Monday, August 25, 2014


Greeting from Obulle everyone!

I have so much in my heart to share with all of you, but for now I wanted you to know we arrived safely.  Thank you for praying for us!  Goodbyes and traveling so far are not fun but being home again is great.  We were completely blessed by our welcome home to the village.  So thankful we are loved and were missed.  I will try to attach some pictures and video of our homecoming - village style.

Pray for Malai who is a bit off still and cries a lot at night.  She has had fevers and a bad cold which doesn't help.

Thanks again everyone!  More to come later.


Our home service in Michigan didn’t go exactly as planned.  Because of many health issues, our return to Uganda was delayed six weeks in.  I find it hard to put this home service into words.  It has been harder then most, busy (with over 50 doctor appointments and 3 surgeries!), emotional, yet we were also blessed.  Josh had hip surgery to repair a growth on the bone and torn labrium.  He is recovering well but it is long recovery.  The physical therapist working with Josh had the same surgery and said after a year and a half Josh will be glad he had the surgery.  There have been some low days for Josh, not being able to do what he would like to do but we are thankful he will be well again.  Grace is doing very well after six months of stomach aches and pains.  She is on medicine for abdominal migraines.  I am the first to say I had to see it to believe it and now I believe.  Emalai had tubes put in her ears after two months of ear infections.  She now loves to hear herself talk and is sleeping better at night – yeah!  I, Mandy, had cataract surgery and would love to tell you how well I see now, but I can’t.  I am thankful the surgery was successful but it seems I will always have imperfect eyes.  We thought we were all done with medical issues until Luka went in for his normal check-up.  His urine was a little off and because of past kidney failure he had to see his kidney doctor.  From there his blood work came back abnormal and he had to see a blood doctor.  In the end Luka seems to be fine and will just be watched.  Despite all these health issues and other hardships we realize God is with us.  Through each attack and disappointment we can trust in God.  He is our healer, our protector, and the One who holds our plans. 
            Thank you for praying for us and lifting us to the Great Healer!  We are grateful for you.    
            Even with all our health issues, we were able to speak at all 16 of our supporting churches.  We loved sharing what God is doing in Obulle with those who partner with us.  We were encouraged by interest and grateful for your prayers for us and the ministry.  We were also able to enjoy time with our families and even get in a couple vacations.  Josh and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and renewed our wedding vows.  Our three oldest children attended school while there were here too.  Josh went to International Teams leadership conference and Mandy was able to go to a retreat for missionary women.  
            Now as we once again prepare to leave and transition back to our home in Uganda, we are thankful.  Thankful for our time in Michigan and thankful we are able to go back to serve in Obulle again.  Our kids literally cheered after Josh’s doctor appointment that cleared him to return to Uganda on the 20th as planned.  We are excited about being home, back to our new house in the village, back with our team, with our church and friends. We are eager to again be teaching, discipling, and leading.  Praise God for His sure calling on us to go and make disciples in Obulle!   

Our Teacher!
            We are praising God for answered prayer.  Karlie Maxwell from Lake City CRC is going to teach our children this year in Uganda!  It has been a joy to see God speak to her and lead her to come and serve with us.  Karlie will be traveling back with us August 20 – her first plane ride!  We look forward to having her teach our children and be part of our family.

Pray with us:

Pray for us as we pack up and say goodbye to our families once again.  Although we love our home in Uganda, it is always hard to leave those we love (and everything that is nice here).  We know at times like this that our faith becomes action.  All we say and believe is tested as we must put it into action.  We know God is loving, faithful, and present. He is our protector and peace so we go.  Pray for our families too as they trust in God and let us (and their grandkids!) go once more.
|       Pray for continued good health and healing for all of us.

Praise God for Karlie!  Pray for God to prepare her spiritually, physically and emotionally.  Pray for all her support to come in.  Pray she knows God’s peace in this journey and as she adjusts to her new home in Africa.  Pray that God equips her as she teaches and serves with us.


Pray for Josh as International Teams Uganda Area Director.  Pray for Josh as he desires to learn the Ateso language to the point of preaching this next year.  And pray for him as he resumes his passion for teaching and disciple-making in Obulle.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pray for the Persecuted!

I just had to take a minute to post this.  My heart is crying.  As I sit here packing all our things (too many things!), comfortably in air conditioning, without of thought of being harmed, really focused on myself...and I dare to thing about complaining about something!  As I read a little bit about what is happening to my brothers and sisters in Iraq I was in shock - horrified.  Instead of dismissing it because it hurt too much and "I can't do anything", I stopped to feel.  What if it was my daughter ripped out of my arms to be used as a sex slave at age 11?  Or my babies torn and murdered before my eyes!?  Oh God!  All I could do is pray.  God help!  We need to cry out to God on behalf of the Christians in Iraq.  God is weeping and we need to join Him.  Pray with me and also do your part in signing your name on things that will help our brothers and sisters.  It saddens me how much we do not know.  We hear "news" here that is junk!  I posted at the end an update from Open Doors.  We have no idea these things are happening daily!  This is the news we need to be hearing about, so we can pray.  May we not forget our brothers and sisters suffering for their faith around the world.  Don't let them become out of sight out of mind.  Pray! 

The stories are almost too terrible to believe.
Jihadist ISIS terrorists are massacring Christians in Iraq.
They're abducting Christian women and selling them as sex slaves.
Children are being beheaded, others crucified.
Tens of thousands of Christians are fleeing for their lives.
ISIS now reportedly has access to weapons of mass destruction.
The only thing standing between Christians and death at the hands of these barbarians are the people of Kurdistan who are offering refuge and protection.
Yet, the Kurds are running out of ammunition. They are out-gunned by jihadists bent on genocide.
America must take a stand. We must defend Christians.
If we do nothing, they will die.
We're working in Congress to rally support and aid for Christians and arms for those who would defend them. We're aggressively engaged at the United Nations to raise this grave humanitarian crisis.
Join us in defending Christians. Make your voice heard.
Jay Sekulow
ACLJ Chief Counsel

More News, Stories & Events

Monday, August 11, 2014

Picture Update

Hi!  I can't wait to blog all that is in my head but it will just have to wait because I have to begin packing this week - 10 days before we return to Uganda.  Here are some pictures to sum up our last couple months.  We are so thankful.
Camping at the CRCG on Lake MI

Josh camped with us while recovering from hip surgery

Whitecaps baseball game

Annika, our niece born 12 weeks early, grew bigger each week.

Forth of July at the cottage with all the cousins

Proud first fish!

Mandy went to Colorado for a women's missionary retreat with Thrive 

I was SO blessed by the fellowship of other missionary ladies.  This is my small group.  Can't wait to blog more on the retreat!

We took a long weekend Up North with Grandpa & Grandma Beute when we speak at our U.P. church
Visiting the girl's pen pals from Rudyard - by their sugar shack

Visiting the Soo Locks

Swimming in Lake MI

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Visiting the deer ranch Up North

More fun and beauty at G&G's cottage

Blueberry picking - and eating!

A visit to Amish country

Lydia turned 11 July 31!

We love you Lydia!

Another Annika visit - first time to hold her!

One of our favorite summer pass times!

One more camping adventure

Annika is home!

Shaarda grandkids