Sunday, December 21, 2008

The rest of the story

The teaching at church today dealt with the birth of Jesus as did probably many sermons but what we were encouraged to do was contemplate the rest of the story. We all know the pictures of the manger scene... baby Jesus wrapped in linen, in the manger with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, and the angel all looking in awe of the new born child. We so often think of how this child will grow and become the crucified savior. We celebrate the beginning of Jesus' life on earth but this is not the beginning of the story of Jesus. Stop and think with me about who is it that lies in the manger. Too often we overlook the amazingness of the fact that GOD came to dwell with man. The Everlasting father, the mighty God, Emanuel (God with us), the one in which all things were created, the entirely of the God that created the stars, that knows you by name, that knows when a single sparrow falls, knows the number of hairs on your head ... the fullness of God came into this world as a helpless child! And why exactly did He come, why would He take on human flesh ... simply for you and me. We should be speechless, over come in awe... This season take some time to reflect on the bigness of God. Be in awe of who Jesus is and what he has done for you.

Scripture for further reflection: Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 40:10-31, Micah 5:2, Psalm 8:3-5, Psalm 33:13-15, Colossians 1:15-20, Philippians 2:6-7

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All In

December 15, 2008.

So I just finished
reading the book End of the Spear. If you don’t know, the book is about the result of the death of 5 missionary men who willing gave their life to make peaceful contact with some natives of the Amazon in Ecuador in the name of the gospel.

I really enjoy reading books like this because it is so easy for me being a missionary to focus on how much I have given up in the name of Jesus. On a daily basis I don’t really even think about it too much. However, you have those moments when you hear about even other missionaries going on vacation, or being able to go to Kampala for the weekend again, that the flesh rears up and you start comparing. Those moments are never uplifting and instead of looking at all that the Lord has provided with thanksgiving you end up having a poor me party.

Anywho… I had one of those the other night just after finishing this book and by my third or fourth cup of poor me tea I was disgusted with myself for even allowing my thoughts to go so far from God. As I sat there talking about how much we have given up I could not help but think about the real cost of being ALL IN for Jesus.

I don’t know about now, but a couple of years ago poker was a really big thing. People would get together to play or watch the World Series of Poker on ESPN. I never really go into it but I do remember the times when the players would go all in. I am not much of risk taker. I guess I am just too logical but I remember looking at the mountain of poker chips and thinking that they are crazy for chancing it all. What if they were bluffing and got called on it and lost! I think those players new something about risks – if you are not willing to risk big then often you are able to win big.

I think that same theory applies to our walks with the Lord. We have to be willing to go ALL IN. Now don’t think that just because I am a missionary in Africa that I have somehow got this handled. It is a constant choice to not hold back, to not have a plan B and just trust. It does not come natural or easily; it is an act of the will. But unlike poker our going all in for the Lord is not a gamble.

I don’t remember how I got on the conversation with Nemo but I was telling him about how Jesus said that if you love your life you will loose it but whoever looses their life will gain it. As I explained it to him it began to really sink into my heart. If I love my life and I am more concerned about me and my needs in the end I will have lost but if I give it up not just some parts of my life but every part, my family, my finances, my time, my health, my marriage, my friendships, my self image then I win. I think about those 5 missionary men who literately gave it all even unto death. I believe that before they ever gave up their life physically they had already in their mind had whole heartily given it back to the Lord.

Do we just say the words "to live is gain to die is gain" or do we believe it do we practice it? God has been working on me to go ALL IN. How about you? Is there an area of your life that you still have not TOTALLY submitted back to the Lord? Do it today! It is not a gamble it is a sure bet win. I most assuredly will never win the world series of poker but when this game of life is over and I get to heaven I want to be able to tell Papa that I went all in for Him.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What makes Christmas Christmas?

I have been catching up on all the blogs i follow and have enjoyed getting a glimpe of the holiday season. I must confess that I find myself missing so many of the things about this time of year and feeling very far away. This will be the second year in a row that we really have not celebrated Christmas at least in any way that resembles my childhood memories. Last year we were traveling to CA and spent Christmas night in a hotel. This year we find ourselves in Uganda. I really had not given it much thought until reading all the blogs for here it is hard to even get your mind to believe it is only a few weeks away. As i was filling out the questionare by KKK (See below) i really started to think about what makes Christmas Christmas?

