Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thinking of the fatherless

On this Fathers' Day I have the privilege of being with my father in South Florida. No dad is perfect, but my dad has really tried to be a little picture of the love of my Heavenly Father in my life. I am so thankful! Here is a photo of my family celebrating Fathers' Day together.

While I am so grateful for this time, I also realize that most people haven't had that blessing. The children at Good Shepherd's Fold don't have the privilege of experiencing an earthly father's love. I also have many friends whose earthly fathers have done more damage than good in their lives.

Today I am praying for these children and friends who I love. I am praying that they will know the amazing love of their Heavenly Father. I am praying that they will know that He never leaves His children. I think of the words of this song:
I have a Father; He calls me his own. He'll never leave me, no matter where I go. He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls, and hears me when I call.  
I have a Maker. He formed my heart. Before even time began, my life was in his hands. He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls, and hears me when I call.    
If you are grieving on this Fathers' Day, remember that your Maker will be your Heavenly Father. All you have to do is run to him. He is a good, loving father. He was willing to make great sacrifice to bring you into his family! If you already know this Father, I pray that you are comforted by his love for you today. He does see each tear that falls, and He will never leave you or forsake you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Soon after we arrived in the United States, my grandmother died. I had not seen her in two years, and now I won't see her again until heaven. This is the part of being a missionary that sucks. (Sorry mom, I know you don't like me to use that word.)  I haven't written about it yet because it has been too fresh. I think I was in denial for a while, but this weekend we will see my grandpa. My Grandma Doris will not be there.

My grandparents with our kids during our last visit
Grandma Doris was such a loving, encouraging woman. She was actually my step-grandmother, but since she married my grandpa when I was 3, I always just thought of her as Grandma. When she heard we were moving to Uganda to work as teachers for missionary kids at an orphanage she was so supportive. She had her women's Bible study in Illinois praying regularly for us and our ministry. She also loved my grandpa well. In recent years he has become more forgetful and hard of hearing. He's 89, so that is expected. But she was always understanding and patient with him. My heart is so sad for my grandpa! She was such a wonderful, loving wife for him for so many years. In recent weeks he has moved from Illinois to South Florida to live near my parents. (My dad is his only child, and he needs some help while adjusting to life on his own now.)  

This great loss for our whole family has also meant that I have not been able to spend as much time with my parents as I had hoped during our furlough. My mom was going to come up and see us in Georgia, but instead she went to the funeral in Illinois. Since our family was going through so much transition already, I didn't think it would be wise for me to go. This week we had planned to be with my parents in Orlando. They were able to come meet us for my birthday, but they had to go back to be with my grandpa the next day. I completely understand and agree with their decisions, but it doesn't take away my sadness. I love my family, and I don't like being over 7,000 miles away most of the time. Yet that is where I am called to be. God has graciously given David and me a strong confirmation that Good Shepherd's Fold in Buundo Village, Uganda is where he wants us to be a part of his kingdom work. 

As I write I feel like I should tie this all up and say that everything is okay. I do know that I will see my grandma again in heaven. She is with Jesus and is no longer sick. I am so glad to know that she knew the love of Jesus and trusted in Him. I also know that Jesus promises that anyone who leaves their family for the sake of his kingdom will have rewards in heaven. But today I am sad. And I know that my Savior who walked on this earth and cried when his friend died, is here with me. He knows loss. He knows the pain of being separated from family more than I will ever know. He left heaven to come to earth to love you and me. As I grieve today, I am comforted by his understanding love. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A million dollars!

Recently David and I were talking to a man here in Florida who moved to the United States with his family from Venezuela. He said that it is just amazing to him that people would leave the United States and move to a country with so much less. He kept telling us how special we are. 

As we sat there talking, at first I wanted to just enjoy feeling good about myself. (My mom always told me I was special.) But then I realized that it would not do this man any good to leave the conversation thinking we were good people. I also realized what hypocrisy that would be. Instead what I wanted him to know was our good Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

He asked what would make us want to move our family away from everything here in the United States. David replied that when you know that you have received a Great Love, you want to share that Love with others. Then David used an analogy. "If someone gave you a million dollars, wouldn't that make you a more generous person?" The man asked, "Is that what happened? Someone gave you a million dollars?" No. Instead we have been given so much more! 

We, who deserve to be eternally separated from God because we continually fall short (sin), instead have been forgiven through Jesus Christ. The perfectly holy God reached out and brought me into his family, making me his child! He has given me eternal life through faith. And even that faith is a gift of God! (Ephesians 2:8-10) I have been given the riches of now being a child of God! I have all I could ever need! My dad is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe! Why wouldn't I want to share that grace with others in need? 

I have received a gift so much greater than a million dollars! It would be ridiculous for me not to want to share it. What about you? Have you received that gift? But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, he gave them the right to be called children of God." I John 1:12 

Even though I have received this amazing gift, I often forget what I have been given. Instead I think my life should be about entertaining myself, being comfortable or getting other people to like me. It is my prayer that you and I both remember that we are more than millionaires! We are the children of the God of the Universe who has all things in His hands. He has given us so much, of course we want to share His amazing love! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Help Wanted!

As we have been talking with people about our work in Uganda, many have asked, "Is there anything we can send back with you?" There are a few practical items we are want to take back, but most of them are things we need to select and order for school. What we really need is people.

When we go back to Uganda, David and I will be starting a school year with students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th grades. (We do combine some of these grade levels for the sake of our sanity.) Cody Fox, our language arts teacher will be on furlough until mid November. We have been praying that God would provide a helper for our family who could assist in teaching and/or help with our children at home. It has been much healthier for our family when I am able to work part-time and be home with the younger kids in the afternoons. I also still need to rest my tongue part of the day so that it is not as painful by the evening. Please pray with us that God would provide someone to serve alongside us during these four months or so. If you are interested, please email me or private message me on Facebook. 

In addition to this need, GSF is looking to fill some positions. We are looking for a Director of Education who would oversee the Ugandan primary school and the secondary school and university education of kids who have grown up at GSF. We are also looking for a Director of Outreach and a Nurse and/or Doctor  to serve alongside our Ugandan nurse. If you or someone you know is interested in these positions, contact me and I will pass your information along to our team leader. Here is our team photo before our Nurse and previous Director of Education left. We sure do miss them! 

We are excited about the work God is doing at GSF! Please pray that He would bring the right people to join our team as we follow where He leads our ministry.