May 2014 Update 8

Hey all!!  Thank you for joining in the journey back to Jinja.  Everyday I am thankful for all those God has invited into this crazy thing of camp.  I pray that you are finding yourselves falling more and more in love with the person of Jesus through this journey.  Erin, Stacey and I are all home and catching up with life.  Please pray for our transitions back and for open doors to share the stories God has given us.

Kimi, my Canadian friend in Uganda who we’ve run camp for twice now, sent an update letter out to her support team and I wanted to share a portion of it with you.  She beautifully puts into words the struggle in Uganda and the goal of presenting people with the hope of Christ to a hopeless people.  I hope you enjoy.  It is from a much longer email if you would like to hear more, I will gladly send the full email on.

I am already planning my next trip if anyone is interested in joining me, it looks like it will be toward the end of August.

Emikisa blessings,                                                                                                         Kindri 🙂 <><

From Kimi…

One thing I see in Uganda that I don’t see in the Western world is a desperate need for hope. When life is a struggle like it is here, people need to find hope in someone. Here, without hope there is no way to survive. In Canada, it’s hard to recognize our need for hope even though it’s there.

Over the past five years, we have been helping people find hope. We have seen lives changed and lives saved. For some people, hope looked like an education that would’ve otherwise never been possible. For others, a safe place to live. For many, it looked like the knowledge that somebody cares. For other people, it looked like life-saving medical care. For Edwin, and so many others, it simply looked like love. For the woman at the hospital, it looked like a Bible.

For Mama Fayima, who we visited on our first week of visits in February, hope looks like all those things but more importantly it also looks like something else. As she shared her problems with us through tears we shared with her the possibility of a greater hope. And as we left her that day, she not only had a huge smile on her face, she was filled with a hope in Christ. One that doesn’t guarantee life will be easy but one that guarantees that she will never be alone. One that gives an abundance of love, joy and peace. A hope that lasts.

That is the hope we believe in sharing, one that only He can give.

May 2014 Update 7

Camp is over and we are tired!!!  But we still have a lot going on. Saturday evening we met up with a friend who has been living here for about 6 years.  Her name is Ashley.  She is Canadian and has been trying to adopt 2 young girls for all these years.  The adoption was finalized here in December and now she is working on the final paperwork for Canada.  She is hoping to move back home in the fall.  Diana and Agnes are her 2 girls and they are too cute and SPUNKY!!!  The moment they arrive, they run over and hug or jump on Erin and I.  So much fun to be people they know and trust and enjoy even though we are both here on and off.  We enjoyed dinner at 2 Friends, a favorite mzungu spot.  It is great to hang out and catch up with this dear friend.

Sunday we are headed out the Victory Family Centre in Amber Court.  This is a church pastored by Godfrey, a gentle wise man that I have known since very early in my times in Uganda.  He often works as a driver for Children of Grace.  Pauline who teaches our CPR is his wife and Steven and Raph are members of their church.  Stacey’s sponsor Umar meets us and comes as well.  We arrived a bit late, so they were praising and worshipping.  This is a typical Ugandan church that generally runs a 2.5-3 hour service.  We sing for another 30 minutes or so after we arrive.  It is a joy to be a part of their worship.  Raph had prepped me to prepare something to share with the church.  We have had kids from here twice for camp, so there are many familiar faces.  The 3 of us are invited to the front to introduce ourselves and share something.  Erin is ready for this, so she goes first and shares a brief word with them.  Stacey has no clue what is going on, so she kind of follows Erin’s lead and introduces herself and says a few encouraging words.  I prepared a short message from the book of 1 Corinthians 12 to share.  I pray God will use it!!  Pastor Godfrey shared a word as well and they ended church around 12, I think they wrapped early to accommodate the mzungus.  We were able to greet many of the members after and I was able to connect with some of the campers too.  It was really nice.

From church, we went to collect my 2 sponsor boys and head out to Kingfisher for a relaxing afternoon.  This is a safari resort with a restaurant and a swimming pool.  I have invited some of our camp staff to join us too.  Things started out nice.  The service brought us drinks quickly and took our order.  Then something went wrong.  It took nearly 3 hours for our food to come.  Most Ugandan restaurants take a while, but this was extreme.  We were planning on eating and then going swimming, I wish we had jumped in the pool right after we placed our orders.  We sat around the table and laughed and talked.  There were some spirited conversations about men and women.  I love this community that God has built around me here.  I am so thankful for all their friendships!!  We finally ate and then had about 45 minutes to enjoy the pool before Erin, Stacey and I needed to be leaving.  We have a dinner date tonight with Raoul and his sisters.

Emma picks us up and takes us back to the guesthouse to change.  Stacey has decided to stay in tonight.  Erin and I head out to Raoul’s and have a lovely evening with their family.  Deborah the oldest of the 4 sisters Raoul supports made us spaghetti bolognaise and some awesome potatoes!!  Erin became a mom figure to this family when she lived here, so it feels more like family dinner than visiting guests.  After dinner we broke out Blokus for a bit.  We had a great time catching up and joking around.

Monday morning we have a few kids that are supposed to come and meet us at the guesthouse.  It is raining though, so things are a little delayed this morning.  It was actually nice to just hang out.  There is a family staying at the guesthouse from Knoxville, Tennessee.  They are here to adopt and they have 3 kids already.  I spent a lot of the morning talking with them.  They have been working in the ministry for many years working with athletes in different venues.  Please be praying for them, Mikkeal and Teg are the parents and Azzi, Zeal and Jet are their 3 kiddos.  Dennis is the little boy they are adopting.

John and Christine are a brother and sister that Erin and I have known through CoG for years.  We have kept up over the years, so we have asked them to come and play for the day.  They arrive as Joel, one of my boys, arrives.  Mohammed is supposed to come, but I think the rain has kept him home.  We head into town when there is a brief break in the showers.  Stacey is awesome on the boda, the motorcycle taxis!!!  I love her facial expressions!!  She’s fearing them a bit, as they would say here.  We spend some time shopping on Main Street and we stop by Ritah’s craft shop.  Ritah is another good friend of Erin and I’s.  She has a daughter named after Erin.  It is fun to see her, and she has had another baby since I was here in January.  Little Grace is beautiful!!!  After visiting for a while, we head to The Keep where we are meeting the baseball boys for lunch and Umar, Stacey’s sponsor boy.  The Keep is a restaurant owned by an American family.  The food reminds us of home, but the service is definitely Ugandan…2 hours later J  It is a fun time to just hang out with the boys and we debriefed camp a little bit.  Mostly we just talked.  This camp I had to ask a lot more of these guys and I was a little nervous if they would step up to the task.  They really did a great job!  Past camps they have had the tendency of just staying with each other or the American team members, but I have challenged them to try and spend time with their kids even when there isn’t a scheduled program thing happening.  There were only a couple times that I had to remind them.  I had told them in January after camp that this one would be kind of a make it or break it one, if they couldn’t change I wouldn’t be able to keep having them for camp.  They took the instruction well.

