Monday, March 23, 2015

A Night in Pingere

Our family at the crusade in Pingere


Sharing Jesus at the bar

Drink break - kids always watching us

Tea time

Our kids doing school work - while being watched


Josh preaching

Yes, my kids are in this picture behind the gang of kids!

Drying fish with Isaac

Luka LOVED it

Our home for the night

And the temp INSIDE our home!
March 15, 2015

God kept putting a crazy idea in my head, so finally I asked Josh what he thought.  Josh was thrilled to hear I wanted to take the whole family to the two day outreach with our church in Pingere.  Now that may just sound like camping to you but let me try to explain.

Pingere is a village next to Lake Kyoga about an hour from Obulle.  Pingere has two sister church to our church in Obulle and Josh has taught there for years now.  We know and love the people there.  Taking our family there would mean sleeping in a tent in the pastor compound, using a latrine, enduring temperatures over 100 degrees, keeping an eye on and entertaining a two year old while doing evangelism, teaching in a church, and at a crusade, bringing all our water,  having meals very late…and of course loads of children staring at us.  Ok, that all just sounded like complaining and affirms I am a suburb girl and it is only by God’s grace that I live in the village in Africa

It seems I cannot fully explain what it is like taking your family of 7 to a village overnight (yes, we live in a village but in our home so this was different).  I guess it is kind like roughing it camping – in Africa.

We arrived late morning as the group was about to go out evangelizing.  We got our sunscreen on, grabbed some water and joined a group.  Josh took Lydia, Luka and Malai with his group and Karlie, Grace and I went with another group.  We walked just less than a mile and started to visit homes.  The first family scrabbled to gather seats for our group in the shade.  My group seemed very shy.  Pastor Martin took the lead and shared with the family.  Then he asked me to share.  I was glad I had been looking in the Bible for what to say just incase I was called on.  I shared from Eph. 2 and how God has given us a free gift.  The family did not accept Christ but we planted a seed.

Our next home there was an old women smoking (unusual in this culture) and she did not want to hear what we had to say.  She told us satan had taken her long ago.  Pastor Martin used me to as a guest to ask her if I could share with her or pray for her.  She agreed.  I shared Ps. 139 with her and talked about how God knows her, made her and loves her.  Then I asked her name and she was so upset she left and that was the end.  Others told us people have come before and take your name on a computer and shared lies and other weird things I didn’t fully understand.

We shared with a few others too.  I was challenged by it all.  Honestly, we were not brought up sharing our faith and going “door to door” sharing Jesus.  I don’t even do it much on the mission field.  I struggle to find what to say and where it says it in the Bible.  I want to know God’s Word more!  I prayed a lot while with sat with people and I know God is at work.  It is good to get out and meet people, share with them and give them a chance to know life in Christ.  I was touched by it all.

Josh’s group was more bold in sharing and seemed to stop anyone on the street, cooking or at the bar and share Christ with them.  One person gave their live to Christ when they shared.  In other groups many people received Jesus.  Praise the Lord!

I know our kids were effected by it all too.  It was challenging for them too but really moving for them to see people with out Jesus and the church sharing Jesus with them.  I am thankful they could be a part of it.

But it was SOOOOO very hot!!!  Well over 100 degrees and we could not get enough water.  It was really hard.  

After all that we rested at church, were given tea (not exactly what I wanted when it was so hot but it was nice of our friends), then lunch.  We were treated like honored guests.  Josh taught in the afternoon while the kids and I sat on mats at the pastor’s compound and they worked on school work.

Then we all went to the center for the crusade.  It was a fishing center and people seemed a bit rough and the kids were easily angered by each other and did a lot of fighting.  The church members had loud speakers set up (can’t have a crusade without loud speakers) and began singing.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the singing and dancing.  Our kids were a real spectacle and usually had about 20 kids staring at them.  Josh preached and gave an invitation for people to come to Jesus.  A young boy came forward and a man from the bar dropping his drink as he came.  By this time I took our three youngest kids to the van to retreat for a little while but it didn’t take long and the crowd of kids found us.  There was more singing and then another message and invitation.  We left when it got dark but we were told of many, many people coming to Christ by the end of the crusade. 

