Monday, June 28, 2010


Sad news...

I know that I said that this Sunday I would take pictures so that you could get a feel of what our worship service looked like, but sadly there were several of us sick and Baby Girl was the only one who was able to go with daddy to service.

Here is what Kent had to say about the service in his last update.::

We had a much more Ugandan crowd in our Sunday morning gathering today...with all the short-termers gone back home. We had 25 people and 20 children attend. Two of the visitors received salvation this morning! We broke up into 4 small groups after Simon Peter gave a word on God's Love and it went great. They prayed for each other and said the "small groups was a good idea." We are having our first small group training this Wednesday evening! Be praying for revelation please.

Good News....
The "long term team" had a retreat this weekend.  They were able to debrief after the three week flurry of short term team activity. It was a good time from what I hear. 

Here is what Kent said about the retreat::

We had our first "long-term" team retreat this weekend. It was made up of all the translators who have been working with our short-term teams the past 3 weeks and our 2 summer interns...9 Ugandans and the 3 of us. We had a lunch last week to celebrate all that the Lord had done through our work and to see who wanted to continue working with us. We basically asked who could commit to the team/vision through August(university will start back up then) and all 9 said they were in! We left on Friday morning to go to a nearby "retreat center" and the action started before we even got out of town. As we were getting some batteries before we left, a man severely crippled on the left side of his body went walking/hobbling by. Two of the guys stopped him and began to talk and pray with him. Almost one hour later he walked away carrying his cane on his shoulder! He had lifted his left arm above his shoulder for the first time since 2007 and had opened his left hand since that time, although the hand would not stay open. His back seemed to literally straighten as we prayed over him. During all this a small crowd gathered. One of our guys shared the gospel and 2 men received salvation in Jesus! This was all because we needed to buy batteries! And because the Lord loves these people tremendously! So then we head off to our destination where we looked at some large scale strategy and weekly practicals we could begin doing this next week to disciple the new followers of Jesus. It was a lot for such a short period of time, but it was good. On Saturday afternoon as we were driving back to the main road we came upon a 9 yr old boy who walked like a 90 yr old man. His left knee was injured in a simple bike accident 2 days earlier. We stopped the van and started praying over his knee. he hopped on it a couple of times and then raced one of our summer interns to "the next tree." He literally ran just a few minutes after barely being able to walk! As we began to drive back home we all marveled at how the short retreat was sandwiched between 2 encounters with the Kingdom of Heaven. These 9 young folks are so excited to be part of this...and so am I.


The girls and I said good by to Andrew, our summer intern last night.  We had he and Jay, the other intern, over for dinner and chocolate cake, per Andrew's request.  He will be headed to Haiti, to join up with a summer team that is there helping with relief work after the earthquake.  He will be GREATLY missed!! I am posting a link to his blog... is you have time you might enjoy reading about what God is doing here in Gulu from another set of eyes.  Andrew's blog

 We have said "good bye" to so many people over the last few weeks.... The college team, the elevate team, Laura (Ashley's sister), Andrew and soon we will have to say farewell to Ashley as well..... My heart is heavy.  Ashley has been here since we arrived... if you remember, we met her in the airport.  Fortunately she is from Dallas, and will be easy to visit when we are home on furlough... when ever that may be.

I have decided that I can't end on a sad note....

Last night I was explaining to Curly about Haiti and what is being done there, this is how our conversation went::

Me: Haiti has a terrible earthquake several months ago and our Church in Waco has been sending teams over to help the people there who have lost thier homes.

Curly: Really??  Are all the buildings gone??

Me: Most are I think...  Mr. Jay went to Haiti a few months ago.  One of the ways he helped was y pulling peoples teeth, and he's not even...

Curly: (interrupting) A tooth fairy.

Me: I was going to say dentist, but tooth fairy works.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baptisims.... #2

This past Sunday was our SECOND time of corporate worship... we are leaning away from using the word "church" because of the religious background of the people.  It's NOT about church, it's about a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus!! 

This was the only Sunday where both teams would be able to join us.  We had  baptisms, and 17 people, yes... SEVENTEEN people were baptized. The team helped the "church" purchase a GIANT water tank that we cut in half to make a baptistery.  It is WAY cool!!! One of the Baptize-ees was our neighbor John.  He had come with us that morning, and when he discovered that they were going to baptise people, he wanted to do it!  Kent explained that he HAD to give his live to Jesus first, so we had one of our AMAZING translators share the Gosple with him (again, Lawrence had it before) in Acholi, and he accepted Jesus.  Then he got baptised! WOW!!!!

