Thursday, March 29, 2012


March 29, 2012
So the dreaded thing happened, a snake got in our house!
Josh and I were talking in the kitchen at the end of the day when he looks
out the window and says, “there’s a snake.” He ran for a pipe
and I just ran outside. It was a skinny green snake coming out of a
hole by the screen of our kitchen window. Josh went for it but it
ducked it’s head back in. Josh sprayed the hole with bug killer
and the snake reappeared. He sprayed the snot out of it but we had
no idea if bug killer would do anything. Then the nasty thing
slithered up the screen and into our kitchen! (Guess there is a hole
above the window.) I was screaming, Josh was trying to hit it with a
LONG pole, and decorations were flying around the kitchen with every
swing. The snake was so quick. It went behind our fridge. It is at
these times I do not like living in Africa!!! We hate snake and are
terrified of them. You have no idea which ones are poisonous and
most are. Josh was sweating buckets either because it was 95degrees
in our kitchen, because of his fear of snakes, or both. He told me
to get help because he couldn't move the fridge and hit the snake.
We did not want the snake to get away and hide somewhere in the
The whole time this is happening the kids are standing on the picnic
table outside with their friends. Poor Lydia was crying. They could
hear everything falling inside. Grace was calm and Luka was ready to
go snake hunting. I ran over to our teammates and brought back help.
(They are better neighbors than I.) I also called Tim and Josh had
called our watchman John back to help too. We were not going to let
this snake get away. While we waited we prayed with the authority
Jesus gave us that the snake would die.
The kitchen was full of people and in no time they had the snake pinned
behind the stove with the pipe. Someone else crushed it’s head
with a broom stick. Praise God it was over – and we won!
The snake was about 2 feet long and not venomous. That was an adventure
I did not need. Josh is still a bit jumpy and Lydia slept in our bed
last night, but otherwise we are all back to normal. Pray with us
that there will never again be a snake in our house or even in our
I hesitated writing this blog about the snake. I want people to come
visit and minister with us not be scared to come. So please remember
that this is the first time in five years, God protected and helped
us, and if I (a suburb girl at heart) can handle it you can too.
(I will write more later but pray for Luka and Grace. Luka has a fever
again today and it was up to 103.6 tonight. Grace has pain in her
chest on and off this week. The lungs sound ok but she takes short
breathes because it hurts. We have had on and off sickness in our
kids for months now. God has been faithfully healing each time.
Pray for complete healing and health. Thanks.)
One of the three parts of the snake:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monkey & More

Our teammate was caring for a new born baby monkey so we got to hold it the other day. Lydia enjoyed it but Luka and Grace did not like it - too jumpy.

Luka got some hand-me-downs from his cousin Moses the other day so Sunday he was really wanted to wear the tie. He looked like such alittle man. Of course the moment we got to church the shirt was too itchy and off it came.

Pray for our kids. Last week Lydia was sick with a fever and headache, yesterday Grace with fever and chest pain, and today Luka isn't feeling well with a fever headache and stomache. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Purpose & Authority

March 19, 2012

Not too much to write about pretty much same old except for March madness which we have been enjoying with our friends.

There are a few movies that you can watch and instead of becoming dumber or worldlier you can actually be challenged and inspired. We watched Blindside the other night and it just made me want to live with purpose. Too often Christians fail to live with purpose. We just live for ourselves. Our time, our fun, our families, our plans…forgetting about the people, needs, and world. There is a lot of hopelessness in a purposeless life. Too many Christians are searching for purpose. We think we are the ones to choose our purpose. We are wrong. God has given us purpose. He has given us our purpose in life. We are worship Him, be His witnesses, go and make disciples, defend and care for the poor, widows, orphans, and aliens… So are we living with purpose – God’s calling for us? I use to think we had to be called to do something but now I wonder hasn’t God already called us to it in His Word? Aren’t we all called to obey and honor God, to be missionaries, to help those in need, to love…? Yes! So what are you doing? Blindside made me think of my parents who adopted 5 of God’s children. We have churches full of people who love living in their comfortable, safe homes with their normal, easy, comfortable, safe families. There are children and people who need help, a home, family, and Jesus. We have it but will we share it? God tells us to. Will we obey or disobey? There doesn’t have to be orphans. God’s people can change lives and the world. I know it wont be easy and will change our lives but if we are more concerned with comfort than we are not Christ disciples. It will be living with purpose and God will be with you.

Kinda along those lines, Josh preached Sunday on creation. One point he made was how God’s word has authority. He spoke and creation obeyed. God has spoken to us through His Word. His Word has authority. Do we obey? God said, “Seek first the kingdom of God, flee from evil, go and make disciples of all nations, defend and look after the least of these, remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, do not love the world, forgive as I have forgiven you…” Does His Word have authority in our lives? Are we obeying His Word? What a challenge. We need to repent and obey the authoritative Word of God in our lives.

