Friday, July 23, 2010

The God of ALL comfort

In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul describes God as the "God of ALL comfort". Now...I won't lie, I've enjoyed this verse before but in this season of life, it seems to have slipped my mind what it really means. Isn't it funny how that happens? You know verses and you know the promises but to actually put them into practice is a whole other ball game. I think for me, I'll be honest when I say that in a weird way I guess sometimes I don't want to be comforted...yet at the same time I want it with all of my being. I don't know if you could chalk it up to the martyr mentality or just say it's for attention sake. I guess the lesson of the day is that I need to allow myself to be comforted - the challenges of life are not going to change (broken foot, Ryan gone, Jess and Bev gone, and now I have a cold) - so I need to look to God to comfort me in ALL of these things so that I can be used by Him in the ways He wants to instead of living in a perpetual pity party.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our newest addition

So I've had several people say that with Ryan going, I should get a puppy, and I just would tell them no. Then last night we get the e-mail that we should take advantage of some German Shepherd puppies to add to our posse of guard dogs. So JB and I went to pick one out today...needles to say, meet Kabong. He's six weeks old, and ridiculously cute. I know he won't stay this way, he's actually going to be pretty massive considering his size already and the size of his mom. I won't lie, he's pretty awesome!

Friday, July 16, 2010

He's finally gone

Today I went through one of the longest and hardest goodbyes. Ryan has finally left to move to Karamoja. I can't believe it's finally happened, there's no more, "first this..." or hearing "how long until you go?" He's of my dearest friends has gone and our lives of being together through all of the exciting as well as mundane things of life has come to an end. This morning, waiting to say goodbye to him I just couldn't believe it was for real and then when we had our final goodbye, I can't even begin to express how hard it was as we just hugged and I sobbed like a baby. I'm going to miss this guy so much and even now with each moment of him getting further and further away, it hurts all the more knowing that he's not coming back to live here and will now just be a visitor whenever he drives through that gate. It's so hard to have him gone but I'm so proud to call him a friend and I just ask for your prayers as he embarks on this new journey.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nobody likes me...

That song "nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll eat some worms..." is kind of going through my head right now. That is so far from the truth but to make a long story short I'm suffering from a rather intense pity party at the moment - definitely digressing to the Elijah "Why can't I just die" state of mind although not to such an extreme degree. I had the hope that the crutches/cast would be gone in a month and that I was 1/4 of the way through it, but this evening I found out that the usual six weeks is actually what I'm going to have to do. Life here is so the oposite of handicap friendly - my cast is definitely not that fancy new fiber glass or waterproof material, my crutches are definitely very "african", and well...the complaints could just go on and on. Can you tell I'm just in a whiny mood right now? On top of that it's also just again setting in how Ryan is leaving in less than 48 hours, which is just fantastic (NOT!) and I spent my evening in a waiting room with one of our sponsored students who had a rash and needed to be checked out. I wish I could sound super spiritual right now and just be that hard core missionary that people tend to think I and my comrades are like, but really I'm just having "one of those days" right now. I feel for those who I live with because when I got home from the hospital I may or may not have thrown my crutches and went on a wee little rampage. Oh the joys of growing pains...

A little too close to home

After a late night of watching the World Cup at a local restaurant, I woke up on Monday morning thinking that the week would be just like any other. Then the news came that there had been a bombing in Kampala (which is about 2 hours away), and we found out that it wasn't just some small thing where one or two people got hurt but the numbers of people who were killed by the two bombs continued to climb. Currently, the count is at 74 people who have died and it's been pretty much confirmed it's by a Somalian militant group who is not happy about Uganda's presence in their country. It happened while people were just hanging out and watching the game. The pictures are just so crazy because even in the paper they show people who are just sitting in their chairs, arms crossed, looking like they did when they were watching the game, but they are covered in blood and are dead. It just goes to show you how you really NEVER're not even guaranteed today. It is now going to be interesting to see how Uganda deals with this situation. Most people are in a state of fear just because we have a trade show happening here in Jinja where rumors have circulated that it could be a target as well. Needless to say, we are all safe but are still taking precautions.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Artists at work

I can't stand for anything to be white for any length of time, every surface in my house that used to be white is covered in paint.. my cast was no different. At first I did my own decorating, but then today my somewhat boring cast got quite a face lift - between tire tracks drawn on the bottom to resemble the "Firestone" shoes that people in Karamoja wear to one of a kind art done by a group of kids between the ages of 3 and 13, I'd say I'm pretty set as far as having one shnazzy looking cast.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Being broken...literally

In life, you just never know what little twists and turns may arise. As the previous post indicated, it had appeared that I had fractured my metatarsal (top of my foot), and today after some more x-rays and a LOT of waiting, it was confirmed. I was put into a cast and told to keep weight off of it for about a month. At first I didn't mind, but now as the pain and the realization of my new immobility is setting in, it's becoming rather easy to throw a couple of pity parties for myself. Poor Bev had me bread down on her just because of how angry and upset I was at how yet again I have had another physical struggle. I'll admit, it gets old having physical issues and people feeling sorry for you. I get into trouble because of how independent I like to be especially in times like these, but what people don't realize is that I've lived my whole life with needing some sort of "special care" - people getting water for me, stacking pillows, walking slowly, getting me ice, and honestly it gets old feeling like you're a "burden" to people. I realize that those who do those things for me don't see it as a burden, but it's still really hard. I guess you could also just bring it down to pride and just how I get brought to these points where I can't do EVERYTHING no matter how hard I try. Tonight I couldn't help clean the table after dinner, that was a tough one just because I feel so lazy when I can't do anything. Again, I know all the promises of how God is faithful and is using this for my good, and that I can view time like what happened to Job, but boy is it a struggle. I'll be honest and say that I've really asked God, "Are you serious!? This...NOW!?" But again I realize that in my weakness He is made strong. So I just have to grin and bear it, rejoice in all things, enjoy the extra doting, and make this very ugly boring cast into something a little more attractive.

