Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Weekend of Celebrations

November 27

I just had to take a minute and write about our fun filled weekend!

It actually began Wednesday. After home schooling we went straight into baking pumpkin pies, pecan pie, sweet potatoes, and other goodies for Thanksgiving. Half the fun is the anticipation and preparation right. It was also Betty’s (Lydia and Gracie’s friend) birthday the next day and she had never celebrated her birthday and really wanted a birthday like we celebrate. (She has been to our girls birthday parties before.) So we had Betty, Abala, and Juliet for supper. Rachel (our teammate) had baked a cake for Betty too. It was simply a blessing to see Betty so happy celebrating her birthday. We gave her a card and read it to her and her face just beamed. She felt special and loved. Earlier in the week I commented to Josh that although I am happy here sometimes I think I could do what I am doing here (mostly in the home being mom and now teacher) from Michigan just as well. He reminded me tonight after seeing Betty so happy that I can’t do that from Michigan. Sharing God’s love with the unloved is what it is all about. Happy birthday Betty, God loves you!

Then we had Thanksgiving. Our whole team plus a couple others came over to celebrate with us. I of course had fun decorating, doing all the traditions, and making it special for everyone. We ate outside seeing it is hard to fit 26 people in our house and it we are in Africa and you can have Thanksgiving outside – you may sweat but oh well. It was great. We were all full to say the least. In the afternoon we played games and in the evening we all played football. It was so much fun! To top it off to end the day we went to our other missionary friends and watched the Lions play football – and of course loose but hey they at least made it a game until the end. (And yes I do like football. Most of the ladies here think I am crazy so you can too.) I am truly thankful. Like one of our teammates said we really are like family here we did all the same things I would have if I were home celebrating with them. It is a blessing to be content here with our missionary family.

Then the next morning I woke up longing for the first snow fall. I so wanted all the excitement of Christmas around me like I would have in Michigan. So, I put on the Christmas music, stayed in my pj’s with the kids, and we put up our Christmas decorations. It was great! I was happy once again. Later we went to the second hand market and found a couple Christmas shirts for the girls and some pieces of Christmas material for decorating with. But our day wasn’t done yet, we had a yard sale to go to! Some of the other missionaries in Soroti had a yard sale. No lines like black Friday but great deals. Isn’t it nice God loves to give us little joys in life.

Today we had a baby shower for Rachel to celebrate the arrival of Nico. (Bobby and Rachel just adopted their first child from Amecet two weeks ago. He is one year old and a sweetheart.) It was at my house so I decorated the table with a baby blanket in the center, burp clothes as place mats, candles in baby food jars, and pacifiers and boys as decorations around it. I don’t mean to brag but us ladies made a great breakfast feast. We had pumpkin lattes (in new fancy coffee glasses), orange julius, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread, fruit salad, cappuccino muffins, and pecan sticky buns. Ok, not that healthy but really good. I just love getting together with the ladies to talk and laugh. Another blessing.

So that was our weekend that I am so thankful for. Now tonight we get to decorate the Christmas tree with the kids. Should be fun. Hope all of you have also been blessed this holiday weekend.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


November 20

As all of you in Michigan get colder, we are heating up here in Uganda. The rains have slowed down (almost stopped), everything is dry, the temperatures are up, and the lack of clouds has left us with an intense sunshine again. Just puts you in the mood for the holidays doesn’t it? Even with the heat I am excited to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving next week. We have 13 adults and 10 kids coming so it should feel and sound just like a real Beute Thanksgiving!

I have been teaching Lydia and Grace full time the last couple weeks since Beckie has been (and will be pretty much through December) away doing ministry. I really enjoy being in the classroom with my kids. I like having control over their schooling and being with them so much. Sometimes I struggle with how to teach things. I am not a trained teacher but I am doing my best. Lydia does not like doing Math and sometimes complains for hours. I was so glad this week she actually enjoyed it. She is really good at it too. She also loves cursive writing. Grace has done great too. She is a good student and learns so fast. She is now sounding out small words, counting by 2, 5, and 10’s, and this week learned about the five senses. We have been having fun this week making Thanksgiving things. I love being creative! We also celebrated our 50th day of school last week. We party for any reason. I really am happy when I think about how well it is going. But it is a part time job and takes a lot of my time so everything and everyone else get less of my time. I am thankful Tabitha plays with Luka when I teach but I miss him. And someone has to prepare the meals still and there is no ordering pizza around here. For now, I am just thankful for our little school but I do wonder what the years to come will look like.

The bummer of the week, I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring! After having it 12 years it is so far nowhere to be found. I am so thankful I have a husband who bought my diamond at the Gem Factory in Michigan where they man make the diamonds and sell them for a fraction of the price. So we are out $50. I will be glad however when I am wearing my wedding ring again.

Josh’s teaching continues to be a blessing. After a visitor talked to two of the pastors that Josh trains we realized that between the two of them they go out and train another 150 people each month. How encouraging. That is exactly what God wants to happen – the ripple effect.

We had three ladies come on a vision trip to see our team here in Soroti. A vision trip consists of getting to know our team, seeing the ministries we are involved in, and experiencing Uganda. Now our team is praying to know weather it is God’s will for these ladies to be on our team. Big decisions – glad it is God’s and not ours.

Some of you may know that my brother Chris is going to serve in Guatemala for six month starting the end of November. We are really excited and proud of him. He will be working in the slums and in the prisons using art as the means to do ministry. What a life changing journey God is leading him on. So now that is the third Beute child who will be going on the mission field. My Dad and Mom are so supportive of us all but like my Dad said they aren’t ready for another piece of their hearts to go. Pray for Chris and our family.

