Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Videos from Obule!

This year we had the privileged of having Jim Triezenburg come to Uganda and make two videos for us.  Jim was a teammate of ours back in our Nigeria days.  It was great to catch up and to reminisce.   We also enjoyed making the videos together and capturing the footage for the scripts Josh and I wrote.
The first video we call "At Home in Obule" is about our kids lives on the mission field.  It gives you a taste of a day in our village.  People love it!  It really tells you and shows you about our lives.  I love watching it and our kids did a great job!

The second video called "Free to Serve" is about our ministry in Uganda with Freedom in Christ.  It highlights those trained in FIC and now going out to teach it.  We are so thankful for our partnership with the Ugandan Christians to spread the Gospel!  Unfortunately, I can not put this video on the blog because of the video footage from the prison.  I will work on getting it out there somehow, or you can email me for a copy for your personal viewing, or come and hear us speak at a supporting church and see the video.

Enjoy the video and a look into our lives!  Thanks Jim!
At Home in Obule

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

4,000 Miles Journey

So we arrived in MI but didn't stay long.  After a quick few days with family and a holiday weekend we were off again.  (Hello and see you later - sorry everyone!)  We left for our road trip to Alberta for our Freedom in Christ North America conference.  Ok, we didn't drive the whole way but a long way.  We were gone for two weeks and put on about 4,000 miles.  We lived out of suitcases for almost a month from Obule until we finally settled into MI and slept in about 15 beds in 30 days.  We are so thankful for our wonderful and special time away as a family and now we are very thankful to unpack and settle into a home in MI for a while.  I will let the pictures share most of our trip but I will also just give you an outline of the journey.  God is no doubt a beautiful, creative, awesome creator!!!

1. We drive from MI through Wisconsin to Minnesota for the night.  We love stopping where we want and seeing new things for a couple hours.  It breaks up the LONG day of driving.
2. We then entered Canada and went outside of Winnipeg to visit our kids former home school teacher and friend Sarah and her husband Dustin and baby Jed.
3. From Winnipeg we then flew to Calgary where we met up with my parents!  We drove to Canmore for the FIC conference and my parents watched our kids for the conference.
4. After the conference we stayed in Banf for a three day vacation in the Canadian Rockies.
5. From there we flew back to Winnipeg and drive the Northern part of MN, WI and through the UP where we speak at our supporting church in Rudyard.
6. One last stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes where we met Josh's parents for two days together.
7. Back in Hudsonville, MI where we have been settling in, getting ready for the kids to begin school, and choosing not to get overwhelmed by it all!

We stopped at Laura Ingles Wilder's birth place or Little House in the Big Woods in Pepin, WI.
Honestly, it was a bit disappointing but we did it and the area was beautiful.

Lake Pepin is part of the Mississippi River

Mississippi River

Had supper at Mall of America - another let down, just another mall - but Luka loved the lego store.

Our first time to Manitoba.  It was VERY flat, lots of farming and we left out in no where!

Sarah and Dustin's house.  Grace loved their little boy and he loved her.

What a blessing to reconnect with Dustin and Sarah!
We had fun just being together, playing and sharing the same passion for Jesus.  They live far from anything so we actually could relate with our lives in the village.  

We arrived in Canmore, Alberta to smoke - we couldn't even see there were mountains because of the forest fires.  All summer they had smoke, raining ash, and no rain since July.  We prayed for the Creator to bring wind or rain and allow us to see His beauty.  Slowly we got to see the mighty Canadian Rocky Mountains!  God did sent a little wind and then some rain.  Praise the Lord!

My mountain man loving it.

Big horn sheep

Our FIC Americas conference was a huge encouragement.  We got meet many new people who we instantly understand and love because of our same passion.  So many people knew us because they have been praying for us.  FIC takes prayer very serous!  I was humbled, thankful and blessed.  I saw the beauty of the body of Christ at the FIC conference.  Learning together, growing together, resting, and having the Lord's supper together.  Beautiful. 
I also felt very much still in culture shock coming to the States and having a conference the second week.  It was a lot to take in, it was so nice and beautiful, and it was so much!!!  If only people could see my heart and mind - maybe it is best they don't.

And we saw a grizzly bear!!!

We were driving looking for animals and this bear was eating berries along side the road.  There were signs all over town about bears and having your bear spray if you hike and to stay away from elk.  I was a bit nervous but happy to see one from the truck.  He was huge! Like 700 lbs maybe.  He had no tag but local people and rangers said he was big and special being an unmarked grizzly.  

We were so excited to see a grizzly - my parents first bear in the wild ever - then we saw another one!  This one was about half the size also just off the road eating berries.  It was tagged so we could look it up.  It was so fun and exciting!  Just so you know we ended up driving over 9 hours in our trip looking for animals and saw these two bears as we were turning around to go back one day and saw both of them in 15 minutes.

Lake Louis - glacier - awesome!

Rode the gondola up the mountain

Josh enjoying...what a majestic God we serve!

After the conference we had a three day vacation in Banff

We finally found the elk!  Every day we saw them on the golf course.

This is the moment the kids and I were out of the truck...all week we were told (by Grandma too!) not to go near the elk they are VERY dangerous this time of year and have been known for even tipping over cars...and on and on.  So when we finally saw the elk we stayed in the truck but Josh, Grandpa AND Grandma went out and stood there to watch them.  We went out once and then ran back the moment the bull elk started running.  I think it may have been a funny scene.  My kids felt much better once we convinced everyone to watch from the truck. 

See Josh?

Hot springs - smelled like sulpher outside

But not stinky inside - just nice and warm

Our last day there was snow on top of the mountains!  I loved it.  It got down to 36 degrees that day driving in the mountains.  For one short minute it even snowed on us and all the kids cheered with delight.

And after all that and a long drive we had a stop on Lake Superior in Wisconsin.

And then we stopped at the Porcupine Mountains in the UP, but after the Rockies it didn't impress the kids.  AND fog rolled in and we literally saw nothing!

Lake Superior in the UP - so much beauty God gave us!

Pictured Rocks

Sault Locks
Last but not least, Sleeping Bear Dunes on the shores of Lake MI.
Grandpa & Grandma Shaarda  joined us!

We stayed at a guesthouse for people in ministry - thanks to a very generous family who owns it.
It had fun things like a zip line, 4 wheeler, and hot tub!

We even swam in Bar Lake and Lake MI

And all vacations must come to an end... Malai taking a ride in Grandma's wheel chair.