Birthday For A Friend

Wednesday we attended our friend Harria’s 21st Birthday party! It was a great celebration and we had a lot of fun, until I had to get up and say a few words! Always so awkward for me, but wasn’t so bad because Harria is a wonderful girl, loves children and has a great heart. She and her sisters have been great friends and help to us.

They had so much food – I didn’t realize there would be food so I had already eaten which was great for the kids sitting behind me, I kept passing food off of my plate to them. It is hard being guests because we get treated like royalty and everyone else gets what is left. So, I made a lot more friends with the kids I gave my food to! It was a really good day!

Prayers For Elections

0412_Uganda_BreakThe Presidential Elections for Uganda will take place February 18, 2016. Campaigning in Uganda is a far cry to what we are used to in America, truckloads of people yelling and music blaring, with booties shaking off the back, yes, I think I will vote for their candidate! People that are from here, and ones that have lived here for many years say this years elections seem different, more unrest and some violence. They even postponed the start of school term until after the elections which is said to be unheard of.

The current President, Museveni, has been in office for almost 30 years and is campaigning for re-election for another 5 year term. Many people have lost faith, seeing no changes in the healthcare system, there is still unemployment, and peoples’ incomes haven’t changed and the same leadership for so many years, Ugandans don’t see any reason to vote. They don’t feel they are being heard.

I can’t say it is so much different than issues America is facing right now, just thankful that the guy in office there hasn’t been there for 30 years, and grateful that at this point can’t be re-elected for another term. So I ask for prayers for elections here, and I will be praying for America when elections come there.

Christmas Day Fun

The excitement of Christmas day celebration with our boys going for the pennant in the Christmas Day Football Championship! Was a fun time, game ended tied 2-2 and then there was a vote and the opposing team were the champs. I went home thinking our team had one, the way all of our people were celebrating! I think that is as it should be, both teams had great seasons and being able to be in the championship game was exciting for everyone. We had to make two trips going and coming back with the truck full of team members and supporters. After the game, everyone but us went to the village center where celebrations of the holiday went late into the night!

Working On The School

Christian and a crew of our guys have been working at a school, plastering their 3 classroom buildings. With each job, we see the skill level and the confidence level go up with our guys. It really is exciting to see the changes in their outlook and how they are looking at themselves and each other differently. They have started giving us a small amount of their pay each week, we told them we would match what they put in, for medical expenses. They have been amazed at how much is already in the account after just a couple pay periods. Being on the grounds of the school, and seeing some of the older school kids helping on this job, getting experience, I think has caused them to think about their childrens futures, and how they can send their children to school. Please be in prayer with us, that we can help them in saving and setting goals and achieving them in order to have a better life, and to give their children a fighting chance. Most men here don’t have an education, and if they do, it is usually not past the 7th grade. (I’m really not sure that is even equivalent to our 7th grade.)

One of our guys is now working on getting his family a house built, he has been making his own bricks when he is not working. He needs 10,000 bricks total, so far he has 4,000 made. It is very interesting to see how they make them.

The school they are working on is run by The Mandate’s friends, Chad and Terra from Canada. They are a wonderful couple, and we are so thankful to have them in our lives! Terra has been here since she was 18, first with an orphanage, and since then have successfully found family and homes for the children and work with the families to keep them in school. We want to do whatever we can to help them and the children out! And we are excited, they just got their piggery finished so there will be pork! I have to say, it is the nicest “pigpen” I have ever seen!

I am so happy we could help on this project, but I am ready for my husband to be back home with Raelee and I! We aren’t used to him being gone all day everyday, and it has only been two weeks! Hopefully by the end of next week, or beginning of the year they will finish – the holidays will interrupt the timetable!

I Think The Boy Likes Me

I had to walk down our road to meet up with Raelee, and this little boy followed me the entire way, quietly until I would turn around and he would start jammin’ a “song”? to me! I believe he is rapping, but I know he is having fun and really got excited when I started recording. I didn’t get pictures, I was afraid of what moves might come next if we hung around and Raelee doesn’t need any ideas!



