Thursday, November 21, 2013

On the day that my dad and brother are scheduled to arrive I found myself really resonating with this post over on Into Africa.
All of them are true for me!

12 things Expatriates are thankful for

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Read a great post over on Life Overseas. Click here.  Or I just copied and pasted below:

Over the years we have tried with patchy success to create a habit of frequently asking ourselves whether the things we are doing make sense and if it seems like ‘God is in it?
 We hope to avoid getting trapped into routines or habits without truly examining what we’re doing. We desire to be purposeful about the choices we make. It is helpful to examine ourselves to assure that our motivations and attitudes are pure.
 It is important to step back and look at what stress or fatigue is causing in us and in our reactions to things. If we are driving around and going about our days with an undercurrent of anger or an attitude of superiority toward people we’re here to love and work with then we don’t really belong here. Those of us living here can think of a few crotchety old missionaries that are mean and negative and angry toward this country and all of us can easily become that crotchety old missionary if we’re not careful.
 In the last several months we’ve had an epiphany of sorts. We’ve discovered that most of us that are here working with “the poor” can and do unwittingly find ourselves in a bit of a distressing position of superiority. It is not a position we knowingly choose nor is it what we want. It just kind of happens when we stop paying attention to our heart attitudes.
 We don’t know very much, but we do know that Jesus calls us to become incarnate. In order to live that way we need to see ourselves as we really are.
We are the poor and needy. We are the afflicted.
 When I see myself in the women Heartline is serving, when I see my own manipulation and excuses, my own poverty, my own pride  – I am suddenly able to serve and work together with the women with an attitude of humility and grace rather than superiority and judgment. It is the difference between serving from a position of eminence and authority in a top-down sort of way, to serving like Jesus served with a meek ‘power under’ approach.
 The only way to remain genuinely humble when doing this work is to be perpetually aware that we too are the afflicted ones. There is vulnerability in that, but it is a necessary thing.We are every bit as miserable; our passports and perceived wealth simply mean our misery is better disguised
 God is not made known in our ability to fix or heal “the poor people”. We are all weak and wounded,after-all.
 Jesus calls us to stop trusting in our own capacity to do good or make change. If we trust in His ability rather than our own we’ll avoid acting superior. God is made manifest in our ability to recognize that we have nothing to offer apart from Him and that we are every bit as much in need of love, healing, and restoration as the people with whom we work.
 …Pray for all of us to entirely give up believing in ourselves and our own abilities. Pray for healing, freedom, and restoration for every. single. afflicted. inhabitant of our little island and this big world.
 Tara Livesay  works in Maternal Healthcare in Port au Prince, Haiti

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seems strange, I think I'm headed into two weeks of vacation. Sort of. I've had a few busy weeks and as I look back at my November schedule I think I spent a total of 8 days sleeping in my own bed.  A night in the back of my truck, a few in a tent, several in a hut... but now I'm in a nice guest house in Kampala because I have to pick up my dad and brother, Benj, in Entebbe on Thursday! So excited!! I had to come upcountry a day early because my truck needs some serious maintenance (four new brake pads, three new wheel bearings, two new CV joints and a partridge in a pear tree.) Turns out the Karamoja roads are hard on it.
Playing in the mud last week.
 But for the next two weeks I'm hanging out with Dad and Benj as they work on electrical wiring and a bunch of other handiman tasks for team mates.  We are also going to spent two days at the possible sites for the discipleship camp and retreat center.   Benj and his wife, Christina, are prayerfully considering being a part of that center so will you join me in praying that they will move to Uganda that they will be obedient to God's will.

I need to add an addendum: Woke up this morning feeling like I was hit by a truck. Body aches, chills, fever.  Also I was called by the mechanic and turns out I also need a new drive shaft. He isn't sure he can get a new one and get it installed before I need to head to the airport. Ugh. So I'm laying low today, praying I feel better fast and praying that the mechanic is super efficient. Can you pray with me?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Peace Celebration