Last week Josh taught about forgiveness in Obule. He was so excited about what God was going to do he invited me to come for the afternoon and be apart of it. I was blessed to see the Spirit work that afternoon. I was moved to tears seeing my friends in Obule choose to forgive. I wasn’t the only one crying. I know these people and what God is doing in them is real when there is so much emotion. It is not culturally accepted to cry here unless it is a funeral and then you are expected to wail. The things these people have to forgive are things I can’t even imagine. There are also constant injustices they have to forgive. Their choosing to forgive because God says to is humbling to me. Standing at the cross with them, laying down all the hurts and pains, and worshiping God together was a beautiful thing. After the time of forgiveness they shared how peace comes with forgiveness and how they learned that they need to forgive if they want God to forgive them. It made me think of how many Christians are not forgiven because they have not forgiven. We don’t like to talk like that but it is truth from God’s Word. I thank God for challenging me through His people in Obule. And for the power of forgiveness.

Lydia is so much like me. Today she got all upset when her sister bothered her. They both got a punishment. Lydia just cried and said how she hates that she sins and wishes there was no sin. She said she feels so bad when she does something wrong. So we talked about how that is the Holy Spirit working inside of her. I reminded her that God doesn’t like sin either but how much He loves us to forgive us every time we do sin. It is hard to see her so upset and I understand. No one needed to punish me as a child I had enough guilt to punish myself. But I am thankful that Lydia is so sensitive and desires not to sin.

Enough “preaching” from me, till next week… May God fill us with wisdom, strength, truth, and peace so we can do all He has entrusted us to do.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Week


March 10, 2012

God is so loving! He restored my joy this week. He is so near to me. He is my life. I am blessed because of Him. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement too. It feels so good to be loved.

Tuesday we went to Obule to see the well drilling. Our teammate Colin and the church are digging a well. It is really amazing how they do it. Four people pull a rope, one person pushed the bit down, water and earth sprays out the pipe and eventually you have a well. (How is that explanation from an unknowledgeable well drilling person?) Josh pulled that rope with the guys a couple times this week. Hour after hour, day after day…I am impressed with the attitude and hard work of Colin and the other people. It is good to see them all muddy, laugh together, and work together to get a well. Water is such a blessing. The well they dug last year is used by over 800 people!

While Josh and I were watching the drilling, Lydia, Grace and Luka were playing with the preschool kids at the church (where the well is being put). I was proud of our girls. They sat in the class with about 20 four year olds. They repeated the teacher just like all the other kids. They even taught the class the song we sing for the seven days of the week. They stayed for almost an hour then came out crying because a boy hit Lydia on the back. I asked what the teacher did and she said she sent another boy to go get a stick. Oh boy. Luka was happy playing with (ok maybe teasing) a puppy while the kids were in their class.

Josh and I also had a nice talk with Charles. He is such a humble man. He asked us to correct him if we see he is going down the wrong path. If he falls into sin he wants us to rebuke him. What maturity. I am so thankful for him and his example.

Grace was sick this week with a fever and headache. She was quiet. Thankfully now she is doing better. It was two years ago this weekend that we took our little Luka to the ICU in Kenya. It is a special time to give thanks to our God.

I took a spiritual gifts test this week. I haven’t taken one for quite awhile and I think God has done a lot of maturing in my life so I decided to see if there were any changes. It is hard cause every test define things differently but it is also exciting to be confirmed in the gifts God has given you. I am either too vague in my answers or I have many different joy and passions. This is how I scored:
1. Exhortation
2. Wisdom, Faith, and Mercy (all tied)
3. Hospitality and Shepherding (tied)
May God use all the gifts He has given to bless and build His kingdom.

I love to love people. It brings me so much joy to make some ones day. To show them I care and they are loved. There are a lot of people hurting who need to be encouraged and loved. There is no greater joy than to see some ones life changed by God’s love. How exciting that we have His love to share!

I forgot to tell you about Samuel. Last week Charles asked Josh to come and talk to his nephew because he had gone crazy. You never know what you are getting into when someone says that. Sam had gone to the witch doctor and since then his mind hadn’t been right. Josh and Charles shared Jesus with Sam and told him he could have freedom in Christ, and that there is greater power in Jesus. Sam said he wanted to follow Jesus but something in his pocket was stopping him. He had charms in his pocket from the witch doctor. Sam decided to let them go and receive Jesus. He confessed his sin and burned his charms. What an exciting day! He came to church Sunday in his right mind, has been working all week with the other guys digging the well, and Charles reads the Bible with him each day. Please continue to pray for him to grow in his walk with Jesus.

