Wednesday, November 18, 2015

cupcakes for wheels

many of you gave so that we could get our first vehicle a few months after I moved here. we bought one that was 20 years old because the import tax is about as much {or more in some cases} than the vehicle itself. had I known what we would go through with a 20-year-old vehicle, I'd have pushed for a newer one. but that van? it has served us well. it has carried many a sick baby to the clinic. it has bumped down 8-mile-long dry dirt roads as well as completely washed out roads to get into villages to trace the stories of the orphaned, abandoned, abused or otherwise vulnerable children placed into our care. it has barreled down the middle of the road as rocks flew at its windshield just to keep a woman from dying during childbirth in its back seat. it has been with us since our family was just 5 and it has failed to fit us all as God blessed us with more children. it was parked for 2 months in 2013 and, because we didn't have the money to fix what was wrong, we spent 4x the amount to rent another vehicle or hire a driver. since then we have put enough money into it than it would have cost to buy one 5 years old or so. but that's what we do. we have a little and we put a little into keeping it going. however, in just the last month it has progressively gotten worse. it stops randomly as you're traveling down the road and it has come to a point where our lives are in danger. while it has diligently and gracefully served us in the past, at almost 400,000 kilometers it's time it retires peacefully.

I called the kids for a meeting tonight to discuss how THEY are going to raise the funds. here's how that went down.

Me: Guys, you know the van is out. It's been leaving Daddy stranded almost daily. We need a new one and I'm tired of raising funds. I'm turning it over to y'all.

Godfrey: What ees tha meaning of fundraising?

Me: You need to come up with a way to get money for the van. So what are your ideas?

Ritah: I can make cupcakes. I lahv to make cupcakes.

Viola: Ritah can make ha cupcakes and we sell them.

Godfrey: But we have no eentanet. I will need a phone and eentanet. We can sell theem for 10,000 shillings {$3}.

Me: But we only have like 1 cake mix. That's not enough.

Godfrey: So we have to do thees. But, Mahm, ah you serious?

Me: YES. I've been doing the fundraising for 5 YEARS. Your turn.

Godfrey: But fa us, we have no capeetal.

Ritah: I like to bake. I can make cupcakes.

Me: I know but how will you have enough?

Godfrey: Ahh, Mahm, you ah the only one who can do eet.

Ritah: How ah you talking selling? Hand to hand or online?

Brian: Ahhhh, how can you do that?

Godfrey: There ees no way to sell online because you can note put eet een they-ah.

Viola: How about she designs and then takes a picture and then puts theem on Facebook? 

Me: Yeah but what will that do?

Viola: Then eef he or she appreciates, then they can help us get a van.

Godfrey: Mahm, eet can be possible? For her to sell theem on the line? So she ees going to sell them 
on the line and they geeve the money and you say to them, "Thank you for buying but you get nothing." How can that even wahk?

Brian: Good point. How can Ritah transport her cupcakes to US? I think for that, she needs preservateeves.

Me: So what is the solution? What if we sell a cupcake that someone pays for but doesn't really get?

Brian: Are there people een thees world who do such things? That's note right.

Ritah: YES. After selling eet we can eat for them.

then I posted that conversation to Facebook asking if our friends thought it would work. the kids never imagined as many people commenting right away saying they'd LOVE to buy a cupcake.

or a dozen. Brian told Ritah she'd better get to work and before I could answer all the messages about the cupcakes Ritah had gotten out the cake mix and was gathering all the other ingredients. the girl knows how important a new vehicle is for our family and our ministry and her little servant's heart got in gear! oh, to have the faith of a child. 

 She has mastered this funny thing where Americans put everything
you need to know on the back of the box!

I brought 5 cake mixes back for the birthdays we have through the end of the year.
This strawberry one was supposed to be for Amaris' 1st Birthday but
Josiah chose the confetti one for her.

Hey, quality control costs companies millions. Not worth the risk.

While in the US, her Jajja taught her how much cake mix to put into the
liners to make the perfect cupcakes.

Our oven doesn't have numbers. It used to have a little flame and a big one but those
have since been rubbed off. You just have to kinda guess by looking at the actual
height of the flame. Our cupcake pan doesn't fit in properly either. It's a tiny stove.
She can buy herself a bigger range when she makes it big in the baking business!

