Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our bags are unpacked!

July 3, 2010

I feel terrible I haven’t written till now, though most of you wont be reading it right now because it is forth of July weekend. We are officially all unpacked in settled in.

Leaving went really well all in all. Grace, who was so excited to go back to Uganda, just cried and cried. Luka and Grandpa Beute had some precious moments together looking at airplanes before we took off – oh, special memories. We made it all the way back to our home in Soroti 48 hours later (we did have a 12 hour layover in London). We were welcomed by our team – how nice to have friends to come home to.

The two days later the group from Calvin Christian High School arrived. Thankfully, they are a great, easy group to have. It was really special for us to have a friend from home come on the team. What a joy to share our lives and ministry with them. We introduced them to the blind leaders at SACB, visited one of the blinds orange orchards, saw the blind school and played goal ball against them, toured the Hindu temple, did a little children’s ministry, heard stories from the LRA, church…and that was all in three days! It was an answer to prayer to see God work in the hearts of some of the teens. This year the bind school really touched them. All the need and how good we have it in the States can be overwhelming. But a good overwhelming. The Holy Spirit needs to open our eyes and hearts to the need and God’s love for the least of these.

The last night we had a hot dog roast at our home with everyone. We spent time thanking them for coming and encouraged them as they now would be going home. To our surprise they blessed us with letting us know how God used us in those few days. Everyday I pray that God uses me/us and that He is seen. I was so excited to hear that He is! What struck me is that they even commented on our marriage something we did not aim to do. It just shows that God is seen when your marriage is centered in Him. I was so humbled by it all. Later Josh and I talked about it and the only sad thing is that we should be no different than any other Christian. I am so glad they saw our love and commitment to Christ, but shouldn’t every Christian be like that? I pray these high schoolers grow up to be passionate Christians in love with their Savior.

I have to tell you a story about Lydia. One of CRWRC Ugandan workers also helped with the Calvin team. One day Lydia asked her if she was Ugandan. She said yes. Then she asked Lydia are you Ugandan? Lydia yes I am. How cute. I agree Lydia you are partly Ugandan. When we were in Michigan Lydia was at a friends house and the mother asked Lydia if she was born in Nigeria. Lydia said no than I would be black. I love kids perspectives.

I have been having fun getting ready for home schooling again. I think it is because I am making a classroom in our guestroom and I get to use my creativity. I just think we need a “real” classroom to get serious about school. The girls are all excited for school because of it. We got each of them desks made, put up a whiteboard, calendar, and made more space. The really exciting thing is that one of our new teammates has offered to teach two days a week. Praise God! So I think she will do four subjects and I will teach the other three. Boy, does that sound more doable to me. Hopefully, we will start next week. Now if I can just figure out what to do with Luka.

Luka is doing well although he is all boy and that seems to lead to a lot of falls and bumps. He loves balls and cars and being outside. He is just beginning to increase his vocabulary which is exciting. “Bease” (please) is his new favorite. He also says baby, up, and down. He loves our guard John and runs to him whenever he arrives. We will be going to Kenya July 19 where Luka will see his kidney doctor. We are still praying for complete healing and that the protein levels come back to normal.

I went with one of our new teammates, Jennifer, to visit a lady dying of AIDS. Jennifer is a nurse but I think the biggest thing she does for the woman is bring her hope. It really is a sad situation. The lady, Anna Grace, is so weak she just lies in a hut all day. No one comes to see her or to help. One sister-in-law cares for her and what a sacrificial love it is. She sleeps by her to help her during the night, she takes her to the lateen, feeds, and baths her. They were so happy we came and thanked us over and over for coming. What a little thing we can do to show the love of Jesus to someone dying.

Most of you know we have a new niece. Zulea is Tim and Angie’s new baby adopted from Amecet (ok working on the adopting part). She is so little and sweet. We are very happy for them and are so glad we are here to enjoy her with them. We are having a women’s breakfast to celebrate Zulea next Saturday. Grace was playing with her baby today and told me her baby was adopted because she was abandon. Maybe her name is Zulea.