After lunch, I headed out with Joel to get him a few items for school and Erin and Stacey went with the other kids and did some more shopping on Main Street.  This afternoon a friend has learned of another piece of land for sale, so I am heading out to see it. I finish with Joel and send him on his way home.  Emma and I are going to meet Frank from The Discovery Centre.  He and I have had several conversations about land over the last year and a half.  He has let me know of other places that he has become aware of.  This new place is about 5 minutes from the Discovery Centre, which would be nice.  We are greeted by 3 ugandan men.  I learn that one is the husband of the headmistress of one of the schools that we just had for camp.  That is great!!  He knows what we are doing and his community is already benefitting from camp.  It can only help!!  We spend about 45 minutes walking around and talking about the property, the neighbors, etc.  The land is already titled and has been surveyed.  It is 30 acres and is currently agricultural land.  There is a little bit of everything growing here, which is good news.  We want to be able to produce most of the food we’ll need for camp.  Emma and I have a few side conversations about things too.  He is so cute!  He is definitely invested and doesn’t want to see me be used or deceived.  The guys actually let me take pictures of the survey map, so I can bring it home to show dad J I am encouraged, but I continue to pray that God would guide us and close any doors before us.  Until money changes hands, I don’t think I’ll allow my heart to fully engage.

This evening we were supposed to meet a friend of Erin’s for dinner, but he is stuck in meetings in Kampala, so we decide to just grab Rolexes (omelet wrapped in a chapatti) and chapatti (Ugandan version of a tortilla, but so much better!!) from the local kiosk for dinner and stay in.  I had told the baseball boys to stop by in the evening to meet John, who runs the guesthouse.  He is starting a sports ministry, so I thought it could be a cool connection for both of them.  The boys are already doing ministry with baseball in several schools around Jinja, but they could learn a lot from John and they could help connect John to kids.  We all just end up sitting around eating chapatti and talking for a while.   It is a good night!

Tuesday I am doing business stuff and Erin and Stacey will be doing their own thing.  They are spending time with Ritah’s daughter, Erin and Raoul’s sisters and I think Umar.  My day is spent in random meetings and at the bank.  I was able to have lunch with Kimi, my Canadian friend here that runs a sponsorship agency.  I am so thankful for her!!  God is truly knitting us together in life and ministry.  It has become a really neat relationship and a friendship that I know will become one of my closest and most needed when I am living here full time.  We went to Ling Lings, a restaurant I forget about a lot because it is a little bit out of town.  It is authentic chinese food and it is GOOD!!!  The lemon chicken…SO TASTEY!!!

This evening I met back up with Erin and Stacey at 2 Friends.  Erin’s friend that was stuck in Kampala last night is able to meet us tonight.  Junior used to work with the McCoys before they started CoG.  Erin met him on her first trip in 2006.  Now he is back in school getting his masters and owns a small business.  He is all about ministry, so we have a really fun conversation about camp and our hopes and dreams.  He is excited to come and see what we are doing.  He has actually been invited to come to the US to run a camp in Memphis in just a few weeks.  He could potentially become a good contact for down the road when I am looking for full time staff that get the vision and can improve upon what we are already doing.  We’ll see?!?!  As we are leaving, we see someone who looks familiar across the restaurant.  It is Mike and Mary Ann McCoy.  She was in the US when I passed by the office earlier on my trip, so it is a fun meeting to get to check in before we go.

As we head back to the guesthouse, the sadness is starting to set in for me.  I had to say goodbye to Alan and Cathy this evening who are like siblings to me.  Silas will be riding to Kampala with us tomorrow, but we won’t see anyone else tomorrow.  So sad!!  Everyone has been complaining to me how short this trip was.  I agree!!  2 weeks isn’t long enough to spend the time I want to with all the people I love here and to be able to do all the ministry things.  Each trip I realize more and more how ready I am to call this home.  It will be nice to not feel quite so divided.  God give me the peace and patience to go in your timing and not mine, and the wisdom to know the difference!!

We are now in the car on the way to Kampala.  We will meet Vicky, my twin and Jolly my lawyer quickly before heading on to the airport.  I said that Silas is riding with us.  Cool story unfolding that you can be praying for.  His older sister ran away about 6 or 7 years ago.  It sounds like she may have some mental health issues.  They have been looking for her, but she is very paranoid, so hasn’t allowed any of her family to know where she is.  Silas has shared his concern for her with me several times and they hadn’t heard anything about her in a while.  In the last couple weeks a friend heard from her and let the family know.  She told Silas where she has been working lately, so he is riding with us to Mukono, the town she has been in.  He is hoping to be able to find her with the few details he knows.  He wants restoration of their relationship and to know that she is safe.  Please pray for Rachel and Silas that God would help Silas find her and that she would receive him.

Sorry for this very long email, but thank you for your perseverance and your care!!  I am so thankful for each of you who are holding us up in prayer.  I am so blessed!!!    Please pray for safe travels and for our transition back to the States, especially Stacey.  I know it will be hard for her to take all she has seen and experienced and process it in light of the life we know in Danville.  Pray that the Holy Spirit would gently guide her and give her wisdom to know how to react to everything.  Also pray for our bodies to adjust to the time change quickly.  Thank you all!!!  Love from Uganda!!

May 2014 Update 6

Hey all!!  Sorry it has been a couple days.  We’ve been busy!  Friday was our last full day of camp and it was packed!!!  Unfortunately we had a bit of a shower in the morning.  Erin said that she thought there were moths stuck in our windows all night.  When we came outside, there were literally hundreds of wings all over the ground.  Apparently we were hit by a swarm of flying ants.  It was a little gross once we heard what they were.  When we were walking to breakfast, there were girls that collected the ants off the ground.  We have learned that these are actually a delicacy and they will cook them and eat them.  Yum!  After breakfast, we headed to worship.  This morning I shared about the abundant purposes that God has for each of us.  We talked about how we are each made unique from Psalms 139, God has purposes for good from Jeremiah 29:11 and then we looked at the life of Paul.  Paul’s perspective in Romans 8:28 is great.  God will work together all things for good, this coming from a man that persecuted the church.  God turned what was bad and for destruction into the foundation of the church.  I love that throughout the Bible, we see very human people that lead God’s people, murderers, adulterers, etc.  We finished by looking at Ephesians 3:20-21, God can and will do abundantly more than you could hope or imagine.  

