the ground, strangers all around me… We have nothing to complain about, do we.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Message from Set Free Ministries

Dangers of Entertainment
Wake up people of God! Hear the clear warnings of our Lord.
"Have nothing to do with worthless deeds of darkness, rather expose them." Along with, "Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
How is it that Christians think it ok to watch the hit TV show Ghost Whisperer, Desperate Housewives, or the new hit Cougar Town? Some put their children to sleep by reading books like Twilight and Harry Potter and they think it's harmless entertainment.
Think again.
In the tech head world they call this "garbage in garbage out." These TV shows and books are filled with much evil that God hates and states so in scripture. So then why do we think it's ok to fantasize about such evil? Is this at no cost?
Think again.
Our SFM office is dealing with multiple cases of children ages 6-16 who are being spiritually oppressed because of compromise in entertainment choices in Christian homes.
Freedom comes from walking in truth. It's a straight and narrow path.

Dean Vander Mey

By Aubrie Benting
Meet Ally Boughton- a loving, energetic, and typical six-year-old girl. She's grown up in a Christian home her entire life along side her 3-year-old sister Hannah. Nothing traumatic has happened to Ally that would make her stand out from the crowd in anyway. She's just an ordinary girl; an ordinary girl who's fighting in an extraordinary battle.
"It all started about one year ago," Ally's mother, Jody, explains, "Ally's nightmares began to intensify to the point that she was afraid of going to bed." Things escalated quickly; pretty soon it wasn't only when Ally was asleep that the nightmares came. Lying fully awake, the hair on her arm would rise and the beating of her heart would quicken, as if on cue, sensing evil in the room. This happened night after night after night and it wasn't because she had "monsters under the bed."
"Witches come and stand in my room every night," a wide-eyed, trembling, Ally told her mother. Now where some parents would begin to doubt the validity of that statement, Jody knew full well that Ally was speaking the truth. Jody, herself, had many encounters with the spiritual realm, especially as a child, but even through her adult years. Back then she had brushed them off as a "head thing" and didn't do anything about it; but now it was about her daughter; there wasn't going to be anymore brushing it off. Ally moved into her parents bed, but the nightmares continued, the demonic beings still came, and her fear was mounting.
Jody began to do some research about spiritual warfare. She learned of Set Free Ministries through her parents and immediately contacted Dean Vander Mey. Dean took Jody through Spiritual Warfare 101 (Ephesians 6)- putting on the armor of God. After gearing up, Dean then went on to explain that, although unbeknownst to a majority of people, many things can play a crucial role in our spiritual lives. Things such as the music we listen to, the movies we have in our homes, the t.v shows we watch, and the books we read all greatly affect the spiritual realm around us.
Jody immediately took action. Everything remotely "grey" she tossed into the barrel of no return, from old c.d.'s to Bewitched reruns and Disney films containing wizardry and witchcraft. Every book which glamorized the dark realm was thrown out. In there empty place on the shelf, she put the living Word of God and surrounded herself with written Bible verses. Above all, Jody and her husband brought their daughter before the King of Kings through intense, focused prayer of protection. They were now fully engaged in spiritual warfare, with Jesus Christ as Commander and Chief.
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) Who stands a chance against Jesus, Son of God? No one! Immediately, the beings of darkness submitted to God's authority and left Ally alone, and they remained that way as long as Ally continued to "flee from evil" and seek protection through God's Word.
Ally moved back into her own bed, and enjoyed many nights of peaceful sleep. She was no longer afraid to turn off the light or watch her parents leave the room. Months went by of witch-less nights, until Jody made the mistake of allowing Ally to see the latest Disney film, The Princess and the Frog, without first viewing it for herself. Although the film looked harmless enough, crouching beneath the mask of princesses and charming frogs, was the dark message of witch doctors, curses, and evil powers, candy-coated to entice children. That very night, the witches returned to Ally's room, and remained for ten straight days.
Coincidental timing? I don't think so. Just a child's nightmare? Try again. I have been there; I once was the five-year-old screaming for help, as well as the twenty-year-old claiming the protection of Jesus. I know, personally, that this war is real, as does Ally, and countless others who have experienced encounters with the spiritual realm.
When I asked Jody what she would like to say to other people who find themselves in her situation, she replied, "Believe that it (Spiritual Battle) is happening. Get yourself on board and surround yourself with believers who can support you. Surround yourself with the Word and don't be afraid to tell your child what is happening."