In case some of you remember when we came back in January and find out money had been stolen from our home and you want to know the end of the story, yesterday we finally had a meeting with the person who did it, his sister, and father. It went amazingly well. He confessed again and told the whole story. He also apologized. The father didn’t know it happened and cried when he heard what his son did. We told him we were not going to take him to the police, that we forgive him because God has forgiven us too, and that he needed to repent to God and follow his ways. We also talked about how sin has consequences and that over the next year they would have to pay the money back. (It is not our money but money for school fees for four Ugandan children.) The father and sister were so grateful to us. They know if he went to prison he would die but we are giving them grace. I was surprised to be thanked. I am glad it is finally taken care of and pray that he learns from this and ends up growing in Christ because of it.

I guess that is the update for now. We keep quite busy lately. Having a bigger team, some of them our neighbors (how fun), and getting our ministry started up again makes the weeks fly by. But once we get our internet back I will try to update a little more frequently. Hope you all have a fun forth of July with family and friends. We are getting together to grill, play volleyball, and have a campfire so that will be at least close to being home.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Arrived in Uganda

Sorry we haven't written till now but we still don't have internet set up. However, we have made it safe and sound. Thanks for all your prayers! Everything went really well with all our travels. There has been no time to adjust we just jumped back in and started up with ministry again. Thankfully we now have a team to welcome us back. Right now we are hosting a group from Calvin Christian High School. It is so much fun!

You can pray that our kids begin to sleep all night again. We are a little tired.

We will write again soon with all the latest happenings. But for now we wanted you to know that once again we have arrived safely in the Lord's hands. Thanks again for remembering us in prayer.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Keep Praying

We are a bit frustrated as we foundout yesterday that Luka's urine levels are not normal yet. We got the lab report and his other doctor called. Although we are confused, we know God is still with us and will continue to heal Luka. We will see his doctor in Kenya in July so he can test his urine and check the blood pressure. We may have to go there every three months but maybe not. Time will tell. We just wanted all of our prayer warriors to keep praying!

Also, we are in full swing with packing and preparing to leave. All is well so far. Grace told me Sunday morning she couldn't wait til next Sunday because we get to go to Uganda! I am so thankful they are excited but I also have been noticing this week a few more break down than usual so I know they are emotional about the change too. We count on God's peace for all of us. Pray for Luka's cold to heal and no one else to catch it. (Oh, just foundout Luka has an ear infection.)

We drive to Chicago Sunday morning and fly out at 8pm. We arrive in London in the morning where we have a 12 hour layover (we'll get a hotel) and that evening fly to Uganda. We arrive in Uganda on Tuesday morning then drive 7 hours to our home in Soroti. Wow, hope that goes as easy as it is to type. We have one day to settle in before the team from Calvin Christian High School comes for a few days. (We'll adjust after they leave!)

Thanks for all your prayers!!! We love you all! We'll let you know how it goes...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

April\May 2010 (336 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.
Click here to view photos

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Praise the LORD! Luka is well.

June 3, 2010.

We are praising the Lord Jesus today. Luka had his final urine test yesterday (if it was not ok the doctor was going to put him back on medicine.) Everything was normal. He no longer has extra protein in his urine. His blood levels are also normal. This all indicates that his kidneys are back to normal. The doctor gave us the green light to return to Uganda. Praise the Lord with us for Luka's complete healing.

Although Grace still has to be seen by the ENT doctor regarding her throat (tonsils removed last week), we are assuming everything is ok. We are planning to return to Uganda next weekend. We hope to drive to Chicago June 12, fly out June 13, and arrive in Uganda June 15, hopefully reaching home by the 16th. Please pray for us during this long trip. Please pray for all the flights and immigration to go smoothly. Please pray for our good byes from here and our resettlement to life in Uganda.