It was still raining pretty good when I sent the teams to small groups and this morning we are supposed to be doing our camp olympics out on the field.  I am praying that God would stop the rain while I am trying to come up with games we can play indoors.  God is GOOD!!!  The rains lifted about 15 minutes before small groups were due to end.  I quickly gathered my supplies and set up for our field games.  We did a 4 x100 relay race with 2 boys and 2 girls from each team. A futbol relay with each team member dribbling around cones. A frisbee relay with each team in a line alternating handing the frisbee over their head to the person behind or between their legs, then the last person had to run about 20 feet to an end line and then back to the beginning of the line.  The ping pong relay, each team has a bowl and 3 small ping pong balls.  They have to run to the balls, sit and use their feet to get the balls in the bowl ten go and tag the next in line.  The last relayI think was my favorite.  We did the laundry relay.  Each team had a pair of big shorts and a big t-shirt that they had to run and put on then spin 5 times and then remove them and run and tag the next in line.  The kids had a great time and the rain stayed away.  Thank you Lord!!!  Just before lunch we had a cheer off.  Each team got the opportunity to do their team cheer a couple of times to each extra points.  We had a great laugh at blue’s expense.  They are the sailors, but somehow added a pirate theme and started making very strange noises.  They were supposed to be the ‘aarrgh’ pirates make, but it came out a little funny.
Off to lunch and then we are supposed to do the consolation and championship of our 2 tournaments.  Cathy, our netball expert, had to run into town this morning and hasn’t returned, so we started with volleyball.  Orange and green played first for the championship.  It was a really close match, but in the end orange won by 1 point.  Then yellow and blue played for the consolation and blue pulled out the win.  Cathy still hasn’t returned.  Apparently it is raining pretty good in town and she was getting her hair and nails done for a wedding she is in tomorrow, so she can’t come in the rain.  We decided to have teams practice for their dances tonight and we’ll do CPR early in hopes that she will get back.
CPR focuses on different types of pressures today, peer pressure, social pressure, media pressure and the internet.  It is a good wrap up to all we have learned this week.  The theme for the day was ‘if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything’.  I pray that we have built a strong foundation of faith and information for these students to stand on this week.
Cathy still didn’t make it back in time to finish the netball tournament, so we will place them based on the round robin play.  Teams have a few minutes to get their costumes together for the show tonight before dinner.  This is our last dinner of camp…sad!
The show tonight is going to be quite a treat.  I have invited my friend Emma and the staff from the school that are here to come.  The crew from HELP came, so we had them assist us as our judges.  The teams each took their turn, blue and green each had a small drama before their dance, one of the good samaritan and the other did the conversion of Paul.  Everyone did an amazing job!!  I love to see the creativity and enjoyment.  Erin and Stacey jumped in with their teams and did a wonderful job!!  Stacey is able to move her hips better than most americans i’ve brought 🙂 Impressive!!!  In the end the green team wins the dance competition!!  Everyone enjoys a picture slideshow of the week while we prepare to do the final scores for the week’s competition.  The slideshow is so much fun!!  The kids love seeing themselves and we got some great shots.  The kids are laughing and yelling.  Love it!!!  We did the reveal of the competition and orange came in first with blue coming in second.  We don’t do specific 3, 4, 5th anymore cuz it hurts too bad.  The kids here are very competitive.  Everyone gets a glow in the dark bracelet and a special bracelet made by my niece Chloe, she and her friends made bracelets for each team on her rainbow loom.  It was pretty amazing!!  And Emma brought sodas for everyone to enjoy.  Remember those flying ants…the kitchen staff fried them up for the kids to enjoy with the party tonight.  Thankfully they were all eaten before I made it out there.  We had a huge bonfire waiting for the kids.  They are all out there singing and dancing, native and primitive are the 2 words that describe what this looks like.  Halima is Alan’s little sister.  She is here for the first time and she shared with us that she has never had fun in her life.  Tonight she is leading the party at the fire with the hugest smile on her face.  It’s amazing to see what happens in a week!!!  Praise God!!
Saturday I head to the kitchen around 8 to prep breakfast and I learn that the kids were up until 2 enjoying.  Many of the kids are still tucked in their beds.  Erin goes through and wakes up the girls, while a few of us work on breakfast.  It takes a while but finally everyone comes and sits for breakfast.  It is so sad that this is our last day.  You can see it in the kids’ faces.  They already look sad.  I’m hugging as many of them as I can.
We had a lot of time this morning for the kids to pack and clean up before we have our final time of worship.  This morning Brian is sharing the last piece of our story of God, the promise of eternity.  The kids are a bit tired, but he does a wonderful job.  He gets the kids involved answering questions.  As he finishes up, I go up to serve communion.  This is a great time to teach the about communion and tie together the different things we have learned through the week.  Erin, Stacey, Alan and I serve.  It is a joy to serve these young ones.  I was able to share with them about how much joy it brings me to sit and listen to them worship, because it gives me a glimpse of what heaven will be like.
After finishing our ‘church’ service, some of the staff do a bit of a magic show.  I don’t really understand what is going on cuz I’m doing some other stuff.  They got Erin to come and pick a color and when I walked up, all I heard from her was ‘how do they do it?’ trying to get the trick to their trick.  They wouldn’t tell her.  We have about an hour before lunch.  We gather all the kids for a huge camp photo.  Then we send the kids to clean up all the trash around camp while I work on packing up all of our supplies.  Kids are going around having friends and counselors sign their t-shirts, their bandanas and their picture frames.  It is really sweet!!  Several girls came up and had me read something they wrote on their frames.  Comments about how great the week is and how thankful they are for me.  Precious!!!
Lunch time and we are all getting sad.  The first bus pulls up just after we sat down to eat.  Bummer!!  I invited them to come in and eat with us.  I was able to have a good conversation with the headmaster of the school.  This is the school that has the problem reported to me after CPR.  The headmaster is thankful for my honestly and frankness with her and I told her that I would be following up with her and the kids to make sure it is taken care of.
The first crew of kids load up the bus and we say our goodbyes.  The staff joke around with the kids pretending to drive the bus.  Alan and Silas actually push the bus and run with them for about a quarter mile.  Another van comes and another group of kids pile in.  And Alan and Silas give them a push start.  The last group of kids live in this village, so their headmaster comes and collects them on foot.  I have hugged probably 55 out of the 65 kids as they have left.  I love camp, but it is always accompanied with tough goodbyes.
Erin, Stacey and I are pretty much packed up.  We have sorted things for home and things that stay here.  The staff is all packed up too, so now we are just hanging out until our driver comes.  It isn’t long before he does.  It takes 2 loads, but we get all the staff and all our supplies to where they need to go.
Thank you Lord for an amazing week!!  Praise you for the work of your Holy Spirit alive and active in the lives of each camper.  God I pray that you will be with each camper as they settle back into their lives and start back to school next week.  Lord continue your work in them that they may live into fuller potential and greater purposes!!
Thanks to you for holding us up in prayer as we work with these kids.  Your prayers have been felt and are very much appreciated!!!  You are an active part of our team!!

