Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, T-man!

Our little guy turns 8 today. He wanted to go on a "boy trip" for his birthday so Mark arranged for them to go to a wildlife refuge with the boys of another missionary family here, the Greers. They set off on Tuesday with excitement. However, as they traveled on the very rough road to the wildlife refuge they discovered it was impassable and had to turn around. There were potholes that would swallow up an entire car and there were at least 15 trucks stuck in those holes.
So much to Titus' dismay, they had to turn around. They decided to go to one of our favorite places, Sipi Falls and even try out a different lodge. Titus loved it and especially showing his friends a place they had never been before. We are celebrating today with cake with friends and going to dinner as a family to his favorite pizza place in Jinja. Other special treats for him today include presents from many family who either mailed packages or sent gifts with visiting teams. He also got a sweet video via facebook from one of his best friends in America! Thanks Thomas!

Happy Birthday, my little guy!

And the answers are . . .

The time has come that you have been waiting for. We were impressed with some of your answers! So here are the correct answers.
  1. One of the maintenance men came to me the other day and asked for spa glue. I believe this was probably the one that ended up being the hardest for everyone. One thing we have learned about Ugandans, they like to shorten words. So spa glue is a shortened version of Supa (or Super) Glue.
  2. One of the boys came to the door and told me that my bowel was on the table. yes, Paula this one was easy. Bowel is the way they pronounce bowl. I cannot say bowl without thinking about how it is pronounced here and laugh.
  3. Some of the big kids asked if they could borrow some fla. I was impressed you all got this one so easily. Fla is flour.
  4. One of the big boys said he wanted a new jumper. John and Vicki got this one right. Jumper is a jacket. It was pretty funny to us the first time when one of our teenage boys asked for one. He also thought it was funny when we told him what we call a jumper.
  5. The four suits in card games are di, supa, flower, and mutima. Which one is which? Paula was right on all of these. Mutima means heart in Luganda.
That was fun and my kids especially enjoyed it! We hope you enjoyed it too!

Monday, May 24, 2010


So although, many people speak English here, the words and meanings are not always the same.

Here's a challenge for you, I will give you a word or a phrase and you comment on what you think the italicized words mean. Let's see how close you can get.

  1. One of the maintenance men came to me the other day and asked for spa glue.
  2. One of the boys came to the door and told me that my bowel was on the table.
  3. Some of the big kids asked if they could borrow some fla.
  4. One of the big boys said he wanted a new jumper.
  5. The four suits in card games are di, supa, flower, and mutima. Which one is which?
Good Luck! We will post the answers in a few days! Enjoy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Being still

Last week, in the middle of making sure there were enough egg salad sandwiches for the medical team's lunch and counting necklaces which the house moms had made to sell, I was stopped by a fellow missionary, Adam, who came to tell me about a new baby girl. He had been at the local hospital and the staff told him of a baby girl possibly only a day old who had been treated there and then taken to the local police station. She had been found in an abandoned hut. The staff asked Adam if he thought we could take her, so he dropped by to tell me about her.

Wow, my mind began racing. When a problem comes to my attention, many times my mind goes into full throttle to figure out what I can do to fix the problem. My mind indeed did this very thing when I found out about this little girl. Where could we put her? The house we have our babies in is full to capacity. Mark and I just can't take on another responsibility and have her in our home. Claudia, our fellow missionary who has a major heart for babies, already has two in her home along with 5 other children. The thoughts went on. My problem is that as I try to figure out a situation I get stressed feeling more and more responsible for coming up with a solution for the dilemma at hand. Then I get even more stressed about little issues--like egg salad sandwiches (oh dear, we need to get those down to the office for lunch!) and necklaces (wait! I lost count!). I felt myself getting stressed.

Fortunately for once, I stopped! I walked into my room and laid flat on my back on my bed and I stopped. I waited and I talked to God. I was still. And as I laid there still, I was reminded of God's love, promises and names. He loves me, He loves that little girl and He shall supply all her needs! He is the God who created her; He is the God who sees her--He saw her abandoned in the hut before anyone else saw her. He is omniscient and sovereign and knows all things about her life and is in control of her life.

