Friday, November 27, 2009


Well yesterday I was able to celebrate my second Thanksgiving here in Uganda. It's funny to think of the person I was last year compared to who I am now. I just shake my head in disbelief thinking of all God has taught me over this past year. Jinja has a pretty strong missionary population and so we celebrated by coming together with about 30 other missionaries at a breathtaking place overlooking the Nile, I was speechless when we walked down and I saw the view (and you know that doesn't happen very often). I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving as I know many of you have a year of big changes and some of you also went through some big trials. No matter what has happened, I hope you are able to rejoice through it all knowing that in a world that seems to be full of chaos we have a God who has it all under control and who loves us enough to come to this earth for the sole purpose of living to die on that cross so we can come to Him and stand before Him and bask in His glory.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My first Ugandan funeral

Today I had one of the many first I've been having these past couple of weeks here in Uganda, this time it was to go to a funeral and burial. One of our church members, Agnes, who has been with the church since the begging had a son who passed away. This woman is basically like the church grandmother and even is the one holding the babies a lot times when they are dedicated and she's one of the leaders of our hospital ministry. Because she's so heavily a part of the church, we felt it only right to have a strong presence at the funeral even though it was going to be way back in her village. We headed out at about 1 with three cars full of our staff and other church members who wanted to go to support Agnes and we got to Agnes' house and it's just amazing the different ways different cultures handle mourning. In America, it's a very solemn occasion full of hushed voices, here the women once they get close to the house of the key relative (i.e. mother) they put their hands on their head and start wailing as loud as they can (as Jess told me, think Jewish and you can kind of get it). We then loaded the body in the casket into the back of our pick-up truck along with several of Agnes' family members and drove for about an hour to the village everything was taking place. As everyone was gathered outside of a house, Jess delivered his message and shared the Gospel, it was cool because although it seemed like there could be potentially some opposition, God totally answered prayers and so seeds were planted and it was reported that several gave their lives to Christ. From there, we went down the road to where the burial was to take place and so after we all walked through some potato crops we arrived at the grave and a few last words and a prayer were given and the body was then lowered into the grave. It broke my heart to see Agnes she just knelt and wept as the burial was taking place. The awesome part is that about two months ago, her son prayed to accept Christ, so although there was sadness for the loss of her son, there was also joy knowing that He was out of pain and with Christ. It definitely was an experience to say the least, I'm so thankful that I had my eyes opened to something that I know takes place so frequently in this country especially. Even in the midst of sadness though, there is beauty, and the drive back was filled with break-taking view where pictures could not do God's creation justice, but the picture above I hope at least captures some of it.

ON A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Going to a funeral always gets one thinking about death. If you're reading this and you can't honestly say that you're going to heaven when you die, then I ask you surrender your life to Christ right now. He truly is THE way, THE truth, and THE life, there is no other way to heaven except through the cross. It's been said many times that every one out of one person dies and we all have to stand before God, but the thing that it comes down to will be if that will be the last time you will see Him or getting to spend eternity praising Him. We forget really what the purpose of the cross is, we forget that 1) we're sinners and 2) someone has to pay for that sin. God loves us so much that He CHOSE to come and die for us so we could be with Him for eternity and it wasn't the nails that held Him to the cross, it was His love for us that kept Him there. So really, if you want to truly experience the love of Christ and KNOW without a doubt what will happen to you when your time is up, now is the time to pray and just admit that you are a sinner, that you need a Savior, and that God provided us that Savior with sending His Son to die on the cross and rise from the dead. With that it's not just a prayer, it's not about going to church, memorizing verses, or Christian t-shirts, it's about fully surrendering your life over to Him and seeking to live for Him with every part of your being and not seeking to please Him because you have to, but because you love Him so much in response to His love for you that you can't help trying to do whatever you can to show Him you love Him too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our team

So I've been going through the book of Acts in my quiet time and today I was in the first part of chapter 20 and it just really got me thinking. Paul had a great team with him on his journeys. Sometimes it may have been maybe one or two people, other times it was maybe pushing ten, but nonetheless he still had a group of godly people who there with him along the way. I like to imagine what they were like, how they each had different gifts and each one complimented the next and as one was maybe rejected, another was there to encourage him. That's what the body should be like, especially in ministry. Personally, in my mind, I look at the team we have here as almost being like a group who has gone behind enemy lines in order to accomplish the mission given to us. I cannot imagine what it would be like if I were here by myself. It's amazing how God knew the plan He had for me and He also knew the team he wanted me to come and be a part of. He knew the lessons He wanted me to learn and the gifts He gave us all, and along with that, the trials we would go through. You can try and tell other people about some of the struggles we go through, but there's nothing like getting to sit down at the dinner table and talk about maybe some difficulty I'm having and having a resounding "we've been there before...several times."

