Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well, it's almost 1 in the morning here and so it's officially 2009 while back in the states, there's still a few hours left of 2008. As I'm sitting here hearing the fireworks booming, dogs howling, and people yelling I just can't believe what 2008 has contained for me personally. I moved into the Pirolo house which held more memories than I can ever begin to express, began some of the best friendships of my life, lost a very good friend, graduated college, visited amazing friends in far away places, and moved to Uganda. I can't believe it all happened in a year! I am so amazed that in a life full of change and chaos, God is always faithful and consistent.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm so excited...

and I just can't hide it! I get to go on a little road trip to Moroto tomorrow! It was decided just today and I'm so stoked. I've been getting super stir crazy and so going to basically the Kenyan border after driving for about 9 hours is going to be a huge adventure! Don't worry, there will be plenty of details when I get back. Please just keep praying for our trip there. Jess and Bev have never even been to that part of Uganda, so it should be interesting.

Coffee dates with the girls

One of my favorite things to do in ABQ was have coffee dates with the girls of the youth group. We could just sit and talk and not just do small talk, but really get to spill about what all is going on in our lives and I would be able to counsel and pray with them (I miss those times and those girls so much!). One cool thing though is that today I was able to do that Africa style. I went with three of the girls and we walked into to town and I took them to Flavours where they experience mocha's and cappuccino's for the first time. We were able to laugh and also dive into some serious subjects as well and it was just cool getting to hang out with them in a more casual environment. It had been a tough day, but then that kind of put a positive spin to it. God is good...all the time!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

oh man!

Yesterday (well, today for all you in the states) was the day that my best friend since I was in 1st grade got married. Kelsey and I met in Mrs. Lucero's 1st grade class when she didn't bring glue and I had some to share and the rest is history. After that we were inseparable, we even braided our hair together and actually went out in public like that along with wearing our "best friend" t-shirts. We've gone on trips, had tee parties, and countless sleep overs and as we grew up although she moved to Arizona and I stayed in NM, we still got together whenever she was in town. Most friends come and go, but Kels is going to be one that I will cherish forever. Looking at pictures from her wedding, I saw friends from high school and my whole past came flooding back to me, it's crazy to think about how much stays the same, yet changes at the same time over four years. This is really the first big thing that I'm sad I missed by not being there, but I realize still that God's timing is perfect and it really comes down to what I need to be obedient in. Anyways, I love ya Kels, and congratulations!

4 months

Wow! I'm now at the 4 month mark that I've been away from home. In some ways it's blown by so fast, in other ways it seems to have crept along. I thank you all for your love and prayers, God has truly blessed me while being here and answered those prayers. Please continue praying for what God is using me to do here, and that I would work in His strength, not my own.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Boxing Day

Have you ever heard of Boxing Day? Well, I had always seen it on the calendar but never had the slightest clue about what it was. But because I have no learned something new and I love you all and therefore want to enlighten you, I'll let you in on what it is all about. It's a British Holiday where because you got new things for Christmas, you go through you closets and take out old things and put it in boxes and give them to the poor. I thought that was actually kind of a cool holiday, of course we're not necessarily celebrating it like that (I don't know if anyone really does that anymore on that day) but because Uganda is a British protectorate, they celebrate it by closing everything down and so I'm going to be able to hopefully enjoy a day full of nothing.

Christmas Day

Today is the first Christmas day I've spent away from my family. It started out a little bit more difficult than I would like, just because the internet wasn't working and so I felt more disconnected than I normally do. We had an outdoor service which was held under tarps where we all watched the Christmas performance the kids put on. Then we got ready for our Christmas lunch/dinner which was about 30 ugandans and missionaries eating food ranging from posho to potato salad and cranberries. After hanging out for a bit, we opened up some presents (I got hooked up with a new phone), I was able to talk to my family over Skype and opened presents and it was awesome just getting to see them, and I can't believe how blessed I am by having such a great family! Now we're all just sitting around watching Miracle on 34th Street unwinding from a crazy week.


Outdoor Christmas Eve

Last night we held Christmas Eve outside. It was awesome! I loved it so much! Who knew that you could hold an outdoor service where you have to remember to put on the sunscreen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

It's unreal to think that it's Christmas eve. Right now I'm sipping coffee listening to Christmas music, looking at a house filled with tinsel, thinking of what other presents I still need to get (I know, way to wait until the last minute), and still in shock that today is Christmas eve. I love Christmas, like really really love Christmas. Well...I guess it's the "organic" Christmas if that makes any sense. I don't like the materialism or the obsession over presents, but I love the whole thought that ideally all these people are filled with joy and getting to spend time with family as they celebrate the love of God. I guess it's the thought of what Christmas is SUPPOSED to be like that I love so much.

