Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dinner on the Nile

Wow! Here we are in Jinja, Uganda this evening, sitting along the Nile River getting ready to have a meal at this beautiful place. This is amazing! Such a world of contrasts, we drive past mud huts, and villages with lots of poverty, and then arrive at this resort with a pool, a beautiful restaurant, delicious matooke chips (like fried spicy plantain), sitting on a veranda overlooking the Nile. It is hard to process it all.

We are here!

We arrived in Uganda Thursday night late. The trip was very exhausting, but we stayed in a guesthouse in Entebbe and got a good night's sleep. It was a beautiful place. The next day driving around Kampala and shopping with the missionaries, was a bit crazy and overwhelming. I think the most dangerous part of the trip was driving through traffic in Kampala. I was feeling exhausted and a bit anxious. But then we drove out of Kampala, and once we reached the Mabira Forrest, it was beautiful and a breath of fresh air, literally. Then we went through some rural villages, and eventually arrived at GSF. When we came to the gate, the children and the house moms, other missionaries, the missionary kids and even the guards, were singing and dancing and playing drums welcoming us. They were shouting "Welcome Auntie Lisa and Uncle Fish." We got out and the children came and hugged us and the little children wanted to be held. A girl with special needs held my hand for about 30 minutes as we walked around campus. I just wept. This is a beautiful place. There are definitely things that are different, and difficult, but I am very glad we are here. Today we are in the city of Jinja, and they have good internet, so I am able to update you a bit. Jinja is a neat town about 20 minutes from GSF. At GSF, we have had inconsistent electricity and not good internet connection. I'm not sure if I will be able to update you more, but thank you all for your prayers! I also really miss my kids, so please pray for me and my emotions. Thank you all!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We leave for Uganda tomorrow, and we are very excited! I am struggling with some anxiety, as I feel like this trip will be life changing. We think that this trip will confirm whether this is where we are called to serve long-term, so that is pretty life changing. I think I worry when I forget that no matter where we are, our loving Heavenly Father will be caring for us and working for our good. The trouble is, sometimes I care more about being comfortable than wanting the good that God is doing of building His kingdom and making us more like Jesus. I am praying that I will see things in Uganda from God's perspective, of the work He is doing in the midst of poverty and so many orphans, and praying that He will teach me to rest in His loving, sovereign control. I have seen God's loving care much in these last few days, in the hands of friends helping me pack, in the words of encouragement spoken from so many, in the ways God's people have offered to care for my children, in the letters and cards I have received, in the sweet times with my children, and in the prayers of friends and family. You all have been God's hands and feet in our lives. Thank you!

Monday, March 19, 2012

In the past several months, I have been often thinking about a quote from Jim Elliot. It was apparently in response to people suggesting that he not go to share the gospel with a violent tribe in South America. Going cost him his life, but years later members of that tribe trusted in Christ for their eternal salvation. Here is the quote:
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose."
I have been thinking mostly about material possessions, financial security and my plans for my family and the future. It seems ridiculous that after God has provided for us in so many ways in times of need, that I would worry about financial provision for the future. I always tell my children that everything is "God's" and he has graciously given us the opportunity to use it. "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world and all who live in it." Psalm 24:1  Why then do I feel like these children and this house are mine? And why do I crave financial security? The recent economy, a very sick child I know, and all of our recent medical expenses should have taught me that I cannot "keep" all of theses things. What do I hope to gain, in being willing to go to Africa? Maybe the joy of helping missionary children in their education. Maybe the opportunity to share a bit of the Father's love with some orphans. Maybe the peace of knowing I am following the Lord wherever He leads. Ultimately, I just want to learn to not cling to anything but my Lord.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I have been wanting to explain a bit why we would want to consider taking our family to Uganda. In our video we mentioned that we feel like this is where God is leading us, but why follow? This morning I read Ephesians 2 and wanted to share a portion of that here. If you have never read the book of Ephesians in the Bible, I would highly recommend it. Here is Ephesians 2:4-10 -
" 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
 We have been loved and forgiven much by the God of the universe. He has shown us his love in sending his own Son, Jesus, to bring us into his family. We want to live out that love in the lives of those around us, wherever He calls us to live. We feel like serving in Uganda may be part of the work that He prepared beforehand for us to do. And we want to walk in it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We are leaving for our first visit to Good Shepherd's Fold in Jinja, Uganda in just over 2 weeks. There are several supplies that would be useful for the children's home and school. If you are interested in sending something over with us, please select the page above, "How Can I Help". I will provide a list of supplies, that you can send with us.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Welcome to our family blog. Thanks Elise for helping us get started! The video explains a bit about what we have been thinking in the past several months. Please pray for us as we travel to Jinja, Uganda in a few weeks, to see if we might go long-term in the summer/fall of 2013.