Thursday, July 31, 2014

Well my feet are dirty.

Well my feet are dirty. Covered in the red dirt from the sweet village of Zirobwe.

 It has been an incredible week. It really feels like coming home.

Many of the children did not even recognize me- many mzungus come and go and they are constantly having people come in and out of their lives. Shortly after a few giggle and whispers. They began cheering for Muwala Wamusumba!!!!

When we got settled we immediately went out into the homes to do “new skills” a program where we get the opportunity to connect with an individual family and teach them English skills. The family that I was with didn’t even know how to write their name or the ABC’s. While we were teaching I was playing with some of my kiddos and I had a runny nose so I went to wipe it with my arm and there was blood everywhere! It must have been the change in elevation. I took care of it.

It is amazing how many words in Luganda have come back to me, I feel like I am going to pick up on it pretty quickly or at least I hope so!

We did A LOT of manual labor this week. Which is good…and bad. Wednesday some people woke up at 6am to commit the day to the Lord and just watch the sun rise. Breakfast was at seven and we had bread and tea to start our day.

Day one of manual labor we mowed the lawn with slashers. They are long hockey like sticks that you swing and cut the grass with. Let me just say it is harder than it sounds.

In the afternoon we had person ministry time. This was my opportunity to spend time with my families and just enjoy their company. So I IMMEDIATLEY visited my sweet village family and gave Dora (my sponsored kiddo) a few gifts from America- including a #Ugandashan t shirt. She loved it and it was so fun just to spend time with them. Then we walked down to Mama Franks house and she greeted up and hugged me so much. Earlier Frank had come to the church and said that she didn’t believe that I was back. She had the kids bring out two chairs for Christine and I-and had us sit down to chat. She came to the chairs and kneeled in front of us and greeted us again and kept saying that she was so happy and that she loved us so much. She also asked why I never bring pictures of my family to her. She wants to be able to show people that come to her home that she has a daughter since she never gave birth to a daughter. I assured her that I would bring her a picture. She also refused us to leave until we ate some of her VERY LOCAL cooked food. It was very hard to eat because it was one of my least favorite foods in Uganda, and also a staple food.

We made our way down to mama Sundays house (She is the one who called me several times while I was in America) She was so happy to see me. It was kind of that stereotypical moment in a movie when you haven’t seen each other in a long time and you run to each other for a big hug! That is how it felt.  The people in Zirobwe are so loving and kind. She gifted me with some fresh cows milk.

Everyone that I saw told me how beautiful I had become- and how BIG I was! In Uganda it is positive to be fat. Kind of a weird concept to get used to but they were not shy in telling me I had gained a few pounds since I left! I laugh it off now.

In the evening we had a campfire for our devotion time and it was a beautiful time of praise and worship. We also had popcorn, bbq beef, and corn on the cob. It was a good night indeed. We played the piano and drum and then heard a testimony from one of the Ugandan volunteers.

We have devotions every morning and every evening and I think the one that stood out to me the most was the one this morning. Portia (UK who is doing our finances) shared Romans 8 and talked about who we are in Christ. She had us pair off into small groups and read through it and talk to one another about what we got from it. There is so much truth in that scripture about who we are in Christ. The part that stood out to me most was when it talks about the spirit dwelling within us and how we don’t know what to pray for without the incline from the spirit. It just is such a great reminder that we can’t do this on our own we have to rely on Christ.

All of the children are in exams this week so we would only see them while they were on their breaks, it made it really hard to spend time with them because they needed to study! After exams they have holiday for some weeks and some of the kids said they will teach me Luganda. I will let you know how that goes.

I am so excited to be back and excited to see all the programs that have been implemented in the last months that I have been gone, there is so much good going on! I cannot wait to see how I get to fit into this crazy life here.

I have so much I could say, but I am going to leave it at that. For now. J

Monday, July 28, 2014

Uganda Day 1

Oh Africa! The place I love to be. Is it possible to miss something so much and then when you reach the destination it is like you were never gone?

Well that is me. Right now.

Sometimes I wonder why God chose me to come this far when it very well could be any one of you.