I want to end with saying Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am truly thankful for each one of you who loves us, remembers us, prays for us, encourages us, and supports us. We need you. We thank God for you. We have so very much to be thankful for. It is a year long celebration of God’s goodness. I look back over the year and can’t help but give praise to God for Luka. I will never get over the miracle God did and will not stop giving Him glory for it. We are thankful for Luka! I also am more thankful each year for my husband. He is an example of Christ to me. I am thankful for Lydia and Grace and the joy of watching them grow in the Lord and learn. They teach me so much. I am thankful for our home and the peace and contentment I feel living here. I am thankful for the faithful protection God gives us each day. I am thankful for our team and other missionary friends here. For our families at home who continue to love us from afar. For God’s Word that assures me each day. I could go on and on… My heart is overflowing with gratitude to my Father. He is the giver of all good things and we are truly blessed with many good things. Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanks for praying everyone. Really nothing happened. Josh got to court in the morning and the lawyer and judge said there is no case if the lady from Aulstralia comes to testify. They are going to try to do Skype in the courtroom but if that doesn't work and she can't come then the guy goes free. I have no idea what will happen but we know God is in control and justice is in His hands. Thanks for praying with us.

Isaiah 11:3-4 -- He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. (NIV)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prayer Request

Tomorrow Josh will be in court for the assault of our Australian guest back in Feburary 2008. The court wanted our friend to fly in from Australia, but she could not. Therefore, Josh will be there with a letter from our friend explaining why she could not come. Pray that all goes well. We do not know what to expect and do not really want to be a part of this, but we have no choice. The police came to tell us this is a high profile case, the first of its kind in Soroti (because she was a foreigner.) Pray for wisdom and justice. Also pray for the man who committed the crime. He needs to know the forgiveness and love of our Heavenly Father. Thanks everyone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Team Retreat

November 5, 2010
Oh, how I have waited for a moment to write again. I am a communicator and find writing and speaking energizing and a source of joy. (Our team spiritual retreat was all about sharing who we are with each other I was confirmed again with who God made me to be…but more on that to come.)

So my sister Jenna left about 10 days ago now. We ended her trip with a pedicure and manicure while sipping on Chai and eating a homemade cinnamon raisin bagel – just us ladies…Ahh how nice. (Do we have great husbands or what?!) She also got to do some craft shopping and have her first Indian meal (we love our Indian restaurants in Uganda). And then of course a tearful goodbye but mostly just thankful she came and now knows what our lives are like here. Luka asks for “Nenna” now and then which just brings back all the good memories. Thanks for coming Jenna!

After Jenna left we were off to our next adventure – our 2010 Team Beyond Spiritual Retreat. What a blessing it was. All 22 of us (including the 9 kids and Beckie’s parents who flew in to help with the kids at the retreat) piled into a boat with all the luggage and road one minute south of the equator on Lake Victoria to an island paradise. (Thanks for choosing the location Angie!) Our team had a home, with a pool and beach, to ourselves for four days. Wow, it was beautiful. Every morning we woke up to a panoramic view of Lake Victoria from our room. (Okay, the no curtain thing is ok when you are alone on an island but with a group it makes it quite tricky to get dressed – did I also mention no door on our room.) And every night listening to the waves and watching the lights from the main land twinkle. Before you get too jealous you should know the full story. We had a beautiful beach but could not swim in the water because of unclean water and crocs. There were bats around which means even in my doorless room. We were without power the first two nights so we knew we were still in Uganda. But all in all it was so much fun. We spent a lot of time in our private pool, sat around taking in the beauty and peacefulness (as peaceful as it can be with 9 kids around), and having fun with each other. (And no food preparations or clean up!)

Ok, by now you are thinking how nice to have those perks as a missionary I’d love to go on a “spiritual retreat”. You are welcomed to join us on the mission field. In all seriousness though, it was a blessed time of growth for our team. Our focus was on getting to know one another and in doing so build the foundation of trust for our team. We really feel God has finally given us a team (permanent members) which is exciting to see God working in and through all of us. We met twice a day to share our Life Map which is telling your story, sharing your spiritual gifts, your strengths, and personality. I find it really fun to get to know people. Everyone on my team knows I am an open book and love to share but for others it doesn’t come so naturally. For lack of better words our team really bonded. No matter who we are, where we came from, what we have been through Christ is the one who unites us. The last night we shared communion together – what a perfect way to end our retreat. One family, one purpose, one Savior.

And now we are home. I am so happy! We are home and staying put for awhile. We are back into a routine and loving it. We need it. We are all a bit run down and sick (actually almost our whole team for over a month now!). It is like the never ending cold that changes every few days. Luka is our worst right now. He started a fever the last day of the retreat and now has a rash all over his body and even throw up this morning. Poor guy. He is pretty miserable unless he has Tylenol. I don’t think it is anything to be concerned about (our girls have had Roseola and Scarlet Fever and it is different than that) hopefully he will be better soon.

Guess that is it for now. Can’t wait to write again soon. Thanks for all your prayers especially for our health. Enjoy Fall time for me – crisp air, a sweatshirt on, football, apples, pumpkin pie…I can almost imagine. Thankfully I have our fall decorations up and have pumpkin and apple crisp baking in the oven!

October 2010 (352 photos), by Mandy Shaarda

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