Not in Uganda Anymore

It has been one week since landed in America and I still find myself and my family thinking or doing things and then we remember we are not in Uganda anymore. One of the most important are my constant reminders to Matt while driving which lane he should be in (I’m sure he is really appreciating it)… more than once I thought he pulled out into oncoming traffic only to realize Americans drive on the “right” side of the road (no pun intended)

There is a dark spot on my in-laws hardwood floors that Julia keeps returning to.. sure that it is a bug. At first it was an ant but since we have assured her it is not an ant, it has turned into a cockroach. Sorry girl, those bugs don’t survive in these Wyoming temperatures.

Yesterday I got my blood drawn which is one of my favorite things in the whole world! ha ha! While the nurse was getting ready and then penetrating my bubble with a sharp needle, Matt was kindly distracting me with all of the Ugandan annoyances that we didn’t have to go through to get to the doctor. As the nurse was turning viles of my blood back and forth in her hands, I saw a wave of fear cross her face. “Uganda wasn’t one of the places infected with Ebola… RIGHT?!” As much as I wanted to see how far I could push her… I didn’t want to end up in quarantine. Note to self… Don’t tell American medical staff that you have just returned from Africa.

When the sun goes down that does not mean it is time for bed. When it gets dark in Uganda at 7pm (+/- 10 minutes) all year long we start putting the kids to bed and winding down for the night. Unfortunately 5:30 betimes make for very early mornings!

I went Black Friday shopping … and there was no security guard to make sure that my belly is not a bomb… and I didn’t pay with cash… and the options were a bit overwhelming.

Julia has worn fleece footie pajamas for the first time in her life.

Micah cried when his hands started burning from being so cold in the snow.

Micah told me it was thundering… nope that is wind.

We ate pizza twice in one day.

I heard a 90’s boy band on the radio and it made me think of Uganda.

Micah tried to walk to the car without shoes on… and then began yelling at me to hold him.

We are so glad to be in America but still not completely used to being here. Some of it has been quite comical… the joys of thousands of miles and 10 time zones.

 

 

 

Flying in Your Third Trimester (internationally and with toddlers)

Traveling in the thrid trimester

Just don’t… Is that what you are thinking? Well we live in Uganda and we wanted to come home to have this baby.

Booking Flights
– Ask around about kid friendly airlines. We like United, British Airways, and have heard great things about Emirates. We haven’t liked Brussels with little kids. (After this last flight I would rather pay more for a flight on British Airways than pay for an upgrade to economy plus… the flight attendants really do make a difference on a long flight!)
-Choose the most direct flights with the least amount of total travel time. This was actually the cheapest option for us this time, but I would have paid extra to cut out two layovers, hours of layover time, and 8+ hours of total travel.
-Check on their rules for flying while pregnant. Airlines all differ on how late they will let you fly. Usually after 28 weeks you will need a doctors note. (They gave us a hard time at the Entebbe airport because my note said “fit to travel” not “fit to fly”)

Before you leave
Get in touch with the airline!
-We have one lap child so we can sit in the bulk head on international flights, but I had to request it. -They have children’s meals that will come out first so you can feed the kids before you eat and don’t have to deal with all of the trays at once. You also have to request a child’s meal! The lap child won’t get a meal.
– Get a note from a doctor
– Sign up for reward miles

*Talk up going on an airplane to your kids! Watch an airplane movie. Look for airplanes in the sky. (Micah got to sit in the cockpit of a small plane at MAF the day we left and he could hardly contain his excitement!)
* If you are flying internationally call your credit card company and let them know.

Packing for mama
– Don’t pack too much carry on luggage! I would rather leave the book that I probably won’t read anyway so that I don’t have to deal with it.
-Snacks

-Chapstick and lotion for the dry airplane air

-extra pair of clothes

Packing for toddlers
– Suckers (DumDums) for take off and landing.. and fussing… and boredom
– Other snacks
– Sippy cups- just have the flight attendant pour in them
– Kid Headphones
– Blanket or other important sleeping things
– Small toys (get something new)
– stickers, color wonder, or other easy things to do on a wobbly tray
– Ipad, Iphone, or other electronic device- get a new game, movie, or puzzle
– Melatonin, Benadryl, Tylenol or other medicine you might need.
– Extra clothes- seriously don’t forget this!
-Socks- some airport playgrounds require them

-Again, try not to over pack!