There truly is no better place to be. When I landed in Uganda I was in seat 16a so I was so excited because I thought I was going to be out super fast. Our plane was delayed due to a faulty seatbelt. Not the best news I had heard. The entire flight I thought what if it was my seat belt. J

                Christine my closest friend here greeted me out in the arrival area along with Luke (that boy who had the heart valve surgery in Sudan), Patrick, and our current Mzungu communications coordinator-Cassie. It was dark and quiet when I arrived at the compound, we lugged all of my suitcases to my room and I didn’t even open them I just left them there and sat in the living room for a while to let everyone know I had arrived- shortly after my head the pillow I was out! When I woke up this morning I stared at the same bunk I slept in the first night I was ever in Uganda. Which was pretty cool. I was greeted by familiar faces and introduced to new MST’s from all over we have a handful of girls coming and going right now.

Your perspective and mindset really have to change when you come back to a place like this. I am really trying not to relate EVERYTIHNG back to “when I was here…” statements. I am excited that things have changed and there is so much for me to learn coming back into Empower A Child. Like I said before though it feels like I never left.

Today is a public holiday in Uganda.  Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan). All of Uganda celebrates this holiday. Muslim or not.  I unpacked most of my things today. Trying to hide some snacks away in the luggage that I am putting away that way when I find them several months down the road it will be like an early Christmas. I feel so organized this time around. Lots of containers and boxes to keep my things together in one place I am really excited about that. It really is the small things in life.

The weather…. It is HOT today. 73* but I am roasting. It is kind of cloudy and earlier the rain came through. I love the rain here. It pours and pours so hard and it all happens so fast. It rushes through and then the sun shines again. So strange, DEFINITLEY… not like Port Orchard.

I took a walk to Tusky’s (the local grocery) and picked up some things and exchange some of my money. A laundry basin, water jug, and a few of my favorite candies from.

                We are headed to the village Tuesday through Thursday this week. I cannot wait to see my kids and families out there. My heart is full.

This evening we lead a womens bible study for the women who are from the local brothel and we had four women here. One of the MST's who is here right now really spear headed this new outreach for women who are involved in prostitution. We get an opportunity once a week to speak God's truth into their lives. What a cool impact we can have. I am really excited about this new program and excited to see how God uses it in my own life. :)

Thank you for your support and following me on this journey I am so excited to see what God has in store for me.

Prayer requests: To be able to seek God first in times of frustration, to be flexible in all and every situation, be a part of EAC without holding anything back.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I seriously am at a loss of words at the moment. I have so much I want to say and I don't know how to put it into a correct sentence. I cannot believe I am down to the last week before I head off to Uganda. At this time in one week I will be sitting in an airport terminal heading to London! And then to my favorite place. :)

As many of you know tomorrow (Sunday the 20th) is my last sunday before I leave for two years. I have a couple things for ya! If you would still like a t-shirt I will have the box with me and you will be able to purchase them tomorrow $25. I would love for all of you who do have a shirt to wear yours tomorrow so we can take a group picture in between services before I head off. Also I will have my address for you set to go- so you can send me letters or packages or stickers. I love stickers. so do the kids.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive through this whole journey and I cant wait to see hoe God is going to use me not only in Uganda but in the lives of those who are here at home.

I have a busy week this week. I am working everyday. Today, is the day I gut my room so I will be spending every moment I can trying to get things packed up and ready to go.

PLEASE be praying for my time. That I will be patient through this process and I will remember to hug everyone I can while I am here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

T- Minus 19 days

I cannot believe I am just few weeks out from heading back to Uganda. God is so good. It is weird to start winding down with the bajillion jobs I have. I am headed to Mt. Baker with the kids next week to be a camp counselor  and then I will only have one week after that! It is so surreal still. I have been collecting things- Here is a list of things for those of you who have expressed interest in donating items towards my trip. If these things are just lying around and you aren't using it anymore I would love to take it off of your hands!
List for Uganda Shan: updated 7/10/2014
snacks: dried fruit
External Hard drive- to back up photos & files 
Sewing needles

I was able to join my cousin in Everett to feed the homeless and share with some of the people of my plans to travel back to Uganda. It is amazing to be able to help out with people from all over the world who are struggling not just overseas but in my backyard! It was convicting to me that I need to be also reaching out to those that are closer to home. I now have 3 pen pals all young girls who are interested in knowing more about what is going on in Uganda. I LOVE that I get to encourage young ladies to be seeking after Gods plan for their lives. It is one of the most rewarding places to be. Thanks for thinking of me- I am beyond blessed when I think of how good you have been to me. I would not be able to be following after not only Gods leading in my life but fulfilling one of my biggest dreams. working hands on in a village that I consider family. God is doing big things for me and you. :)