Thursday, February 28, 2013

Little James Needs Our Help

Recently I began to pray a very specific prayer. 

I just love when God lays something on your heart and
so you begin to intercede for it.

"Dear Jesus, please don't let me miss any moment that would bring you glory."

Every day my prayer never changed, 

I want Him to use me in some way.

Whether it be big or small.

I just want to be used by God!

Sometimes in life we go through a blurry day of activities and errands.

And often we find ourselves missing that moment where God could have used us.

but we were too busy so we missed that divine moment.

That moment He could've used us.

But we rushed on instead.

Recently I really felt strongly that I didn't want to be to busy
so  I missed that moment where God would have used me!

Yesterday that moment came.

I was walking up to the guest house when at the front entrance, the security guard,
Eunice, stopped me.

At first I was on a mission for my destination.

She greeted me in her usual 
"Good morning, Emma, how are you?"

I returned her greeting and was ready to get on to my original destination.

But that's where she stopped me.

Eunice said, "Emma I have to introduce you to someone,
you see the other guard here him and his wife had a son,
He was born with a very large head.
Like your sister"

"I want you to meet them and talk with them"

I was immediately intrigued.

Could this be the moment I have been praying for?

She told me that she would send for him and his wife and their baby.

We set up the meeting for later that day.

After a bit I arrived back at the guest house.

Little did Eunice know that International Voice of the Orphan
 had just launched a new ministry which I am really involved in.

Remember that moment I was praying for?

Oh  friends - I have to tell you here he was - the sweetest little boy.

This couple's first child.

He is their little treasure and their love for him is obvious.

At first they didn't realize that his head was not a normal size.

Being their first child they were just in love with him and
didn't notice anything different or wrong.

Until one day he fell.

They rushed him to the doctors only to learn that their son had a very
serious problem with his head.

He was diagnosed with "Obstructer Hydrocephalous"

Meaning that the water on his brain is very large.

There is no where for the fluid to go, yet his head continues to grow.

His head is causing him so much pain.

He is 1 1/2 years old.

Yet he still cannot walk.
{I understand it could be due to the trauma of having water on the brain}

This couple had no idea that my little sister, Ruby, has the exact same thing.
or the fact that God had been placing on my heart the desire to work
with special needs on my heart for quite some time.

I shared with them Ruby's story.

You can read her story here:

Ruby Grace

The Mom pulled out some paperwork and handed it to me.

It was the doctor's referral for surgery.
His head is growing bigger by the day.

The parents shared with me how they don't have the money for this surgery.

The received the referral a few months ago and are still no closer
to being able to have surgery.

The Dad is a police officer and the Mama a cook.
They make very little.

The average Ugandan here makes 2,500 schillings a day.

That's about a dollar, can you even imagine?
So surgery is not even an option.

It's impossible.

But with God it is possible.

There son's head will continue to grow.
His pain will get worse.

I have to share with you friends, a few weeks ago

 International Voice of the Orphan launched a new arm of their ministry!

It's called:

 Ruby's Friends will specifically raise money for vulnerable children
in third world countries who cannot afford surgery.

Since launching just 3 weeks ago.

One little boy has had surgery {update coming soon} and are recovering well!

What do you say, dear friends, can we raise the needed money
for sweet James to have surgery?

The surgery is a little over $500.00 for him to have surgery at the very best missionary hospital
 that specializes in Hydrocephalus - located in Uganda!

Little James has no hope for a normal life unless he gets surgery as soon as possible.

Would you like to be apart of helping little James and his family?

Please meet little James and his Mama and Dad.

The newest addition to Ruby's Friends:

I am so thankful that I didn't miss that moment.

Remember even the slightest good morning,
could be the very start of God using you.

Don't rush today.

Pray that God won't let you miss that moment.

Be ready so He can use you.

To donate to the fund for  Little James to have surgery
you can click on the link below:

Ruby's Friends
{please designate to "Medical Needs"}

Please join me in praying for James and his family
and that they will understand God's powerful love for their son and them.

Sending love from across the world in Uganda

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The crazy side of life in Uganda!

I have been living in Uganda for a little over a month.

It's weird to realize I have been here so long already,

 Because part of me feels like I just arrived.

The other part of me is still in shock that 

'I actually live in Uganda!'

Since arriving I have been settling in to living here.

I have had tremendous triumphs where I have seen the Lord provide over and over again!

I have also seen His protection over me like a shield. 

So thankful that He walks with me.

I have learned many different lessons since arriving.

So in case any of you ever feel God call you to Africa..

You don't have to learn the lessons the hard way.

Take the easy route, {learn from my mistakes} it's so much simpler!

Ten lessons I have learned so far:

Lesson # 1.

Don't wear jewelry that could look valuable :}
{See previous post.}

Lesson # 2.
Parasites enjoy swimming in bath water.
They are visible and red/pink. 
They are icky!
Straining water cup by cup is time consuming, 
but better than sharing bath water with the red/pink little swimmers!

Lesson # 3.

Lizards will not hurt you.

This, personally, was a very hard one to learn.
However now my little green friends enjoy entertaining me 
while I lay in my bed and watch them slithering on my ceiling.
It's a bit uncomfortable at first but this, I'm finding, will ease with time.

Lesson # 4.

Eating healthy is a daunting task.

Everywhere I look there is more rice, noodles, and carbs then I will ever eat.
Although constantly craving salad, adding butter to the carbs helps.
Sort of.

Lesson # 5.
If a boda {motorcycle} driver tries to hit on you, don't get on!

Creepy before the ride and creepy during the ride.
{He told me he can have 5 girlfriends. Creepy creeper.}
I learned that the hard way - yuk.

Lesson # 6. 
Drinking boiled water won't hurt you.

Ummm, at least, I don't think it will...

