|Lucy and her parents|
|Enjoying our Ugandan lunch|
|Luka & Jack Fruit|
|Thankful for water on a HOT walk|
|Emma and Family|
|Malai playing at church|
|Lydia sorting rice at our friends|
|Sarah's first experience slaughtering a chicken|
|Enjoying our visit and feast|
|Josh teaching Freedom in Christ on our veranda|
|Praying for each student|
|Malai loves to lay on the ground and read|
As you all endure your wintery winter, let me tell you a little bit about our dry season. It is about 90 in our home, 96 on our porch, and over 100 degrees in the sun each day. Dry winds blow most days. On the hotter, drier days the breeze feels like a hair dryer. Sometimes we get dust tornados that blast our home with dirt and leave a layer of dust over everything in the house. Sarah and I walk in the early evening when the sun isn’t so intense but my throat is parched when we get back. Even at night and the morning we have dry, sore throats. Lots of colds right now with the dust too. Since there is no rain we have our water tanks filled by hand. This week we paid two young men took three day going to the well and filled jery can after jery can. We don’t take water fore granted! So yes when we shower we catch the water and use it to flush the toilets. And when we do wash we haul water in from the well, catch the rinse water, and use it for the next load. It is an ordeal and my arms are sore if Josh isn’t around to help. But I am thankful for water! I keep telling myself the only good thing is each day we are a day closer to rainy season.
Two weeks ago we visited Lucy’s parents (Lucy works for us). We left our home at – yes the sun was intense – and our family walked 50 minutes to get to their home. It is quite funny to see people’s faces as they watch 7 white people walk down the path past their home. Just think, they lived here all their lives and then one day a family of white people walk their path. We are a sight! I really enjoyed our visit. Lucy’s parents are in their 70’s and some of the first believers in the area. Their story and faith encouraged me. When they began following Jesus many of their children died, but they had peace because they would see them again. They had 16 children and 7 lived. Wow, I have never been through hardship like that. Her father, John, was like a living history book of the area. His smile and love for the Lord touched me. They were SO happy we came and fed us an Ateso feast. I love watching our kids. They are just naturals here. They had a great time using their imagination and playing in the compound. Luka enjoyed teasing his sisters with Jack fruit (the girls hate everything about this fruit especially the smell).
Our friends from church are neighbors to Lucy’s parents so since we walked all that way we wanted to greet them too. Emma and his wife Deborah have five children. They also cooked food for us so again we ate – that was painful. People here are so kind and generous. Everyone is so thankful we come to visit them but really we are the ones blessed by them. I love getting to know the people in our church and people in Obulle better. I am learning so much. Emma told us how thankful they are that God brought us to Obulle and we helped their son get better or he might have died. Their son Abraham continually got sick so our team with the help from supporters got him the tests and medicine he needed. After our visit our little train of white people led by our Ugandan friends, walked home very happy that evening. It is so good to be living here.
We have now set aside Wednesdays afternoons for greeting. This week Josh was sick with Strep throat, Malai had a bad cold, and Gracie’s stomach was hurting so
and I ended up going without them. Our neighbor Whiney came with us to show us
how to get to Betty’s house and help with translating. Betty is another member of our church. Her husband doesn’t go to church. They were thrilled we came! They greeted, put out mats for us to sit on,
then quickly started the fire to feed us.
I decided to join in the cooking to learn and be with our friends. They didn’t want their guest helping at first
but I told them I am a friend not a guest.
Sarah love the cultural experience.
We decided to watch the process of chicken – from slaughtering to the
table. Sarah realized what a city girl
she is, but she was willing to help cut up the chicken. The chicken had eggs growing inside so we got
to eat our first unhatched chicken egg.
It was one big yolk. Sarah, Lydia Lydia fits right in helping clean rice, cut
tomatoes, pick up drying cassava with the kids, and bringing the goats in. I was so proud of her. The women cook in a hut. I sat inside marveling once again at how they
touch the hot pots and wood with their bare hands, shoo chickens away from
their cooking area, and feed their baby all at the same time. I enjoyed helping until my eyes couldn’t take
the smoke anymore. I feel for these
women. We waited on the mat until the
food was ready. By the time we ate the
sun was setting and I was beginning to worry about walking home in the
dark. After we ate it was dark so we
thanked them and got on the road – ok, path.
Our nice friends packed some food for Josh and led us to our home. It was so dark! I couldn’t see anything. I just prayed there would be no snakes and we
wouldn’t twist an ankle falling. I felt
loved by our friends who went before and after us and told us where holes where
and protected us from cows coming down the path. I failed to bring my phone or flashlight – I
need my husband – so I was afraid Josh would be worried about us. Sure enough we got almost to the main road
and we saw Josh coming in the van to get us.
What a good husband! It was a
memorable night to say the least and I loved it.
Our solar is fixed and running great! We now have more solar panels and a freezer. All the lights stay in the green now showing we are fully charged. It is a blessing! I love having a freezer too. What a treat to have ice coffee in the afternoon, make homemade ice cream, and the simple convenience of frozen food at hand.
Sometimes I am reminded how far away we live. Last Saturday morning our kids were watching the movie Cars and our friend here said, “Talking cars? Is it real?” It reminds me to be careful how we live and serve here because anything can be taken as truth.
We continue to struggle with some sicknesses around here. Josh had Strep throat last week, Malai has a cold, cough and fever, and Grace has another stomach pain episode – thankfully we were able to stop it with pain killer but her stomach wasn’t right for days. Then Sunday Grace’s foot was sliced open by the latrine door at church. She had a pretty good cut. With no great medical facility near by our team nurse decided to use Durabond (like super glue) instead of stitches. Grace is a great patient. She just quietly cried as Jennifer cleaned it.
Lydia did a good job too. She was with Grace when it happened but
stayed calm and got help. Of course
there was blood so a crowd of kids quickly gathered. We are thankful Grace’s shots are up to date
and she is ok. We are now praying for no
infection in her cut. We are keeping her
inside and out of the dirt this week.
Sarah and I had the unpleasant experience of seeing a snake on out walk! I really do pray almost everyday for protection and no snakes. The snake was right off the path – just inches from where my foot walked. It was by a small bush and we barely saw it because we RAN. As we ran I thanked Jesus for protecting us!
Malai can now use a fork and spoon – at least most of the food gets in her mouth. She loves books and will bring us book or back up and plop down in our laps to let us know she is ready to read. Her new thing is lying with her belly to the ground to look at a book or write. When Josh gets home from somewhere she runs to him with wide open arms for a welcome home hug. Who wouldn’t want to come home to that! Malai also wears pigtails now and it is really cute. Did I ever tell you about Luka’s first family picture he drew? We all had really big ears and something scribbled inside the ears. He told us it was the wax in our ears. J Yesterday he prayed that he hoped God loved him and that he would be like his dad someday. He also asked Sarah if she would marry him. Many people tell me how much they love Luka. He is just a fun, lovable, expressive kid.
Lydia also makes me laugh. She tells people she is African
American. We tried to explain what that
meant but really she is right. She lives
in African and sees herself as African because of it and she is American. She is a true African American J.
Well we are down to 5 weeks here before we fly. Oh my! We are enjoying everyday before we go. Josh will be going to Karamoja, unreached people group to the East, with about 10 people from our church to do outreach. Pray for them! Thanks everyone. May God fill your week and be your greatest desire.