Saturday, April 23, 2011

Matthew 19:14

'Leka Abana Abantu Abato Bajje Gyendi' is Swahili for 'Let the little children come unto Me'.

This means so much more to me here in the country with the youngest population in the world than it did in America. On Wednesday I thought about this a lot. Here is a little of what happened.

This is Nicholas and Frank when they first came to GSF. Nicholas told his Auntie "Frank and me, we suffered". After nearly a year we took Nicko and Frank to visit their village. On the way there I asked Nicholas who his friends were in the village. He said "Frank was my only friend". Once we got there we quickly discovered that everyone in the village knew the boys, but Nicko only remembered one lady. There were so many kids just running around the village and I started thinking about those children who Jesus told to come to Him. He said it to those children but he meant it for all children.

Nicholas and Frank now.

Later, we went on a forest walk. I enjoyed the forest part but, that isn't the part that sticks out to me. When we reached the village some of the girls went to visit their friend and the rest of us stayed at the village soccer field. Almost instantly there was at least twenty kids there. They kept calling "Mzungu, Mzungu" so I got up and played tag with them. Pretty soon there was about forty kids there playing tag with me. Only, I was the main one playing because they wouldn't tag anyone else but the 'Mzungu'. So, I sat down with a few of them and 'tried' to teach them the hand game. When I looked up there were about twenty of them surronding me. Now, this didn't really work because I couldn't really teach them. At the monment I thought it was only because I can't speak much Luganda and they can't speak much English. But, I later found out from the GSF girls who were sitting with me that some of the kids were telling the others that I was going to pinch them.

Wherever the children are, and whenever they live, God calls them to come to Him. And, that's all that matters.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Water is ... LIFE!

GSF's water tower has an amazing story. When it was first built it immediately fell down. The people in the village said that it was land used for witchcraft and they couldn't build anything there. So, there was a prayer walk around that part of the land. The water tower was built again and again fell down. So, they brought all the kids out from the old GSF land and did a prayer walk around the entire new campus. It was then built a third time and still stands today. It can be seen from all the villages around us and stands as a testimony to them all. Even though it is still standing we are still without water sometimes because the tanks are getting older etc.

Last Friday was one of those days when we woke up to no water. By the end of the day we were still out of water and the boar hole (which usually does not dry up) was even dry. So, on Saturday we all had to walk to a spring where all the villagers get their water to get water. Praise the Lord on Saturday night the water got fixed and by Sunday morning we had water fully back again.

When I go to the toddlers' house the Aunties are sometimes giving the kids water. While giving them water the Auntie will say "Water is what...?"

and the kids will answer "Water is life!"

That is so true and we all need water to survive all the time.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Blessed is He

Blessed is He

Who comes in the name of the Lord

Blessed is He

Blessed is He

Who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna ... To the Son of David

Hosanna ... This is Jesus

Hosanna ... To the Son of David

Hosanna ... This is Jesus

These are the words the song we sing every year at GSF on Palm Sunday and sometimes at Easter too. Before Church all the kids cut down Palm branches and decorate the Church and hand out a few Palm leaves to every person. Then, we all sing this song and wave the Palm Branches around. After Church the kids will find lots of things to make with the Palm Leaves such as bracelets, rings, and the beginning of mats. This year I started learning how to make a bracelet or the beginning of a mat. It was so much fun!

Grace, Patience, and Eseza - the three girls who taught me to make things from Palm Leaves.

As I walked back home from Church with the girls we were all holding our Palm Leaves so we could try to make something. We walked past Daisy the Donkey - who, by the way is a Bethlehem Donkey ( I started thinking about the first Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into town. All the people lined up on the side of the road - excited that their new King was coming to town. Then, here comes Jesus riding on a donkey, and the people throwing down Palm Branches and clothes to cover the path for Jesus. I think of how excited they must have been and then I come back to my life here and now when we're still singing Hosanna to Jesus.

Okay, now for other news. GRANDMA IS HERE!!!! Grandma, Uncle David, Uncle J.R., and our cousin, Gage are in Uganda for two weeks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Two Special Kids

There are nine Special Needs Kids at GSF. Two of them make me sad when I'm around them. Tom and Rosie are both very special to me - I will never forget them.

Tom is about four years old now. The way Tom spends his days is not the way anyone would choose to live or should have to live. Tom spends most of his days wandering around the house or laying on the couch, and chewing on his shirt. He cries all the time - when they put him to bed, when they bathe him, when they put him on potty and just about any other time. When he eats a lollipop he licks his fingers and then touches the lollipop over and over again. He does that sometimes with his milk too. His life is so sad but who knows if he's ever known another way of life.

Tom laying on the couch.

Tom's usual look.

Rosie is almost nine years old. She came to GSF when she was seven. You would have never guessed that she was seven. When Rosie was two years old she got either cerebral malaria or meningitis. After that she has never walked again, she never told anyone anything again, and her world became a dark one where she could never see again. When Rosie came she was very malnourished. Every bone in her body was tight her fists were clenched. She literally was and is living a life of fear. Every time you touch or move her, she cries. Slowly with many people working with her and helping her patiently and persistently and with the grace of God her hands are opening. Rosie is still a long way away from being a normal - or even almost normal - little girl, but God has brought her a long way and he can bring her even farther.

Rosie on her first day at GSF.

Rosie was very malnourised.

Rosie still lives life in fear but looks much better.

Rosie's hands look much better!

No one should have to live the way that Rosie and Tom have to live. No one should have to constantly be in fear or confusion. No one should have to live without ever being able to talk to anyone, or walk anywhere, or see anything, or understand all that much. But, that's the way that Tom and Rosie have to live and God has a plan and a purpose for their broken lives just as much as He does for anyone elses' life.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Calvary Chapel Team

This week a youth team from Calvary Chapel in Florida came. They did lots of outreach in the local schools and I was able to go with them to all but one school.

