Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Team arrival

A team has arrived. We are headed to the Village of Eden. 
Actually, we are stuck on traffic. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cows in the backyard

As I put away my clean clothes, I heard a swishing sound coming from outside. The cows had come to visit!

As I snapped a picture, the herder came, (in his sport coat) and drove them away. 

There is always something going on around here!


I am struggling for a way to begin this post, so I will just start. 

At 8:00 am on Synday, Willy came to tell us that Pastor Philex, one of the association's pastors had been attacked, robbed and left for dead last night!

This is a photo of Philex and his motorcycle, the means of support for him and his family. 

  The thieves apparently beat him to unconsciousness and stole his motorcycle. Philex  eventually woke up, tried to use his phone to call for help but the call would not go through. After some time, someone found him and got help. 

Willy and Beatrace went to visit him in the hospital. Later that afternoon, Moses said that he was going to be ok. We were all relieved. 

Then, unexplainably, at 9:30 pm, Kim came in to my bedroom to tell me that Philex had died!  

She went over to talk to the children (they  all knew him) and the boys walked back to their cottage across the yard. 

Isa told me the rest of the story this morning, " Jesus loves us, you see. We were walking right beside this snake in the grass last night. It was so big!  But he did not bite us!  Jesus loves us!  It was passing right between us!"

John chimed in, "Yes, I stepped on it with no shoes and  began yelling 'The snake, the snake!' Our house mother thought it was surely a frog.  But the guard came and killed it!"

I can not express the level of gratitude for the Lords protection over the children last night. 

This morning, our devotion was about caring for the widows. How appropriate in this time of loss for Philex's  family. His wife and children who are beginning this day without their  father/husband. 

I don't know how to even compare or comprehend both events. Something so horrible and then something so wonderful as His protection. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chickens in the ward and under the tables

We went to see one of our staff members today who had an accident last night. She was not there, they had taken her for  an x-Ray. 
But, there was a chicken running around the female ward. He was going under the beds, foraging for crumbs. I snapped this picture of the beds (couldn't get the chicken). 

Then, at lunch, there was another chicken running around the restaurant!  He was weaving in and out from under the tables as we were eating. 

The funny thing is that the Americans were the only ones who thought it was odd to have chickens on the ward and under the tables. The Africans just looked at it and went right on doing what they were doing. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another over-turned tractor trailer

It seems like every time I travel to Kampala, I see the same scene somewhere along the way. How do they turn over so easily?  This time it was full of bottles of cooking oil. The spectators were handing out the 2 gallon jugs with gusto!  

Gift for who?

Spotted this as I sat in traffic in Kampala. Original name. . . 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Photo Collage

Brianna, teaching the P2 Sunday School Class

I love the eagerness to learn in this picture.

Baby nursery

I love Doreen's smile!

Some of the small group Bible study groups during Esangalo

Andrew and Arafat.  Andrew can't walk, so he rides this bike to and from school.

Drinking the porridge during breakfast break.

Michelle, comforting this boy at Esangalo.  He was hungry and had a fever.

Cooking the porridge at Esangalo - 1200 kids means a BIG  pot!

The hunger went away after a pack of Lance crackers.

The crowd at a crusade

Moses,  praying with some of the people at the crusade.

The crusade stage

Things have changed

The color of my skin always affects the prices in the market. Yesterday, I priced a kilo of potatoes at 600 shillings from the man sitting at the top of the truck load of potatoes or Irish as the locals call them. 
"Ok, I will take one kilo. "
I stood waiting and after a bit, the man bagging the potatoes yelled, "one kilo is 2,000. "
I asked the first man, "Why was it 600 and now it is 2,000?"
His matter if fact answer was, "Things have changed. "
I replied, "Then I don't want them. " and I walked away. 
I don't know why they can't see that they are hurting themselves. 
Later, after having bought some other vegetables, one of our VOE workers stopped me. 
" I saw that you were trying to buy Irish. You give me the money and I will buy them for you. "
I thanked her but declined. I didn't want potatoes anyway!  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Simple love with Lance crackers

Today, as I struggled to understand the pastor's accent as it echoed off the walls of the sanctuary, Hassan brought me a small, sad child. 

"He is sick in the body. "

"Ok, tell him to sit here."

I checked him for fever. He was cool, so probably not malaria. 

I studied  him. He was so very skinny!  Hunger!

I pulled out a pack of Lance crackers from my bag. He nibbled the first one down to just a small bite. I could tell he was really trying to make it last. I handed him another cracker. With the assurance of getting another one, he popped what was left into his mouth and began on the next one. 

After the third cracker his frown turned into a smile and I snapped a picture. 

Six crackers later, he was sitting straighter and smiling. 

Then, he took his tiny hand in mine and said something over and over. His face made me desperate to find a translator. I got James. He said he wanted water. I also asked his name, "Wafula Ivan".

I sent James, Kismat and Ivan to the well to get water. 

Ivan, by that time, was doing much better. So, I sent him on his way. 