Leave at home or check
-Unless you have a direct flight, but even then, leave the stroller. Baby carriers like Boba/Ergo make it much easier to get around.
-Big toys
-Excess- don’t pack too much! Our kids are so interested in movies, people, and the airplane that they hardly play with toys or other activities.

Getting dressed
Prego
– Support hose
– Comfy but easy to remove shoes
– Comfy bra
– Layers
– Belly Band

Toddlers
– Our flights leave at night or first thing in the morning so we always start off in PJs
– Pull ups as long as they will let you- turbulence, take off and landing, and lines, make quick bathroom trips difficult
– They shouldn’t have to take their shoes off so put them in shoes that won’t fall off and get lost

The day of

*Drink tons of water! – I didn’t have nightmares that I would go into labor onboard… I had them that I couldn’t breathe because it was SO dry!

Make sure you have:
– Doctors note
– Passports
– Birth certificate for toddlers if you don’t have a passport (for flying within the U.S.)
– Left any pocket knives or other items you can’t take on a plane out of your bags (Dads!)

Put all electronics in the same bag
Put all liquids in one bag and in a zip lock bag
You can bring baby food, milk, water for formula, and juice for toddlers at most airports but put them all in the same place

Getting to your gate
–  Make sure you leave enough time for mama and toddlers. It is nice to let them run around for a few minutes before the flight and everyone will need to go to the bathroom and who knows how long security will take.
– Don’t worry if your kids are loud in the security line. It can get you moved to the front if they see you have kids! It worked again this time:)
– Smile- I might have forgotten this one until we were actually on the plane…
– Have dad- Put all of the electronics in separate containers, and take care of the carry-ons if possible
– Have mom- push the kids through the crazy line with gloved people staring at them.
– Take a deep breath when you get through security!!! Seriously sit there for a minute don’t run to your gate unless you are late. Go to the bathroom.

Getting off the ground
– If you have a lap child, ask for a baby cot right away if you want one. They don’t usually have enough on board.
– Make friends with a flight attendant.
– Get a sucker (or two) and something to play with out for the kids during take off.
– Walk around at least every hour and drink plenty of water and skip the soda. (I have heard that airplanes are more dry than the desert… thus the nightmares)
– If your kids cry, it is probably bothering you more than the other people on the plane. On our last flight our stewardess said to me, “That was yours crying a while ago wasn’t it? I’m so proud of you for not freaking out. People understand that babies cry it just makes it worse when parents stress out.”
– Don’t be afraid to ask if you need anything.
– Get your stuff together and get off the plane as quickly as possible

What if you go into labor on board?
Your child could get free travel for life! 
Your flight might land sooner than expected unless you are over unsafe airspace or the ocean.
Very few babies are born on board don’t worry

Congratulations you did it!!!

Take a look at the rest of the Checklist!

These are some of or tips, if you are flying with babies, toddlers, or in any trimester of pregnancy and have any questions email me!

What are your favorite traveling tips?

Refugees and the Gospel

Wyoming isn’t the most diverse state and when I saw the first posts of Somali refugees in Cheyenne I questioned their validity. You may have a political opinion about this issue, but that isn’t what I want to talk about today. Instead lets try to understand, pray for these people, and maybe even do something to help.

What is a refugee?

“A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.”

It is one thing to choose to move to a new country and start over, it is completely different to forced out probably with only what they could carry.

Where is Somalia?

somalia

On the far west coast of Africa, just north of the equator… they are our neighbors here in Uganda so I can only imagine what they were thinking last week with the negative temperatures.

Should we be scared that they are mostly Muslim?

Absolutely… “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:15

God has brought a foreign mission field into Wyoming. They have become our neighbors and we have the truth of the Gospel! God is saving people according to His purpose and for His glory. Wyoming, the only state without a refugee resettlement program, you don’t need a program to start praying for and loving these people.

The Cheyenne Evangelical Free Church has been mentioned as a place that the refugees are getting help so I emailed one of the pastors to see if there is any specific things we can pray for or ways we can help. I will keep you posted!