On Monday, we went to Buikwe High School where the headmaster of the school was very funny and said some hilarious things. Here are a few of them. "This is Buikwe ... High ... School. Here we are high." While he was introducing everyone in his staff, he said the name of someone and then, "He's there in a half jacket" We looked and saw he was pointing to a man in a vest. Then, he called one of the girls on the team 'exotic and beautiful'. Then, as we were driving back we came upon a very rough road and had to turn around. Wow, that day seems like ages ago.

On Tuesday we went to a school called Victoria View. Not very many people spoke good English so we had to use a translator. Also, we found out that like half the school was Muslim so it was kind of difficult school. In the afternoon we went to Lord's Meade and saw lots of kids who used to live at GSF because that is where most of them go.

Then, on Wednesday we went to Hands of Grace. I think this school was my favorite. The first reason was because two of the kids who used to live at GSF, Juliet and Jonah, live there now. Juliet used to hang around our house a lot so it was great to see her again. Another thing that makes it stand out in my mind was that they also have a primary school. As we were talking to some of the kids I met a little girl named Janice. When I looked down at her legs I almost cried - they were covered with ring worms. I have four ring worms right now but she had a lot more and I can get the medicine for it and she can't. I keep praying for little Janice that God will heal those ring worms even though she probably doesn't have the medicine. Two other little girls I met were Natasha (who was like two years old) and a little girl carrying her around whose name was Dorrine. I carried Natasha till we had to leave.

The last school we went to was Allied Teachers Secondary School. The only thing I have to say about this school is that the team did their best performance there. Well done Calvary Chapel Team!

The team helped fund and paint a new playground. Yesterday, we had a party celebrating it's opening. There was face painting, and snacks for everyone.

After that was over one of the little boys', Godfrey, grandfather came to visit him. Godfrey had had his face painted so when he walked in his grandfather got scared and asked 'What happened to his face?'

Today, we said 'good-bye' to the team. What they have done in Uganda will always be remembered.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Praise Ye The Lord!

Just to start off our power goes off A LOT. But, on Friday we had half power which is dangerous for appliances that plug in and the water tanks as well. So one of the guards turned on the generator. When the guys came in the morning they fixed the problem and went on their way. Everything seemed fine all the appliances were running we had water. Then at 1:00 in the afternoon the water turned off. So, we called the electrician who said he would come at 3:00 P.M. He came at 8:00 P.M. but T.I.A. - This is Africa. Anyways, the guys worked on the water till about 9:00 P.M. when they fixed the water. So, we had water till yesterday morning when it turned off again. So the guys worked on it some more today and finally fixed. But, not everyone had water and the places that did it was just a trickle. So, dad went and turned off the water and immediatly it came back on. Sounds a bit weird, doesn't it? Anyways, the water is going out again. :(

While all this was going on Auntie Debbie's (who is here for three months) mom came to visit and a team came. So, we were down at the gate dancing to welcome them to GSF. In between the time that Auntie Debbie's mom came and the time that the team came everyone just danced the whole time. So, when I saw Kathy laughing really hard I pulled her in to come dance. She loved it, she couldn't do it as well as everyone else (niether could I) but she gave it her best. She laughed the whole time.

Yesterday, the Big Brothers and Sisters of GSF came back to lead Praise and Worship in Church. One of the songs they sang was I Have a Father. When you hear a bunch of orphans who's fathers are who-knows-where singing I have a FATHER that's amazing. After Church they all ate lunch together with the kids and talked. At 3:30 we all headed for the Church for presentations. The Hosanna Children's Choir (which included Auntie Amanda, Megan, and I) sang and a group from Kikube danced.

Then, the Big Brothers and Sisters left and we went to play frisbee Mzungus v. Africans. Actually, I didn't play because I hurt my foot so instead I played with Amelia. Amelia is just learning to talk but she LOVES to sing. Amelia loves the word 'hallelujah' so she loves any songs with 'hallelujah in them. So, we sang Praise Ye the Lord!

Here is how it went in Amelia's words.

Allalu, Allalu, Allalu, Allalula
Praise e the Lol!
Praise e the Lol - Allalula!
Praise e the Lol - Allalula!
Praise e the Lol - Allalula!
Praise e the Lol!

This weekend I have really been trying to praise the Lord in everything - Kathy dancing, Big Brothers and Sisters coming back, and even power and water being off. Praise Ye The Lord!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Auntie Amanda!

Yesterday was Auntie Amanda's Birthday. Auntie Amanda came to teach school for us Missionary Kids. She has also taught me to play Piano; On Christmas we played together in Church. On Thanksgiving Auntie Kaylee (who came to stay for 3 months), Ethan (another Missionary kid), Auntie Sarah (one of the nurses), Auntie Amanda, and I dressed up as Indians and went around the campus banging pots and pans and singing Indian songs. All the kids came out and said they thought we were crazy people and then ran and shouted with up to the Arango's and Greer's houses. For her Birthday all the kids in Primary school suprised her and came to her house for cake after lunch. Then, for dinner all the Missionaries and Teenagers suprised her and met her at a resturant in Jinja. To top it all off she rode back with us in the bus with everyone singing at the top of their lungs. We hope we all showed her how much we love her on her special day. We love you Auntie Amanda!

Seth, Titus, Eli. Hope, Maggie, Auntie Amanda, Me, Emma, and Megan on the first day of school.

Playing Piano in Church on Christmas.

Dressed up as Superheros during Spirit Week.

The three of us kids with Auntie Amanda.

Nurse Sarah, me, Auntie Amanda, Megan, Auntie Kaylee, and Ethan dressed up as Indians on Thanksgiving.