As I was watching him eat and thinking back now, I am wondering "Is this what Jesus was talking about?  About showing His love?"
It is something so simple, food and water (and a back rub) and Ivan was good to go again. 

I have to admit that it was a humbling experience for me.   I have fed kids before ( this was not the first pack of crackers I have given  away). But this time it was God's voice whispering in my ear, "This is my love for the people. "

Friday, July 11, 2014


I hand stitched my curtains. They are just panels, I know, but I am proud. The picture is also not that great but oh well. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Just sent off 5 patients to go to Mbale. There is a government hospital there. 
The patients need therapeutic shoes, treatment for sickle cell, etc. 
This is just one of the ministries Helping Hands has- providing medical care to those that cannot provide it for themselves. 


I just conducted two interviews for a teaching position at the school. They were pretty interesting. 

I was impressed with the first one, she seemed so enthusiastic, excited, etc.  I really liked her attitude. 

But, then I found our she doesn't actually have a teaching certificate!  This is pretty funny if you think about it- no one would even consider applying for a teaching job in the US if the were not actually qualified in some way. They would be laughed out of the interview. 

The second one has a teaching certificate (my second question, after her name). We began talking and somewhere along the way she actually began singing to me!  I refrained from laughing although I am laughing now as I write this. She sings well. 

I got a little wary of her though when I asked, "Do you go to prayers?"
"Yes. "
"Oh, ok, what church?"
" Ummm, what is it called?  Umm. . . "

For some reason I don't believe her!

I then asked her if she was currently working. She said yes but asserted me she would quit if I have her a job because the pay was not good at her current school.   This tells me that the money is what drives her- not the children, ministry or loyalty. 

I told both of them I would be in touch. I really need The Lord to send me the right person for the job

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My exotic day!

Today was a pretty typical day for me. I thought I would break it down for you. 

5:45- alarm

6:00-get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, read Bible, etc. 

7:30- lead devotion with volunteers

8:00-check on teachers, take administrative role and fuss at the late ones, praise the ones already in class, talk to the cooks, janitor and guard. The cook wants an apron, the janitor wMts gloves and the guard just wants to know everything that is going on

8:15- arrange transport for 5 children to go to the government hospital tomorrow

8:30- introduce volunteer, explain that she will be teaching reading classes in the school for the next two weeks

9:00- walk a mile to milk a cow ( see previous post)

10:00- sit through an hour long meeting about shoes- quality, price, availability, etc. for our sponsored kids

11:00- walk to the church, again, and speak with the social workers. Make list of what needs to be in a "head masters office"
Stop in the field to download emails to my phone ( better reception between the church and school)

12:00- make macaroni and cheese (powdered cheese) with BBQ Vienna sausages for lunch. ( food the team left behind)

1:00- cut fabric for the curtains I am sewing ( has to be cut in the day light)

2:00- work with a house mother, teaching her how to read and write

3:00- study Lugandan ( repeat seemingly crazy made-up words over and over again, making people think you are crazy)

3:45- finally take a break!  Just sit and watch the kids play for 15 minutes. 

4:10- Lugandan classes - brain in overdrive!

5:30- finally, free time. Time to hand sew my curtains. First panel finished before the sun set

7:00- eat dinner. Rice. 

7:30- work on the puzzle, using a flashlight to see the colors

8:15- take a shower (cold, takes my breath away every time)

8:30- go to bed and read

9:15- lights out

And then it all starts again tomorrow. 

I know, I know, so glamorous!  So exotic!

Milk a cow? Yes!

I am checking off all kinds of things from my mental list titled "Things I want to learn or try to do"
I milked a cow this morning!
As we were walking to the stables, we came upon one cow tied up. I asked, "Beateace, is that the one?"
"No, that one is a bull. ". Not a good way to start. 
Around the corner we found the mama and baby. 

Beatrace showed me how to do it. It was easier than I thought. I must admit it took longer than expected and the stream if milk was smaller than I expected. 

I milked her again later and the the guests told me, "That is enough, leave some for the child. "

Watching the process makes you think about where thst milk is REALLY coming from! You know, reality of it all. I have to admit I will think twice next time a drink a glass of milk. ( which won't be soon- not ready to start drinking the fresh milk yet/ I have to Google how to pasteurize it correctly first)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Job applications

I am going through applications for a new teacher at the school. Some of the applications are hilarious!

1. Name of school: St. Francis
Dates attended:  Monday through Friday

2. Health problems:  During working I was being mosquito bit. 

3. Position applied for:  Nassary teaching ( if you can't spell it, don't apply!)

4. "I was deleted from the payroll."  (another way of saying I was fired)

5. Your Family Name:  Polygamy

These are just some of the funniest ones.

 I am praying earnestly that The Lord will guide me in this hiring process. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Canning success!

