Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Genesis 24

We just had an awesome week and a half with two fabulous guys from our sister/daughter church in Knoxville, TN. Mr Kely and Mr. Greg were too fun! They had no problems playing chase with the girls, telling funny jokes, or running around like crazy people; all for the sake of entertaining my children.

Before they left on Sunday night, we had a sweet time of prayer. I was so bless by the things that they prayed over my girls, my husband and myself. Mr. Kely suggested looking at Genesis 24 in regard to the Bride of Christ. What I found, and the parallels that are there were too interesting to not share.

Let's begin by meeting the characters.... We have Abraham, Isaac, the servant and Rebekah (the bride) This is the passage where Abraham sends his servant back to his people to find a bride for his son. Some of you can see where this is going huh...

Abraham // God
Isaac // Jesus
Servant // US - believers
Rebekah // the Church aka the Bride of Christ.

Abraham sent his Servant to a foreign land. // We are strangers is this world (I Peter 1:17)
Abraham sent his Servant to find a bride // We are sent to go make disciples (Matt 28:19)
The Servant was sent with gifts // We have the gift of the Holy Spirit ( Luke 11:13)
// We have spiritual gifts (I Cor. 1:6-8)
The servant asked for favor and clarity // We can ask God who is "ripe" for the harvest (Matt 21:22) aka "treasure hunting" (but that is another post in and of it's self)

Once the bride had been found it was important that she be taken to her husband immediately.
Those around her didn't want her to leave. // They are like the thorns that choke out the plant.

She was blessed to become the Mother of many // Again the parable of the sower (Matt 13:23)
Rebekah asked who "that man" was & the servant told her is was his master// We are to tell and share about our relationship with Jesus

She was given to Isaac // The church is bride (Rev 19:7)

Though I can't find the verse for it... there is something to learning to be intimate with Jesus in this too. To being discipled. To being taught how to pray (Matt 6:9).

The Servant didn't just tell Rebekah that there was a rich man in Canaan that wanted her to be his son's wife, he didn't draw her a map and show her the fastest way to get there, rather he took her there. We can't expect new believers to know how to have a fervent prayer life, we can't think that they will know how to study the Bible. We have to walk with them, teach them show them. It's all part of making disciples. (Matt 28:19)

That is what we are wanting to do here. Make disciples. Teach people how to be the servant who goes out and finds the bride for their master. Teach them how to teach others.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thripple & Hope

Ok, so remember the long nights post?? Well there was more to that story than I actually wrote about. You see there were several OTHER nights that week that Kent and I were up in the middle of the night with Lady.
Lady is a VERY protective dog, and ANYTHING that comes near our compound receives a stout bark as a warning not to come any closer. So for several days in a row, she had been warning something, but we weren't sure of what. and the mystery "what" was extremely persistent and apparently deaf, because it didn't listen to ANY of Lady's warnings, so she kept having to repeat herself..... over and over and over.

Finally after 4 or 5 nights of constant barking we discovered what was disobeying her orders. A Hedge Hog!
Every night, Kent would get up ( just in case) and check to see if he could catch the intruder. Then one night we found it! A hedgehog. We saw it, but while Kent went in to get the gloves, and a stick, it disappeared. We poked around, but we couldn't find it again. Kent decided to go back to bed, and he let Lady out of the house, on his way in.

It took her no time at all to relocate the nightly invader. So there I was, in the yard, in my pj's, in the middle of the night, with a flash light, trying to whisper loud enough for Kent to hear me, but not wake up the girls or our neighbors.

Poor Kent got BACK out of bed and came outside. Now Kent is not a middle of the night kinda of person, he had never been good at waking up when there is something going on, and this night was no different. Actually, it was probably worse, compounded by the fact that the week had already had a few sleepless nights.
So in his sleep depraved state he killed it. Yes, he killed it.

Now my girls love hedge hogs and they have friends here in Uganda that have hedge hogs as pets. so they were devastated when Kent told them that he had killed it. They made him promise that if Lady found another one, the could keep it as a pet.

It wasn't a week later that we discovered a momma and her baby, and true to our love of the Mistmantle books they were named after hedge hog characters that are in the book.Thripple is the Mamma, and Hope is the Baby. They are cute little things, however Thripple has gotten out of her box, both nights they have lived with us, and I can hear her trying to get out right now. Hope got stuck in Baby Girls pocket, and we had to cut the pocket in order to get her out.
It has been fun having the new additions to the household. This picture is Thripple curled up in her, "it I can't see you , then you can't see me" position.