As I've mentioned in other posts, this past month has really been one where it seems like trials are kind of lined up coming at me and us, one right after the other. But the good thing is, we don't have to go at them alone and that's what's so cool. Through the team God has brought me to be a part of, I can't tell you how much I've learned from just watching them work and live. There are some times that I feel so incredibly young and that in some of these things I'm just like a deer in the headlights. I feel like I'm kind of in the apprentice stage where I'm learning on the job, and although I'm not sure I'll ever really get the hang of it, I don't think there's a better group of people for me to learn from.

Friday, November 13, 2009

One month

It's funny how it's now been about a hear and a half ago that I was counting down from the one month mark, but it was to come to Uganda, but this time it's to go back to the States. I'm arriving on the evening of December 12 and will be in America for two months and coming back to Uganda on February 15. It's so crazy to think that in one month I'll be hopefully sitting in a Chile's surrounded by my family looking forward to what new things God will bring over the next couple of months.

As I've mentioned before, if you want to have kind of a "formal" rendezvous with me, just either let my momma or myself know so that we can put you on the calendar. You would be surprised how quickly two months goes, but I really would love to get to spend time with anyone who wants to, so don't hesitate to let us know.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

(no words)

So right now I'm writing this with whatever energy I have left after this past week. It's been such a roller coaster of highs and lows but I'm glad God is God in all of it. The little "situation" I've been dealing with finally got cleared up as the bike was finally finished being fixed and so I'm happy that's done and over with. Even in times like this, God is faithful to teach us some pretty huge lessons. Like yesterday I had prayed that all of this would turn out ok and according to His will, but then when His will and my will didn't exactly match I was not a happy camper. This morning as I was just thinking about everything God just really convicted me on how I so was not trusting Him and He brought so many verses from Job to mind such as "How should we accept the good from God, but not the bad" and when God speaks to Job and basically goes on for a couple of chapters about how big and powerful He is and Job has no room to question Him. I needed to be reminded of those things so much! I'm still trying to recover but at least it's with a better attitude than I had yesterday and trying to think of the good that came from the whole thing instead of dwelling on the bad and realizing God had it all happen for a purpose. lessons.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A difficult couple of days

So we've all gone through those times in life where you learn some super fun life lessons, and you learn them most of the time the hard way. Well, that was me the past couple of days. As I was leaving from teaching on Isaiah 53 at a school, I was going out onto a street and this guy driving a piki (scooter/motorcycle) got freaked and because his brakes and other things didn't work very well we ended up having a little incident where he kind of got knocked by the front corner of the car I was driving. It wasn't bad, the guy had a scrape on his leg, but a couple of things from the bike fell off when the bike tipped over. Little did I know that the decision I made to leave at the time I did, and take the route I did would lead to the last 24 hours being some of the worst ones I've gone through in a long time. Through spending a good chunk of last night at the hospital making sure the guy was ok and then driving out to the boondocks to drop him off (Jess came to help me, so I wasn't alone) then this morning driving out there again to pick him up to take him to get x-rays and bring his bike to the shop (which took 3 hours of sitting around the garage only to find that the part was in Kampala) and was ended by a nice accumulation of incidents where he either tried to act like he was hurt more than he was or to try and get us to pay for things on the bike that weren't caused by the accident, or asking for an exorbitant amount of money to compensate him for the time off of work. I'm absolutely exhausted from these days and tomorrow we still have to deal with him as the mechanic will be finishing the work.
I'm so thankful that he was alright and that it was poor judgment on both sides and not 100% my fault. I think I'm the most distraught just over the emotional aspect, especially in having things be escalated because of the color of my skin. I would be lying if I said that wasn't an issue here when it comes to dealing with problem situations, and today I personally got more insight into just how tough it can be sometimes. I thank God that He provided Jess and JB to help take care of me last night and today. Without them I would have no clue what to do and it would have just been an even bigger mess than it is already.
On a more positive note, I'm so glad that even in the midst of storms, God gives us little glimpses of sunshine. Tonight spent the evening with JB and his family. It was awesome having some AMAZING food, hanging out, and watching Madagascar 2. But oh! I just can't wait for this whole thing to be done with! I just pray that tomorrow goes smoothly and that I don't do/say anything that could hurt my witness. Ughhh! I just can't believe how hard these days have been! But praise God that He is still in control.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My hero!

So don't laugh, but the contents of this can has saved me from more freakish things than I wish to admit to you right now. From spiders, to wasps, to big momma ants, and everything in between this beautiful can of Doom (yes, I realize you're seeing a backwards image) and others like , have been one of those little blessings here that I just thought I would inform y'all about.


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