Saturday, December 27, 2008


Hope Children's home (the orphanage that Show Mercy works with) is in Gganda Village about 10 miles outside of Kampala, the capital city.
This is where we will be working and I think we will be staying in Entebe, outside of Kampala. At least while the rest of the group is there. It may change once they leave.
The property that Shom Mercy purchased is in Kaliti Village. When it is finished it will include short and long term volunteer housing, multiple children’s cottages for orphans as well as medical facilites, schools and farming.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas to all and to all joy!

This year more than any other, I have felt sad and sympathetic when anyone told me they were not enjoying the season or didn't look forward to Christmas. I love this time of year- but I grew up knowing why we celebrate and feeling the joy of the season. But, really why do I have this joy this time of year? How do I pass it on? As I was pondering this around midnight Christmas eve I realized part of the answer was right there in front of me sitting open to Luke 2:14- the second half of the angle's message. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests. The joy that fills me up is because my God is here and he cares about me- He made that enormous trip from heaven to earth because His favor rests on me.
Emmanuel- God with us. The God of this universe cares about us his creation and is a part of my life. He wants to be a vital part of who I am and what I do! The joy, peace, love, grace and mercy that is so evident this time of year, this season- not about shopping or parties, of gifts- well, only one gift. The gift that made God accessible to us!
So there is the first part of my question. But how do I share it without sounding like a nut? I want one more person to tell me that they don't look forward to Christmas so that I can attempt to share just a piece of my joy. How can I not? Emmanuel- my God is with us!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just Christmas

Strip all the stuff away. Santa, parties, red and green, snow, decorations, caroling, frosty, garland, lights. Just give me Christmas. It is so much more (and so much simpler) than all of the "stuff" that we pack into it. It is about the baby in the manger- the baby who ended up nailed to a cross just a few years and miles from where he was born. The best gift I will ever receive. Emmanuel. That is all I want- just give me that. Merry Christmas.
Luke 2:11 A savior has been born to you and He is Christ the Lord!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowed in

Some times I think God wants us to be snowed in. In my head I know that Sunday is to be a day of rest and even with my words I attest to this but rarely do my actions confirm. Well, this past Sunday God said "You will rest." I was snowed in, along with the rest of the city and all my plans for the day needed to be set aside (and don't worry- I had lots of plans for the day). I live close enough to my family right now that we managed to all be snowed in together. We made cookies, took naps, had meals and watched movies- some may say we "wasted" a day- we certainly didn't accomplish much with only 3 shopping days until Christmas. But it felt great. Thank you Lord for snowing me in. Help me be "snowed in" and enjoy the great gifts that you have given me more often.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hey Team!

Exciting communication from the team leader:
Hello Team Uganda !

We now have our team in place. We are so excited to have each of you joining Show Mercy as we reach out in love in Uganda this January. It is hard to believe, but the trip is less than one month away! We are really looking forward to getting to know each of you on this trip. We are confident that all of us will leave Uganda different that when we arrive. We also know that each of you have a valuable part to play on this mission. Not only will our lives be changed, but I am confident that you will make a lasting impact on the people of Uganda . What a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus!

Our plans will include spending a lot of time with our beautiful kids. We will be spending time at Hope Children’s Home where nearly 100 children who have been orphaned or abandoned are living. Some of you know how wonderful these kids are. They have gone from a life of hopelessness and heart ache to a life of purpose and destiny with people that love and care for them. One thing that they love more than even their provision is to meet and hang out with our teams. Love never fails. Food can fill your belly and a shelter can protect you from the rain, but a touch from each of you will bring life and joy!

We will also be doing some outreaches in the village including visiting our neighbors, praying for them and helping encourage and strengthen them. Along with that, we will visit at least two hospitals where we will minister to the sick, praying for healing. This includes a children’s cancer ward. We have a heart to eventually build a medical clinic that will care for those who are hurting. There will also be a chance for each of you that would like to do so to share at a local church. We encourage everyone to stretch yourself and plan to share.