 

May 2014 Update 5

Wasuze otia, Good morning.  Lwakuna, Thursday morning and we have
woken to a major rainstorm.  We have been fortunate the last couple
days to have rain overnight and then it clears before we start our
day.  Today is a different story.  We may have to adjust our schedule
a bit.  I struggled getting out of bed today.  The rain makes me want
to stay and enjoy my bed, but I got up and moving.  Erin was a bit
slow too.  Stacey was up early.  I went to wake her and she was
already out.  When I headed over to breakfast there were very few kids
out and Stacey was talking with her family at home.  All the staff are
missing too.  Everyone is moving slow today.  I’m not sure if it is
the rain or just tired, but the staff didn’t come out until we are
finishing breakfast.

We slowly make our way to worship this morning and Cathy gets the kids
moving to wake them up.  She does a pretty good job before I come up
to teach.  Today we are looking at the feeding of the 5000.  God has
been using this story so much in my life lately.  He has shown me that
He will provide abundantly all I need to do ministry.  As we have been
speaking to these kids about how God chose them to be here, we are
also placing a call on them to take what they learn and share it at
home, in school, with their friends or wherever they find themselves.
I want them to know that God has given them all something, even if it
seems small (5 loaves and 2 fish) and He wants to do amazing things
thru them with what He has given them.  I can only imagine the
disciples, tired and probably thinking Jesus is a little crazy,
stubbornly taking their baskets and going around feeding the people.
How amazing would it have been as they fed their first 200 people and
realized that their baskets were still full, then another 500 people
and still it is full.  How crazy?!?!  God gives us all we need and He
invites us into partnership just as He asked the disciples.  Will you
allow Him to use you to work miracles??   The teams all went for small
groups after to talk about all they are learning.

It is still raining a bit, so we are going to do crafts this morning
instead of games.  I madly start printing the pictures that Erin took
yesterday and set up for the kids to make picture frames.  We have
also decided that the kids are getting a bit stinky, so we will use
this time to have the kids bathe.  2 teams come for crafts and the
other 3 are to do wash and bathe.  I told them that I want it to smell
so sweet at lunch!!  It is fun watching the kids as they get their
pictures.  Here they don’t have many mirrors and very rarely get
pictures, so this is a treat.  They all take their time decorating
their frames with stickers and letters and glitter.

By lunch time the rain has finally let way for the sun to come out.
All ate and had their fill before we headed out to the field for the
rest of the round robin for our netball tournament.  The sun is surely
out now.  I think my neck is getting burnt.  Erin has gotten some good
sun the last 2 days too.  We have 6 games of netball and everyone is
having a good time.  I have given my phone to one of our little
bitties to take pictures while everyone is out in the field.  She does
a great job!!  They’ll be great for our slideshow the last night.

This evening we have CPR and we are talking about pregnancy and fetal
growth.  The only birth control that is 100% is self-control.  Stacey,
Erin and I are sitting together in the back of the room.  I obviously
am very well informed with all of these issues.  Stacey has had 3
babies, so she’s pretty well aware.  Erin looks like she is hearing
all of this for the first time.  It is hilarious.  She goes from
amazed to a little grossed out back to amazement.  Her facial
expressions are amazing.  I wish I had a video running of her.  At the
end, she gave a round of applause.   I think she learned more than the
kids today ☺

Dinnertime and I get to have a date with my little bro Alan.  He will
be teaching tonight on the work of the Holy Spirit.  We have a great
time just catching up because he just arrived last night.  He was at
school doing extra lectures and tutoring.  I asked what he was
planning on sharing and if he had any questions.  He just gave me this
little smirk.  ‘Kindri I’ve heard this so many times.’  I knew that he
had and would do a wonderful job.  And of course we head to worship.
Cathy and Michael get everyone singing and dancing to get the blood
pumping before Alan comes up.  I had asked him to do a brief review of
the previous nights.  He did awesome!!!  He actually used several of
the demonstrations and examples I have used over the years.  Love it!!

Our night activity tonight is the balloon game.  Each camper ties a
string with a balloon around their ankle.  The object is to keep your
balloon from being popped while popping others’.  It is very
entertaining!!  It is pretty amazing to see how people can move their
bodies.  In the end yellow and blue had a draw, mostly because it was
about 200 degrees in the room and the last 2 boys were battling for a
while with no result.  Now the kids are headed off to bed and a crew
of my Ugandan staff are having a dance party to my Big Chill
soundtrack…great oldies music.  It is awesome!! I need to go to bed,
so I’m checking out of this dance party early.  Oh and they just found
Footloose.

May 2014 Update 4

Lwakusatu, it’s wednesday!  We are having a great day!!  Hope you are too!!  We started our day off with breakfast, bread and bananas with tea.  Then we headed to worship.  This morning we are continuing our discussion of what an Abundant Life looks like.  We went to John 2, the wedding at Cana.  Today we learned that God celebrates with us abundantly.  He desires to give us the best of all and with plenty!!  I learned that I need to be more like the servants and instead of questioning what God tells me, I just need to obey and He may work a miracle through me.  

We headed to small groups and Erin worked her way from group to group taking pictures of each kid.  From small group, we headed out to the field for games.  We have decided to play some new games.  Stacey introduced us to ‘Steal the Bacon’.  We needed to cane the rules up a bit because the kids were too competitive.  We had a couple injuries early, but when we changed things up a bit it worked well and the kids really enjoyed it.  Please pray for John Patrick who hurt his leg pretty bad.  After steal the bacon we played musical chairs.  We had all the girls play first and the Orange team won and then we had the boys play and the green team was victorious.
Lunchtime, fish, rice, matooke and watermelon.  For the first time Stacey is actually hungry!!
We are continuing our volleyball tournament this afternoon.  Cathy is our netball official and she had to run into town today, so we will play all of our volleyball games and tomorrow will be all netball.  It has gotten really hot today, so they kids are getting tired, but we were able to finish all 6 games.  The kids are enjoying some free time now.  Some are playing cards that they won last night, others are playing Ludo, the ugandan version of Sorry with a few different rules.
Stay tuned for CPR and our night events…
Webale thank you for your prayers.  Please continue to pray that the kids’ hearts would be open to the work of the Holy Spirit.  Pray for Cathy as she will be sharing with the kids tonight about the righteousness of Christ.