For me my defination falls back to the childhood memories of hanging christmas lights on the house, setting up a tree, cooking a nice meal, shopping for gifts, opening presents, hanging around the house as a family etc.... But when i look at all the things that makes up Christmas for me i fail to find really anything having to do with Christ. Is not the reason to celebrate this holiday to remember the birth of our Savior? but in my heart the holiday is not centered on doing that. It is more of a foot note then the focus.

Now don't miss understand me ... i love the family time and the meals all of which can be God-centered. For me i guess being here with out all the things that to me make Christmas Christmas i have begun to ponder what Christmas legacy do i want to leave with my children (esp since isaac having grown up in Israel is not a big Christmas tradition person). What things will they associate with Christmas?

As i pray and seek what GOD would want to make Christmas Christmas for my family, i would love to hear from you on how you make Christ the center of your holiday.

1.Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog though store bought tried a homemade one and not the same

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We don’t want to be in the habit of lying to the kids so thus no santa

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Any lights are ok with me as long as they work

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No. but as a kid in NW I remember having a tree and collecting bunches and selling them to the neighbors

5. When do you put your decorations up? No set time --this year kids and mom made pictures of decorated trees in art and put them up around the house

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Don’t have specific favorite – right now any grilled beef sounds yummy

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: Stockings… was always my favorite part

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Don’t remember.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Usually the kids did

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Never consistent, lights was the only must (mom loved the “bubblers”)

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Like it when can just enjoy it and not have to accomplish anything in it

12. Can you ice skate? Yes but not done in a long time.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Salvation – Jesus is the best gift ever!

14. What is the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Time with family/friends.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? White chocolate peppermint bark that a friend makes --- mouth watering just thinking about it

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Elvis Christmas songs

17. What tops your tree? Don’t have a tree this year.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?" Mary did you know

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum and kids enjoy

21. What do you want for Christmas? For it to seem like Christmas

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas Party? Yes CC Fort Portal has one

23. Do you dress up on Christmas or wear PJs? Dress up whats that?

24. Do you own a Santa hat? Nope

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? I don’t think there is such a thing as normal Christmas for us -- at least not yet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Something in the air

As Christmas time rolls around here in Ft. Portal there is a buzz in the air literally....grasshoppers. They are a huge deal and many people look forward to this time of year. As we drove out to the open air market outside of town we saw groups of people scavenging the tall grass for the hopping creatures. It was really quite a strange site.

By now I am sure you are wondering but are afraid to ask "what is it that they do with these creatures?"... Yep you guessed it; in pure fear factor style they eat them. It actually is a big treat and quite the money making business. Just from the selling of grasshoppers people have made enough money to buy land, purchase a car, pay school fees etc. It is actually a tradition that if your wife buys you grasshoppers you as the husband must purchase her a new Christmas dress (no wonder they sell so well).

Anywho so when in Uganda do as the Ugandans do... at the market Isaac carefully picked out the grasshoppers that were alive and put them in a plastic bag to bring home. He wanted to cook our own so that we knew they were "fresh". We weren't quite done shopping so he poked a hole in the bag so they could breath and left them in the car. When we returned to the vehicle, we realized that we had hoppers all over the car. It was a TIA moment (this is Africa). We managed to round most of them up and proceeded home.

Before roasting the legs and wings had to be removed. I was too busy getting lunch ready to assist but the kids seemed to enjoy playing with the bugs. I think it was even hard for Isaac since he "let a few go". Anyways we roasted them up in a dry pan (no oil is necessary for when cooking they produce their own) and all (except mom who refused) tried our very first grasshopper.
So how did it taste? Actually not bad. It kinda reminded me of crunchy popcorn. I don’t think that we will be adding grasshopper to our weekly diet but am glad to have had the experience.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

James 4 back again

This is just a small praise the Lord if there is actually such a thing. Some of you may know but we have been experiencing difficulty with our Internet situation here. It really has been a chronic problem since in Africa but Isaac had assured me that the situation in Uganda was better. Once we arrived in Ft. Portal we went to the get the same system that works for Doug and Destiny only to find out that they don't actually sell that any more. BUT they assured us that this new mobile USB modem was even better. So at great expense we purchased it seeing it as an investment. The pamphlet stated that it would get speeds up to 236 Kbps which is super fast for here so we were quite excited. Our excitement was short lived. Come to find out that we were having difficulty even connecting and the fastest we ever saw it run was 5kbps. TIA (this is Africa!) Then after one month it pretty much stopped working at all. We tried everything to work with the company even asking at the "main" store in Kampala with no success. The only solution that the company suggested is that we purchase an other system at about the same price that they assured us would work "fast".