*Header photo credit: <a href=””>Mask vector designed by Freepik</a>

Raelee’s Birthday

Raelee had “The best birthday ever” in her words. Many friends came, and each sang happy birthday to her. I told her it was very special because no one brought toys and such, I had explained to her beforehand that it was going to be about celebrating with her, but they all made beautiful, special cards and brought her the things she loves most – flowers! I thought that was awesome! Our friends from Canada brought her Dr. Seuss books from their library and she thought that was cool! Everyone loved the cupcakes – my first go at making cake from scratch and honestly I am glad I won’t have to do that again for another year! 🙂 I am happy she had such a great day and that the entire village didn’t show up. The ones that came were only 30 minutes late!


A Ministry I Support

I wanted to tell you about this ministry, Mercy For Mamas, that I came to know last month. They sponsored a dinner for missionary women to encourage and support all those women who are on the frontlines trying to help a few in a sea of so many in need. Their mission really touched my heart. I want to support them by buying their kits and also using them to help the women around me, with the hopes that in showing love and concern I can tell them about Jesus. Much of the information in this post is taken from their site, and I can attest to the love that is behind this ministry after meeting the woman that started it.


How many women die each year giving birth in Uganda?

  • On average more than 20 women die every day from pregnancy complications. (see)
  • According to UNICEF, 430 women of every 100,000 die from pregnancy or birth complications. That is 33 times the rate in the United States. In a woman’s lifetime, 1 in every 35 will die from a pregnancy/birth complication. And these statistics are estimated to be very low because so many births and deaths do not go reported in Uganda.

How many women have a skilled professional (nurse, trained midwife, doctor) assisting with their birth?

  • Only 41% of women give birth with any medical help.

This is where the Maama Kit comes in.

mama kit

A Mama Kits is an all-in-one kits that contains everything needed to help provide a clean and safe delivery.  In order to give birth in most hospitals or clinics in Uganda, you must purchase all of the necessary supplies and bring them with you.  If you do not have the supplies you will often be turned away.  Many of the women cannot buy the supplies, so they do not seek medical care, which often leads to complications and even death for the mothers and babies.  A simple gift of a $7 kit can allow the women to give birth in a hospital or clinic, or if they must give birth at home they have proper sterile supplies. Research has shown that the gift of a mama kit can greatly reduce the number of women dying during childbirth.

Here are the answers to a few of the most common questions:

What is in a mama kit?

  • Each mama kit contains plastic sheeting, razor blades, cotton wool (gauze pad), soap, gloves, cord ties, and a child health card.  Each kit also includes an instruction sheet in both English and Luganda.  All of the supplies are sealed so that they remain sterile until needed
  • What happens if a woman does not have a mama kit when she goes into labor?
    • If a woman does not have a mama kit when she arrives at a hospital or clinic, she is usually denied help or sent away. Some clinics do offer their own kits for people to purchase, but they cost about $20.

If the women cannot afford a mama kit, how can they afford the hospital?

  • In the major cities in Uganda there are government-operated clinics and hospitals that care for people free of charge, if they can afford to purchase the needed supplies.

The mama kits are purchased from a NGO in Uganda called PACE.  Each kit costs approximately $7.

  • We like the idea of supporting an organization in Uganda and contributing to their economy.  It would not be cost-efficient to make kits in the US and ship them.  Also, some of the supplies required by hospitals are not easily accessible there, like long rolls of cotton wool.

(visit for more info or to donate to them)

We were all given two kits to give out, and I gave one of my kits to Donny Lee to use when he is talking to Churches and groups in America. I am currently raising money to buy these kits to give out to women in our community. It is amazing to me, coming from America where we don’t think about all the little things we take for granted, that such a small amount of money can go so far to saving lives. Just $7 can mean life or death to a woman and baby. My friend went to the hospital here just to visit the labor and delivery ward, and she came back stunned. Dirty, unorganized, and understaffed. A woman gave birth to a tiny baby, and while the mid-wife was out of the room taking the baby to the NICU (such as it was) the lady delivered another baby, a twin, that just fell to the floor, face down. She hadn’t brought another sheet to wrap that baby because she didn’t know she was having twins. The mid-wife came back and rushed that baby to the NICU but because they only had one oxygen tent and there was already another baby in it, both babies died. Another woman died from infection after having a caesarian because they sewed her intestines up when they closed the incision, her baby most likely died because when the mother was brought in she was so sick she hadn’t been breastfeeding and the hospital wouldn’t give the baby formula because the director wasn’t there. It is a different world here, and hard to understand – hard to see it all around. That is why I feel so strongly about this ministry and the kits so that mother’s have a better chance of getting through the delivery.