Next week I will take my camera and have pictures for you. I want you to get a feel for what it is really.... not what it is like with 21 extra Munus (or Americans). We are really excited by ALL that God is doing here in Gulu. 

Next week I will start meeting with the girls from the pub... They want to know more of God's word... I hope to show them all the places where is talks about His love for his people.  Please be praying for me, I still feel very unprepared!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Secret Ingredient

Remember how expensive cereal is... we have been eating pancakes to help stretch our cereal boxes and make them last longer.  I mix up "master mix" ahead of time, and all that is needed is milk and eggs.  Easy Cheezy! There have been several mornings were the girls had breakfast duty and they made the pancakes all by themselves. The only problem is, syrup is just as expensive as cereal, so we have been trying our hand at home made.

Home made syrup is hard to make. At least is is hard to make it not watery AND taste good. We have tried SEVERAL recipes: one made the pancakes mushy, the other was thick, but gross due to all the flour I had to put in it. the third was better, but still watery....... so I came up with and alternative.

When you order pancakes from IHOP, what are they topped with??  A BIG BLOB OF BUTTER! and then what do you pour over them as soon as the butter has been evenly distributed?? Liquid sugar with maple flavoring.  What other recipe has similar ingredients of butter, sugar and flavoring??  Need a hint.. think about what we are discussing here.... panCAKES.  YEP frosting/icing.  A little butter and shortening blended with powdered sugar, add a splash of milk and a teaspoon of maple flavoring.... and TA DA  Maple Pancake Spread!

I make some last night, and today, the girls were raving about how delicious the pancakes were!  All the sweet with the maple taste, but with out the soggy effect, it was yummy!! And I don't usually like pancakes.

So when the food blog-stalkers discover my secret recipe, and you start reading about a new breakfast treat, here and there, and it eventually makes it onto the grocery store shelves, right next to the whipped honey spread, in the butter section.....  remember you read about it here first!

Jesus Drama - Everything by Lifehouse

This is the drama that the team will be doing at the pub tonight. Please pray for open hearts!!

The Cracked Pot

I don't even know how to begin this post...  I am feeling like the proverbial "cracked pot" right now.

Last week, we had our first summer team arrive.  They are a group of 10 college students that are on FIRE for Jesus and have come with the intention of starting a CPM aka Church Planting Movement.  They hit the ground RUNNING and haven't stopped yet. It has been amazing! I will wait until they have gone to report the total and final result of their visit.

Remember Andrew.... one of our Summer interns??  He and Jay, the other intern, went into the roughest bar in town last week.  This bar, The Bugandan Pub is mainly known for its prostitution.  The result.... they were asked to come and "play some of their music" at the bar.  So they went and picked out some Christian Rap and prepared to share a bit with the crowd. All the college guys and Kent, went to the pub that night and waited for their turn at "playing some music."  Once they arrived they realized that is was "karaoke" night, where people have the opportunity to dance and sing and really perform for the crowd.... so much for "playing their music."

They guys took it in full stride.  After the DJ announced that it was "Massive and Explosive", Andrew went for it with everything he had.  I have been told that he became a totally different person, yelling, and waving his arm in typical rapper style. Totally preforming.... for JESUS. While Andrew was rapping, all the other guys were up on stage dancing. Yes ALL the other guys... Kent included, danced like there was no tomorrow, while the crowd cheered like crazy for the Muzungus! They were truly "massive" and "explosive"!

This one night opened up an opportunity to minister with the girls (prostitutes) that live there.  Andrew and Kent had an inspirational idea to bless the girls with lunch, to get them away form the bar. So we called Brian, the owner of the Sankofa restaurant, where we had pizza for my birthday. He willingly opened up the restaurant for us on a day when he is usually closed, and gave us a great deal on the meal.  His restaurant just happens to be across the street from the Bugandan Pub, how convenient. or should I say How GOD!

So, as the long term missionary, I was expected to lead out on this luncheon.  WOW!  I wasn't prepared for that, hence my feeling like a cracked pot.  BUT despite all my flaws and cracks, God was glorified!  AMEN!
The lunch started out awkward, but over time progressed into a nice comfortable group.  We served the ladies samoas, beans and rice. There were 12 or so women from the Pub, a few Ugandan believers, and a Muzungu, who has a heart for these women, came and brought a former Bugandan Pub employee.  After everyone ate, the woman who USED to share the same profession as these women told her story.  She shared about where she came from and how she is now a new person in Christ.  IT was AWESOME.  When she finished, I wrapped up the "talking" with a quick recap of the Gospel.... how it is a free gift, and how you can't earn it, and how God wants us to live an abundant life by accepting the FREE gift of JESUS!