Needless to say i was less than OK with the Internet situation and in what i am seeing is my unhealthy patten i started looking to Isaac to fix the situation. He assured me that the reality was that we were not going to have internet any time soon with out dumping in a lot of time and money just to have no guarantee of success. I was just not OK with his answer. Then as i am also seeing is God's pattern ,the scripture that i wrote about in the Sept-Oct Clea's perspective (it is not up on the site anymore so if you missed it and would like to read it just email me and i can send it to you) came to my mind "You have not because you ask not". So i in typical clea form stormed off to the bathroom and half crying and half demanding i told God in my not so big girl voice "I want internet!" You can almost picture me stomping my feet.

The amazing thing is that not literally 5 minutes later we get a call from Doug about switching systems with him. That ended up not working but we did get to have his old phone that uses a different company and are now back to being connected without having to shell out money we did not really have to spend. God never ceases to amaze me. Why He would so lovingly answer me even when i am not asking in the right heart at all. All Papa wants is for me to look to Him and not to Isaac. He wants and is so deserving of all the glory.

My prayer is that next time the temper tantrum won't be necessary and i will follow Philippians 4:6 better "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What I learned from a papaya

The transition from Kenya to Uganda, like most changes in life, has come with a balance of giving and receiving. One of the biggest blessings is again as a family being part of a real Calvary chapel church; that to me that is priceless. But on the other hand we have not really been able to find a place to purchase safe meat. Lets see church or meat; living bread or steak – to me that is a no brainer.

Sometimes the blessings are hidden at first and then with time are revealed. One such gift that I have just recently began to appreciate is the previous tenant. The last renter loved flowers, plants and just anything green. She actually started a botanical garden here in town. So the compound is filled with all sorts of different types of trees, plants, flowers etc. Call me practical but my favorite type of plants are ones that bear fruit. Just the other day as I was preparing breakfast I cut open a papaya that came from our compound. This literately was our first fruits. It is hard to explain but a sense of pride seemed to come over me and the Lord began to give me a picture of what it means to sow and to reap.

For the last few years now we have been doing a lot of moving and changing of ministry. And anyone who lives a transient life understands it is hard to put down roots and then move on. Before moving to Africa we sold our house and I remember one of the harder things for us was to know that we would never experience picking apples off the tress we had planted. Again in Kenya the last time we planted a garden and left just as the harvest season began. You invest your time, money, sweat into something and yet never get to experience the joy of the harvest.

The same phenomenon occurs in ministry just ask anyone who works with children. Many times you pour your heart into the children in your ministry only to see the fruit start to form but often miss out on the real harvest. In Kenya I spent over a year investing in a relationship with the guys that I bought fruit from. Over that period of time I never saw anything amazing happen but just continued to faithfully to let them know that we cared and then we left. (As a side note, I just found out that three of the five fruit guys in Kitale currently enrolled in the bible training that Isaac’s dad and mom are doing there!)

So what does this all have to do with a papaya… well at that moment I found myself on the other end – I was now benefiting from someone else’s sowing. I did not plant that papaya tree nor did I tend to it, weed it, water it, or fertilize it. When we got here the fruit was ready for the picking and the fruit was sweet! (Actually the best I have ever had.)

I think for me God was trying to show me how selfish I am. I want the benefit of my labor but often that is not his plan lest I would boast. My success is not dependent on my harvest but my faithfulness in the sowing. He encouraged me and I encourage you to be faithful not growing wearing in doing good whatever your ministry (especially to you mothers out there). On earth we may never experience the harvest of our labor but in heaven when we see the fruit of our faithful sowing it will be more than worth all the hard work. Jesus said it right in John 4:36 “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.”

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Light and Dark

As I write my heart is breaking….. Just near to our house (literally a stones throw) is a compound owned by a man who claims himself to be GOD! Ok so this is not the first time that we have known some crazy person claiming to be directly from god but the thing that just weighs so heavy on my heart is the hundreds of people that are following him straight to hell. These people dress in white robes but are spiritually in such darkness that one can not help but want to cry. It reminds me of Job 10:22 when he is speaking of hell he says “A land as dark as darkness itself, as the shadow of death, without any order, Where even the light is like darkness."