Continued…

Let’s finish Wednesday!!  We headed to CPR after volleyball and some free time.  We learned about consequences of our choices today.   I love this program because most health ed classes just talk about the physical consequences, pregnancy and STI’s, but this program talks about the whole person, physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual.    The decision to get involved sexually outside of marriage leads to consequences in all these areas of life.  You may get lucky and not get pregnant, but you will always have memories of those times and your heartbreak will be more severe, your mind can be distracted leading to poor academics.  So good for these kids to hear!!   Everyday the kids are given blank papers to write questions on.  Yesterday we received a question from a girl about being sexually abused.  I met with Pauline and discussed how to handle it because it didn’t have a name on it.  At the beginning of the class today, I stood up and shared with all the campers that we are a safe shelter for them to come with any issues of abuse happening, in hopes that the girl would come and talk with us.  She did.  We had a really open conversation with her.  She is actually a headgirl at school and there is a worker at her school that is harassing and potentially taking advantage of girls.  She has been able to avoid his advances, but is afraid.  I am so glad that she felt comfortable sharing with us, so that we can talk to the headmaster about her employee and hopefully we can get rid of him.  She has also seen some things at home with some weird extended family situations.  Nothing has happened to her, but she is concerned.  I encouraged her for her being a good self-advocate.  We have given her  so ideas and tools to use.  Thank you Lord for opening a door to have this very important conversation.  Abuse is so common here, but we can only change things one life at a time, one family at a time, one school at a time.

I had my dinner date tonight with Cathy who will be teaching tonight during worship.  I am so thankful for this girl!!  She has graduated from University and is using her life to teach and mentor young people.  I am so amazed at the impact she has.  Tonight she is teaching about the righteousness of Christ that we receive once we accept Christ based on 2 Corinthians 5:21.  I know she will do an awesome job!!

I used the time of worship to prepare for our night activity.  Movie night!!!  I transformed our dining room into a theater.  The kids came and found a seat on the ground with their pillows and each received a treat to enjoy during the movie.  Tonight we are enjoying Despicable Me.  The kids are loving it!!  So often you can’t even hear the movie because they are laughing or clapping so loud.  There is a great applause at the end and then the kids make their way to bed.  The mzungus are tired!!  Stacey and Erin headed to bed a while ago and I have left the Ugandans to make sure the kids get to bed.

Webale, thank you for your prayers!!  We are feeling them.  The kids are responding well and hearing all that we have for them.  Please pray for stamina as the week goes on, all are getting tired, especially the mzungus.  Please pray that more kids would open up to us about their lives and that we would have wisdom to know how to respond.

May 2014 Update 3

Wow!!  I guess they call it rainy season for a reason.  We got some serious rain overnight!!  Usually rain makes me sleep better, but this was so much and so hard that it actually woke me up.  I remembered that our tie dye shirts were all out hanging dry.  Oh No!!!  I hope they won’t be destroyed, they definitely won’t be ready to wear for our first round of games today.  When we got moving a little before 8, it was still raining a bit, but the kids were out playing futbol anyway.  

Breakfast to start the day, bread, bananas, eggs and tea.  The kids are all very chatty and welcoming this morning.  There doesn’t seem to be any distance with all these new kids.  I love it!!!  The staff guys have started an impromptu dance competition in the dining area.  Fun!
While the kids are playing or finishing getting ready, the staff has a meeting.  More and more, I believe that God is calling me to encourage and lift up these college aged kids that are doing camp with me and fill them up so that they overflow onto the kids.  This morning I was drawn to Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul’s prayer to the church at Ephesus.  I was able to share with them that I pray for them, that they would be strengthened in their inner person with the power of the Holy Spirit, that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith and know that they are rooted and established in love, that they may comprehend how great God’s love is for them, that surpasses understanding and that they would be filled to the fullness of God.  Then to God be the glory for the amazing work He does in and through us!!!  We spent some time praying together before we gathered the kids for worship.
Cathy lead us again in worship.  She got us all moving and dancing!!  Getting the blood pumping!!  In our morning worship sessions, God has laid it on my heart to share more about the abundant life God has for us that we (our camp) is named for, Abundant Life Camp.  God desires for us not to just survive, but to live lives overflowing with all He has for us.  Today we looked at Numbers 20 where the Isrealites are complaining for water in the wilderness and after going to God, Moses hits the Rock and a fountain flows, not a trickle, but abundantly!!!  We talked of how God will meet our basic needs abundantly if we come to Him.  We cannot just grumble and complain to our family and friends, but we need to turn to God.  I was able to share some of my personal story with the kids as well.
The rest of the morning was spent in small groups and then doing crafts.  Each person received a tote bag and was able to paint their own design on it.  It is truly spectacular to see what some of them do.  One kid picked up a brush and painted the most impressive portrait.  Others wrote important messages, others did flowers or animals.  Since all teams can’t do them at once, while they were waiting or after they were done, teams began working on their presentations for the last night.  We will have a huge talent competition where teams can dance, sing or do dramas, or any combination of those things.  The only real rule is that everyone has to participate.
Once all our bags were painted, we settled in for lunch.  It is amazing, but I am actually hungry.  I eat so much while I’m here and still manage to lose weight…party bonus!!!  Lunch was chapati, rice, beans and greens…so simple, but my favorite!!
This afternoon we begin our tournament.  We have a packed schedule to get in four games of volleyball and four games of netball.  Erin has been hugely helpful in managing the volleyball side of things and Cathy is running the netball (since I haven’t the slightest clue about that game).  Orange and blue appear to be winning so far.  I think Erin is baffled by some of the things the kids do on the volleyball court, but she is great about making fun of it all.
I feel like I should take a second to explain netball.  This is the girl’s version of basketball in Uganda because generally girls don’t play basketball.  It is played on a court on grass with baskets on the end like basketball, except there is no backboard, just a ring.  The biggest difference is that they don’t dribble the ball at all, they just pass.  When you have the ball you are not allowed to move.  I think you get one grace step if you are running when you are trying to catch it. You can only hold the ball for 3 seconds, so it is a quick moving game.  The positioning of players is similar to lacrosse where there are offensive players that con only be on the offensive end of the field and defensive likewise.  Each team has I think 2 ‘centers’ that are allowed to run the whole field and each team has 7 players.  I like us playing this because the boys don’t play it at all, so it makes the girls the one helping run things, a bit of a role reversal than with futbol or volleyball.
We were able to get all of the games done early, so the teams had about 45 minutes to work on their dances for the last night.  It is nice to not be so rushed!!
Then we had CPR.  I apparently spoke too soon yesterday with their timing.  Today they reverted a bit because it took a hour and 20 minutes.  We were talking about sex today though, so there were more giggles to get through.  We went through the steps of affection and how hormones impact our bodies.  It is fun to be a little silly, but we also get to talk about how precious sex is and how God created it to be a gift.  They also do a picture of how long your life can be and how getting involved sexually too early can impact the length of your life.  With Teen Esteem at home we use a tape measure to show this same thing.  It is striking, the visual to see how long your life can be if you make healthy choices and how short it can be if you don’t.  So good!!
Dinner was rice, potatoes and beef stew with pineapple for dessert.  One girl had an entire plate of potatoes with 2 small pieces of meat.  Girl after my own heart!!!
Tonight Shallom is going to be sharing with us about the sacrifice God made in sending His only Son to die so that we could have a relationship with God again.  This is generally an easy one, but with the child sacrificing that happens at the hands of witch doctors here, the idea of sacrifices is tainted.  He did a pretty good job trying to help the kids understand the difference.  He did a wonderful job of helping the kids understand that we all sacrifice things, but how great the sacrifice was for God to send His Son because He loves us SO much!!!
We ended the evening with BINGO!!!  This is a camp favorite.  I bring random prizes, pencils, crayons, notebooks, cards, generally I hit up the dollar section at Target.  The big winners this time were these Avengers kits I found that had a pencil, sharpener and activity book.  And I was worried they may be a little too old to like them.  The kids had a great time!!  The staff did too!!
It has been a wonderful day at camp!!  We all need to get some good sleep tonight!  Thank you for your prayers!!  Shivon didn’t have any issues today!  Praise God.  Please pray for rest and stamina for Stacey.  They days are long and very active and she is generally struggling at night.  It looks like we’re going to get more rain tonight.