Spiritual warfare is real- whether you see it or not, and whether you believe it or not. It is time for you to take your position seriously and protect your families from the evil in this world, whether it be from direct spiritual attack or from other masked methods that the Adversary uses to veer God's children off course. I will leave you with a command from the Most High God, that I think will greatly benefit all who adhere.
"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."
Ephesians 5:11

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A culture full of lies?

January 27

I am so sad and upset. It looks like one of our friends, who we love and trust, took money from us while we were gone. The whole thing is a mess and so disappointing. Josh was really upset that he forgot to put those two things in the safe while we were gone. He did have the draw locked but figured out you just have to take the drawer above it out to get to the locked draw. Yes, we should have but the fact still remains they did it. I just can’t believe it. Part of me tries to remember that I have no idea what it is like to be in great need and desperate. But it is still wrong, a sin committed. I trusted this person. I think I am really hurt. Has this ruined our friendship? How can we move on? There is a lot to figure out yet and then we have to deal with it all. They doesn’t know we know yet.

The good thing is I still love and appreciate this person. I am more mad at this culture. It is really true that you cannot trust anyone here! We have dealt with it since we moved here and people tell us over and over again that you can't trust people here. I am such a trusting person and it is getting really hard for me to live here. How can people, a culture, survive on lies and deceit? It is wrong! The worse part is that you can’t tell Christian from non in trusting people. Now that is sinful. How can the church ever grow or prosper when it is full of lies? How can we minister here when we can’t trust anyone? How can I live here, make friends, trust? It is so upsetting to me.

Then once again God speaks softly to me, “That’s how I feel. That is how I have been treated too.” Wow. Look at scripture. God’s Word begins with the fall. Adam and Eve lied to God and broke trust. God’s chosen people disobeyed and lied over and over again. In the New Testament they missed Jesus and lied to kill Him. Today we continue with messing up and rejecting the truth. We deceive ourselves, others, and try to deceive God all the time. Do we see lying as a sin anymore? God, I am sorry. Please bring us back to Your ways. As I mourn the sin of this culture may I remember You still love. We have sinned yet you still love us and want us. You have grace – mercy. Give me Your heart of love and mercy. As you teach me use me to teach others.

We feel a bit attacked since we came back. We have had to deal with three different issues in two weeks time. I am sure it is satan’s way of discouraging us and keeping us from doing ministry. It is okay, just means God is with us and has plans to use us. Keep praying for us. Thanks!

Now on to other news. Last night I answered Josh’s phone only to hear Magaji, a friend from Mahula the village in Nigeria where we use to be missionaries. He spoke Tsuva’di so it took me a minute to respond. I was so excited to hear his voice and speak to him. How cool that our friends in a little village in Nigeria can now call us. It just makes me smile.

Luka has been taking a lot of steps. It is such a fun age. I love his jabbering. He also gives kisses when you tell him you love him (wide open mouth kisses). He is even doing the motions to the girls Bible verses they learn at night. Can you believe what a one year old can do? We Skyped with my parents Sunday for the first time since we got back but Luka just couldn’t handle it. His lip started to quiver and he started to cry when he saw and heard his grandparents. He buried his head in my chest and just peeked every once and a while. I felt so bad. It was like he was saying, I know them but they left me now I see them but can’t get to them. He does love and miss you all – we all do.

The kids and I walked to Amecet today. It is a place I dread and love. I love the kids but find it so hard to handle the suffering. Today was no different. I am sure this sounds like the same old, but every time it is a new child with a similar story and they all grip me. It becomes personal when you hold the child who has suffered or is going back to suffering. I can’t just let it go as a story – it is real and I care. Today we saw a few new born babies whose mothers died in birth. Happens all the time and shouldn’t be in this day and age. There were twins whose mother left them at the police. People found the mother and beat her. The twins are supposed to go back to her sometime but they say the mother isn’t right in the head. The whole thing sounded sad to me as I held one of the twins. Maybe the mother is desperate because the father left or maybe she is disabled yet they beat her. Who is helping her? What a mess really. We also met Irene who is 5 ½ years old and so malnourished she looks like she is 3. And of course Julius, who is about Luka’s age and has been at Amecet for almost a year. He is so sweet yet there is no home or family for him. Then I look at my very healthy, happy kids and think that is how kids are suppose to be. I can’t believe how blessed we are. Yup, I love and appreciate Amecet but it is never easy on my heart.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Faith & Fear

Jan 23
I want to share what God has been teaching me through my Beth Moore Bible study on the fruits of the spirit called Living Beyond Yourself. I think it is important to share because I think it applies to more than me and can help others as it did me. The subject is faith and fear.