My friend Janel has been teaching a class to refugees here in Uganda and today is the final day of her class. Would you pray for her as she teaches the death and resurrection of Christ. Pray that God would make Himself known and that sinners would be saved!

Here is a link to her blog and the story of a specific man you can be praying for today!

http://johnandjanel.blogspot.com/2014/11/praying-for-friday.html

Not Your Everyday Missions Experience- Or Maybe it is?

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(First of all, a HUGE thank you to Jessica Fadel who helped me with the header for the blog! She is amazing!!!)

What do you picture when someone says there is a new missionary going to such and such a place?

Do you picture an older man and woman with grown children?
Do you picture a husband and wife with toddlers?
Do you picture and family with teenagers?
Are they white?
Do you picture a single girl in a skirt?
Do you picture a single man in a button up shirt with a tie?

My Sunday School picture has been rocked in the last two years!

Not your everyday missions experience
source

A couple at church shared yesterday about a group of Maasai from Kenya going to rural Northern Uganda to the Karamojong to share the gospel! Young men, 1st and 2nd generation Christians, leaving for 4 months at a time so their neighboring tribes can hear the gospel. The Maasai are one of the few tribes fairly well known in the western world (pictured above) for their tribal dress and the way they live off the land and livestock. They arrived in Kampala yesterday and are soon headed for Northern Uganda.

These people are so much better equipped to live in rural Africa than I am!
Since being here and learning about the unreached rural areas of Africa I have felt a burden to pray. There may be some amazing American family with kids that could live in one of these rural places and succeed (I will not discredit the power of God) but it seams impossible to me.

I have a hard time with cultural differences in a fairly modern Ugandan city. When I think of some of these rural places the first thought that runs through my mind is, “How! How are these people going to hear the gospel?” Someone has to tell them. That is when I started praying for “local” missionaries. Rural Africa is “the ends of the earth” for me but it is their Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.

What is your Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria? It may be more unreached than you think.

What an answer to prayer! Would you join me in praying for this missions team and for local missionaries all over the world.

God,
Thank you that you are a God that does far more than we ask or think! It is your purpose that through the Church the world come to know you so thank you that we can be a part of praying for these Maasai missionaries. Let the harvest be fruitful and be glorified in the gospel going out. I pray you would guide their feet and their words. I pray you would keep them safe and be with their families back home. I pray that as Your Church we would be faithful in sharing the gospel all over the world. Let us be faithful teaching our children, reaching out to our neighbors and people in our circles, and help us to reach out to those in our area who are different from us. All for Your glory, that more people and more people groups will worship You.
Amen.

Short Term Missions Trips: Are They Worth It?

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Short Term Missions worth it

My short term trips were recent enough that I remember, but I am starting to forget because living in this place is so much different than when I was here as a short term missionary. There are people who are questioning and discouraging short term missions because there are some parts of short term missions that aren’t perfect. I had some of these questions myself when we first moved here and I saw how different some things were than what I thought. I don’t think discouraging them is the answer but I think there is a lot to learn from each other. Here are a few things you might want to consider if you are considering a short term missions trip.

1. I am ALL for short term missions!
Almost every long term missionary that I know started off on a short term mission trip. Passion for God and Missions is ignited on many short term missions trips. God is glorified in people knowing and loving Him more, in loving His plan for salvation among the nations, and loving the nations. I fell in love with evangelism on short term missions trips and it was a passion that came back with me to America for the years that I was there before we moved back to Uganda.

short term missions are they worth it

2. Choose wisely who you go with
The ministry and people that you go with will make all of the difference. Go with people who have gone before if at all possible. I was 19 the first time I went on a short term missions trip and I am most thankful for the older and more experienced people on our team. I learned more from some of those people than I have from other mentors in years. Go with people who are passionate about the gospel not just “doing good”. Go with people who know more about Missions than you do. Go with people that you would look to and say I want to be like them. Look into the ministry(ies) that you will be working with. Check out their statements of faith and their approach to ministry. Who you go with will mater more than where you go or who you serve.