Her favorite part.

The girl loves to bake. And the more sprinkles, the better!

they have no idea about the financial part. they baked a couple dozen cupcakes with a whole lot of faith that they would bring in what we needed to buy a safe, reliable vehicle. one that won't just decide to quit as we're going down the highway. one that won't leave us in the middle of an unsafe area where we have to spend the night in it because the cellular networks go out so often and no one can be called to come for us. one that is 4x4 and durable enough to go where we need it to go. one that will not be in the shop more than it is on the road. one that will last well beyond 5 years. we are approaching the throne with a bold prayer. the vehicle we want is $40,000. we're circling prayers around an almost-brand-new 4x4 vehicle that has very low mileage. we are a landlocked country so they are quite expensive due to import taxes but instead of settling for one that is cheaper and wouldn't last as long, we have the faith that God sees our need and will bring His people to help us purchase the exact one we want. 

would you buy one of their "virtual cupcakes" and support them in their first fundraising effort? 

Godfrey suggested $3 each so we will stick with that but give what you can. buy as many as you want! you won't find any fat or gluten or sugar in our cupcakes. they.are.divine. we will post pictures of them eating them as the funds come in!

I can't wait to see what God does and how He grows our children's faith even deeper. thank you for being a part of a story that they will be able to tell with great joy, while testifying to the goodness of our Savior! 

FIRST UPDATE : 6:30am Thur, Nov 19th {our time}

I could only round up these 3 but wish I had a video of when I told them. Their guesses were 8, 40, 50, 100, 100, 200 and 200. Josiah guessed 100 because Ritah did. Hahahaha. They were high steppin' it to school this morning as they go to finish up exams. Y'all have really blessed them already and I can't wait to watch God grow their faith.

When asked what he thought about how it all Godfrey said, "Mahm, those people, yeah? Tha wans that geeve and get nahthing een return. They geeve tha money and get no cupcake to eat. Fa shoo-ah you can see they have extended mahcy to us. I hope to always know sach people."

I held back the tears until they left. My children break me and when they do, more of the bad stuff pours out. And God? God continues to put me back together, filling me more with Himself. I am a blessed woman.


Monday, November 2, 2015

UPDATE - a matching gift for our school

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! 24 hours before our fundraiser ended we were still over $5000 away from our goal.

With just 12 hours to go, nothing. Not a single coin. I ran across the picture of that window and posted it {couple of posts back}. Within about 30 mins, I got a notification of a donation. My heart immediately recognized her name even before my eyes or brain did.

On the $100 donation was a note:
"Praying God fills the storehouse to overflowing!!!" And that seed was planted. And it was planted with her faith. And God was opening that window. I read her note, looked at the total left which was still over $5000 and prayed.

What happened in those remaining hours blessed us in ways words fail. Don't miss this. In the history of our ministry we have never been where we are right now. And it took a lot of pain and heartbreaking decisions to get here - but we made those because funding wasn't there and we needed to keep our school open throughout the end of the year. It's just not fair to all the students that have worked so hard all year long.

So with a heart so excited it has threatened to pop, I can stand on the mountain and proclaim that OUR OBEDIENCE HAS BEEN BLESSED AND GOD HONORED AND ANSWERED OUR BOLD PRAYERS!!! OUR SCHOOL IS FULLY FUNDED UNTIL THE END OF DECEMBER!

And not only that but a friend saw that $5158 was left to match and sent it all. Every cent. So we went over! And since those funds were earmarked for the school, we have to use them there. The rains knocked down one of our buildings so WE HAVE FUNDS FOR REPAIRS. BEFORE WE EVEN KNEW WE NEEDED THEM!!! 2015 IS OUR MIRACLE YEAR. We always prayed for this and we have always finished on December 31st, celebrated for a few hours before starting January already in the negative. What a testimony He is writing!

We have just a few loose ends to tie with Ekubo Children's Home and this entire year is DONE. I can use December to raise funds to start 2016!!! This whole thing - the match, the rising up of the body of Christ, the pain turned to joy - He has not forgotten us!!! We are shocked. We shouldn't be because we boldly approached his throne. But still, y'all!!! HE DID IT!!! Praise Him with us?