Fear is the arch emeny of faith. Satan takes advantage of our fear of disappointment, our fear that God might not “prove” Himself, and our fear of humiliation before others. Too often we are scared to believe God. Where great fear exists, no faith can survive. Where great faith lives, destructive fear cannot live.

We have nothing to fear. The powers of this world are nothing compared to the armies in heaven fighting on our behalf. Fear can cripple faith but just as true faith cripples fear. God’s Word is full of faithful promises we need to sling to and believe. Whether fear or faith prevails depends on the commander we salute to.

Faith sometimes means knowing God can, whether or not He does. Nothing is too big for God. Too often we fail to pray. Without God it is too big and we can’t do it. Christ, who can do it all, lives in us. So, have faith!

These words struck because of two things in mind. First, myself. I have had to deal with fear in my life. So easily my worry can become fear which can become panic. I can fear myself out of almost anything. I feel I should lead a Bible study then I get afraid. Will I have time, will I have time to prepare, who will watch the kids, what if no one comes, what if they don’t speak English, what if I don’t like it… Or we have to travel somewhere in Uganda. I could quickly let my mind wonder and worry about our safety and not want to go. Fear can paralyze. Or about my kids, plans, family, our support, health, safety…fears can be endless. I have learned to stop my fear by going to God. I need to put my focus on Him and believe His promises. Satan wants to stop me and knows how. Bind me in fear. But God is not a God of fear. I was reassured again that God wants me to have faith not fear. He wants me to believe in Him.

Second, it made me think of all Christians who have allowed fear to keep them from serving God. Every time we go to MI and speak we have people say they could never do what we do. I understand what they are saying yet I also want to say yes you can. Just like I had to trust in God and go you can too. Are we letting fear limit us – limit God? Recently, I have realized a lot of Christians (mostly family members) are holding back other Christians who want to be missionaries. Why because of fear. Fear of leaving, letting them go, not seeing grandchildren, not seeing grandparents, safety, health, the unknown, comforts taken away, not getting the support you need, our own well being taken away, too much need…the list goes on and on. And the reasons are all true. BUT where is God in all of that?! Is not your God bigger and able to do all things? He can keep you safe, be your peace when you leave loved ones, provide for all your needs, keep you healthy or heal you, make a way, give you peace… We need to remove the fear by having faith in our God. Satan is successfully stopping missions by putting fear in us. And we are believing it instead of God. I know this is a strong message but I really thing it is true. We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and put them on God. It is about Him and for Him. Don’t let fear lead you. By faith my fellow Christians, by faith.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update from Uganda

Jan. 21
We have now been home in Uganda over a week and I am happy to say we are all doing well. Thanks for praying everyone. Our kids are settling in really well. Lydia and Grace play with their four Ugandan friends almost every day (about 5 hours a day). I am thankful they have good friends we can trust and they enjoy so much. Even Luka enjoys being with them and watching them. The only complaint I have heard from them is that they are hot. Who can blame them for that it is hot! Luka is adjusting well too. He is so good. His hair is really curly all over the bottom again. He loves being outside playing in the sand. He also loves the girls little chairs. He climbed in and sits proudly and contently. He already is comfortable with Tabitha and the girl’s friends. Josh and I are playing catch-up mostly. Josh has been visiting the people here that he works with. I am almost done unpacking and putting away. What a job.

We gave Betty and friends their shoes for school yesterday. They just fit and I was worried they would be too big. Glad they fit. They seemed happy. Sometimes it is hard to tell with Ugandans. So many people at home were touched by Betty’s story and wanted to help. Well she now has a good pair of shoes for school.

I ran into market the other day to say hi to Mary the basket lady and Rukiya’s great grandmother. Rukiya died. Mary wasn’t caring for her but her grandmother was. Mary says she knew the grandmother wouldn’t car for her. Rukiya got sick with diarrhea and wasn’t taken into the clinic until it was too late. She died November 21. I was so sad. Poor innocent Rukiya suffered and died. It is so frustrating because it didn’t need to happen. We helped save a life only for her to die. It makes me so upset. It is really the result of sin. It all goes back to sin. The mother slept with a guy, the guy didn’t care for her or the baby and left for someone else, the mother is positive and dies, Rukiya is now HIV positive and sick, grandmother doesn’t care for her, and Rukiya who did nothing and had no choice died. This shouldn’t be and doesn’t have to be. If only people knew God and lived His way. Rukiya’s then would have been born into a Christian home with a father and mother who loved each other and her. There would be no sickness, no unwantedness, and no death. God’s heart must just break to see people over and over again go against His ways and cause so much pain and suffering. Some people blame God – He could have saved Rukiya and take suffering away – it is true. But it isn’t His fault it is ours. We choice to sin and suffer with the results. The devil loves it you know. His goal is to destroy us. God again You alone are the answer. You are the hope. You are the peace in a messed up world. You are the one we can trust in. Again, I come back to that is why we are here. We want to bring that hope, that peace, true life in Christ to those who aren’t living it and don’t know it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