 

May 2014 Update 2

Jambo!  Hello!  We are having a great time in Wairaka at camp.  Monday morning the kids arrived in shifts from the 3 schools that we are hosting.  And of course as it always goes, we have more kids arrive than were expected, but God was so faithful! He knew exactly how many kids would be coming and provided just enough beds.  Praise Him!!  As the kids arrived, they went through ‘registration’ where they were put on a team and received their supplies for camp, toiletries, books, pens, water bottles and a t-shirt for tie dye.  In between rushes of new campers, we would play out in the field.  Many played futbol (soccer) others played netball and others volleyball.  These are very active young people!!  They are all running and enjoying themselves very much and camp hasn’t quite begun!!

Once all had arrived, we had a brief orientation and then had the teams meet for the first time.  This is when I let the staff know which teams they would be leading and I got a few sore looks as I split up former teammates.  We will have 5 teams this camp, red, orange, yellow, green and blue.  The teams have gone out to play games that will help them get to know each other’s names and a little about them.  I try my hardest to split up friends and those from the same groups, so they will meet new people and have a richer experience.  After some fun in their teams, we collected everyone for lunch!! Yum!!
I am always amazed at the shear volume of food these kids consume!  I am always being teased about the little food I eat.  TOday’s joke was a play on my love for Mountain Dew.  Gingo, one of the counselors called his mountain of food his mountain dew.  And since I love mountain dew so much will I climb this mountain of food.
This camp we are changing things up a bit.  Usually we do a futbol tournament, but these get a bit intense sometimes.  This camp, we will be having a volleyball and a netball tournament.  Hopefully we will have less injuries and more will be able to participate.  Since volleyball is a newer sport to Uganda, this afternoon after lunch Erin ran a clinic to teach them the basics.  It was fun watching them learn and really get it.  The tournament will begin tomorrow.
After the clinic, we did tie dye.  I love this!  Every kid gets to create something unique and beautiful that is also very practical.  It will be their team jersey for the week.
Raph, Steven and Pauline are back with us teaching CPR, Creating Positive Relationships, our holistic health education piece.  After camp in January I met with all of my staff groups and talked about how we could improve upon what we’re doing.  The main thing we discussed with the CPR folks was timing.  It is intended to be done in hour long sessions and every camp we seemed to be adding 15 minutes.  January each session was almost 2 hours, so I asked them to work on their timing and prioritizing the teachings.  I arrived to the CPR lesson late because eI was finishing up with the tie dye and as I entered they asked me to come to the front.  I was so confused when they told me they were already finished.  Well done team!!  They finished the first lesson in 1 hour!!!  I love that my team is so teachable!! Because they finished early, we dismissed the kids for some free time to do some wash and play.
Dinner time!!!  Can we eat anymore?!?!  These kids can!!  We had matooke, rice and fish tonight.  Stacey said the fish was good once she figured out how to eat it 🙂 The matooke is boiled plantains, a staple here.  A bit of an acquired taste.  She said it was ok, but not her favorite.  I am spending my dinners with the Ugandan staff who will be speaking that each evening.  Tonight I was able to hang out with Gingo.  We talked about the message and if he had any questions about what he will be teaching.  Then we just got to hang out.  This just kind of came up as I asked the staff to teach the gospel message, but I think I may make it a regular part of my leadership, to have meals with individual staff.  We were able to just hang out and talk about life.  It can be a great time of discipleship!!  Thank you Jesus for helping me be flexible, so that we can all grow!!
Worship this evening was lead by Cathy and then Gingo did an awesome job teaching us all about creation and then the fall of man.  I have encouraged all of the staff to try and incorporate parts of their own stories into whatever they are teaching.  Gingo shared with ways that he has struggled with sin and times that he has experienced the closeness of God like when God walked with Adam in the garden of Eden.  Awesome!!
Tonight’s night activities is a new one.  I was able to find glow in the dark horseshoes, so we met up outside on the field and the teams were each give 12 rings that they had to get around their pole.  It was definitely challenging, but the kids got into it and figured it out.  The first round yellow were victorious and the second round Blue won!!  As they finished each camper got to take one of the rings as a bracelet as a prize.  I know I’m tired and ready for a good nights sleep.  Tomorrow will be full and tons of fun!!!
Thank you for your prayers for the kids.  I have been impressed with the kids from our newest partner.  They have been very willing to jump in and talk and get involved.  They haven’t been timid at all.  Everyone seems to be getting along well too.  Please pray for Shivon.  She has some health issue that causes her to get very weak and light-headed.  Pray for safety for her as we are very active and playful at camp.  Pray for our staff as they prepare to share parts of their testimony and the Word.  Please also pray for Stacey as she sees and learns more and more.  I think it has been overwhelming for her to hear the tough stories of these kids’ lives.  Pray that she would be able to hear and trust that God is in control of all of their stories.  It is difficult to discern and have wisdom in the midst of such devastation and poverty.

May 2014 Update 1

Hey all!!  Stacey and I got a very good night’s sleep.  I think Stacey slept for almost 12 hours.  We spent the morning hanging around the guesthouse until we headed into town to prep for camp.  The afternoon was busy getting all our last minute supplies.  Stacey was able to meet up with the boy she sponsors for lunch, Umar, which was a treat.  After finishing shopping we loaded bins and staff up in the bus and headed out to the Discovery Centre where we will have camp.  The afternoon was spent learning games and getting to know the staff.  We are all organized and ready for the kids to come in the morning.