Thursday, October 8, 2015

a matching gift for our school

one month ago as the school holiday ended, we were faced with an impossible decision - to open for the last term of the 2015 school year or to close and regroup. our fundraiser at the beginning of August that would raise the amount needed to get us caught up so we could start September fresh only raised a little over half what was needed. we were in a vulnerable place - one that we seem to constantly be in, but right where He needed us. after refocusing we reopened our school for the last term. we were immediately attacked - both our family and our ministry. the enemy is not out to confuse or just to make things hard. the enemy is out to destroy. to kill. the first two weeks only brought in 5% of what was needed to run the school for a month. it seemed like we'd not only made the wrong decision but we had lost our minds in the process. if we closed the children in the higher classes (grades) would be held back and, even worse, some would miss the national exams and a chance to advance to secondary school. if we stayed open we would have to go into crisis mode and make some hard decisions and cut so many things which would leave all of our staff carrying a heavier load.

left again with no choice we made the cuts. and it has exhausted everyone. our staff is committed to sticking this out with us. they know why we do what we do - they know Jesus. yesterday we found ourselves stuck. we had no more moves to make. we spent the day in prayer and still, no answer. I reached out to a few friends and asked that they pray specifically for this. 

and then we got a message from a family that is committing to match all donations to the school up to $12,000 through the end of this month!!! 

WAIT! WHAT??? don't miss this. remember that vulnerable place we were in? He needed us there. He knew what we didn't. their message said, "We believe in you and George and see God working through you all and your ministry and have been praying about how we could come alongside you at this point." He had moved their hearts long before this year started and long before we found ourselves stuck. He was about to answer our prayers but He needed us to be obedient even when it made zero sense to us. He needed us to step out in faith and be completely dependent on Him. 

with the cuts we've made if we can get this $12,000 matched we can make it! and not even just make it but the school will be funded through the end of the year! if you've been around long enough you know that our end of the year fundraiser is so that we finish the year without carrying debt into the next year. in the 5 years of operation we have never been in a position to end the year before the 31st of December. and that means January 1st we start raising money for that year. we are forever starting in the hole but we are boldly approaching the throne asking that our story be different this year. can you help make that happen? these precious children are worth it!

You can also mail us a check or set us up for monthly donations through your bank's “bill pay” program. We receive 100% of your donation!

Ekubo Ministries
792 Commerce Drive, Suite 102
Alexander City, AL 35010

Ekubo Ministries is a 501(c)(3) organization which means your donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

You can follow our journey here, where we will be updating frequently about the fundraiser:

Click below to share this on social media and help us spread the word!


Saturday, September 12, 2015


on Monday classes resumed for the last term of the school year in schools across Uganda. we would have only been able to reopen our school had we met our goal for our $31k in 31 days fundraiser. and that would have only brought us up to date. we would have already been 8 days into September. 8 days into another month for which we had no funding. but at least we would have been caught up. at least there would have been that hope for the remaining months.

in June I came back here to really seek God's face. if He was calling us to something different, it was time to tell me. I prayed for Him to show me why we continue to run months behind in funding. why was He continuing to ask us to do this knowing His responsibility is the financial part? I am just here to share the need. I answered His call. I came here on my own - no church or missions sending agency sent me nor is paying for me to be here. I am here by His grace. we are here doing His work, not ours. we are not here because we want to be. we are here because He commands. I can't explain it to anyone that is not desperately striving to die to self daily and serve Him. it makes no sense to someone looking from the outside. but if you know, you know. that is where we are. don't get me wrong - we love to serve but the sacrifice is hard. and I know we're not supposed to count the cost. but, flesh.

we had 2 options on Monday. we could have gone to school and sent the children home or we could continue and let God provide along the way. God reminded me that He provided over half and that goals aren't reached for a reason. instead of focusing on what His job is, I needed to focus on mine. His is the funding. we need it to continue but I'm busy looking at that instead of the children. when my focus shifts from what is needed to serve them and I actually see THEM, my role is clear. their story is not sitting home like over half our school was doing when I moved here. so we started school back on Monday. and we pray that you will continue to support us. we can not do anything apart from His grace and those of you that He calls to partner with us in educating these beautiful souls.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