Then the women paired up and all the women were prayed over, 5 wanted to give their lives to Jesus.  WAY COOL!  After the prayer time, my team ladies each washed the feet of the woman that they had just prayed with, giving them a practical picture of how Jesus came to serve. We closed with an invitation to worship with us on Sunday.  ALL in ALL a GREAT afternoon.

I know, I know, your mind is still reeling at the words "worship with us on Sunday"  mine too.  But that is what I said.  We had our first "church" service this last Sunday.  Unfortunately Kent and I were in Kampala, celebrating our 12th anniversary/ picking up a team from the airport.  But we didn't mind. We don't want to be the focal point, it's not about the newest church with the "white guy pastor".  It's about loving Jesus, and that is it.

Let me fill you in.... do you remember the story about the Evergreen bar.... it is actually called the Green Valley Bar and Kent has become friends with the owner, Frank and his wife, Molly.  They are Ugandan and own several businesses in Gulu and Kampala.  Kent asked Frank if we could meet in the bar on Sundays for worship and bible study, and he suggested using his OTHER building that is currently being remodeled into a disco hall!  This disco, just so happens to be with in walking distance of the Bugandan Pub.... Totally GOD!

This is just a small glimpse into all that is going on.  The collage team is doing some follow up with the Bugandan girls today. And we have the second team that is rockin and rolling as well.  OH and tonight the team is returning to the Bugandan Pub to perform a drama for the whole crowd! UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


As I am writing this post (June 7th) my darling husband is several hours away from returning home from a four day trip to Kampala. Four days and three long nights. I miss him.
But you are reading this (if you are a daily blog checker) on our anniversary, June 13th. Thirteen years ago we met, a year later we were married and it has been an amazing journey ever since!

Because of his absence I am realizing how much I miss him.  We are in the best season of our lives!  We have never been happier, or more in love.  I have been getting butterflies in my stomach all day thinking about his return.  (Yes, I'm sure that watching romantic movies like "Pride and Prejudice" while he was gone may have contributed to these feelings as well!)

But when your husband calls and asks if your legs are tired, who wouldn't get butterflies??  This morning when I woke up, the first thing I did was text him a verse from Song of Solomon, expressing my feelings. I was giddy with anticipation as I waited for his response. I love it!!

We have both "grown up" a lot in recent years, in a lot of ways, he isn't the same man I married.  He is much better. Yes, he is the same extremely energetic, active, outgoing, social person he has always been.  But he has also allowed him self to be pruned, molded and refined at the Hands of Jesus and I am in love with what he is becoming!!

There is now way to really describe the changes God has made in him...  To tell you all the things that he is "more" of or "better" at might imply that he wasn't those things before.  To say he is more patient with me could give you the impression that he wasn't patient with me before, and that's not the case, he is just MORE.

More loving, more thoughtful, more sensitive, more understanding..... you get the idea... More like HIM in whose image he was created. There is so much more I would love to say... I just haven't the words to say it.  There are those who do and those who don't and today I am one the don'ts.

I love you BABE!  When I think about us..... 30, 40 maybe even 50 years down the road... I get butterflies.  I can't wait to see what God has in store.

I thank my God every time I {think of} you. In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of {our} partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More pics from Murchison

So blogger has changed their photo uploading, and I wanted to try it out.  Here are some pictures from our trip that didn't make the lat post. 

Friday, June 4, 2010


Here I go again... baiting and tempting you to come and visit. I won't go into detail on all the wonderful things that we saw.... it wouldn't be fair. Check Spelling

The welcoming committee... I don't think he was too happy about our visit though.Neither was this guy.... I would hate to have a staring contest with this guy!

Guinna Fowl..... Kent arch enemy. He, being for ever the hunter, longs to take a shot at this strange bird. It is like a quail, only bigger and he has tried to take a few out with the awesome sling shot that my dad gave him before we left, but no luck yet.

The allusive Golden Monkey. This was the first time we got to see these guys.

Babies! These little guys were two and three years old. And Elephant Family!! You don't get much more tempting than that!
This time we decided to take the boat trip up to Murchison Falls! AWESOME! This sweet nursing momma baboon, watched our every move while we ate lunch. We were waiting for out boat guide, and ate pineapple, PB sandwiches, and apples. She eventually got some of the pineapple. :)

Ok.... So these pictures that appear to be taken on the river, by me, actually were not. Kent took this same boat ride a few weeks ago, and it rained on him most of the time. He took the camera on that trip and had a hard time keeping it dry, so we opted to NOT take our camera.
BAD IDEA!!! We saw a HUGE herd of elephants 30 or so big. Missed it. We also saw a giant pack of crocodiles chasing a dead hippo as it floated down the Nile. Bummer. But Andrew took pictures, so hopefully we will have some soon.