Lesson # 7.

Taking your puppy on a boda is a bad idea.

I didn't learn this lesson as well as Sarah did...
{So I'll learn that one from her.}

Lesson # 8.

When you order something at a local restaurant - make three choices.

Because they are likely to tell you that they don't have it and
that you must choose something else. 
And then pick choice #3, because a third plan may be needed.

Lesson # 9.

Bedbug bites come in patterns.

Unfortunately it took me days to figure this out.  :{
{Man, were those bites sure itchy!
Bedbugs are definitely not our friends!}

Lesson # 10.

Just because food is moldy doesn't mean you can't eat it!

My mom taught me this before I moved.
But I have had my share of moldy food since arriving.
It may not have the greatest flavor, but food is food.
So eat it.
Because the next meal may not be for awhile.

Some lessons have been harder to learn then others.

No doubt living in Africa is an adventure -

one I love being a part of.

'Cause no matter what, I wouldn't change it for the world :}

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Thief...

{Taken a few days ago at the API home - Special notice my necklace}

Yesterday I was walking in the market with Shawn, Sarah and, of course, Jethro too.

Sarah was fumbling with her sunglasses and asked if we could stop walking for a moment,

so she could put them away.

We quickly crossed the busy road and paused for a moment.

But that moment was a moment too long.

Within a matter of 3 seconds this next scene unfolded.

Out of the corner of my eye, to my surprise, a man came running,

He proceeded to grab my neck and pull with such strong force...

It caught me completely off guard and I quickly jerked forward.

The man took off running.

Within a matter of one second Shawn had dropped Jethro and taken off chasing him.

Several Ugandan men took off on the chase as well to protect me.

I stood with my mouth gaping open and my neck hurting coughing and coughing.

At first I was caught off guard, by such surprise that I couldn't even figure out what he'd done

until I realized....

He'd tried to yank off my necklace - dangling around my neck.

He did it with such force - grasping my throat tightly - causing it to become difficult to breath.

I was shocked and couldn't believe what he'd tried to take.

If he'd succeeded my heart would have ached.

My Mom for Christmas had gone searching for something special for my

"Big Christmas Present".

She had been searching for something perfect because she wanted it to have meaning.

With my departure date for moving to Uganda,

just 2 weeks after Christmas she put a lot of thought into my gift.

One day while at Kohls she found this little treasure

on sale for just $15.00 dollars!

She purchased it with such care.

Three little hearts.

One for Dad.

One for Me.

And one for her.

Three hearts joined together as a symbol of their love for me.

I love that little necklace.

To many, it would seem "to have no value."

But to me it means the world.

A symbol of love from her to me.

Today that thief came to steal.

But God protected my necklace.

In the moments following my attack

I struggled to make sure he hadn't made away with anything.

The Ugandan crowd quickly gathered around me and Sarah and little Jethro 

{who took a spill when Shawn dropped him to run after my attacker}.

The shop owners told me to quickly remove my necklace and slip it in my wallet.

My hands were trembling so ferociously that I could barely unclasp my chain.

Shawn returned after chasing him down - he never caught him but that's in the Lord's hands now.

We continued our walk and ducked into a store to finish putting Sarah's sunglasses away.

I removed my earrings as well {just little plastic diamonds}.

One never knows what might look valuable to someone, but as for me I'd rather never find that out.

I'm pretty sure my hands were shaking for several hours afterwards.

It was so scary and I felt extremely vulnerable.

My sweet little heart necklace has been retired from public wear.

My fake earrings have been retired as well.

After that incident today I was reminded of this Bible verse I memorized so long ago:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly." 
John 10:10

So thankful for God's protection today and 
for His reminder of His Faithfulness!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reunited {You Will Always Hold My Heart}

My babies.

Two words used to describe the babies that have stolen my heart.

They stole my heart years ago.

One little man named Watson.

The other, a sassy little girl, named Joan.

God had a purpose all along for putting these special treasures in my life.

They taught me so many different things.

They taught me something very significant that I will never forget.

They taught me the difference between just plain LOVE,

and what it felt like to LOVE like a Mama.

I earned the name "Mama Emma" from their sweet mouths.

The moment I heard them call me by that special name,

I knew my world would never be the same.

My heart was stolen with just one glance of there sweet faces.

I loved them more then I ever would have thought possible.

I loved them as if they were my own.

I met Watson many years ago, he was just a baby when I fell in love with him.

Joan arrived at the baby home as a shy little girl, she had already endured such painful circumstances in her little tiny life - unimaginable!

She would push away when being hugged.

She was scared of being loved.

She would yell at me and demand that I leave and go home.

When I'd arrive she'd tell me;

"Mama Emma come - you go!"

But I refused to have her push away.

I strived to love her anyway.

Every time I saw her I'd greet her and say hello.

Before I knew it she would no longer yell at me.

Instead she'd greet me and even give me a hug.

She stole my heart.

A sassy, spunky, sweet little thing.

I loved them so much and begged God for a family.

Joan was aging out of the baby home.

No family could be found for a child as old as her.

This past August I received heart-breaking news.

My babies had been moved to a permanent orphanage.

My heart was shattered in so many pieces.

I remember the buckets of tears that I cried.

But one thing I was reminded was that God had good plans for them.

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you;
plans to give you a hope and a future"
~Jeremiah 29:11

Before long I was able to contact their new home.

I emailed them and explained the story of how I met them so long ago.

In no time I received such wonderful news,

inviting me to come and visit

"My beloved ones."

This past week I journeyed to meet them at their new home.

Just 6 months had passed since I'd last seen them.

At first I was worried they might have forgotten who I was.

But my fear was unfounded -  I was greeted with two sweet little words.

"Mommy Emma"

My babies, you will always hold my heart.