but she came

“We have had him for almost a year and have advertised several times. When we advertise, we do so through the government so we don’t share our organization details and risk the safety of the child. The newspaper said for anyone knowing him to come to the police. The grandmother showed up at the police and was told that he was safe and being cared for well. She told them to let her go to the restroom out back and then come give them her details so she could be reconnected with him. She never returned from the restroom. But she came. So we have no details. The police have no details. So now we are running an advertisement again to see if she can come back again.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Stormy flew home with me to help with the kids and revisit the country that stole her heart 4 years ago when she came to visit us. Since the beginning of our sponsorship program she has sponsored Gideon, a child of Kakooza, and we trekked up the mountain to their home yesterday. We just went to visit but were welcomed with celebration and then Kakooza shared with her his testimony about his arm. I moved here Dec 1, 2010 and a couple days into January he came to us asking for help. His neighbor planned to have him killed and take his land. Late one night some thugs the neighbor paid came to Kakooza's home and began slaughtering all his cows, goats, and chickens, hung him by his neck and arm from the beams that held the tin roof up on his mud home, and left him for dead. But God was not done with Elisha. His wife and children, whom he told to run and hide, waited until it was safe and then they went for help.

We partitioned our church and created a small room where their family lived. We took him to several doctors in Kampala and they told him he had a slim chance of ever regaining use of his arm because the nerves were so damaged. We worked closely with him over the next 6 months to hold accountable the people responsible, ensure his family felt safe on our property {the thugs kept returning to harm all of us and we had to hire security} and also get physical therapy for him. A couple years later he had slowly regained all use of his arm and fingers and, because of the programs we have in place to help families sustain themselves, he earned and saved enough money to not only rebuild their home, but it is a brick one. God has really blessed him and almost replaced every single animal the enemy slaughtered. He thanked us by giving us a turkey. It was such an humbling day. He asked that I thank those of you who support Ekubo Christian Academy where his children attend.

"I will never forget the time the thugs came to our home, slaughtered our animals, stole everything we owned, tore down our home, hung my husband and left him for dead. Thank you for treating him. We had no money and no hope to reach the big hospitals. If you were not there maybe by now my husband would be lame. Thank you so much for treating him well. By that time we had lost hope but you took care of our family. May the Almighty God reward you abundantly." - Maama Hope

“My children have learned to fear God. I have taught them about the Proverb which says the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. I pray that before my children know anything that they fear God. After that I pray they get a good education so they can be well.” - Maama Hope

“We met in the Redeemed Church of Christ in Bombo. We have been in marriage for 22 years. Fearing God keeps our marriage strong. The advice we would give to newly married couples is to fear God and to trust each other. Above all you have to trust in God in everything you do. Also there is respect – the man has to respect the woman and the woman the man. And you have to trust in yourselves.”


Thursday, August 6, 2015

$31k in 31 days {back-to-school}

As children here in the US get ready to return to school, in Uganda we are finishing up exams and preparing to break for one month of holiday before beginning the last term of the school year. We have a lot of catching up to do before we can reopen on the 7th of next month. We have moved from a one-to-one model where each child has a specific sponsor to where all money given to our sponsorship program covers our school as a whole and provides for all 350 students. This has made a huge impact in our community. Now families are no longer fighting amongst themselves because one's child was sponsored and the other's wasn't. It has brought back a sense of community - we all trust God to provide for all or none.

To operate the most efficiently, our program would be funded several months in advance. This would allow us to buy so many things in bulk which saves a lot of money. We have not had that opportunity yet this year. Each month we need to have 29 students sponsored at the beginning of each month to even operate. That has also not happened this year. But faith. We stepped out in faith to start and trusted that God would help us along the way. We have run behind since we started in January and it has made for many sleepless nights. We built this school from the ground up. We have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this. We have worked tirelessly to mold our program in a way that may not be what sponsors are used to {the one-to-one model where the sponsor chooses a child} but is what works best for the children, families, teachers, staff and community as a whole, have excellent teachers, a nurse, and parents that contribute to their children's educations. But when funding is not there it is hard. 

We need a strong push. We need every single one of you to use the gifts you have to help. 

Do you make things and sell them? Could you commit to giving us a percentage of your sales?

Get your children involved. Do they make a mean batch of lemonade or cupcakes they can sell? 

Have a birthday coming up? Ask your family and friends to donate to us to celebrate you! Last year our friend did that and some of her friends not only gave $1 for each year she was celebrating but they got introduced to our ministry and support us! 