This is Hope, who hadn't really been afraid of anything since we discovered her and brought her into the family.

Friday, May 21, 2010

More with Less

As I write this title, I am struck by how that is much like what God wants to do with us. More with less. More of Him, Less of Us, More Power, less self.... unfortunately that isn't what prompted that title.

"More with Less" is the name of the most awesome-est cook book EVER!! But before I tell you all about it, let me tell you a few of the ways my day to day life has changed since our move.

I no longer have weekly trips to Walmart.... I have a once a month trip to the capital for supplies. AND Kent does my weekly shopping.

I no longer sweep, or mop... well I try not to anyway, that is now one of the responsibilities of my girls!

I no longer have laundry days.... Concy washes all our clothes, towels and occasional sheet set. I have hand washed our bath maths and sheets on several occasions.

I no longer need a detailed list of all the meals that I am cooking for the week, with the detailed shopping list to go with it. I am learning how to cook with what I have!

Which brings me back to my post title.

I have, some what out of necessity, have started making many things from scratch. For example:

Carrot Sticks (yes, yes, I know what is there to make, but as a mom who was accustomed to buying the convenient little baby carrots, making carrot sticks is a change.)

Pico, and guacamole

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Bisquick from which I make Homemade pancakes and Coffee cake

Yesterday I also made homemade syrup.

I have made SO many new recipes like lintel soup, birrocks (filled pockets of dough), potato & spinach soup, that I make with local greens, Awesome peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies,

HOME MADE BREAD..... complete with the long tiring kneading!

Tonight I am making a pineapple chicken dish that I hope will be yummy!

I feel like that Julie character who made a different recipe every night and blogged about it for a year..... Only you aren't having to read daily reports on the recipes, you get the whole thing in one nice post!

I know that there is so much more that I am forgetting. I was surprised last week... Kent usually goes to the market ever couple of days for me to get fresh veggies. I went over a week, yes OVER A WEEK, with out needing anything from the market. PLUS we had company over several evenings. I cooked a new meal one of those evenings as well..... I felt like Martha Stewart, or better yet, my mother-in-love who I think is one of the best cooks in the world!

So as I was saying.... "More with Less" is the best cook book ever. Written by Mennonite women, some of whom are/were missionaries in third world countries. It is written with nutrition in mind, and simple dishes. No fancy ingredients, I think that the only ingredient I have needed that I can't get here is corn starch, and maple syrup flavoring.

If you or your loved one are on the mission field this is a MUST HAVE!! I think that all churches/organizations should give them to their missionaries as a parting gift when they send them off! You can buy it on Amazon.

Happy Eating!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Long nights

So on Wednesday night we were sitting peacefully at the table when Curly started screaming from the bathroom that there was a bat. Assuming that she was exaggerating, no one jumped up to rescue her. When the screaming continued, I went into the bathroom, only to be dive-bombed by a..... can you guess, BAT.

I grab Curly, with her pants still around her ankles and shove her into the bed room, only to discover a second bat in there. We ushered all the girls to the opposite side of the house and then began the bat hunt. One, we found in the trash can, the other was on the window screen above the Baby Girl's bed. Kent was quite the sight with his broom, work gloves (with holes) and a bucket or two, trying to catch them and put them out side.

After both bats were successfully out side, Kent commented on how that wasn't how he had expected to spend his evening. Little did we know what Thursday night would hold.....

Thursday night, about the same time I was once again headed into the bathroom, when I heard
the unwelcome sound of flapping wings. Assuming there was another bat I scanned the room as I quickly headed to the door. What I discovered was NOT bats, but BUGS. White ants to be exact.

Really there is no way to accurately describe the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of winged incests that were flying about. Some how they were finding their way into the house via the girls windows. They were attracted to that end of the house because of the security light. Once we realized that the only way to keep them out was to keep the lights off, we sat in the dark catching the ones that had made it in. This is significant on two different levels:

1. We normally don't have power.... Ok maybe not normally, but half the time we are cooking by lantern light, or bathing by flashlight, and for us to HAVE to turn the lights off, to do it our selves... that was sad.

2. We were collecting the bugs to give them as a gift to our neighbor, since Lady had scared her that afternoon. Yes, you read that correctly, we were giving bugs as a gift. Now don't act too shocked, I have already told you that they eat them, that they grind them into a paste. Only I told you a small fib. Kent thought that white ants and termites were the same thing, well they are not. THESE, these bugs that were swarming my house are white ants.