My trip to prison

Today I was able to spend the day in prison with a bunch of the kids who were doing a Christmas performance. They were at a prison across the lake yesterday and then today they presented twice (once to those who will die in prison, and another time to those who are just waiting for their sentence to be over). It was seriously unreal and I really wish that they had allowed cameras, but I will do my best to give you an idea of what it was like. Imagine a courtyard in the middle of a three-story building that had bars all around it, and then a couple hundred prisoners in yellow and white uniforms sitting on a bunch of blankets on the floor or just standing. Then imagine about 30 kids ranging from the ages of 9-20 singing Christmas songs, a rap group from Kampala laying it out in front of everyone that Jesus is the Son of God, and then one of our pastors saying that "religion is man's attempt to reach God, salvation is God's attempt to reach us" (all going at different times of course). And in the midst of that, you can hear the Muslims in another area chanting their prayers. It was unlike any experience I have ever had and I'm just so blessed that I was able to see God at work in a place like that.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas shopping

So before I got my carepackages, I went with Bev, Keith, and Ellen to Kampala to get some Christmas presents for the people here. It was actually a lot of fun despite my humongous dislike of shopping and I just found it quite comical that at one point we looked at a little thermometer that said it was over 100 degrees...100 degrees in December!!!!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie breakdown

Ok, so I just gone another couple of care packages and one of them was filled with Christmas presents from different family and friends. I am so so blessed by each person in my life. I may or may not have cried fairly hard after getting my box that had a couple of presents I know what they are without even opening them and then I was directed on the tag to open one before Christmas and I opened it and it was the Jim Carrey version of the Grinch and boy, when I opened that, I was finished! One tradition I have is that my brothers and I all sleep in the same bed watching the Grinch and then while we're waiting for the go-ahead from my parents in the morning we watch it again. Right now I'm just sitting on the floor of my office with a couple of kleenexes and trying to make it look like I haven't been sobbing. I truly am so blessed by the love that surrounds me, and thank God for how He has blessed me so much with my amazing family and friends!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

little adventures

Today I was able to have a pretty chill day complete with a little jaunt into town with Ellen to open her eyes to the glory of my favorite coffee shop, youth group where I was able to sit with Aryana on my lap and just crack up at how smart she is, and Ryan taking me and all the kids in his SUV sort of thing on a little trip just around our part of town, there about ten of us crammed in there, but the kids loved it and it was fun to hear how excited they were.

I also sent out my newsletter, so if you didn't get one but wish to receive one, please let me know.

There is no place like home for the holidays

today Jesse was playing a bunch of Christmas songs, and I thought I was doing ok today on the homesickness front, but I guess I was wrong. Just look at these lyrics, and can you blame me for getting a little sad after hearing it?

Oh there's no place like home
For the holidays, 'cause no matter
How far away you roam
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays, you can't beat
Home, sweet home
For the holidays, you can't beat
Home, sweet home

I guess the bottom line is though that God has brought me here for this time for a purpose and the pain of missing everyone and everything is not even remotely close to the pain and sacrifice He endured for me on the cross. I just have to continually keep it all in perspective, and drawing closer to Him through all of this.

Friday, December 19, 2008

youth conference

Today we went to a youth conference that lasted the whole day, and therefore I'm pretty much exhausted. It was "interesting" but it was really the best day getting to know a lot of the students. I was able to bond with the girls just with eating posho and rice with them and then the boys definitely confirmed that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach because I gave them some cookies and it was like all of a sudden they were my best friends. It was really an awesome day, and I'm just so glad I had this opportunity.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Phew! so we made four different cookies and it was seriously an all day thing, but it was awesome! Towers of gingerbread and sugar cookies (which were quite possible THE best ones I've ever had) will now be a part of my African Christmas memories.

don't judge

I've concluded that I'm not a very clean cook, but at least I'm a good one (or at least I hope I am). Today I'm on a Christmas cookie marathon with Ellen and so far we've made chocolate chip pecan cookies, and then dough for sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, and an almond cookie. On top of that, we've already watched Rudolph and the Grinch and now Home Alone is coming up next.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

break time

I just had my Eschatology exam which means I don't have class for two weeks! I love school, but my brain needs a break.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It is finished

I'm done with my Old Testament outlines!!!! It was intense and probably took years off my life, but it was totally worth it and I'm done! (If you're of the environmental persuasion, you may want to not look at the picture or try and think of how much paper I had to use to do this).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Staff Christmas Party