I had the opportunity to help Dr. Val last weekend with their 5 year celebration of peace in the first peace village, Nabwal. As I wrote that last sentence this sounds normal and like something I could easily describe but I don’t even know how.
Picture me, with several ladies from around Karamoja, standing in a big open field in the midst of 5 giant cooking fires with huge sauce pans on them. Then add to that picture roughly 1,000 karamojung in their traditional wear singing and dancing around us while they wait for the food to be ready to eat. Two bulls have been slaughtered in the not so distant background and we are mixing food with huge sticks and carrying the meat for boiling in large basins. Can you picture it?  Don’t worry, I don’t think I could have either if I hadn't been there.
Some days....
We had lots of rain while in Nabwal and the day after the big celebration it was still raining but we were trying to get back to Kangole. I had both axles buried in mud and had three Karamojung men yelling in the windows at me to go three different directions. (Literally. Go forward, go back, turn hard right) But if you've ever been in 3 feet of mud you know that you are really not going anywhere.  You trying to picture it?  I’m in a skirt (because that is what women wear out here) with my favorite gum boots on. My land cruiser has mud coating it from the roof all the way down. There is so much mud tossed up on the back window that I can’t see through it at all. It is hot and humid and I would rather just be sitting with a book and a cup of tea on this rainy morning and instead I’m trying to ignore all of the people yelling at me while rocking the vehicle enough to get an inch or two of traction. I have it in 4wd low and finally manage to grab a bit of solid ground under the mud and am able to accelerate out (as much as you can call 2nd gear accelerating). Everyone splashed back over to me and climbed back in, congratulating for getting unstuck again (it was my 4th time that morning). 
Yet somehow this is becoming normal...

I was driving between the peace village and my home and had to stop on the side of the road because just a few feet from me was an adult pair of ostriches. The male at nearly 8 feet tall with his flame red neck and coal black feathers shook his giant wings at me while the slightly smaller (at only 7 feet tall) dusty gray female moved back away from the road into the bushes. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Well Update

So, things like this move really slowly in Uganda.  We are trying tp help the village of Loromoruchabi seek permission from the Uganda Wildlife Association to finish drilling their well so that they can have clean water in their village. We had to stop back in September because the drillers were threatened and accused of drilling in wildlife protected land. We have a map that says they were not and the village really needs water but we still had to stop and work this out before the well could be completed.
So, the local chairperson of the lower level had to seek permission from the district government then they had to seek permission higher up and we have just recently heard that it has actually reached the desk of the president of Uganda.

Please pray for him this week.  Pray of course of Lormoruchabi’s well but please also pray for all of the other issues President Musiveni (spelled wrong intentionally) has to deal with. He has been president of Uganda for 22 years and he has brought about good development of his country in that time. But he is still a dictator and another election year in coming in 2016.   

Monday, November 4, 2013

Random updates...

Hey faithful blog followers, once again I need to confess that I've not at all stayed on top of what it going on here. It isn't because I don't want to, it is mostly that I have not had a working computer for almost a month.  On top of that my camera was stolen out of my truck in Karamoja a few weeks back while I was stuck in the mud and I'm finding that without pictures I have even less motivation to post when I do borrow a teammates' computer for a few hours.So now that I finally am on the computer with some internet, what is there to tell you?  I've had nearly more animal patients than human ones lately. In Karamoja I was helping with an animal vaccination project where we spent 4 days in 6 villages immunizing and treating livestock. Back in Soroti, I delivered a litter of puppies and have been giving IV fluids to a sick cat.  I think I like animal patients better than human ones. The well drilling situation in Karamoja is still at a standstill while the local government figures out how to motivate the "federal" government to allow the drilling to continue. I visited the village last week and they were so excited when they saw my truck driving up but when they saw that the well drillers were not with me they were very letdown. They, obviously, really want the work to continue so that they can have water but they have so little power over getting the right documents to continue. But, we are praying that God uses this delay to get the village's attention. I'm spending a lot of time with an end-stage AIDS patient who is near to death. Her family's lack of care for her is sickening and they had pretty much abandoned her but at our  (not so gentle) encouragement they seem to be taking better care of her now. I'm trying to spend time just sitting with her and encouraging her family. Also, my Ugandan team is gearing up for their big "retreat" when they bring all of the students that they are sponsoring in Karamoja down to Soroti for a week of camp (nearly 150 kids). We will spend time playing games, telling stories, and doing crafts.  I'm going to be teaching a bit on health and hygiene and also purity. I intend to spend the next few days writing my lessons and trying to make them highly interactive in order to hold the attention of so many students. 
The solar eclipse through a welding helmet. 
Lets see, what else?  There was a solar eclipse this week which was really interesting. And, last but not least, my dad and brother Benj are coming to visit in two weeks!! They will be helping to install the solar power system to a teammate's house. I can't wait to see them!!

* I am getting so sick of technology issues here!  Why does this post change font midway though?! And why have all the formatting changes I made in the blog template reverted back to this?!