Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Surprising Changes

I was once required to memorize Psalm 32:8.  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.  We are resting in those promises today. 
Our time of serving with International Teams has come to an end.  We praise God for the way He has used us in Uganda over the last eight years.  We are thankful that we have seen lives transformed by His Spirit’s power.  We are thankful for the good people we have been privileged to work with.  We are thankful for each one of you who has prayed for us and partnered with us financially. 
Since our time of service with International Teams is completed, we also want to let you know that no further financial gifts are needed.  Mandy and I still feel called by God to serve in Uganda.  We will let you know when God has shown us “the way we should go” (Ps. 32).  For now, we want to thank you for partnering with us and we want you to celebrate what God has done.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Picture Update - G&G are here!

Luka celebrated his 6th birthday back in January.
He is a gift from God!

Having a little fun -- a break from the heat.

We are so thankful for our children!
They bless us with true joy each day.

Oh Malai!  She is a character.

Lots of imagination - her potty training toilet seat tutu!
Dad & Mom Beute are here!
We spent the first night together at Siysi Falls near the mountains

God made everything GOOD!

God's creation is awesome!

Our "driveway"

Filling our rain tanks because there is no rain right now.
Water is a blessing you don't take for grated.

Visiting friends in Obulle

The neighbor kids came to play and Grace led them in singing for Grandpa & Grandma

Visiting friends in Obulle center

Just sharing daily life with G & G

We celebrated Valentines yesterday with friends

Always LOTS of goodies when we get together

Valentines games
Stay tuned.  Sooo many more great pictures to come in the next blog!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

God at Work

It is HOT here!  I am just not good in heat.  I want to complain, escape, I don’t feel well (the dryness hurts your throat, the dust gives you a headache, and the heat makes you tired).  I know this too shall pass.  It is literally 93 degrees INSIDE our house today with 20% humidity.  When our thermometer is in the sun it goes off the charts at 120 degrees.  I find it hard to want to cook supper when it is this hot.  There is not air conditioning to escape to, no water to find relief in.  We are more than thankful for fans and cold water!  We are also glad it still cools off at night after the sun goes down.  We look forward to rains again, which could be any day or 6 weeks.  Until then we will keep drinking to stay hydrated and find ways to smile in the heat.

We continue to be excited about what God is doing in our church.  Our church began building a permanent structure two years ago (had a big hut like building but grass is becoming less and less available to keep the roof covered).  They had a five year plan to build a little more each year as people gave.  In November a mission group from South Korea who invest into building church buildings came and offered to pay basically half the of the building cost if the church would do the other half.  They gave the church till the end of January to build the church.  So for the last eight weeks or so our church has been working hard building a church building.

Although we were leery at first, it was exciting to see our church give in every way.  Everyone seemed to give generously animals, crops, and money to pay for our half of the work.  Others gave their time, strength, and talents.  Everyday people were there working together to fetch water, cook, dig rocks…  They worked so hard!  Day after day they gave of themselves.  I was humbled each time I went and saw what people can do when they work together and give generously.  I was excited to be apart of a church like this.

Friday was the big grand opening of our church.  All week we worked last minute details, cleaned up, and prepared for cooking (for up to 1,000 people!).  The day of was, of course, hot and yet the women cooked for hours around huge pots of rice and meat.  Everyone was busy doing something waiting for the Koreans to arrive.  I found some shade and helped the ladies shell garlic (hundreds of leaves of garlic).  I was glad I could help and fellowship.  My kids played with other kids near by and were excited about the cow head lying behind me.  Sometimes I just sit back and laugh about where I live and what is normal. J 

Everyone lined the driveway when the Koreans arrived.  They shouted, sang and waving branches.  It is such a festive sight!  They sure know how to welcome people.  The crowd gathered to cut the ribbon and enter the church.  The church was full and sweaty.  We had a small service and the Koreans, I think, said they would build our church school in three years.  Quite a promise.  After the service everyone was fed – that always amazes me.

Sunday we had our first church service in our new church building.  Through the building process I prayed that our church would have a firm foundation in Christ and that He was the center.  God continues to be at work in and through our church.  There was sincere worship that led to intimate prayer and tears…the Holy Spirit filled our church – the people.  I worshiped the Lord as I watched.  I am so thankful to see my daughter put her hand on friends crying before the Lord.  To see my pastor bowed broken before the Lord.  To hear God’s house filled with prayer.  There was a new believer, someone who fell away back again, and the faithful.  We had a sermon and time of repentance on the second step to freedom – lies vs. truth.  I pray we continue to remove the lies and believe God’s truth about us and others.  Then I know God will use us to bring His kingdom in our lives, marriages, homes, church, and community.

We look forward to my parents visit.  They arrive in Uganda on Feb. 5 and will be here three weeks.  Pray for their safety and good health.  Can’t wait for the kids to have some special G&G time!  Malai learned to say, “Dampa and Damma” just in time for their coming.  She loves to pray now too and usually repeats the word morning over and over.  Once and a while she will add names of people to her prayer too.  So sweet.  

Preparing the food for our churches opening

Our new church ready to be opened - yes it is orange.

People lining the driveway waiting for the Koreans to arrive