This “god” is holding some big crusade here in ft. portal to establish his presence and to show his greatness has been shipping in followers from the surrounding areas. From our house last night and again this morning was a huge procession down the road... people wailing, singing, dancing, yelling, just all sorts of craziness. The situation is almost too wack to believe. It is like living the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. It has not only been disturbing us but especially Fred our worker who stood last night outside the gate proclaiming the truth of the ONE TRUE GOD JESUS!!His boldness and heart for the lost is contagious. One of the missionaries said that this particular cult is the hardest one to evangelize even more than the Muslims.

Please pray that light would enter into the hearts of these people… that ft. portal would become a PORTAL for truth and life though Jesus.

Psalm 43:3a Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just have to laugh

You know those moments when the only thing that keeps you from pulling out your hair or breaking something is just shaking your head and laughing....

It seems to be happening to me often these days. Not sure if the frequency is related to the fact that i am in Africa or that i am settling into a new house... or both. Home improvement projects tend to cause those situations and then add the fact that you are working with limited LOW quality products and you have a recipe for disaster. Let me just share with you a couple of those moments of late.

NO 1....
So we need a desk for the computer and for Isaac to work at so we hire a "carpenter" to make us a desk. We of course inquire if he has dry wood (so missing Home Depot right now) and he assures us he does. The desk is to be ready in like a week. 1 week passes no desk .. tomorrow tomorrow sure of course tomorrow. At the end of the second week Isaac finally goes and picks up the desk. We had given him the specifications for the width and height and requested one drawer. Not to complicated for a master carpenter right...... wrong! So the top of the desk is literally 3FT high. Me being the loving supportive missionary wife upon first glance of this "desk" lashes out a verbal abuse upon Isaac of how could he have accepted that and pay that much for that thing! Isaac's only reply was he said i did not specify the height and i had already agreed on the price. OK so it did totally work out ... we are using the "desk" as an ironing board/folding table and is located just under my clothes lines in the house -- Romans 8:28 at work!

NO 2....
The bathroom sinks here for the most part are not set into a counter top. They are most commonly the free standing type where you just have the bowl and VERY little room for any toiletries. Well even though this house has 2 bathrooms we are using the master one for Yahoo's bedroom so we really only have 1 bathroom for the 7 of us. Often i am juggling my almost 1 year old while trying to clean his poopy butt while not knocking over the toothbrush into the poopy water. Isaac we NEED a shelf. Well here there really is not such a things as a small project. Just to build a simple shelf you must begin at the lumber yard. Dimensional lumber does not exist. So you spend hours rummaging through stacks and stacks of boards praying desperately to find one that is semi-straight to then have to negotiate with the dealer on price to then have it planned, then cut, then bring it home and let it dry, then cut into smaller pieces, then varnish then mount. For those of you who know my husband, you understand when i lovingly call him more than a perfectionist. when he does it he does it right (and that is good thing). So he is finding the Africa home improvement game more than frustrating. So we go through all the steps and after hours of cutting, sanding, measuring, varnishing we finally get to mount the first shelf. The first nail goes in like butter then the next OK doing good the last and most visible nail just will not go in. The nails here must be made out of aluminum! We try another-- constant adjustment. get most of the way in and can't get the last quarter inch pounded in. Isaac decides to take it out and try another nail but now the hammer can get it out. Try the pliers just to have the top break off. Deep breath. Finally in total frustration Isaac just pounds what is left of the nail into the board. We step back to admire our work just to realize it is not straight. TIA (This is Africa) -- nothing can be square or straight it would just be out of place. The shelves are up and the toothbrush is safe. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

John the Night Guard

Pastor Doug and his wife hired John before we came based on reference from their night guard. Since the population here is mostly Muslim (and he did not mind working on Sundays) we assumed that he was Muslim but as it turned out he was a Catholic (most "Christians" here are Catholic). He seemed like a pretty nice fellow and with an overall good demeanor. He was very excited at the idea of doing a biblical foundations course with Isaac and seems very eager to know about the bible. Then all of a sudden only a few days into our arrival he knocks on our bedroom window at 4:30am in the morning (we had instructed him that if something was wrong that he could contact us by knocking on the window). We asked what was up and he said he needed to talk. We informed him that we would not leave the house (for security reasons) and we could discuss in the morning. When we woke at 6:30am to excuse him, Fred had already let him go and said that John seemed strange and would return to speak with Isaac. That night John did not come to work nor the next. We were not really sure even why.