Monday, July 5, 2010

An (gulp) Adventure

So I've been trying to be more daring and take more "risks" and not be such a big chicken, I realized that risk taking/dangerous stuff is not my cup of tea. I went with the Clovis' and Pilchers white water rafting...that's right folks - I went rafting down the Nile on class 5 rapids!!!! Me, the girl who falls just walking across the room and is afraid sometimes of her own shadow actually went rafting. Before I go into the gory details, I just have to say that I am glad that I did just so that I won't always be wondering if I should/could. It definitely was an experience and needless to say one that I'm not planning on reliving any time soon.

We began the day with the super fun safety training where they tell you what to do if/when you encounter the various risks that come with rafting, it's a real pep talk...not! The first couple of rapids really weren't bad at all, they were exciting and just at the level of "danger" that I'm ok with. But then came the big 'un...dun dun dun...Silver Back. Our guide warned us that this rapid was very unpredictable and so she refreshed us on what to do if we get knocked out. We paddled, hit the rapids and almost immediately our boat flipped and I saw a big wall of white water as I fell into the river. I seriously felt like I was under the water for longer than anyone ever should be. I honestly don't know if I ever have been as close to the feeling like I was going to die as I did during that time. It really did shake me to my core, especially since I'm not a big fan of big water in the first place, hence this being such a big accomplishment for me.

During that time in the water I thought it would be fun to see what it feels like to be a rock on the bottom of the Nile and so I bounced off of a couple of rocks and got pretty beat up. And just so you know I'm not a big baby, according to the initial report on the x-rays, it looks like I may have fractured the top of my foot. It swelled rather nicely and it doesn't necessarily tickle when I move it or apply any sort of weight to it so I'm guessing a fracture sounds just about right. Oh...the joys of this season of life. This week was going to be a doozie anyway and so now it's a whole other ball game, I'm just glad again in all this chaos and pain (both physical and emotional) God is still on the throne.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The kids

As I have posted before, on Sunday afternoons, I get to teach a group of kids most of whom come from the staff of our church but there are also several who are just their friends who have started to come "just for fun". A couple of the friends actually come from Muslim families so it's a really cool opportunity to pour into them in the capacity that I get to. These kids have become so enthralled with learning what God's Word has to say that I'm absolutely blown away by the growth and maturity I see in them. I can only imagine what they're going to be like years down the road if they just stay passionately seeking Him. It gets me to think - if we "make disciples", real disciples not just Bible stories but real students of the Word with kids who are really serious about it, there's no telling what sort of impact they can have for the Kingdom as they continue to grow up. I'm just still so amazed at how this opportunity just fell into my lap and know that 10000% is from God because I'm definitely NOT a Children's ministry/sunday school teacher - I respect those who have that calling but I know that it's only for these select kids that God has brought me to minister in this capacity. I love these kids with all of my heart and just so humbled that God would give me the awesome privilege of pouring into them week after week.

Closing a chapter

Life is full of changes, and with every end to a chapter of life there is a new beginning. As you have read in previous posts, Ryan is moving to Karamoja (the area of Eastern Uganda) and this has been a time I've been dreading for a while, and that time if finally upon us. Next week, Ryan will be packing up his apartment and moving on to a new adventure with new challenges but also some awesome victories. Selfishly, I don't want him to go, but as a fellow servant, I'm jealous of this new opportunity he has. The people of Karamoja are really those who have barely (if at all) been reached by the Gospel. But with this new beginning, comes the close to Ryan's full-time existence here in Jinja.

Last night we had the church goodbye party for him. It was so cool to see so many people come who really knew him and wanted to show their appreciation for the past nine years of ministry he has done here in Jinja. I was given the task of being the organizer of this event, which I have to admit helped to detach me a little bit from what the event was all about. I have been so busy the past week making sure that everything was as "perfect" as it could be considering it was planned in less than a week. Making banners, videos, and playlists, buying supplies, organizing cooks, baking cakes and making sure that everything was covered helped to keep me from being an emotional wreck as I facilitated an event to say goodbye to one of my closest friends. To add to the goodbye process, this morning was the last time he lead the church in worship as our worship leader...needless to say it was a tough morning. God has blessed him so much with so many gifts and it's going to be very hard to get used to life without him rocking the worship every Sunday morning. I'm so excited to see what God is going to do in Ryan's life as he begins this new chapter, but it is still so hard to know that time for him to go is rapidly approaching. God has done so much in the life of Ryan and I've been privileged to watch God mature him over the past two years I've been working with him.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A twelve stones sort of week

So a week ago, I was broken and honestly at the lowest I have been in a long time. But then as the previous posts have mentioned, God rebuilt me. I'm still struggling and having this next week be another week of dreading the real deal this time, of people really leaving, but God proved Himself faithful in this past week (as He has done countless times before) and therefore I know that He will again meet me yet again in my brokenness. It's funny to think of how much God has done in me over this past week alone. I began the week crying out about the lessons God would be teaching me and boy did He deliver! I just pray that the weeks to follow will be as rich or even more so in the growth that only comes through His sometimes painful work making us more into the people He desires for us to be.

The title of this blog comes from how in the book of Joshua, they passed through the Jordan on dry ground, they picked up twelve stones to remember all that God had done. This week was definitely one of those weeks I hope I don't forget recalling His faithfulness, compassion, and those things He told me in the "still small voice". Even now, I'm just writing this in hopes that one day I can look back and remember the struggles, triumphs, and lessons learned during this bitter sweet time.


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