So who can say that their staff Christmas party involved getting on a boat and crossing Lake Victoria to go swimming with about 80 Ugandans? I loved it! Today we started out with having lunch at the compound where there was massive amounts of local food, coca cola products and then headed down to the lake where we all got on boats and rode accross Lake Victoria to a resort that has 3 pools and we all swam. It was pure mayhem, but it was awesome seeing even the conservative mom's getting in the water. There were about 100 of us once you count the "mzungu's" and it was such a cool time to meet everyone's kids and see them all outside of work. I loved it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby girl

One of the highlights to my life here are the kids. Little Aryanna is not yet 2 and she's seriously the most precious little girl! She's got the most adorable little voice too that seriously melts your heart whenever you hear it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

36 down 3 to go

Ok, I've got only 3 more books left to outline, but one of them is Ezekiel, and I've been putting that bad boy off for some time. My goal is to hopefully get through Daniel tonight, Ezekiel tomorrow, and Hosea on Monday. I'm such a procrastinator, it's ridiculous, but this is seriously the way I work. I know it's not the best way, but hey, it's been working so far right? Well, I should stop procrastinating and keep on truckin' just thought I'd give y'all a little news brief as to the Outline status as I know you're all on the edge of your seats trying to see if I finish on time :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

getting there

I only have about 100 verses left in outlines, so I'm thinking I may make it. As I'm working on them, I'm looking out the window right now and the moon is amazing!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm really trying

Right now Jess and Bev are decorating the tree to Christmas music, I hear the kids practicing for the Christmas play outside, and I'm seeing posts that it's snowing in Albuquerque, but I look outside and it's about 80 degrees with blue sky and I just can't quite get in the Christmas spirit. I guess it's a good thing that Christmas isn't all about the warm-fuzzies you feel at this time of year (if it was I'd be in trouble) but about remembering truly the love God has for us and what it meant for Him to come and put on skin in order to suffer and die for us wretched sinners.

My afternoons

So since the kids are now on "Holiday" until February, every day I get to hear "Kelli, come and play with us" in their awesome accents. So I go and get my special bag that I use for when I play with them that has all their little drawing books in there along with crayons, pens, pencils, and of course all of the sun glasses and I typically toss my camera in there too. I then go out to meet them and we spend time drawing and coloring and just playing and lately they've been asking me to teach them how to draw (hence the picture) I'm not good like my daddy is, but what I do know, I'm trying to teach them and they're actually pretty good little artists.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A slight feeling of defeat

So again, you're able to hear a little of my candor with this blog. I just got done with a kind of difficult Sunday as I had studied for my teaching and was prepared to teach both the girls Bible study and the kids, when I get to the place where I normally teach, I found out the girls from my Bible study were asked to be a part of the Christmas program and therefore were not able to come and then the kids were busy being kids and playing. So right now I'm kind of feeling a little down just because of the time I spent preparing and nothing happened, but oh well, I guess I should just realize that God's still in it and not to grow weary and such is life when you're doing ministry.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Dogs are glorious creatures. This morning Bev called me outside to look at something and there on the ground was a huge rat! Thank goodness it was a dead one - hence the dogs being glorious part. At night I can hear them running around in our attic and it sounds like someone is bowling up there, but I had no clue they would be this big!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry...

I cannot believe how blessed I am! I just got done talking with a TON of people from my Calvary ABQ family over skype. It was absolutely amazing! They truly are my 2nd family, they have loved me over the years and supported me and prayed for me and I'm so so thankful for them!

You are so beautiful to me

Tonight we had communion as we have it every month, but I don't know there was just something about it tonight that got me. I was looking at the church where there were about 50 people and Ryan was playing "You are so beautiful to me" and Stephen and Aaron were handing out the elements and it was just so cool and how I couldn't help but think that just a few months ago I was having communion in a church where there were 1,500 people and the communion was served in little pre-packed cups. No matter who or where you are, if He is your Savior, we're all one body.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Outlines, Outlines, and More Outlines

I wish I could give some exciting story, but for the past couple of days, I've been working on outlines ever moment I can (or at least try to). They are due in exactly 2 weeks and I'm now in the book of Job, so hopefully I'll be able to swing it and get them done in time. I'm finding that I have a very short attention span, which I always kind of new, but I always attributed it to impatience, but I'm thinking it's just that a lot of times I'm really a 5 year old trapped in a 22 year old body. Please pray that I get these done on time and that I'll be a good girl and have some discipline and be productive during those "down" times.


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