Finally four or so days later John shows up at our gate. He said that he had a vision from the Lord (he explained to us but still not really sure what he was saying) and he became fearful and thought maybe he should not be working for us. He apologized and said he knew what he had done was wrong and that his behavior was troubling him. At this point you just have to be lead by the Lord. Many times when there is a problem with thugs the watchman is involved but love hopes and believes in the best. We told John that we forgave him and to go home pray about it and if he was still wanting the job and willing to be faithful to come the following evening -- which he did.

We truly believe that the Lord is arranging for his employment with us to further his growth in the Lord. I feel (as i have told him) that the vision was not from the Lord but from Satan (since it cause an unholy fear and that type of fear is not from the Lord). The enemy of our souls is very present here and the stronghold of witchcraft and demonic spirits on peoples lives is much heavier than it ever was in Kenya.

When i began talking to John, I became even more convinced that Satan was trying to keep John in darkness. John expressed his desire to spend more time reading the bible so i offered him a copy to read while at work. He began asking so many good question. the kind of questions that reveal a heart that is really searching for truth and trying to filter all the information that people have told him about God and the bible.

As we began to talk I was able to tell him some of the thinks the Lord is doing in my life and to testify of the power of the Word to lead him into ALL truth. John then began to share with me about his family and up bring and how even at a very young age he refused to be part of the witchcraft that his family (mother and siblings) was involved in and how his refusal caused division and for him to be somewhat of an outcast. He told me of these dreams that he would have that allowed fear to grip his heart so much that he was fearful of the night. There were times where he would feel "invisible hands" trying to physically harm him even choke him. Many people thought including his family that he was possessed by an evil spirit and thus called a local "medican man" to slaugher a goat and preform some ritual to "cleanse" him. The really crazy part is that his family professes to be Catholic.

Just hearing John's testimony, shows me that the Lord has had a protective covering over this mans life and has a calling and purpose for him. It is no coidence that he has joined us with him. Who knows maybe we are just here for John. It is excieting to hear how John feels that the Lord is doing something to change his heart and life. Pray that the Lord will continue to use us to minister to John and that he would grow into the full victorious life we have in christ. Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Scoop on Ft. Portal

Most of you may know but we have moved from Kenya to Uganda and are adjusting to our new home. Here are a few details about life here...

We have a big yard and house. There is a really nice front porch that has a railing so i can let Yahoo out in a scooch mobile (the lord provided one from another missionary). It is four bedrooms, kitchen, living, dining, 2 bathrooms and garage. We put all three kids in the master and then Yahoo in the master bath. On the compound is also a servants quaters where fred and susan (our Kenya workers) and there 2 kids are living. I was a little worried about them living on the compound but it is working out better then had hoped. Franklin their oldest is 9 and is a really sweet boy and not much bigger then nemo which is nice. Yesterday all the kids were out in the yard playing soccer. It is nice for my kids to have some structured experiences with african kids. We are having some problems with the school kids looking into the compound (one fence is just bush with thorns) and teasing the kids and our new dog (old collie -- looks like lassie -- from another missionary) but every place has its down side.

As for the church home... one of the main reasons we came here was to come along side an existing Calvary Chapel church (same type as our home church in FL). So the teaching is NT on Sun and OT on thurs .. verse by verse by an american guy Doug from CA.
The worship is also english with the same style that we are used to (ie chris tomlin songs). Since the kids dont stay in the big kids church after worship on Sun i am in the sunday school with all the children and have already begun to assist the teacher (who is Dougs sister in law charity). It is so refreshing. Mom then watches the kids on thursday night and i get to go and get filled without any kid distractions. It is very nice.

In Ft. Portal there is actually a good number of missionaries... We are even starting a womens bible study on the book of Ester next tuesday. There is about 10 ladies. There are 2 ladies that have kids that are older than mine and then one lady that is just out here with her husband. 2
of the them are single and then others all have small ones (2 are prego with second). dougs wife Destiny has a boy Jotham who is 3 (very much like Zeek) and Audrey with is 6 months. It is nice to have a lot more kids around that are the same age as mine. I am really happy about the
2 with older ones because they have homeschool material that they said i could borrow. God is good to provide.