Do you love to host parties? We can send you some of our jewelry and you can share about our ministry and have people buy a piece to support the women we serve!

Are you running in an upcoming marathon? Have your family and friends donate a specific amount per mile or minute.

Get creative. I promise you there is something you can do to help. Even keeping an active presence on social media, sharing our posts and encouraging your friends to follow our journey is a great way to support us!!

As of now hundreds of you have given and collectively we have 128 of the 350 covered. Financially we are operating in the middle of May. We are 2.5 months behind. We need 104 more sponsored by the end of this month to open for the last term. We can then start September operating day-to-day. That's not ideal but it's better than being behind. Your gift of at least $300 ($25/month) will help to cover all 350 in our program. We have 31 days to raise the $31,200 needed to be caught up through this month.

You can give a one-time donation by clicking the "donate" button below. To become a monthly sponsor you will have to go through the desktop version where you will see the option to "make this recurring".

You can also mail us a check or set us up for monthly donations through your bank's “bill pay” program. We receive 100% of your donation!

Ekubo Ministries
792 Commerce Drive, Suite 102
Alexander City, AL 35010

Ekubo Ministries is a 501(c)(3) organization which means your donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Thank you for standing with us and encouraging us along the way.

You can follow our journey here:


Friday, July 24, 2015

through the storm

it has been a hard day. and it will only get worse for a little while. I know because we have been here before. time and time again over the last few months. we have been here. this season on pruning. this season of doing what God asks though it makes no sense to us. like zero. like to the point that we question whether or not we heard Him correctly. this season of listening for His voice though He is not speaking at all. or is He but there's too much noise? it's so confusing - this season of waiting.

as I drove through the storm today - literally - lighting flashed all around me. I almost pulled to the side of the road because the rain was so intense. Mom's van tires lost contact with the road as I prayed. God, let Your will be done. you know what we face. You know it all. I can tell you all day long what I want but You - You have a plan. You know what, God? I just want to be reminded You are there. is that too much to ask? because I should know, right? how dare I ask? well, because I am Your daughter. God help us. You arms are not too short to save.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

reminded that He sees us

I dropped George off to get his hair cut and I waited in the van. while waiting, our son sent a long list of things needed at home. we are out of everything. rice, beans, soap, cooking oil, salt, bread, the list went on and on. instantly defeated. how can we be half a world away in my Mom's little apartment waiting to go home yet all our money keeps going to just survive? when George came out from getting his hair cut he had some pep in his step. he was so happy to have "all that hair gone" (makes me laugh every single time). and there I was quick to kill his joy.

the man is such a leader. he loves fiercely but if you are doing something wrong he doesn't beat around the bush. he will rebuke you in no minute but always with love. he told me that I am not thanking God enough for what we do have. and I'm not. we have a roof over our heads. a bed. my Mom's van to use. children. that, alone, reduces me to tears. a home in Uganda. family that supports us. friends that support us. people we've never even met who have carried us through our darkest days as a family and ministry. I could write for days but this little area can't hold all our blessings. the biggest blessing is a God who loves us with a love we will never know this side of Heaven.

I dropped him off and headed to our office to fill orders. I started to thank God for all we have and asked Him to keep my eyes focused on that instead of what we don't have. when I pulled up I saw the mailbox on the side of our office door - the one not many people have the address for {we still us our PO box}. inside was a check for our family. a check that covers quite a few things on our list.

humbled again and reminded to PRAISE HIM!!! how has He reminded you today that He sees you?


Saturday, July 18, 2015

as if in slow motion

5 years ago I was visiting Uganda for the first time and something happened to me that I thought only happened in movies. this handsome guy named George, whom I'd only spent 5 days with, pulled into the drive to return me back to the house we were staying at after a long day of us working together and said he had to tell me something. my heart almost stopped. then, as if in slow motion he looked at me and said, "I think I'm falling in love with you." all I heard was Charlie Brown's teacher. I could NOT grab the door handle fast enough. I exited his truck and sprinted inside. what in the world was going on? how was this happening to me? God was happening. and He writes the best stories.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Maria & her Maama {5 years later}

these 2 are a testament to my faith. they'd been starved and left for dead. a 10lb, 2-year-old baby girl and her Maama. and God called me. ME. I was anything but prepared. I was an ill-equipped new Christian, only having decided to follow Him 7 months before. yet He called me. He called me as His daughter to not just go visit them. He called me to not just go sit with them and leave. He called me into the mess with them - into the hell they were living. He called me to take responsibility for them. the village was abuzz at how stupid I must be. at how lost a cause they were. at how deep in over her head the muzungu had gotten. but I turned a deaf ear and kept my eyes on Jesus.

for 5 years now they have been in our care. we have watched the hand of God reach down and pull them from the ashes. we have seen it. praise God for His faithfulness!