We made it -- what a trip!

January 16, 2010

Wow, what a journey back! Where do I begin? Our last week home was filled with packing and doctors visits. Our girls both got sick with upper respitor infections. Lydia got it first on Monday by Tuesday afternoon she was crawling around because her legs hurt so bad. Wednesday when she still wasn’t walking and Grace was now sick we went back to the doctor to find out that Lydia’s virus went into her legs and Grace had Lydia’s infection. Oh my. Somehow we got everything packed (okay almost everything – you never get it all in or remember everything – it’s a year and a half to pack for!). I was thankful I was even relaxed enough to still enjoy our last week. But I never seem to be able to do everything I hoped to. We defiantly ate enough though! We were done with food by the end of our stay. (Now on the other hand, sitting in Uganda where I can’t get all of the treats in MI…) We managed to visit Lydia’s class and say goodbye to her teacher and friends. We are so proud of her. Her teacher told us she was the best student she has very had in Bible. She said she knows her stories very well and prays beautifully. Praise God her love for Him shows! We are thrilled. We also had a last get to gather with Josh’s siblings and my family. Makes me miss them all the more. I am so thankful for our time together.

Then Friday we were on our way to Chicago to spend our last night before flying out. We had a special lunch with my parents on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. What a view! We stayed at a hotel where Sliedrechts joined us (they were at IT in Elgin). The kids enjoyed the pool and I enjoyed everything. I soaked in all in…one last good meal (the Cheesecake Factory!), one last hot shower with good pressure, one last walk in the snow, one last time with family… We really are so blessed.

Saturday came and we made it to the airport only to find out our flight was canceled! Never had this happen before. To be honest I always wanted it to happen – Uganda will always be there but another day in the US with family is always a treat. We found out the flight was canceled because of snow in London and everything has been backed up since Wednesday. The best they could do for us was put us on another airline on Monday. They put us put in the Hilton at the airport and paid for two wonderful meals a day. Not bad! But it was hard too. We were all ready emotionally, we had only our airport clothes and carry-ons to live out of, and poor Josh had to move all of our luggage again. (We had 13 50lb pieces and by the time we got to our home in Soroti Josh moved them13 times! His poor back.)

So we went and settled into our new hotel (it was SO nice) and that our weekend continued to go wrong. We went to IKEA with my parents because that was their plan before our plans to fly changed. Right when we pulled into the packing lot we got a flat tire. We called someone to come while we went in to shop (I couldn’t buy anything my bags were full!). Two hours later the tire was still not fixed. We ended up taking a taxi back to the hotel – for $40! While my dad stayed to wait for someone else to be sent to fix the tire. Back at the hotel we swam and had a very late dinner. My dad finally arrived at 9:30pm four hours after this whole ordeal started and the tire still wasn’t fixed and he had to take another expensive cab. The next day we found out Moses Sliedrecht, my nephew, was in the hospital. He caught my kids bug and couldn’t breath because of croup. Man, what else? I had to ask.

Monday morning the day of our flight Luka woke up with 104degree fever, cough, and was quite lethargic. It was like panic mode all morning. I called my mom who called Luka’s doctor. We counted his breaths because he seemed to be breathing fast. Then called the doctor the hotel told us about. That doctor told us to bring Luka to the hospital for a chest x-ray and to be put on oxygen. What?! Lord, help us. Josh tried to call the airlines to explain while I went down to talk to the hotel and get the girls breakfast. Someone told me there was a doctor in terminal 2 which the hotel in connected to so I went up and told Josh I was taking Luka there. I didn’t realize the clinic would be through the security thankfully God had me see and talk to the man in charge and he help walk me through security. The doctor said Luka had the upper respitory infection too, his breathing we still in the normal range, his throat was red but not strep. He was okay to fly. Thank you God for being with Luka!

