Thursday, January 21, 2016

cupcakes for wheels {update}

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!! There was a different honk outside the gate when Daddy got home. What he was driving far exceeded what either of us had thought possible. Since raising the funds, we have been under intense warfare along with some uncharted territory with our children.

We declared that this is 2016 and we are going to go all in this year. With only one vehicle company we trusted, we had no other option on their lot as the newer vans sit too low to even clear the roads in the village and they had to sell the one SUV we wanted because we didn't have enough money at the time to place a hold on it. Their next shipment was this month.

Importing a vehicle sight unseen requires great faith. Of course you don't have to buy what they bring but it means at least 2 more months without a vehicle. With all the warfare I just knew it would show up with body issues or burn marks in the cloth seats or an air conditioner that doesn't work or bad stains in carpet or all the issues we'd seen so far. But we surrendered that to God and opened our hands for what He had for us.

He has seen our struggle for the last 5 years without air conditioning and the last 2.5 years spending many an hour on the side of the road in unsafe places. When we got the call to come pick up our vehicle I had to stay home with the kids because the paperwork took hours. When he saw it the outside looked like what he expected but when he opened the door, he froze. When he drove it off the lot, he called crying. Here you pay for the engine and year model. The price is not based on mileage or "extras".

While we didn't get the newer van I wanted or the other vehicle we liked, God provided above and beyond! We were able to import one with half the mileage, a tire on the back {extra protection with the way people drive here}, a full 3rd seat, and LEATHER for the same price!!!! Matter of fact it was the top of the line! Leather? What a gift I never thought possible on our budget! No more spending hours scrubbing cloth because of the mud and because it's also used as an ambulance {bodily fluids - blech}.

Friends, we have waited a long, long time for this vehicle and although it's a lot easier to look down into the valley once you're standing on the mountaintop, it was sooooo worth the wait to see what God had for us.

We ran out to meet Daddy and this Maama inspected the entire thing. I opened the door and the new car smell rolled out. It's a 2004 model but you can only tell by the steering wheel. I doubt anyone even rode in the passenger seat, 2nd row or 3rd row. The inside is in immaculate condition!

We praised Him and trusted Him in the times when we were on the side of the road and we praised Him while we rode tonight with the air conditioner freezing us out and then we opened the sunroof. A sunroof. The kids were screaming and wanting to stand up in it while we drove. A sunroof. So extravagant but a sweet wink from God that He loves to lavish us with never-dreamed-of-much-less-expected gifts.

God used 183 people/families to bless us with a safe, reliable vehicle for our family and ministry. ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-THREE. We are blown away and we have no adequate words to thank you so we will ask God to bless y'all in an altogether new way for the love and support you have shown. To God be the glory for this outpouring of love and extravagant gift!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

dreaming big dreams for 2016...



her Maama sold her off to a guy that promised to pay her school fees if she married him. all she wanted was to go to school. when he started beating her she ran to the police. they called us and asked if we had room. we did. she came.

her Maama was sent away from home to go make money for her family. she worked at a doctor's home and was raped by his son. when she found out she was pregnant he refused to help and she was chased away from the home. she abandoned her and she was taken to police. they called us and asked if we had room. we did. she came.

their Maama locked them in a room and left them overnight while she went out to bars to drink and do karaoke. almost daily. a neighbor saw this and didn't want to get involved but after months of neglect, she did. the police came and took them to government officials. they called and asked if we had room. we did. they came.

her Maama took her and her brother to government officials because she was dying with AIDS. they also have HIV and she was on her way to the hospital where they told her she would not leave alive. the government officials called us and asked if we had room. we did. they came.

orphaned, abused, neglected, malnourished, abandoned, and/or otherwise vulnerable children are not little souls lost in a sea of statistics. they have faces. names. stories. little hearts that need shepherded. their families are crying out for help. they have been through hell and this is not America where there are services available for them to easily get help. they can't handle life even when they choose to want to make changes. so they dive further into their vices. they are crying out for help and as they cry, these little souls are hanging in the balance.

because of your support in 2015, so many of these families received counseling, the chance to earn a sustainable living and/or a chance to break free from the chains that bound them, and some of these sweet faces are no longer in our foster home but are in their own home.

as we move into 2016 we are dreaming big dreams and being bold. we are asking you to not only pray with us but join us by becoming a monthly sponsor. we need to get serious about our funding so it frees us up to serve to our fullest and also to accept referrals of children without first having to see if we have the funding.

right now Ekubo Children's Home is 15% funded and our rent is due. if God has moved you with what He is doing in and through us, join us!



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.
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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!

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! 



UPDATES: 

Thur, Nov 19th
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.




Nov 21st
"I thote we might reach 100 but neevah thees many!
Only Gode could explain thees." - Ritah


Nov 22nd
In Amaris' ride and with her pacifier, Frank is excited to
announce that they've sailed past 1000 cupcakes.



Nov 23rd
"Way-yah do all these people leeve who ah buying our cupcakes?" Ritah


Nov 25th
I'm the Maama that chooses the funny picture over the perfect one every.single.time. 
Josiah. My goodness. Little dude is too funny.


Nov 28th


Dec 4th


Dec 9th
"I don't have any wahds." - Ritah


Dec 12th


Dec 15th


Dec 23rd


CUPCAKES ARE BEING BOUGHT BY NAMES WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! KEEP SHARING! YOU'RE HELPING US GET THIS IN FRONT OF MORE AND MORE PEOPLE EVERY HOUR!!!
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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?


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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:
facebook.com/EkuboMinistriesUganda
instagram.com/ekubouganda

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

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

refocusing

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.


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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.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Kakooza

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.”

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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:
facebook.com/EkuboMinistriesUganda
instagram.com/ekubouganda







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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.



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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?


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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.


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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


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