Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ministry in the Village



Yesterday we journeyed about an hour and a half outside of the city.

To a quaint little village.

Up off the beaten path.

We met with some old friends and also were able to meet with new friends.

Upon arriving I noticed off to the side an elderly woman.

She sat against a brick wall leaning.

She didn't smile nor did she seem to notice we were there.

She just sat there.

That's when I noticed one of her eyes was covered with a patch.

After chatting with several friends and playing with some of the children,

I was finally next to her.

I squatted down and sat.

She shared her story.

Her name was Sarah.

Her eye had been removed due to sickness.

She wouldn't look at me with her good eye.

So much pain and sadness.

I asked if I could pray with her.

After praying with her she smiled.


----------


It's moments like this that I know without a doubt God had put me there for 
that moment to minister to Sarah.

If you think of it will you please pray for my new friend Sarah?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Taxi Ride




Me & Joanna

{If you haven't checked out her blog then you should!
She is a dear friend & a voice for the voiceless}

Joanna - Asking With Faith

________________________


For awhile I have been wanting to share this story with you.

At first it was to scary - when reality set in,

so I gave it some time.

But now I want to take you back to another place and another time.

May 3rd, 2013

The reality of life here is sometimes crazy and well, wonderful at the same time.

Some moments you realize you are living in a foreign country where you don't know the language.

Some days you forget, it just seems as if you fit.

Other days you realize the reality of living far away from your loved ones.

______________________________________

Now back to my story :

May 3rd, 2013.

A wonderful day for many reasons.

My dearest friend Joanna was arriving in Uganda!

Daylight dawned a rainy and cold day.

By 10am we were headed back from the airport as it poured rain.

As we journeyed back toward Kampala, I was sharing with her
how I'd been asked to meet up for dinner tonight with a friend -
 who was soon heading back to the States after leading a 4 month mission trip.

~

As it approached dinner time I got a phone call saying they'd
be heading for dinner soon so we needed to get to the restaurant.
I convinced Joanna to join us.

 I quickly dialed the man {who has now become a dear friend}
who normally drives us...

And it rang and rang...

With only having about 25 minutes until dinner.

I raced to get everything together..

Finally I reached my friend and he shared how he wouldn't be able to come.

The people at the gas station had put the wrong kind of gas in and they were draining it.

At that point I realized we wouldn't make it if we kept waiting for a car.

It was getting dark so we quickly grabbed our things and
 went outside to pick up a boda {motorcycle}.

I negotiated a price and we hopped on laughing as we weaved through traffic.

I just love having these moments with sweet friends.

The surreal reality of having friends visit you in Uganda is wonderful.

As we rode to our destination we talked about how things couldn't get worse -
having just lost our driver for the night.

Of course this was only a joke at the time.

As we pulled closer to our destination and weaving through even more traffic,

I pointed and told the boda driver to just drop us at the curb and we'd walk.

{Better to avoid the traffic I thought.}

As we pulled up Joanna hopped off from the back and I quickly slid off from the middle.

But when my feet touched the ground it sunk in...

Yes my foot was covered in thick dark mud.

Joanna burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation.

She said "You know you shouldn't say it can't get worse,
haha because it always does."

I laughed and groaned.

I couldn't go to dinner with mud all over my feet.

We walked a ways and we pulled out napkins and cleaned up...

Eventually we made it to dinner.

And we weren't even late :}
Yep he was waiting at the door for us!

We talked and laughed and had a really good time.

As it got later into the evening I was able to call the driver again and indeed
 he would possibly be able to take us home.

Our dinner continued with us chatting about our different experiences of Uganda.
It was really fun to be out at night with sweet friends.

The night progressed and eventually we made our way outside to chat
some more while a few of us grabbed ice cream...

They offered for us to ride with them so instead of waiting another
hour we decided that would be the quickest way home -
so we decided to go for it.

Unfortunately when their taxi arrived - we didn't all fit.

So Joanna and I said goodbye and waited for our driver.

As they pulled out of the parking lot, I reached into my purse for my cell phone.