3. Stay with a missionary family
Whether you are thinking about becoming a long term missionary or not you will see what life is really like and a totally different side of missions if you can stay with a missionary family. We are an extroverted family, not all families are, but we LOVE to have people come stay with us. Ask a missionary family you know (and tell them to be honest) if you could come stay for a week or a summer or six months. We would love to have you!

4. It is about you…
We all want to think that we are going for the people that we will minister to, but in most cases it is most life changing for the person who goes. Do yourself a favor and leave your hero cape at home. It is best to have honest expectations. Go! Learn! See! and expect to be changed. Come back and share what God did in your life and let other people be impacted by your story. Don’t leave your experience at the airport. Process your time with God, with your team, and with those you left behind. You raised or came up with a lot of money to go, you don’t have to stop raising money for the causes you believe in just because you had enough to get you there and back or check out other ways to Support Missions Creatively.

5. Its not about you…
Be a servant. It is ok to inconvenience people, it is not ok to make unrealistic demands. Be a good guest. If you can continue to go back again and again to encourage, teach, and disciple the same people over and over, do it! This can be a great way to build relationship, but don’t assume that you know them better than the people that are there living day in and day out with them. Make much of God among the Nations! Do not water down the Gospel or the Word of God. If you get the opportunity to teach or preach, bring the truth! There is nothing I hate more than someone traveling so many miles to give a wimpy message. The salvation of God is not wimpy!

Sing to the Lord all the earth! 
Tell of His Salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:23-24

6. Think about the long term missionaries you will see
I have seen countless teams come and bring bags and bags of stuff for the nationals and not even think to ask the missionaries what they might need. School curriculum, clothes, medicine, books, tools they can use to keep serving, FOOD…. This was me… I thought about those “poor” Ugandans and everything that I could take to them but never even thought about the “rich” Americans that were living there. The Americans will enjoy, remember, and feel so loved by the American candy. If you really want to give the nationals candy too… buy it when you get there then you are giving them what they know and helping the economy:)

7. Think about the local economy and traditions
No one is expecting you to be perfect, but ask questions and learn if you go back again. If you bring 100 pairs of shoes, are you taking the profit from 100 pairs of shoes from a local shop that needs to feed their families? You don’t have to know it all to be successful on a short term trip but ask and listen for advice. I just read a blog about feeding monks in Luang Prabang. In your effort to take some great pictures and do something good be mindful of culture.

8. Be careful with your emotions
There are a lot of emotional responses in short term missions. Be very careful of these, pray all the time, and this is a huge reason to go with people who have been there before. Orphanages will hide the toys, beds, clothes, etc. to get a donation. Be Careful. People have heard that adoption is a big money business, be aware when someone asks you to take their child to America that what they really might mean is they would love to sell you their child.  Be Careful. If you come home only saying “I am so thankful for what I have because these people have so little” you might have an even greater poverty of your own. Be Careful. If people keep telling you “yes”, just know that saying “no” isn’t often culturally acceptable for them to save face. Their “yes” might mean “no”. Be Careful. If you fall more in love with God and allow Him to break your heart because there are people that are dying of treatable diseases and dying without ever having heard about a Savior, then you are on the right track!

What do you think, are short term mission trips worth it?

My House is on Fire!

