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.