“Since the day you got me from where I was my life has changed a lot. You got me from a bad situation when my daughter was being starved and I was being abused. You built me a home and my daughter and I came into your care full time. Though I was not your responsibility you saw me as such and these days I’m feeling that I’m now someone. My health has changed. I have a shelter where I sleep very well and I eat very well. Though I still face some challenges with my epilepsy but the seizures are less frequent. I have hope that I will recover soon. On top of that I have gained energy and I can now dig in the garden, do housework, and many other things by myself. I am so independent. It was always a burden for me to depend on someone else and even then they neglected me. I have hope that my life will continue to change because I feel the people you have given me to help care for me are good people. I believe in Jesus Christ now. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me, most especially you and Master George. Maria is now growing, having education, medication, food, shelter and I feel that God has answered my prayers. Now everyone treats me differently. My family where you got me from now see me as a better person and everyone loves me.” – Maama Maria


Sunday, July 12, 2015

water is life

we have never had running water in our village. actually when I moved there we didn't even have clean water. we fetched our water from the only few sources we had. the water was full of parasites but when you have no other option a running stomach becomes the norm.

there are 2 seasons - rainy and dry. after the end of the dry season the rainy one never came. these water sources that get replenished during the rainy season were shallow. and the more shallow they were the more filthy they were.

2 back-to-back dry seasons took their toll and, not knowing when the rainy season would return, we raised money for a borehole. it was a slow, eye-opening process. when we can walk through our homes and have our choice of taps to turn and clean water comes out, it is hard to imagine that the whole world didn't have these same luxuries. and a luxury it is.

during the longest, hottest days of the drought when the funds had stopped coming I got an email from a friend I'd met through Facebook. she was no longer able to go on a mission trip she had spent over a year planning and wanted to give all the money she'd saved to us. read the whole story here. blown away!

we hired a team to survey the land and we prayed they'd find the best location to drill there on our compound close to our home. and as God would have it, THEY DID! just steps from our front door! we wrote in the wet cement "bringing Living Water to the thirsty." so many gave and collectively we have been able to provide water for thousands of people from our front yard. but that borehole runs from sunrise to sunset. and it can't serve everyone. so God provided and we drilled another one in 2013!

as I sit here looking through the picture I took today I see so far past what is on my screen. the stories come alive below the surface. the stories of how far we've come. and they bring hope for what's in store.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I named him Christian

4 years and 3 months ago we received a call that our friend's wife had failed to give birth at the nearest clinic and they feared she would not make it to a hospital in the city. we jumped in the van and rushed down the bumpy roads some 6 miles away. it felt like forever. we pulled in and she was laid out in the parking lot writhing in pain. we got her in the van and rushed off to the city.

George turned on his hazard lights, laid on the horn so much I thought it might give out, made his own lane dead in the center of the road, and a drive that was usually well over an hour took like 45 minutes. we still have the crack across the windshield where a rock popped up and hit it that night.

at 3am a little boy was born and later on that morning we went back into the city to pick them from the hospital. I walked out of the ward with him and because he was so light and because George was walking beside me, everyone said as we walked by, "I can't believe she gave birth in a place like this." our friend and his wife had a good laugh. I got to carry him all the way home.

when we reached their home they asked a favor of me. it would be another week or so before he would get his Luganda name but they wanted me to give him his English name. but there was a twist. he had to be named after me. I chose Christian.

today I noticed his sister walk by and I wondered how he might look these days - whether or not I would recognize him. the next set of eyes I locked with I knew. it was him!!! my heart soared! I must have taken a picture of him a few days ago but didn't notice him among the others in that class. and I am glad God chose a special time away from all the other children to show me. He gives the best gifts. praise His name!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

he wasn't supposed to be sitting here

he was a bit shaken that I wanted to come sit so closely to him. we've had lots of problems out of him and his brothers because they used to rather drink and keep their children home from school when we were paying for everything. matter of fact, it's parents like him who made us switch from a one-to-one model where each sponsor has a child to where the money from all sponsors is pooled and we send only the children to school whose parents want to be involved in their children's educations.