Anyway, back to that evening. There we were collecting bugs for our neighbor, when Lady started going crazy, Kent when to check on things and discovered people out collecting too! They were lighting little fires on the road to attract the bugs and were snatching them up and throwing them in to buckets and pots.
Kent wanted to be neighborly and so he invited them up to the gate so they could catch the bugs that were swarming our light. He even jumped in and helped. I wish I new more about these little creatures, apparently they they only come out once every so often, but when they come, they come in mass. They fly around, then they shed their wings, burrow in the ground and lay their eggs. Well I think they lay eggs, I know that they shed their wings. See:

That is all wings... and just a small portion of what was left in our yard. Kent eventually invited the neighbors into our compound as well. He even served them sodas. They were excited to have access to so many bugs. After HOURS of bug collecting, Kent finally decided to call it a night. We kept the house lights off and the gate light on and told them they could come back in the morning.

And they did. Baby Girl even helped collect a few bugs too. Hopefully we were able to begin a few new friendships through this random appearance of bugs.

Last night we kept the all the house lights off, just in case, but it was for not, because the ant rush was over.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Exploration : day 5

Ok quick recap - - - - - - -

Monday : drive to Kampala and sleep at the Grand Imperial

Tuesday : Drive to Lake Nabugabo and sleep in van

Wednesday : Drive to Lake Bunyonyi and sleep in van

Thursday : Drive to Mgahinga NP and sleep in banda

Friday : Drive to Lake Mburro and sleep in the van as well as see lots of cool animals.

Saturday : Head back to Kampala, stay two nights in a hotel, while we wait for the immigration office to open on Monday
What equatorial vacation would be complete with out a picture taken on the equator???
Too much fun!! Thank you Jesus for wonderful country to explore, and beautiful things to look at on the way and an amazing family to do all with!

Exploration : day 4

Like the proverbial "pot of gold" at the end of a rainbow.... Lake Mburo National park was an awesome experience! Not as affordable as Lake Nabugabo, but defiantly worth it!
Once again we were camping with the monkeys. Only this time they weren't as aggressive as the Nabugabo family. These little fellows were all around the camping area, looking for yummy bugs to eat. And they brought friends....

Uncle Pumba and ..... Big Brother Baboon. Big Brother is sitting at the remains of our campfire from the night before. Gotta love living in Africa... instead of squirrels and Humming birds you have monkeys and warthogs.

Here is a shot of them walking around like they own the place .... oh wait... they do. Note the car in the corner of the picture... lest you think that we are over exaggerating the nearness of these beasts.
The Bald Eagle's cousin, the fisher Eagle.

Saturday morning we took a boat ride out on the lake and were able to get really close to some of the wild life there in the lake. FYI: Lake Bunyonyi is one of the deepest lakes.... 6500 ft deep! Lakd Mburo...... only about 3 meters or 9 feet.

On the way in (as well as out) your see all sorts of amazing animals. We had quite the adventure while we were trying to exit the park. There were many times that the road we had to take to get out were next to impossible to get through. But God in his goodness kept us from getting stuck or stranded.
We were able to see zebras and impalas, neither of which are found in Murchison park, so that was a fun bonus.

Ahhhhh yes, what road trip in Africa is complete with out a herd of cattle in your way???

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Exploration : day 3

This was our Goal.... Mgahinga Gorilla National Forest. This is the "home" of several extinct volcano's as well as a few active ones. Very beautiful chain of mountains. We had driven and driven for several days to get here. And we were ready to leave the moment we arrived! Crazy huh! More of the mountain side farming..... We have decided that the people that live around Mgahinga national park, don't get many visitors. This is were we stayed while at Mgahinga. This little camp/banda was literally at the end of the road. Meaning the road stopped, the only way you could travel further in Uganda was on foot. Which is one reason why we didn't stay any longer then necessary. There were several factors that contributed to our desire to high tail it out of the area!

#1 - To see the gorillas in the park... you had to pay $500 an HOUR! CRAZY, and so not in our budget!

#2 - The only way to get to see the park at all, gorillas or not, was to walk, and we didn't think that either of the two little ones would walk long enough to make the expense worth it.