We had such a fun night under the most beautiful umbrella of stars!  Luka was in his glory helping Isaac, the pastor we stayed at, put fish on a drying rack.  Isaac and his wife dry and sell fish.  It was interesting to see the process and just be apart of their lives.  We were once again served tea, by this time it had cooled off nicely outside so we could enjoy our tea.  I loved the fellowship and just being with everyone in their normal life.  I put Malai to sleep in the tent then joined the others for a wonderful meal under the stars at ten at night. 

I liked sleeping in our tent, looking up at the multitude of stars, and listening to the quiet night sounds.  However, when 4am came and a pair of roosters outside of our tent would not be quiet, I was not so happy – not at all happy!

The morning was cool until the sun began to heat things up at 8am.  We packed up, enjoyed tea once again with peanuts and said good bye.  I thanked Isaac and Betty and they told us how loved they felt that we stayed with them.  How cool is that.  We showed our friends love by choosing to stay with them.  I think it shows we trust them too.  And they blessed us with their hospitality. 

Our family was very thankful for our time in Pingere.  Josh, Lydia, and Karlie really enjoyed the crusade.  Luka loved his time with Isaac and the fish.  I enjoyed seeing and being a part of life with our friends – like our late night meal together.  We were privileged to be a part of about 100 people coming to Christ!  Pray for the church as they now disciple these new believers and embrace them into the church.  For years the church would share in Pingere and there was never any converts, but this time God was at work so we are excited to see the Kingdom grow.

One more thought.  I live in the village and know my friends here and their lives but again, in a new way, I realized what it is like to live like them.  Why they don’t know what time it is or keep time, why meals are late and take so much time, why kids are dirty, how difficult it is to drink enough water, or be alone, and what it is like to have no bathroom and have everything outside.  It just gave me greater insight.  And I walk away knowing how greatly blessed I am.  And maybe what a snob I am.  I have no need to complain.  I had a lot to pray about.  I know God used this visit to work in my life.     

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Thank again for praying for Achia and family.

We continue to visit them daily.  I usually go before lunch and Karlie and the girls go in the evening.  Karlie has been working on her muscles (had to do similar stuff with her younger brother).  

I am thankful to see Achia clean and eating/drinking.  However, her stomach was VERY hard yesterday and I am sure she wasn't comfortable.  Her body doesn't know how to process the milk and food.  Today it was better and the mother said she did poop (sorry, just being real here).  But it she seemed her head was hot today (ok it is hot out - over 100 degrees).  I will take her temp later today and see.  We don't want her to get sick.  We also gave Achia de-worming medicine and new sensitive formula.

Charles visited again with me today and I always get more information when he is along.  The mother, Regina, thanked me for sending food yesterday because without it they would not have eaten.  I asked Charles what the husband makes for herding.  The wife said he gets 20,000ush a month -- that is about $8 a month!  They have no garden and so they have to buy their food and you cannot feed a family on that kind of money.  They really have nothing.  Some neighbors gave her some flour for today.  I asked Charles if the husband is good or drinks.  Charles said her drinks and has been gone for the last 36 hours without coming home.  I was so mad!  I am too trusting after all these years.  He seemed nice and caring.  Here his family is almost starving and he is drinking the little bit of money they have!?!