I canned for the first time last night.  
One if the disadvantages of the Village of Eden is that the solar power is not strong enough for a refrigerator.  
So, I decided to try buying ground beef in Kampala, bring it to the VOE and then can it so it will last. 
I bought the ground beef and put it in a freezer bag I brought from the U.S. along with 2 bags of ice to keep it cold on the 6-7 hour trip back. 
When we arrived last night, I scrambled the beef, put it in the cans and then pressured it. 

This morning all the cans had sealed!
It doesn't look very appetizing in the jars, but next week when I want some meat I bet it looks delicious!  

It was a lot of trouble but I think it was worth it. One thing I did learn was that I need a bigger pressure cooker- an actual pressure canner with a rack. Mine was too shallow to sit the jars on rings so I layered butter knives in the bottom to serve as the rack!  (Otherwise I would have lost the meat). It worked but not the best. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

City perks

We stopped outside the city for coffee. So good!  They also had air conditioning! And free wi-fi!  Big city perks!

Now we are back on the road, heading back to our little oasis in the bush. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Adventures of a missionary!

We just finished our second drive to the airport of the day and now we are returning to the hotel- again.  When we finally arrived after the first trip, Brianna realized her bag was not in the van. We called Kim. Roger, one of the team members had her bag, I guess thinking one of the other team members would eventually remember it was theirs and claim it. He had been carrying it for over two hours around the airport!
Kim left it with Christopher, an airport security worker. We decided traffic would be better tonight rather in the morning. It took us an hour to arrive and 40 minutes to get past the security at the gate!  While we were sitting there, with the engine shut off, we heard the teams flight take off to Amsterdam. 
We found Christopher, he questioned Brianna extensively (name, phone, blood type, etc. ) and gave us the bag. Meanwhile, another lady questioned me. How so you explain something like that?
It is 12:35 at night and we are heading back, again, to our hotel that is an hour away in Kampala. 
Oh, the adventures of a missionary!  

Here are some TERRIBLE selfies Brianna and I took while we waited in the gate security line.  

Update:  it only took 30 minutes to get back to the room. (Traffic after midnight is almost non-existent ). I just had a WONDERFULLY hot shower (first hot one in weeks) and now I am lying in bed listening to the dogs bark outside. 

Today has been an adventure all day long- one thing after another. I wonder why God has me here during all this. If I had heard about the threats just 2 hours earlier, I would have cancelled our part of the trip and kept me and the two girls at the VOE.   I feel safe, but still carrying the burden of keeping the girls out if harm's way. So, what is God wanting to show me in all this?


We are in Kampala today. As we were riding through the downtown area we received word that they had just arrested some men dressed as women who had bombs strapped to their chests - ready to blow. The store was only a few miles from where we were. 
I am not scared for myself so much- more for the team members with me. We took 11 people to the airport to catch their flight. But there are still 2 girls with me. I feel completely responsible for them.  I know that every decision I make is crucial to their safety. 
We cannot return to the Village of Eden tonight because it us not safe to drive on the roads. I am trusting God to protect us in our hotel tonight.  It is a place with good security and far from the malls, but we are still in Kampala  until tomorrow. I am trusting in the Lord to guide my decisions. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lesson learned

I write this as I lay in bed at 11:20 in the morning, resting.  I have just gotten back from an "adventure" and learned a valuable lesson too. 
The lesson:  Don't push yourself too much when you are sick, just to get the work done. The work will wait. 

The story:  It started on Tuesday  when Jim Wallace, Brenda Kowalske and I went to see where the future medical clinic will be located. We walked it off and I told them I would come back later and mark it with string so we could start putting in the fence. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, I was sick all day. Apparently, I became dehydrated. Today, I decided Brianna Clarke and I would go out to run the string. 
We suited up in snake boots and I even put on some snake chaps. 

We got a "slasher" to go with us and slash the string line after we ran it. 
We waded through grass higher than our heads, sweat dripping off our faces. Our boots becoming soaked inside from the sweat. The sun beating down. 

I found the first marker and we started walking and running the string.  This was already a good two miles of walking in the heat. 

I found the other marker, but then it got interesting.   

I started having trouble breathing and then everything stsrted going black. I told Brianna I needed to lay down, but all I could think about was the snakes!  We climbed a barb wire fence into the neighbors cornfield and I laid down in the dirt. Brianna shaded me and watched for snakes (such a friend). 

I finally got up, thinking I could finish the job. 
We climbed back across, into the tall grass on our side and I started blacking out again. This time I didn't have time to get to the corn field and went to my knees in the grass. I decided The Lord would just have to drive those snakes away!

After a bit, I got back up and we walked (staggered) about 1/2 of a mile to where our tractor was and had the driver take us back to the cottage -mission uncompleted. 

I am now resting after drinking two big glasses of water and taking a cold shower. I am fussing at myself for being so foolish- the work could have waited. 
I am thankful though thst we never actually saw a snake, even though I am certain they were out there. I am also thankful for Brianna. She was a great help to me. 
On a side note, we left the slasher out there, slashing. I guess he will eventually figure out we are gone. . .