Then once I was still enough to know who He is and to listen, I was reminded of the system in Uganda and how it works. She is now at the police station and they will contact probation who will then contact one of the orphanages it works with. That orphanage may be us or it could be someone else.

"Oh, Lord!" I prayed, "You know that little girl and you know what is best for her. You know that if GSF is the best place for her then you will provide and show us where to put her. "

It was like God reminded me in that moment, "I will give grace and wisdom when it is needed." Not sooner or later.

I then got up and knew that in that moment it was time to focus on egg salad sandwiches and God was so totally in control of that little girl's life, I need not worry about it.

We have not heard anymore about that little girl but I have complete peace and know that God knows exactly where she is and the number of hairs on her head.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A little laughter

Here’s a little story just to remind you that kids are kids everywhere - they just have different ways to express themselves:


Mark and I were out with some of the little girls on our back veranda today when one of them lost a bead from her new earring she had just received for her birthday.  So we all began looking in the dirt next to the veranda.  Imagine a bunch of little girls leaning over with little bottoms in the air, and then all of a sudden one jumps back quickly and says, “Aye, someone brought pressure!”  Yep, soon some of the others were holding noses and it was obvious someone had “gassed” (the term they normally use).  And just like anywhere else in the world, there were snickers, accusations and denials.  And Mark and I are still laughing tonight about the term “brought pressure.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Because I called you!

We have had a medical team here this week and it has been incredible but pretty crazy. Okay, life here is always pretty crazy! So Friday, wasn't any different. Mark was going out the door at 8:30 to go up to the guesthouse to see the team and take some groceries and other supplies up there. "Wait, I'll go with you!" I called, eager to get a few minutes with my man. (Those of you who have been here you know well that the drive from our house to the guesthouse is about 30 seconds to a minute long. But I will take anytime I can get especially when a team is here).

We went up to the guesthouse where the team was praying. I heard one pray, "and Lord, be near to the missionaries and help them. They are here all the time and deal with these situations and problems all the time." I didn't think much about it at the time but tucked it away in my mind.

We unloaded everything and then went up to the chapel where the clinic is being held to drop off more things. As we walked into the chapel, I noticed the line of people already waiting to be seen. Our matron, Juliana, pointed out a few who had come back for a re-check and explained their situations. I was reminded of a little girl who had broken her leg several weeks ago and was just seen the day before for the first time for the injury. We sent her to the nearby hospital only to be told there was no one to do an x-ray; now the mother has refused to go anywhere else. There were others in the clinic that morning - ones who had babies with high fevers, elderly who had walked several miles with no shoes, young widows with many children and so many others. I finally left feeling a little helpless and overwhelmed.

On my walk home, I was met by two of our helpers in the toddlers’ house to tell me that our newest little boy was having problems again. Sweet little boy was found abandoned several weeks ago and had a medical problem which is going to eventually require surgery. After talking with these ladies, it seemed we were going to have to do something immediately. I sent them both on errands and then turned back around to go talk to Mark and the visiting doctor about what to do.

As I walked back to the clinic discouraged and overwhelmed, my mind came back to the prayer my visiting friend prayed for me and my fellow missionaries. I thought about how inadequate I am to be here. And I honestly, thought to myself God why, am I here? Why am I one of the ones who are to stay here? I really was expecting to be reminded of all the great things done here or of all the smiles and hugs I get all day and to be told it is all worth it. But God said in His still small voice Because I called you! There is no other reason needed! God told our family not in an audible voice but through many confirmations, open doors and burdened hearts to be here and that is why I am here. It is not because of anything I am; as I said before I am very inadequate. It is not because I am content or enjoy being here because there are days I don’t. It is because God called Mark and I and our family to come that is why we are here. It is not about us but about God and His Glory.

So as I walked through the day, I walked knowing my God had called me, loves me and is in control of my life. He loves this new little boy who was able to wait for a few more days and may be having surgery on Wednesday. He loves the many people in the clinic who were seen and helped. He is a great and awesome God and He calls!