The weather here is nice. It is not quite as cold as Kitale but much more mountainous. There are hills everywhere and we have a beautiful view of the Rwenzori Mountanis. The other day in the morning you could see in the distance snow on some of the peaks. One of the biggest difference
is the unpredicability. The weather changes very quickly. It can be sunny one moment and 5 minutes later it can be pouring rain. Kitale you could almost always bet on rain in the afternoon. here you just never know.

just as unpredicable as the weather is the power. Most days it is off from 8am to 8pm. it just takes adjusting to. I also am really missing the selection of groceries. We dont have a meat lady here (was a lady in kitale that we could buy safe meat- hamburger, fish, lamb, chicken etc). Most all the missionaries buy their meat from Kampala and then store in proprane powered freezer so that is not an option for us. I have bought tiliapia fillets in town they were good. they say you can get beef fillet from the market and pressure cook it but i have not been that adventuous yet.
Most of the time it is just VERY simple (also only have 2 burners and no oven). Bean rice cabbage pasta tortillas repeat. a lot of the fresh produce is cheaper than kitale but then EVERYTHING else is a good bit more. Many of the items are imported from kenya and thus more but everything slowly by slowly.

OH i almost forgot. yesterday i found that Ft. Portal has its own public LIBRARY. I even checked it out and they actually have childrens book. The selection was even surprisingly good.
What a blessing. you can only check out 4 books at a time but at least it is something and for that i am very grateful.

I guess that is the basic info on what life is like here. Most of my day is spent doing cooking, schooling the kids and household chores. My ministry does not change no matter the location.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Like all good things Kenya has come to an end. We are so grateful to the Lord for allowing us the privilege to serve him there. We made so many wonderful friends and it was a blessed season of our lives. I must say that I did cry as we left the compound, saying good bye to our home and friends... closing the gate on the chapter of our lives. Kitale will always be special in my heart and I continue to text and email the amazing people that grew so quickly to be our family. But even as we were reminded at one of the last women’s bible studies we will have an eternity together so it is not good bye but see you later.

Pressing on toward the goal... we are now all adjusting to the season ahead of us here in Uganda. God truly is so faithful to refine us through our trials. The move although exciting in many ways had moments of being more than overwhelming. One of my big struggles this time had to do with stuff. Only 2 days before our anticipated travel we were still not sure how we were going to get our luggage to Uganda. With all the car seats we only had room in the car to pack enough clothes for a 5 day trip at most. Needless to say I was more than freaking out.

There was a point that I told Isaac that I did not care how it would be done or how much money it would take I wanted my stuff. I needed my stuff! As you can imagine that is the last thing my already stressed about the situation husband needed to hear. We did not have time to finish our "discussion" because we had a drop off his mom and dad in town so we all piled into the car and were off -- me still quite upset. We dropped of Greg and Bev and began our errands. While Isaac ran into the printers to drop something off, I found myself in the car waiting with an amplified bible on the dash so I figured I would get a little bible time in. I opened the bible to a random place (which I don't usually do) and read James 4:1-3 "WHAT LEADS to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled...and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose”...

Well you know how it goes; when the Lord speaks it just totally puts you in your place. I started crying totally convicted of looking to Isaac to solve the situation instead of asking the Lord. At that moment I let go. I told the Lord my desire to have all my belongings in Uganda and that I trusted Him that if He did not provide them then I was asking amiss and did not need them. Immediately after that I just felt a huge weight lift and total peace overwhelm me.

The Lord began that work in me then and has continued to really impress upon my heart my total and utter need to believe and live knowing that HIS PROVISION IS SUFFICIENT. Even now He is constantly reminding me to focus on the blessings instead of what I feel that I am lacking. When I start to think about how I don’t have an oven or any bookcases or a desk or you fill in the blank He so gently reminds me of the dishes that I have been able to borrow and the beds that the landlord is letting us borrow and the plastic table and chairs that we are borrowing. Through his Holy Spirit He is giving me the strength to be like Paul when in Philippians 4:11 he says "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

My encouragement this month is rest in being content. You can have FULL confidence that in whatever struggle you might be going through that what He has provided will be sufficient. I love this quote from Charles Spurgeon "Wherever God in his providence guides you, let it be your joy to know that he is too wise to err - too good to be unkind."

Ok so you want to know how the story ends well the night before we left another missionary friend who was also traveling to Uganda offered to take some luggage but when we found out the price to rent the matatu we worked it out that he would extend his rental and then Isaac would get back to Kitale and pack the matatu with all our stuff and then our friend would drive to Ft. Portal with Isaac and then bring the empty vehicle back to Kitale. So it all worked out in a way I would never have though off and better than I could have imagined and just in the kick of time. God is NEVER late.