#3 - The people! I know that sounds awful, but they were overwhelming. Almost EVERY person, (adult and child both) that we passed asked for money... no they demanded money. "You give me money!" "You give me money!" that was all we heard. Kent and two of the girls tried to walk around, and were mobbed by a group of children. They would stand on the other side of the short fence and stare at us... watching every move, holding their hands out, begging. If we could have communicated with them, it might have been easier. We could have at least shared Jesus with them, but we couldn't even do that! I think that so much of their mentality was due to the fact that they can't/don't leave the mountain much. They are just now working on a paved road (which was extremely nice in the places it was finished), and there is a limited amount of transportation that goes that direction.One of the reasons that I haven't posted more pictures of our Home city, is because I don't want to make the people that I live with feel like this woman. When she realized that I was going to take a picture, she hid.
These Crested Crane are the national bird of Uganda. This would be like seeing a bald eagle in your back yard, cool huh!
Boys, these were probably some of the few boys that didn't demand that we give them something.
OK this is is a funny story.... While we were driving over the mountains we get a text on our phone that says.... "Welcome to Rwanda", later we receive another text telling us how to call information while in Rwanda. We start frantically looking at a map, trying to figure out how, when and WHERE we crossed the border. Then we approached this guarded area. Keep in mind that NOBODY speaks English, so we have no idea where we are, or if we are about to cross into another country. So we turn around and drive back to the little community. We decide to call a hotel, and see if they can help us, they suggest following a Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi) to their location. So we find a driver that can kind of understand what we need, we turn BACK around and we start following.
He drives right on through the guarded area, and it is not until we are passed it that we realize we were driving on the runway, for the airport. We weren't where we thought we were, but we weren't in Rwanda either.

This is a nice shot of the road that we had to take to get over the mountains. Note the two semi's going in opposite directions.... then notice the herd of cows that are on the road, right where the white truck will soon be driving.

Exploration : day 2

After Lake Nabugabo we continued south/southwest and drove to Lake Bunyonyi. The drive was really nice, we watched the landscape change from plains, to banana farms and then into the foot hills of the mountains.We passed a Ugandan Mill.... Here they are making 2x4's BY HAND!!! unbelievable.
A nice shot of the lake from the top of the hill, looking down. Lake Bunyonyi, and the mountains that surround it, is known as the "Switzerland of Africa".
We were BLOWN away by how the people farm the land..... they use every available square inch of dirt for farming! Even if it means farming sideways on the side of a mountain.
I wish there was more I could say about lake Bunyonyi.... We got there at dusk, set up and cooked dinner in the dark, climbed in the van, and went to sleep! The next morning, we at breakfast at the resort were we were camping, so that we could spend our time packing up, instead of cooking.

Here is our "campsite". It was actually the edge of the parking lot, but the grassy area was GREAT for the girls to run around in. Imagine, the tarp over the van, a few trunks sitting around, a NICE RED COOLER, and a lantern or two and you have our camp.

Exploration : day 1

We took our first Ugandan Camping trip last week and had an awesome time! But before I tell you all about it, let me clarify a few things first:
#1 : Our Trip to Murchinson Falls National Park was a two day, one night trip. Quick, fast and close by. A short two hour drive from our house!
#2 Our trip to Aru Falls was a day trip. Drive there, eat lunch, hike, and go home. That was it.
NOW on the other hand this was a BIG trip. AMI is big on the "push-pull" work method, and we are about to have a HUGE push with the summer coming and several short term teams making a trip to Uganda! So we thought that a little time as a family was in order, to help prepare ourselves for the next push.

OK that being said...... Here are the awesome details of our trip.

We started by staying the night in Kampala. We splurged a little for Kent's birthday and rented a room at the Grand Imperial, I wish I had taken pictures.... but alas... I didn't.

Our First stop was Lake Nabugabo, a short drive from Kampala. It was VERY nice, peaceful. I wish we would have stayed there the whole week!!

The biggest down fall of the lake was the Monkeys. They were great fun to look at when they were walking from the water to the trees... but after this mama got brave and stole a tomato from our camp.... it was all down hill from there!
We had all sorts of monkeys wanting in on the yummy food! It was crazy! There were several times that we had to chase a monkey out of the back of the van! I though one monkey was going to chase me! I was glad that Kent was ready and willing to take on anything that might try and attack. What a man, what a man!

The view was amazing. The "Holiday Center" were we stayed has NICE bathrooms, and there were bandas or huts that you could rent, if you didn't have a tent to sleep in. After a yummy breakfast, we were packed up and on the road by 11:00 on Wed morning.