Charles always reminds me these people need Jesus.  So I am writing to ask for prayer as Josh and Charles hope to meet with this family tomorrow morning to share the Good News with them.  Pray for them to hear truth and receive Jesus!  We know there is freedom for this family in Christ.  Pray also the church comes around this family to show love by sharing and helping.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Update on Achia

God's precious daughter Achia
(4 1/2 years old but smaller than a two year old)

Achia led by her mother, 2 year old sister Acole, Dad and two month old baby sister Mary

Thank you everyone for praying for Achia and her family.  Monday when we went to get Achia we were happy to see her father there too.  He also wanted to go with us to Amecet to see what help was available.  Achia was much cleaner too.  At YWAM's Amecet (helps sick children) they also thought she was possibly blind.  We got more of the story from the father who said Achia was born normal but got cerebral malaria at two months old.  The malaria damaged the brain.  She never crawled or walked.  Achia only weighs 7.2 kilos (about 16lbs).  Sad.

So the people at Amecet think that Achia can improve, she will never be normal but she needs better nutrition and help to strengthen her muscles.  She needs stimulation too.  She has been left alone too much.  They would like to see her stay with them for one month to see what kind of improvement they can get.  The parents agreed.  However, Amecet is full right now so maybe in a week or two we could bring her back.  For now we are helping the parents with food and milk for Achia and visit each day to interact with Achia and move her muscles.

We visited the family again in the evening and showed them how much formula to give to Achia and brought eggs and portage too.  I also brought some clothes.  I saw inside the hut and realized these people really have nothing.  Charles share some with the parents about how to care for Achia and what she need and some about Christ's love too while we were there.  He knows that love is going to be the best medicine for this child.  We also asked about what she will do with Achia when she goes to the garden or somewhere (she has a baby on her back and a two year old follows her so there is no way she can take Achia and so she get left at home alone).  We were glad to hear they do have a teenage niece who helps them.  We learned (not surprised) that they have brought Achia to the witch doctor before too.  We all realize this family is bound and in darkness.  Jesus wants them to know His freedom and light.

Today I was so happy to see the father giving Achia milk when we arrived (not holding her but helping)!  She was clean and dressed.  She even slept well at night for the second night (they said she didn't sleep at night before).  I think she feels better with food.  I was so happy.  Achia is simply lovable.  She always reaches for you when you touch her.  She tries to touch your face when you touch her.  She even almost smiles when you kiss her cheeks.

I realize that this is still not going to be easy for anyone.  Achia will improve and be healthier but she will always be disabled and that is a hard life in this country.  There isn't much of any help or resources for her.  It is sad and difficult.  I was so tired last night after caring for, helping and my heart on this child and family.  What will it look like a week from now, a month?  Can we keep up loving and caring for them?  I pray our church begins to embrace them and share the love of Jesus with them.  For now, I will not look to far ahead and keep close to the Lord to give me what I need for each day.  I am holding onto God's promises for Achia and her family.  

"The Lord is faithful to all His promises
and loving toward all He has made.
You open Your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways
and loving toward all He has made."
Ps. 145:13-17

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pray for Achia

Today at church after the sermon we were encouraged to visit someone who needs comforting (learned about God's comfort).  So Josh, Lydia, Malai and I went to greet two church members who have been struggling with health issues.  As we were biking back a lady we do not know with a baby stopped us.  From what Josh could understand she had a sick child and wanted medicine.  I could see this mother was distressed.  We were not communicating well so we decided to follow her to pray for the child.  

When we came to the hut we saw a very malnourished child laying in front of the door.  I scooped the baby up.  It was so sad.  The baby was not a baby but over 4 years old and the size of our two year old only much skinnier.  My heart sank.  We learned her name was Achia and she seemed to love that I picked her up.  Why was she so neglected?  A crowd gathered to watch the white people with the sick child.  I asked for water and Achia drank it excitedly.  I was annoyed there were lots of people around us why wasn't anyone giving this child water or food?  The mother said there wasn't money for food.  Achia was so dirty.  She sucks on her hand and drowls so the cow dung stuck to her shirt and stunk.  I asked for another shirt but she didn't have one.  I washed Achia up a little but she didn't seem to like that too much (maybe cold).  The mother said Achia has been sick for 5 months!  

I didn't know what to do.  I wanted to rescue this child but do what?  We prayed for her and told the mother we would come back with someone to help figure out the story and a plan.  