My house is on fire

I think the boring days as a mother can be worse than the crazy ones. It is on those days that I wish I had a play date to have some mom talk. Hear about some good books, recipes, mom tips, or just a good story. To be encouraged and encourage others.
I have finally discovered that is why I like about blogging and reading blogs. It is a virtual play date. Not that it can take the place of spending time face to face.
On a boring day I love to hear a funny story. Comic relief can be the best encouragement…
Last night Matt was having Bible study with Abdallah and so I decided to turn on Mom’s Night Out for some good comic relief:)
If you haven’t seen it, I can’t sing its praises enough! It is well done, has a great story line, the characters are perfect, and it lacks the regular Christian movie cheese.
So I went to bed with the lines, I am a mess, a beautiful mess, a good chuckle, and the thought that no matter how crazy my day is, someone else had a crazier one….
And then I awoke to my own craziness. I snuck past the kids watching a movie, to get to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, before they saw me and needed something, but Julia jerked and saw me. Needing cuddles, and more juice, and wanting “more cookie”
?? cookies, dad really before breakfast… oh well…. coffee, got to get coffee.
We sat down and I snuggled my sweet girl while getting my first taste of delicious coffee.
I grabbed the ipad and saw my mom messaged me,”Call me….”
6:38… ok its not 10pm there yet. Lets call JaJa!
I got to talk to Kristy and heard my mom talking to someone on the phone in the background. Jordan was on the phone too… got to say a quick phone to ipad through the tango call hello.
Which is when Micah obviously realized I was awake and he got up on the wrong side of the bed or something because nothing could make him happy. My talk with my mom was cut short because of screaming children.
He was hungry… also for more cookies, but breakfast would do so I put baked oatmeal in the oven, got them situated with the movie and sat down for some quiet time. 2 Kings 22:1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem, His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all he way of David his father, and he did not turn to the right or to the left. 
Well his dad was one bad dude, so I wondered who this mother of the 8 year old king that was like none before or after him. These are the women that we should look up to!
But Micah was screaming for breakfast so I got it out of the oven and fed the family.
We were out of milk and eggs so after breakfast Matt took Julia and ran to the store before work. What a guy:)
Micah wanted to finger paint so I took advantage of Julia being gone and got out the paint and paper… only she got home before we were done and was in the paint before I had anything to say about it.
By the end, the paint was gone, and they were both a mess so I stuck them both in the bath.
Which was fine…
I was getting them dressed when I came out to the kitchen for something… what was it… OH WOW!
So I had lit the pumpkin spice candle only now it had a huge flame all around the top of the glass, almost burning the fall flowers next to it. I went to blow it out, only it EXPLODED! The glass shattered sending the fire out engulfing the table runner! (I took this picture last week because I was going to write about the amazing pumpkin pie granola but didn’t get around to it:) how ironic that the give thanks is literally what lit on fire)

My house is on fire

The children were still in the back of the house so I ran back to get them out of the house before it spread. I was scared to be anywhere near it so I ran to the back door which of course had to be unlocked and ran out the door screaming for my neighbors.
They ran over while I was still screaming that the house was on fire. Ok, a bit of an exaggeration. But to a pregnant mom with a one year old, a two year old, and a fire….
They helped me put it out. Praise the Lord not too much damage was done. Micah was excited because he saw a real fire and it got put out, so we were basically like firefighters! He was impressed! Juila not so much… she clung to me for over an hour trying to figure out if life was safe again.

My house is on fire

Our neighbors were a God send! They are leaving tomorrow for two months for South Sudan. I’m so glad it happened today. They are with AIM and have looked at the few unreached places in Africa which are very remote and are working on getting facilities for missionaries to move in and evangelize the people. They go to the church that we have been going to in Entebbe. Praise God for the Church and pray for them as they leave tomorrow. They live in a tent while they are there overseeing the building.
I got the kids more cookies for a snack but realized the bag was full of ants… Oh I’m so glad I spent nap time yesterday making cookies only for the ants to enjoy most of them. ANTS might be the death of me… they are seriously taking over… and making me crazzy!
In case you are wondering… Magic eraser will take wax off the wall and the laminate floor!
I started cleaning up the mess and I thought I should clean our guest bedroom and bathroom, while I was at it since we have an intern moving in with us tonight.
I told Matt last night that it smelled like something had died back there and asked him to check it out, he must have forgotten because it still stunk… decomposing cockroach in the bath drain… that would do it.
I left it for Matt to get… I’ll clean later and besides it was time for lunch.
I was almost finished with lunch when Julia came in from outside crying which was perfect timing for me to walk out side since Micah was walking around the raised edge of our house with the knife the guard had left out….”Look mom, Its not that sharp.”
AHH are you kidding me… yes it is sharp.
Just a little ketchup in Julia’s hair during lunch but then we made it to nap time.
I made myself a cup of tea and sat down to tell you a funny story because my day has not been boring today but tomorrow it probably will be and I hope you have a story to make me laugh then:)

My house is on fire

This is what the Church is for to help each other put out fires and encourage each other with a laugh. And maybe a few other things too. I wonder if Jedidah had some crazy days along with the boring ones because her son made a great king who followed God. May our children do what is right in the eyes of the Lord and not turn to the right or the left even if they run with knives and run out of the house screaming from fire. Yes, I am a beautiful mess!