Now it was panic to get ready to fly but we got it all together in time. (Just missed out on enjoying one last morning.) We were really worried because the day before the airlines told us no carry-ons because of security. I was so upset. How can you travel with three kids and no carry-ons? Another thankfully, we were able to take all of our carry-ons. Changing airlines did cost us more for baggage and we may not get our miles. What could we do? Flying did go very well. Our kids do great. It is a LONG ways though. We got to Amsterdam after about a 4 hour night sleep on the plane. We found a nice baby lounge though were each family has it’s only curtained off room with a crib and chairs. That was nice. Two hours later we were back on another airplane (which they had to de-ice because of the snow there too). We landed in Uganda at 9pm Tuesday night. Unfortunately, four of our bags did not arrive and one of them was the one packed for the first couple nights. We were now without all toiletries and extra clothes. By the time we file our report for the luggage, packed the van, and drove to our guesthouse it was 12am. My eyes hurt, I didn’t feel well, and all I wanted was a bed. However, Luka didn’t. Thankfully Josh took him while the girls slept with me.

The next day I felt rotten all day. All I wanted to do is sleep (or go back to MI J). The kids did really well. They are so much better than me sometimes. Luka still had a fever but was doing well. I was very thankful for a couple missionary friends that called to welcome us back and one of them that had us for supper at night.

We all got a good 10 hour sleep and felt a lot better the next day. And our luggage arrived! Josh had to back to the airport to get it though (2 hour dive there and back). We finally got on the road to Soroti in the afternoon and arrived home at 6:30pm. When we told the girls we were in Soroti Lydia screamed and said she was so excited she just had to. I am so glad she is so happy to be back.

Our house was all in tack and even clean – how nice. Our friends brought over a meal for that night, cinnamon rolls for the next morning, and another meal. How kind! The girls were thrilled to play with all their toys again. Luka looked a little lost. We keep traveling and he wakes up in yet another place. He likes to be held a lot and loves being outside. Praise God his fever is even gone!

So we made it. We are finally home after a long journey. Thank you for all your prayers! What a blessing it was for us to know people were praying as we were delayed, Luka was sick, our luggage didn’t come… Now we are slowly settling in. It takes a lot of time to adjust back and unpack. The girls are already playing with their friends again. We went for groceries and were welcomed back by our Indian friends. And our workers and friends were thankful to have us back. It is good to have friends here.

I have a lot of thoughts and emotions after our trip home and coming back to Uganda. (Of course I do – I am Mandy you know.) I continue to be struck by the two different worlds we call home. It is hard. Coming back I realize what a blessing our time in MI was and how nice everything really is there – so nice! I realize how hard mission life is coming back and forth and leaving our families and our comforts. It is a sacrifice. Sacrifices hurt. I realize how much I love when I am in my culture and know and understand everything. It is so hard here when what is totally wrong to me is just right for them. I just want to scream with frustration. I realize how lonely it can to here and how few things there are to do. I am so troubled by the sins here and especially the ones in the church. Ok, I am troubled about that in MI too. Yet, I am thankful for our home here and our special family time and routine. I am not distracted here like in MI. My priorities are right here. I keep God first and my family. No TV, no shopping, no sports, no materialism to swallow me up like it could in the US. I struggle with how to express all I feel and we go through. It is hard to understand unless you have done it. Oh well, I know God knows. And I know He is still my reason we are here and we do this all. He is enough.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quick Prayer Request

Satan always knows when to attack doesn't he? Please pray for Lydia. She is sick with an upper respitory infection and possible strep throat. Bummer. I guess better now than on the plane. Pray that she gets better and that everyone else stays healthy. (Grace has been complaining so hopefully she doesn't get sick.)
It was a hard weekend saying goodbye to Josh's family already. So painful to seperate grandkids from their grandparents. But God's comforting voice keeps reassuring us that it is worth it all. He is worth it! We are so thankful for families that love us and give us their full support even through this hard time.
I got six boxes packed today! Thanks to my sister and my mom who took Lydia to the doctor for us. I am touched by everyones willingness to help us. It means a lot to us.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goodbye - again

Here we are again preparing to return to Uganda. This week will be filled with packing, last minutes, and saying goodbye - ahh, the stress. Please pray for us. As much as we know God wants us in Uganda it is still hard. We would rather skip forward a few weeks and just be adjusted back. Pray the packing goes well, our kids do okay with everything, we are all healthy, saying goodbye goes smoothly, we are safe as we fly, adjusting back goes well... Thank you for your prayers!