he got clean a few years ago and realized he was failing his children. his children were welcomed to come back when school resumed for the new year, if and only if he could fulfill his part of the partnership. each parent has to give something, anything we can use - beans, firewood, maize, etc. - so that they, too, are invested in their child(ren)'s education. despite being a single father, he was doing his part. and he was doing it well.

but then his mother fell sick. they were living with her and she was the one to help look after them when he would be at work. he moved her in with an uncle who lives just a few houses down and when news got around to the girls' mom, whom had already left him, she came for the girls. she does not want them and will bring them back but his brothers took over his mom's house when they heard she had moved out. and they drink. he wants no part of that lifestyle. he is now homeless.

he wasn't supposed to be sitting here. I came to visit with Aminah's maama and he was here visiting. I wanted to hear stories from her about her daughter who is in our choir. I never expected him to be here. he almost got up when I came so close to him. his past is not clean and his future is hopeless. he misses his 2 girls. and it grieves me that, because he is making a positive change in his life, all seems lost for him right now. I left him laughing, after showing him the video of himself falling to the ground while trying to catch the chicken Maama Aminah wanted to give to me. it's a few posts back. I can only offer stories of the love of Jesus. and it breaks my heart but somehow keeps it together at the same time.

Monday, June 29, 2015

loving and being loved right back

we did not reach our goal to have rent paid for tomorrow, one of my eyes is swollen shut, and we got our new shirts in and the inks were not the color I ordered. and you know what? there's not a thing I can do but give it to God. instead of fearing facing the landlord and the possibility of refunding orders from a financial well that has long been dry, I am going to praise God for the day He has given me!

the enemy has already been in my ear for spending my oils paycheck on my flight here. because, you see, he works like that. I usually put most of my check back into the ministry and the enemy hates that but what he hates even worse is for me to pull myself out of postpartum depression and anxiety enough to use it for myself to come see our ministry with a different set of eyes. he hates for God to remind me why He called me here in the first place. he hates to see me hold a girl who almost died in my arms 5 years ago from malnutrition.

he hates that I am interviewing and asking people to share their stories of hopelessness and how God showed Himself to them during those times. he hates that I am doing what I have wanted to do for 5 years - interview them so you hear/read their stories in their own words not some pretty, journalistic view of what I think they must be saying through their photos.

the day started off badly but I listened to our son bring the house down with his sermon on Luke 13:24, whereby he reminded us to strive to enter through the narrow gate. yes, Lord. thank You for that reminder tonight. I had a full day of loving on people and being loved right back. that, brothers and sisters, is the grace of our Lord. goodnight, y'all.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

light broke forth

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard." - Isaiah 58:8


Friday, June 26, 2015

Ekubo Children's Home {fundraiser for rent July - Dec}

yesterday while chatting with our staff at Ekubo Children's Home we were talking about how far we've come. we recalled so many things the Lord has done - one being the time when we were 2 days away from being evicted and God brought in the funds just in time.

and then it hit me. like a ton of bricks. I kept smiling but my brain was screaming, "nooooo!" it's June! how in the world did that happen? we were 2.5 months late with rent and that's why it feels like we JUST paid it. how could I forget that it's due in just a few days? I did not come here to work. I came here to visit. to see how God might refresh my Spirit. to see how God might have me continue.

here's where you come in! we have a lot of catching up to do to pay salaries, buy all the things needed for the children in our care - children like Ghaddafi and Peace and Mercy here with Maama Sofia {their caregiver}. but first, RENT! 6 months has to be paid at a time and it's usually $3600 but because of the exchange rate it is now $3000. could I be so bold as to ask you to help us reach that goal within the next few days? I have some sweet pictures I'm gonna use to update you as the funds come in. let's do this!

update {June 28th}:

update {June 30th}:

update {July 1st}:

update {July 2nd}:

we can't thank you enough for joining us in providing a safe haven for the children in our care! may God bless each and every one of you who have and continue to partner with us to provide them love and support!