I needed to let the driver know we were ready to go home.

But when I dialed his number - there was one problem.

I was out of airtime.

Again - I groaned.

We walked around the little mall/parking lot and went to the airtime store.

Only they were closed.

Ugh.

Remember that comment I made at the start of the night?

Yep. Joanna was quick to remind me.

"Things can't get any worse.." she laughed.

We talked and decided we would just hail a random taxi in the parking lot.

After all I reasoned,
"We are two girls alone and these guys work with foreigners all the time.
They must be safe..."

Or so we thought...

We went over to a car with an open window and I asked for a price?

He agreed on 20,000 schillings.
{which was expensive since my house wasn't very far away}.

But it was dark outside and there were no bodas around anymore.

We climbed in as Joanna looked over at me.
Her eyes were asking,
 "Do you really think this is okay?"

I nodded and then he pulled out of the parking lot.

He never made eye contact with me as I told him where to drive.
Only when he pulled out of the parking lot - he didn't turn the right way.
I told him he needed to turn around.

Only he kept driving.

I insisted.

He kept driving.

Then he did something I will never forget.

He pulled off of the main road..

{To my advantage I know Kampala like the back of my hand.
Thanks to walking the city most days.}

As he pulled off the main road I told him to turn around again.

I insisted how he was driving us the wrong way!

He half shouted/ half yelled
"Don't you think I know where I am taking you?!"

That was where my mind clicked on.

He knew where he was taking us.

Uh-oh.

Which could only mean one thing.

He wasn't taking us home.

As I continued to lose sight of the main road,

 I told him again to turn around.

This time he got really angry.

He jerked on the steering wheel making us swerve on the road and I slid down my seat.

I panicked.

He wasn't taking us home.

Then he said something so significant.

That brought the light on in my head.

He yelled,

"What do you think - that I am going to hurt you?"
"You think I can hurt you?!"

We knew we had to get out of this taxi and quickly.

I started to rack my brain for a way out of the taxi.

If I leaned on my door just right and pushed on Joanna we both might roll out of the car.

We'd hit the ground hard - but we could run..

He continued driving only he got more reckless as we drove further.

The farther we got I realized how deserted the area was.

People were far and few.

We were in a little village dirt road.

Far from town by now.

I thought of the only thing that came to my mind at the moment.

I blurted out "I need to buy water, we have to go the other way!"

He shouted back at me,

"How long are you going to take? That will cost you more."

Yet he never turned around.

Thats when I did something I won't ever regret.

I LIED.

I calmly but firmly told him I had just got a text and forgot that
 I was suppose to give my guy friend a ride home...I went on and on...

I shared how my friend would be really angry with me if I didn't pick him up.

I fussed as if Joanna knew the whole plot.

Only we communicated with silence and our eyes.

Then he jerked on the steering wheel again.

We swerved a 360 degree angle and went to pull into a gate.

I panicked again and thought I was going to be sick.

Here we were in the middle of the night. 

Alone on a dirt road with a stranger.

Nobody knew where we were.

When we'd hugged our friends goodbye they thought we were waiting for our driver.

No one would know we were missing for a very long time.
And I was completely out of air time.

"Jesus I prayed -  please, please protect us."

Then with one last jerk on the steering wheel he turned around.

My pulse continued to race as we drove back closer to town.

The driver only continued to get more angry.

As we sped back to town.

He drove recklessly and at one point even came close to hitting someone.

I've never seen a better sight - then a familiar building standing tall.

We pulled into the parking lot and we dove out of the car.

He shouted again saying I owed him even more.

I threw the money at him and ran.

Shaking - Joanna and I walked into the mall.

I couldn't help but think about God's protection.

And how close we had come to having something serious
 happen to one or both of us.

After awhile we walked upstairs to another airtime store and tried to buy some.

Only they also were closed.

People were sweeping up the mall as it was closing time.

As we looked up I saw a coffee shop that was just closing up.

We raced over and bought a water and asked if they sold airtime.

She said no.

Then we asked if by any chance she would let us borrow her phone?