Today our friend, Jane, from church invited us to her house near Obule. She is so sweet. Her husband has two wives which makes her a co-wife as they call it here. Both wives are Christians but their husband is not. She fed us rice and chicken and sodas as she shared with us her struggles (mostly from her husband who drinks) and the change in her life since the teaching Josh has brought. She has grown in the Lord and there is more peace in her life. It is always a privilege to hear how God is working in a person’s life.

I saved the best for last. Last night Josh and I had our own little get away at our house. Our teammates offered to have our kids for the night and our kids were so excited they counted down the days until it came. What a win, win situation when the kids are as excited as the parents for their sleepover. We brought the kids at supper time and came back to our very quiet home. I took a relaxing, hot bath (needed to get out of Mommy mode) while Josh made the pizza dough for supper. We made pizza together with all the grown up toppings we wanted. It smelled and tasted so good! We enjoyed a candlelight supper while listening to piano music – my favorite. We had such a fun night playing games, talking, and watching movies. It is amazing how special time together in your own home can be. We slept in and made omelets and French toast for breakfast. I was so blessed by our time together. What a joy to be alone and do whatever we want. It is a bummer going back to normal life now and our kids are not thrilled to be home again either but we’ll all be back in the swing of things soon. So here is my challenge, find some good friends who want to have fun with your kids for a night and go back home with your spouse and have some fun too! God loves when we enjoy our marriages.

One more thing I wanted to share. Open Doors put together a pledge for religious freedom that they are asking all candidates running for president to sign. I am so thankful for Christians defending our right to worship but it so sad that our country that was founded on God by people looking for freedom to worship now have to ask our president to agree to religious freedom. Let’s do our part to protect our freedom to worship and the freedom of our brothers and sisters around the world.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Down Times

March 5, 2012

I shouldn’t be writing right now. I am not in a good mood. I am just in one of those, “I want to quit, get away from it all, and be alone” moods. Don’t ask why. I am trying desperately to be who I say I am today – God’s child. I am asking Him to help me praise Him through this discouragement, to be my contentment, joy and peace even when I am down, and to continue to trust in His promises. I know God is faithful and I am just whining today. Sorry for the bummer of a beginning but I just can’t help but be honest.

I don’t know if my girls sense my being down or if they are just a lot like me, but they too had a hard day. Lydia cried and told me how much she missed Grandma, how sad she was that her cousin Reka was already walking and would be almost two the next time we see her, and how there is nothing exciting here to do. How she was voicing my feelings. I just held her and talked about it. It is true and it hurts sometimes. We also talked about how blessed we really are and have nothing to complain about. We talked about how we need to find our contentment in God not in this world or people. He is our joy and peace. And I told her that God promises that when we leave our families and homes to go somewhere to share Jesus He will give us a hundred times more blessings. Then we prayed. I am not sure it helped my girls but it was a good reminder to me to practice what I preach.

Last Friday we had a really fun first ever Team Beyond women’s retreat. It started at Soroti Hotel for lunch then moved to our teammate’s house. We decided to stay in Soroti this time since we have a nursing mother and it takes two hours to get to the nearest hotel. There were eight women on the retreat so needless to say we did a ton of talking! Everyone was just thankful to be together, with no kids, and no schedule. We began by soaking our feet while sipping on frappes and listening to a funny and inspirational testimony from a former Mrs. America. That led to great conversation and our own testimonies. After the pedicures were done, it was time for supper. We had appetizers and desserts! The rest of the night we played a game, watched a movie, and of course talked – some of us till four in the morning! When do we ever get to do these kinds of things? We slept in and had a wonderful breakfast with strong coffee. We relaxed all morning until it was time to pack up and head home to our families. I am so thankful for friends to be open and share with. To have relax and laugh with. To challenge and encourage. What a gift from God.

It always takes me awhile to get back into life after a retreat, but I was thankful to come home to a loving husband and happy family.

At church Sunday Luka was dancing his heart out with the other kids during singing. It was one of those moments I just long to share with our parents and family. I want them to know and see us in our world and life here. This is who we are. Oh well…

I was really touched Sunday when Charles was praying for mission work in Sudan and he began to cry. I have never seen a man cry here (not even at a funeral). I was amazed at his heart for missions, for the lost. This is huge! I have never seen it in another Ugandan. This is what Josh has been praying for. Charles has God’s heart. I really believe God is going to use Chares, maybe with Josh and our family, to do missions. I don’t know but I praise God for Chares tears for the lost.

Better go. Please don’t worry about us even thought I shared with you our discouragement. Just pray for us for renewed joy and peace. God is with us!