Refreshed

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We are back in Uganda from our 6 weeks of refreshment in the States. This time we landed at the Entebbe airport and knew exactly what to say and where to go, who to look for when we walked out the doors. We were surprised that they had put up security lights instead of being surprised at how dark it was and the sights and smells were all familiar as we headed back to our friends house. It was much easier landing in place that is no longer SO unknown, but it was much harder realizing what we were really saying goodbye to this time.

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Our family was ready to come back because this is where God has called us to serve Him and He graciously gave all of us the desire to come back just as we were leaving Wyoming. It was rejuvenating to spend time with our friends and family and in the beautiful mountains of Wyoming. Thank you to everyone who welcomed us home, fed us great food, spent time talking to us. We were so blessed by the consistent preaching and singing of truth at Cornerstone and by your continuing prayers. We loved sitting around dinner tables and listening to how God is working. It was truly a huge encouragement to us. We needed to be loved on by you all and now we are ready to be back to share the love of God in Uganda.
We came back to a home that has not stayed the same. People come and people go. I didn’t realize the revolving door that missionaries face everyday until I was in it being in one door and watching people come and go in another. It is hard to say hello and goodbye so quickly. We are moving in that door again, moving this time to Entebbe. The eMi work has moved on and we are moving with it. We thought we wouldn’t be moving until the end of the year, but the door has sped up. This will be our third move in just over a year and a half. Putting a house together in a third world country is always an exciting challenge and the work of moving stuff with little kids who don’t understand but do all at the same time is painful. I think our two year old understands that God will never leave him better than most because we have had to answer hard questions already about leaving and being left. That is the hard part not just for a two year old but all of us. We say hello and goodbye so much, we pray that we will have the energy to keep saying hello and not close ourselves off from the pain of goodbyes. And that others will say hello to us knowing that we are all in this revolving door together. “This world is not our home” has never felt more real or more encouraging.

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Maybe I will write later about more from our home assignment and there is more exciting news coming that I can’t wait to tell you all about. But for now thanks for reading, I’m going to take a deep breath and do a little packing.
Have a great weekend!

A Get a Way to be Refreshed but Not Forget

“Is Art something that includes others in the torn struggling of another person’s suffering?” Edith Schaeffer
We are in Jinja for the weekend taking some time to get away from daily life. Intentionally spending some family time and some time to rest and be refreshed in Christ is something that we have tried to make a priority these last few months. We are staying at a place on the Nile which still amazes me as it reminds me of our powerful God that turned it all to blood. He is in control of this massive water supply that nourishes plant, animal, and human life all around me. I am reading a book The Hidden Art of Homemaking while my little children sleep. This quote stopped me after the first few pages. I want to write about the beautiful things, the already redeemed things, and the growth, but the brokenness is what is on my mind. Art includes others in the torn struggling of another person’s struggling.
That struggle is what I thought I wanted to get away from for the weekend. But I am reminded that I can put in out of my mind by refusing to engage with it, or I can take it Christ. Maybe He wouldn’t speak, He would just show me His pierced hands and feet, His torn side. He did not put our suffering out of Him mind, He is in control, He entered into our humanity and wept and loved, and redeemed.
Just minutes into our “get away” drive I saw a young woman being grabbed and touched by a man that had to much to drink even though it was barely past lunch. I looked into her eyes as I quickly passed. I saw her humiliation and fear but also a look that said that this was not the first time her privacy and intimate space had been violated in public. And just as quickly as our eyes met, she was gone and we were down the road, but my thoughts haven’t left that place.
It wasn’t long until we came upon a mob people, men women, and children taking the law into their own hands. I watched as I heard Matt’s voice behind me, “That man is probably going to die today.” The mans feet flying in the air, kicking as his arms were being held, others trying to hold down every flailing part of his body so they could have their “justice”. What did this man do I wondered as we drove by thinking of the stories that I have heard of mob justice. “We live in an Old Testament culture don’t we, an eye for an eye,” Matt’s words interrupted my thoughts but gave meaning to what I was seeing and thinking. What people are saved with is what they are saved to. There are many people in this nation that claim Christianity, but I fear that many of them have heard a system of rules of how to pray and act in hopes that this god will keep them from getting sick, prosper them, and make them rich. Is this even Salvation? Is this what the law without the Cross looks like?
My flesh wants to “get away” from this struggling, to put it out of my mind. What I really need is not to forget but to know the gospel. God is saving sinners and that is wonderful because there is so much sin. He cares for the woman being violated and the man “getting what he deserved.” My God who turned this beautiful body of water into blood, shed His blood for sin, and is alive. He is alive and He is saving sinners from the darkest of night.
I would much rather show pictures of my smiling babies playing in the sun on our get away, but there is  something much greater and that is our God.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord; that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