She looked around to make sure no one was looking and handed us her cell phone.

I quickly dialed my friend and told him what had happened and
asked if he could come pick us up?!

His car now repaired, he said he would be there immediately.

Finally we climbed into his car and slowly headed home.

Relief hit me.

We had been rescued.

So close to destruction.

But God had watched over us once again.

Remember our saying from earlier?

Things couldn't get any worse.

But apparently they can.

I won't be using that phrase anymore.

As we drove home my driver-friend shared about how lately taxi drivers
 have been pretending to be exactly that: taxi drivers.

They would drive their riders off the beaten path.

Beat them...
Sometimes worse then that and even take everything they had, 
including their clothes.

My driver-friend said if he could get his hands on our taxi driver he would beat him.

But that wasn't necessary.

Because once again God was faithful.

He watched over us.

God even protected us when we hadn't made the best decisions.

I am so thankful for God's protection!

If the Lord should bring us to mind,
as we minister here in Uganda, 
please pray for us. 
We always need it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

James Update : Look at His Smile!

As most of you remember James went with me,  along with his mom, for brain surgery to alleviate his Hydrocephalus through Ruby's Friends.

I had the privilege of spending some time with James and his mom a couple of days ago.  He is about 2+ months out from his surgery now.

Check out his smile:



Thank you to all who helped to make James' sweet smile possible....

The Lord has good things in store for James...for sure.


Isn't he adorable?

There is no doubt that the Lord will continue to direct us to more precious Ugandan children in need of specialized surgeries which provide life-saving measures.....because Ruby's Friends is ready, willing and able to help!

If you are interested in helping provide specialized medical care for children like James,
please donate  here. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Faithful God...A New Dog



Living in Uganda creates an atmosphere where you really can see God move more clearly.

There is something about the way of life here.

It's simple.

Maybe it's the fact that having power or electricity is a big deal.

Or learning that a hot shower is considered pampering.

Or the fact that you learn to live without so many things 
we take for granted at home in the States.

It's something about the simplicity of life here.

Village streets.

Bumpy roads.

People striving to make enough to just feed their family for the day!

It really removes the constant blur of the American life.

Here I see God so clearly.

I see Him move. 

And I hear Him speak.

In the States I get used to the blur of the American life and
 the constant speed of moving.

Here I just have to stop.

We don't go by American time.

We go by a little thing called African time.

You can set up a meeting and 2 hours later they will show up.

A rain storm will stop the whole city from everything.

But here I find such beauty in the simplicity of life.

A few weeks ago I began to pray for a dog.

It wasn't super specific just a dog.

My mom, hearing my prayer, decided to be more specific.

She prayed and prayed - 
in between whispering my prayer during the day
and at random moments when I remembered.

Then I started to search.

This past week though I began to feel that I needed 
a dog more urgently.

The team had just left, 
that would leave just me and my friend Lynne alone in my own house.

I posted a story awhile back about some of Lynne and my adventures,
you can read it here: 



My new home is in a new {to me} part of the city.

And we were alone.

We actually had had some complications a few weeks ago 
and I had gotten a guard.

Living alone in Africa can be dangerous.

Being two muzungu {foreigners} girls alone was another story
- not safe at all.

And the guard dog need became more urgent.

We prayed.

Then one day I loaded my missioanry Facebook page  to find a post about a dog!

I emailed the owner for more details.

You're not gonna believe it! 

But it was exactly what we had prayed for:

A German Shepherd

with a little African Mix 

{to spice it up a bit - lol}




But my Mama's prayer was even more specific then
the dog being a German Shepherd -  

He was FREE
~~ exactly what my Mama had prayed for :
an already trained German Shepherd for Free 

Yes, you heard me right!

God provided him completely free of charge!

My God - not only provides my needs but He supplies them too:}

Not only is he my pet, he is also my guard dog!

I will have you know he is the sweetest dog I have ever met.

He even sits on command and plays fetch!

He also is fierce guard dog and protecter.

I am in love..

Please meet my new doggy

'Ranger'