The kids are coming from 3 different schools for camp.  2 have been a part of camp before, Nuvila and HELP.  The third is God’s Will School and they have never experienced anything like this before.  it should be cool to see how they respond.  They are also not tied to an american NGO, so I’m not even sure how much exposure they’ve had to white people.
We are excited to have these kids come and learn about the love that Jesus has for them and the abundant life He has to offer.  Please pray for their hearts to be open.  We are also having a bit of a different look to our staff this time.  I am excited and a little nervous.  God has been speaking to me about letting them lead more, so I have asked them to teach the Gospel presentation that I have done every camp.  Pray that the Word is clear and that God’s heart would be taught well.  Thank you!!

ALMU Update

Jambo!!  Hello all!!  I hope you are all well.  Is it really almost February?!?!  The last 2 weeks have literally flown by.  They have been so good, very productive and way busier than I thought they would be.  And I was worried I would be bored…hahaha!!  I am so thankful to have had this time!!  I have spent everyday either with old friends or new ones.  The relational time has been so wonderful!!  Praise God and thank you for your prayers!!  I have also been able to spend a lot of time with the Lord, in prayer and in His Word and I am so very very thankful for that!!

I tried to make myself rest the first couple of days, but it was tough.  Vicky came from Kampala to visit, so I spent most of sunday afternoon with her and her niece Terry.  I love this girl too much!!  Our relationship was knit by the very hand of God.  We spent a few hours just sitting and talking, just good ol’ doing life together type stuff!!  After she left, I received a call from Jolly, my lawyer.  He was in town and wanted to meet.  So he came to my place.  I thought it would be quick, turns out, the relational time I wanted with him, God provided.  I was able to get to know him better, we talked about his work, his family, his passions.  It was so good!!  I learned that he and a friend have started doing ministry in a village about 15 minutes from Jinja and they are starting a youth program.  He was asking about his kids coming to camp.  Sweet!!  And he is working in an area that we don’t have connections yet, so they would be a totally new group.  It truly was a wonderful time of fellowship with this brother in the Lord.  He came to do “business” but God adapted it and used it for HIS good purposes.  We did get the business done too.  The paperwork we had started in September to register as a ugandan non-profit had a spelling mistake that I didn’t catch, so we had to sign new copies.  Thankfully Vicky was able to stop by before heading back to Kampala and Emma was able to come too, so we finished it and Jolly was able to file it with the govt that tuesday.  We should hear later this week!!  Thank you Lord for these people you have placed in my community here!!!

I actually spent a lot of the first week with the Children of Grace team that was here.  Deana, a good friend from home, was co-leading that team, so I wanted to get some hang out time with her, plus I love the CoG staff, so it was fun to get some good time with them too.  I was able to make some new friends from the US too.  Most of their team was from the Santa Barbara area, but along with D, there were 2 ladies from the Bay, who were fun to meet and get to know.  Nancy came, who I have never met although she goes to CPC, and she has been sponsoring my very good friend Brian here since he started with CoG.  He is the one in nursing school now and helps me with camp.  It was so neat getting to see the 2 of them meet and hang out.  I remember when I first met my boys, it is so special!!!  In between hanging out and doing ministry with them, I was able to get some great time with Brian, Allan, Silas and Raph, some of the guys that do camp with me.  These were great time to debrief camp and to start talking and dreaming about the future.  I am SO thankful for them!!!  It makes me sad to think of the day they will move on and get jobs and not be able to do camp anymore. (A reality that struck me hard the last couple weeks)  I have seen both the boys I sponsor as I’ve been helping with CoG, but not great time, so saturday is for them!!!
Allan let me know he would be playing a futbol match saturday.  I have always wanted to see him play.  I found out that it is literally a 2 minute walk from Joel’s house, so I went early and picked up Mohammad and then went to the school where Joel was to meet us.  I was thinking this would be a simple game and then we would head into town.  It was actually a ministry sponsored event that was a futbol tournament, volleyball tournament and racing, 100 yard dash.  I was anticipating being the only mzungu, but there was a whole crew of them.  I learned they are a YWAM team sent on their outreach from Denver.  Pretty cool!!!  They are here partnering with a ministry called Divine Holistic Ministries that does a ton of different things.  There is an american living here and working with them for the year, so we may be able to connect and serve them with camp at some point too.  Cool!!!  We hung around and watched the activities for most of the day.  I was able to meet some of Allan’s friends from school and I also ran into a couple old CoG kids that I know.  Finally around 430, I needed some food, so I gathered Mohammad. Joel and Joel’s cousin Jonathan and we headed into town.  Oh these boys…as soon as we got to the restaurant, they asked for my phones to play ages.  Kids are the same everywhere!!!  Joel took a bunch of pix on my phone and then I interviewed him and Jonathan.  Pretty funny!!  We ate and then after a quick stop at the store, we went back to where I was staying. We spent a while just hanging out.  They still don’t have a lot to say to me, but I LOVE watching them enjoy each other.  They have so much fun together and they laugh a lot!!!  It was tough, but I said good night to them and sent them on a boda back to the village.  At least I know I will see them again!!
This week has been a mix of old and new.  I was able to help CoG with another day out in Magamaga, I’ve caught up with Raoul and his sisters and did a FaceTime date with Erin and a couple groups she knows, loves and misses.  I spent a day doing outreach in the Children’s hospital with Kimi and her kids.  I actually didn’t end up doing a whole lot cuz they had it covered, but Kimi and I were able to just spend a few hours talking about stuff.  She is becoming a very good friend and I am thankful and hopeful for how God is and will grow our relationship.  She told me she was looking to move into town a and I just happened to know an apartment building.  I asked, they had a room, I showed Kimi and now she’s going to be moving in this week!!  Praise God!!
I knew I needed to do some leadership things this week with my camp staff.  I have been so very thankful for how God has provided a team to come around me to do camp.  I wasn’t very picky honestly, but God is beginning to show me that I need to do more training and equipping of these young people and be ready to have some tough conversation if needed.  Some of the guys that have joined our team, they are still learning, but I needed to set some clear expectations for them if they hope to continue to do camp with us.  Largely emphasizing that they are there to minister to and hang out with kids and not each other.  Imagine that, but if I don’t tell them, then how can I hold them accountable to it.  So God has given me good time with pockets of our team throughout the week.  The conversations have been evidence of God’s promise that iron does sharpen iron!!  We are all growing together!  Thank you Jesus!!!
I ended the week by joining the leadership team of Victory Family Centre, the church we had at camp and the church home of our health/CPR educators, for an afternoon of fellowship at Raphael’s home.  We had a lot of fun getting to know each other and playing games.  I learned that one of the guys there was the husband to Steven’s sister and I actually contributed to their wedding that happened in October.  Here they actually have people financially support the events instead of bringing gifts.  I wasn’t in town for the day, but gave, honestly, at the time to be culturally sensitive.  It was fun to meet him though. They cooked a big meal and Raph had an ample supply of Mountain Dew for me.  We spent some time sharing what God is doing in our ministries and praying for each other after dinner.  They shared with me about the impact camp has had on their kids, but how it has changed and empowered them as well.  Thank you Jesus!!  Evidence of God at work!!  It was a really wonderful time growing existing relationships and building new ones.
Saturday is land day!!!  Jolly came to get me and we went all around looking at different properties that are for sale.  We got a LOT of exercise.  The land here isn’t flat, but it is beautiful!!!  Today has really opened my eyes to a few things…1) this thing God has called me into is HUGE!!!  2) We are only just beginning and 3) He is going to have to work a miracle in the next several months!!!  Land in the Jinja area is not cheap!!  I thought that real estate in Africa must be much less than at home.  Hahaha!!!  This is prime real estate!!!  And there are some mzungus who have actually made some really stupid deals here which are going to cost us more!!  So we spent the majority of our time looking at 2 properties.  The third we looked at we knew pretty quick it wasn’t the right place.  I have been praying that God would clearly open and shut doors for us in this land process and thus far He has been very faithful!!  Jolly has already been in negotiations with one of the owners for 40 acres of land.  This piece was actually the favorite of the 4 of us that went out together.  The other piece is owned by an indian guy and the price is pretty high.  It does have some things about it that would make it a good investment, but not sure how we would really develop it for camp.  We are going to continue the conversation with this one owner first and see what God does.
The end of the day I went with Brian to his aunt’s place.  In September I had the privilege of visiting Allan, Cathy and Silas’ homes after camp and meeting they families.  This time I promised Brian and so we were able to go.  It was sweet to meet the lady that took him in when his parents died.  She has done a great job raising a good man!!
Overall my time has been a good balance of relational and business.  We are set to host a new school for camp in May and have a few new potential partnerships in the works.  God has been faithfully growing this ministry in His timing (sometimes a little quicker than I can manage, but it keeps me dependent on Him). The challenge of growth is a good one, but still a challenge.  How do we continue to build existing relationships and foster new ones??   God is reshaping my focus from the daily runnings of camp to the bigger vision for things.  What does it look like to grow?  How do we make disciples and continue to support the kids after camp?  How do we grow our camp team with people who want to love kids for Jesus Christ? What do I need to do on the US side to get us to where God is taking us?
Please pray for Abundant Life and me as we continue to step where and when the Lord leads us to.  Please pray for the land process, that we would be very in tune with the voice of the Holy Spirit leading us.  Please pray for the over 200 kids who have gone through camp this year, that God would continue to grow the faith that was planted and they would know His love and presence.  Please pray for wisdom and discernment as we begin to look at the next phase of growth for camp as well.
I am confident that God is sovereign and in control of Abundant Life Ministries and we are exactly where He wants us to be.  I know that every need we have had, He has met.  So I know that He will provide for whatever adventure He has next for us.  May He begin to soften hearts even now to build a community in the US who will help provide financially for our dreams moving forward.  Thank you all for your love and support!!  I really REALLY appreciate it!!!