Reflections on 1 year in Uganda

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Saturday marks one year since we boarded a plane in Wyoming with one way tickets to Uganda. It has been quite the year better and worse than I expected. I am different, but I am the same, I have grown, but mostly I have learned how little I know.IMG_3978

Here are a few of my thoughts from one year in Uganda:

It is harder than I ever imagined
It is easier than I ever imagined
Having children in a foreign place changes EVERYTHING
There are so many more food items available than I thought
Unfortunately they are not consistently available
Menu plans must ALWAYS be flexible (you never know when something will just not be stocked)
Cultural differences are deeper than I even imagined
I love American Toilets
Parenting is incredibly cultural
Being told how to parent is a very stressful part for me
My family has been incredibly strengthened by being here
I love rice and beans
I love making things fresh but I cried many times trying to figure out what to cook at first
I miss the convenience of America
The avocado and pineapple are unbeatable here
I miss variety
I love drive thrus
I love having someone pump gas for me
driving on the left isn’t so bad
I LOVE dishwashers
If you are out of clothes to wear and the laundry is on the line… it will rain
Talking in someone else’s accent makes it easier for them to understand you
I LOVE people from the UK
Meeting people from all over the world is one of my favorite things about living here
Most missionaries aren’t pastors according to what I have seen
I like drinking coffee and tea when it is hot out but it took getting used to
God is truly the one in control. I became more aware of this not having an ambulance, great health care, traffic laws, honest police, guaranteed stocked food items.
I would have to be dying to go to the doctor
Flu does not mean they think my kids are sick… it just means they have boogers
“give me one” (of my children) isn’t a threat its a compliment
People will never believe me that my children aren’t twins
Please is a very cultural word… It isn’t polite just because you say please and it isn’t rude because you didn’t and you can throw it in anywhere and it makes sense to someone please.
“Its OK” means yes here and no in America
I was talking to a travel agent about the ticket for the way “home” she assumed America, I assumed where I was leaving from. Where is “home”?
Parks are awesome!
America should have a playground at more restaurants.
Country music always makes me smile. Yes sometimes I hear it even here!
I say sorry when someone falls, it expresses empathy
U.S. tax dollars almost kill me everyday U.S. aide has close to $1 million worth of vehicles parked down the street and they drive CRAZY!
I do not like being called Madame
I love paved roads
I love landfills and hate the smell of burning trash
Dairy is not the same
I love Target
I love the sun, yes a few nights I have wished for some cool air, but I haven’t missed the snow yet
CARPET almost makes me cry when I face time my family and they forget to turn the camera back around. I miss it so much!
Julia has never been to America and Micah has spent half of his life in Uganda.
I am a small town girl. In Uganda and America I would much rather be in the town than the city.
I love the Veggie Man who just stopped by with produce from the mountain
I love mountains
I don’t mind lizards and frogs in my house
I hate ants
The Nile is majestic
I love going for a Wyoming hike and seeing no one
These worlds are colliding, I could not choose one over the other.

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Hines Christmas Party

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This is Hines Ugandan Ministries.

These are the children that Matt has been working to build a school for.

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Today we got to watch the Jesus film and eat with over 1000 children from the village… Ok lets be honest… I chased around Micah and his entourage. His white skin, blond hair, and age make him a target for skin rubbing, and hair touching, and holding. He is a trooper

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We are so blessed by Katherine Hines and all of the HUM staff. We love to spend time with them and the children. This was a very special Christmas celebration. It is incredible that they cooked for this many people over fires! They are incredible and have such an amazing love for the Lord. To God be the glory!