The FALLS.... this is were the mighty Nile river come rushing into a small gap in between two rocks. Beautiful!! I have now seen it from the top and the bottom! The top is my favorite, but the bottom is pretty too! Have you called you travel agent yet?? What if I promise to make you a cake??

Happy Birthday to ME

Birthday celebrations started early around here. Wed night we had Ashley, her sister Laura as well as Andrew, one of our summer interns over for dinner. I baked a whole chicken (for the 1st time ever), made mashed potatoes and gravy (for the first time ever in UG), mastered cooking fresh green beans (for the first time ever), AND...... made my own chocolate cake with chocolate icing FROM SCRATCH for the first time ever! IT was AWESOME, and easy.

I wish I had my camera on me when all the guests arrived. Kent started the procession by running in wearing a grass skirt, singing "Happy Birthday" (not the song, just the words.... think barber shop quartet, He being the bass). Then came Andrew carrying pineapples, followed by Ashley with donuts and bread, Laura had a wallet, then each of the girls entered carrying their gifts as well. Keep in mind that as they entered they each sang out "Happy Birthday"! It was so fun... then they presented their gifts one at a time, starting with Snuggle Bug.

Dinner was excellent, the only problem was that one chicken really isn't enough meat for 9 people, but nobody went hungry.... that I know of. They lovingly put a large "power's over" candle in the middle of my cake and sang ALL of happy birthday. There was much oohing and ahhing over the cake, it was FABULOUS!

For those of you who might be interested... Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Icing links. Both of these recipes have very basic ingredients, all of which I had in my cabinet! The only thing I couldn't do was "mix on low speed" cause as of today, I don't own a mixer. BUT it is my birthday wish, and Kent is going to price them for me this weekend!

After dinner was cleaned up, we all hit the sack, cause the next morning we were headed to Murchison Falls. I got up at 4:30 to put an egg casserole in the oven, then everyone else got up around 5:30.

Murchison was AWESOME, once again, but I will post on that separately cause it was amazing!

After a long day we rolled back into Gulu, around 8:00pm and had Pizza at Sankofa. While there, Brian (the owner) brought out a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup adorned with another "power's over" candle. Lots of fun! It was a day that I will not quickly forget!

Shall We Gather at the River??

I am finding it hard to write about Kent and all his experiences. Being blessed to stay at home and school the girls, I don't have the opportunity to experience all the awesome things that are going on in and around our city. So Kent experiences, then he tells me what he can, then I in turn tell you.... I know that some of the power has to get lost in the process. Water downed. But I will do my best.So a few weeks ago Kent gave a man a ride "home". He was on crutches and it was raining, and when Kent asked him how far he had to go, he responded 15km. That is about 9 miles for all you Americans. Nine miles, in the rain, on crutches. Typical I'm sure, but heart wrenching all the same, when they are standing right in front of you. So Kent takes him "home" to his "village". I am "quoting" here because, his home is a hut in the middle of know where, and his village is the group of 8-10 huts that surround it.

Ever heard any one use the term "bush" like a bush doctor or in the bush, well this village is definitely in the bush. Like in the middle of no where, driving down foot paths, kinda bush.

Long story short.... which doesn't help the diluting process I know, but anyway. This guy and several from his village gave their lives to Jesus, and they got baptized! I can't remember the details, but there were 11 total, 8 adults and 3 kids.

Walking to the river. This is in the "bush" remember?
Dennis had the honor of doing the dunking.... we want to work ourselves out of a job, so to speak, so the earlier the better, right?!?
Andrew, who arrived only a few days before the baptisms, took all these pictures for Kent. There were a few cultural adjustments that he had to make. One being the fact that the women remove their shirts to keep them clean. That came as a shock to young Andrew! But he handled it well, realizing that it was the culture, and it wasn't bothering anyone else, so why should it bother him. There is nothing like jumpin in with both feet.
Kent, the silent observer. Keep in mind that all the talking being done is in Acholi.
What do you do when you can't dunk some one backwards because of leg issues???

Dunk them forward of course. It is actually kinda interesting.... most Ugandans do not like the water, they are afraid of it. There were several of the people that Dennis had to splash to get them wet, because they wouldn't go further into the water.

Kent and Dennis go back to this village every week. They have had a few obstacles, but on the whole, it is a growing church. There have been several people from surrounding "villages" that have asked that they come and share the good news in their village as well. And we are using that invitation to train the believers from village #1 to go themselves. It has been AWESOME!