You are part of my team! Are you ready? We leave in 25 days!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The cost...

As I've been thinking on this cost thing (See the post a couple of days ago) Here is something else I've read and want to share.

"Is there always a cost involved in responding to that insistent demand in our hearts to express to Him our love? Would I be willing to pay a cost if asked to do so? Do I believe that as my Saviors He has the right to demand such a response to His love if I would really love Him as He first loved me?

Momentarily I had felt this the night the rebel soldiers first took me captive. Beaten, flung on the ground, kicked- teeth broken, mouth and nose gashed, ribs bruised- driven at gunpoint back to my home, jeered at, insulted, threatened. I knew that if the rebel lieutenant did not pull the trigger of his gun and end the situation, worse pain and humiliation lay ahead. It was a very dark night. I felt unutterably alone. For a brief moment I felt God had failed me. He could have stepped in and prevented this rising crescendo of wickedness and cruelty. He could have saved me out of their hands. Why didn't He speak? Why didn't He intervene? And in desperation I cried out against Him: "It is too much to pay!"

Yet His love for me cost Him His life. He gave Himself, in that one all sufficient atoning sacrifice at Calvary. He so loved the world that He gave all. His sacrifice was the expression of His great love.

But His sacrifice had achieved something. He had saved lost mankind from their sins. What was I achieving by suffering brutality at the hands of rebel soldiers? If I died (which seemed probable and imminent) no one would even know of the suffering. What was being gained? God, why, why?

In the darkness and loneliness, He met with me. He was right there, a great wonderful and almighty God. His love enveloped me. Suddenly the "Why?" dropped away from me and an unbelievable peace flowed in, even in the midst of the wickedness. And He breathed a word into my troubled mind: the word privilege.

He said These are not your sufferings: they are not beating you. These are my sufferings: all I ask of you is the loan of your body. "
(Dr. Helen Roseveare in her book- Living Sacrifice. )

I can't even make the "sacrifice" to get out of bed half an hour earlier to pray or take the time to speak an extra kind word to my patents. Are these little things that God asks of me too much? Am I really suffering for Him at all?!? Lord, help me to be bold enough to ask for this privilege.


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! To all of those who hand made all of these blankets - I can't wait to see how God uses them. Thank you so much!!! (Especially to the ladys at Maple Grove Church in Topeka, Indiana. You are awesome!)

Now- for those of you who have great ideas- any sugestions how I should get them in county? Roughly 50 pounds and 70 linear inches. For $150 I can check them as a third bag. (FedEx and UPS both charge more than $200 to delieve to their offices in Kampal.) Any cheaper ideas?

Monday, December 1, 2008


I shared last week (see the post also titled Teacher) about a group I was struggling to love. I'd been praying that God would teach me to love them. Yet this week they were out to make themselves even harder to love. For some reason they were hateful to each other (being mean bullies to several of the quieter, less popular) and rude to myself and the other teacher. I don't even know what to do. Father- Please increase my love for them and help me to see them as you do.


What is God asking of me?

"I will not give to the LORD my God that which cost me nothing."

One of the speakers at the conference I was just at (Dr. Jefferson McKinney) talked about considering the cost of service to the Lord. He obviously was talking about mission work but doesn't this apply to all that we do for God? What is our motivation? Why do I do the things that I do? Am I doing the things that God is asking me to do or am I looking for excuses? My reason to do what He asks needs to become-Because I am a in such a deep debt. I owe so much, this thing that the Lord is asking of me is nothing compared to the cost that He paid.

Sometimes the things that He asks us to do are hard. We have a tendency to whine, to complain and then to quit. And that is where grace comes in. There are returns in this life and in the next. But sometimes things are still hard.

We have a tendency to ask "Was it worth it?" But this question implies "was it worth it to me?"But it isn't about me. It is about God. Philippians 3:10 says : I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

So, I will learn to give nothing to my Lord which cost me nothing. Anyone have any insights to share?