 

January 2014 Update 9

Pringles…who knew that was all the girls needed to be really REALLY happy!!  We stopped for water and I grabbed a couple tins of pringles and you would have thought I hung the moon 🙂

The rest of the drive was restful for the girls!!  We made it back super quick!!  You never know what traffic will be like going through Kampala, but Mike knew all the short cuts.  We made it to Entebbe by 5:45 and they can’t check in until 8 for their 1130 flight.  I planned for us to do dinner in Entebbe, but didn’t really know of a place.  So what else to do but google it.  We found the listing for Fase 3 and the reviews sounded good.  We found it and by the view, we could tell it was going to be awesome!!

There were very few people there when we arrived, so we got a sweet round table our on the back porch.  The view was breath taking of the lake.  And we could literally see the airport.  It is probably 5 minutes away.  Ugandan restaurants generally take 3 hours to serve meals anyways, so we are there just in time.  The restaurant also has wifi, so the girls are able to check in on Facebook and insta.  The reality of home is kicking in though.  Madi is asking to stay longer.  We joke that we could say there was something wrong with her passport again to give her a few extra days  🙂
Our dinner is long and leisurely.  We are able to charge all our electronics.  The food was really good!!!  And we finished it off with ice cream!! Yum!!  The bathrooms were a big positive too!!  They were so nice, they had washcloths to dry your hands with!!  Tarah took a sponge bath from the sink and lost 3 layers of color!!  The sunset towards the end of dinner!!  BE-A-UTIFUL!!!  I love this place!!
Around 8 we start to gather our things and the girls go for one last nice potty stop. When we arrive at the airport we have to actually repack their luggage into the bins.  (They have to get back home for the Sintaro team to bring back)  Once everything is packed up we drive our trolleys up and head inside.
Fun fact…only ticketed passengers are supposed to enter the airport.  We had issues with the girls not flying with me because I had purchased the tickets with my CC, and the airline wanted to see it.  I figured the same would be true here, so I went in with the girls.  I didn’t mention that I wasn’t flying, I just showed them my passport like the others.  I got them all checked in and up to the last point.  After saying goodbye, I headed back to go out to the car and I got fussed at big time by the head of security.  Whoops!!  They did let me out after a good talking to and now Cathy, Mike and I are headed back to Jinja.
I will continue to send updates on my time in Jinja ,but probably when big things happen.  I know I will be meeting with my lawyer and finalizing our corporation paperwork.  The land that we found in September had a lot of complications and finally the landowners set their price much higher than we thought reasonable and so we are back at the start.  Jolly (the lawyer) has heard of another big piece of land out toward Bujagali Falls (where everyone white water rafts from).  That could be really pretty, but it could also be a bit expensive.  Please continue to pray for wisdom and God’s leading.  He has been so faithful to clearly close doors along the way and with each new piece of land we are learning more and more.  I will also have time to spend networking and meeting other missionaries in the area.  I am really excited to have time just to spend building relationships with those the Lord has already brought into my life.  I am dying to see my boys too!!!  Vicky is coming to Jinja this weekend and I am PUMPED!!!  Please pray that God would bless all of my relational time.  I am still coughing a ton from my first sickness.  Please continue to pray for healing.  I hope with some time to rest my body will recover fully!
I am thankful for your partnership!!  Your prayers and support are more important than you know!!!  Thank you!!  Sula bulunge!!  Good night from Uganda!!