I knew Lydia was upset by it all, not in a bad way but loving way.  She looked for clothes for Achia when we got home while I made some phone calls and Josh looked for Charles to help us.

When we went back with Charles I had way more compassion for the mother.  I knew she seemed desperate for help but I was so upset about Achia being so neglected.  We learned the parents are Karamojong and the husband herds animals for people.  He was out herding.  She was home with her sickly 4 year old, a 2ish year old, and a baby.  This mother is overwhelmed!  We sat in the dark while the mother cooked supper.  Achia was sitting up when we arrived so that is good.  Charles took a look at her and then I held her.  The mother had taken off the dirty shirt and I brought some clothes and put them on her.  We also took the one small packet of formula I had and Charles began giving it to her slowly.  Achia loved it and drank very happily.  She is so thirsty.  We made her do it slowly hoping she would not vomit.  Her mother said she will only eat bean, use to vomit but not anymore, sometimes diarrhea and only urinates once a day.  She said Achia cries at night and sometimes hits her head on the ground.  The mother also thinks she can't see.  We told the mother again and again Achia needs water.  Achia did drink all the milk while we were there and kept it down - yeah!  She loves sucking on her hands.  It is clear she is suffering and her brain has been starved.  

I wanted to take her home for the night to give the mother relief and hold Achia but I trusted Charles and Josh to lead the way in what to do.  We made a plan with the mother to take them to Soroti in the morning and go to YWAM's Amecet (a for children like this to get well).  If she doesn't remain there until she is well they will be able to direct us to help for Achia and her family.

Please pray for Achia.  I already love her.  She needs help if she is going to survive.  Pray for this mother who is, I believe, trying to do her best and loves her children.  They are truly in need.  They don't know the Lord and it appears satan is doing a his best to destroy them.  I Achia is God's child and He is her healer.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

God's Word to you

Praise be to God who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  God chose you in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined you to be adopted as His children through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure.  In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed you were marked in Him with the seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.

For this reason, because of your faith in the Lord and your love for the saints, I thank God for you and remember you in prayer.  Asking God our gracious Father to give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.  That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.  And His incomparably great power for us who believeThat power is like the working of His mighty strength which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion.

Eph. 1

Dear brothers and sisters,

Receive the truth.  God has chosen you, called you, adopted you, marked you, included you in Christ, loves you…because it pleases Him and it is His will for you!  God has called you to be holy.  He has given you every spiritual blessing – you have it!  He has freely given you grace and lavished wisdom and understanding upon you. 

May you know Him better and see the hope which He called you to.  You have a great inheritance!  And may you know the incomparable great power for us who believe!  It is the same power that raised Jesus from that dead that is in you!!!  God wants to work in you and through you – not by your power but by the power He has given you.  He is going to do greater things than you can imagine through you because He is amazing!

(Listen to all of Eph. Every day for a week and let God speak to you.)     

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Grandpa & Grandma in Obulle!

We had lots of fun with Grandpa & Grandma Beute here!
The kids even got Grandpa to play red rover :)

Josh and Dad made easels for the school to put chalk boards on

Greeting at our churches school - Christ the Answer

Shopping at the second hand market

Dare I put this on with so many Lion fans?!

Market run
Walking to our friends home in the village

Little Miss Tutu, boots and all 
Grandpa did lots of reading

and playing games

Our little local market on Thursdays

Helping with laundry
And at the well


Poor Malai was sick

No fun testing for Malaria - ends up just a virus
Butcher shop

Family worship night.
The girls love to dance while we worship.
I love the prayers of our children.  
Lydia thanked God for everything we can share from little things like skidles to big things like our faith.  Amen!

Visiting our pastor and family

The kids love to play

Chicken and rice anyone?

The 3 Marys

Our guides home

Bedtime routine: bath (or at least wash feet!), check for jiggers (sand fleas on feet), brush teeth...

Luka kept Grandpa very busy playing any kind of ball or hunting

Thanks for coming G & G!