The other thing I’ve seen that is really on my heart, and I am trying to see what I can do about it, is providing transportation for women wanting to plan their pregnancies with birth control. They get an injection every 3 months for free at the hospital, but don’t always have the funds for transportation there – $1.50. Then there is the calcium and iron they should take which comes to around $6 every three months. That’s a total of $40/year per person, not much for us but most times they can’t even afford the $4 to get to the hospital. And once the cycle of pregnancy and childbirth come, it keeps going, having 4-5 children and more one right after another. It’s the women who does most of the labor here, planting and harvesting, hauling water where there is clean water to haul, building the fires to cook porridge and beans if they are lucky with their crop. And all this while carrying baby on their back and the oldest child with a baby on their back (sometimes only 5 years old) and caring for the other children. Education isn’t free here, even the government schools, such as they are, have fees so when you have 5+ kids, it’s most likely none will go to school. It’s a rough life, and when I found out how little it takes to help them, Christian and I prayed and felt that our tithes each month would go to that and medical expenses for the children of our workers. We have 16 workers (not full time) and only 3 were on birth control by there own choice and money. So now, all the wives are on it and can plan when they want to have children. I would like to be able to extend this to more than our workers and I am praying for God to show me the way to help many, many women. I ask you to pray with me for all the women and children here, that through helping them, I can show them the love that Jesus has for them.

**I felt I should add – Christian and I are here as part of the organization The Mandate, and everything we do represents them. Part of our mission is to find these types of minstry and support them in any way we can. So when I say “I”, that is the “I” that is part of a bigger “Them”! At this time we are currently helping a school we support to finish their classrooms as dictated by the government – a post on that to come! Mandate is behind me on the above ministries and out there helping to raise funds for them. I just want to be clear on that!

**Edited on 12/15/15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               If you would like to donate for either of the above please send to:  The Mandate, P.O. Box 6798, Shreveport, LA 71136. Make checks to “The Mandate”. One hundred percent of your donations go to these ministries. Thank you!

For Granny

I sent an email to my mother-in-law saying I was exhausted by 2 pm from all the dishes, water pouring, mopping, water pouring, bathing, water pouring. I got an email back saying “What in the world is water pouring?” Well, here you go Mother-in-Law.

In the morning I wake up and go outside to get cans of water. 3 gallon cans and 5 gallon cans.  I am so thankful that our day guard pumps water everyday into these cans, sometimes a few times a day so that I don’t have to pump and carry them to the house. I then fill two kettles on the stove and if my thermoses are full, I use them to fill my sinks with water for dishes or cleaning. There can actually be many dishes considering I pretty much cook from scratch three times a day.  We have to fill our bucket we use for flushing. Fill our handwashing station and water that is filtered for drinking every few days. I use 3-4 big buckets to mop the floor, every other day during dry season (usually) and 3-4 times A DAY during rainy season, depending if my two roomates are considerate when coming inside and take their shoes off. The problem is one person doesn’t wear her shoes half the time so I just get muddy footprints.

There is water to be brought in for cooking, for bathing. Heating it a couple to three times a day. It’s a lot. And the first month I would just cry, my back hurt so bad but now I am pretty used to it. Our friend from America brought a shower head that we charge up USB and a pump goes into a bucket of water and “Woohoo” we have a shower. I am probably the most excited because now it is so much easier to wash all that hair on Raelee! Ah, the small luxuries!

So there dear friends, is why usually I take a nap when Raelee does, if there is nobody pounding at my door needing something. Closed doors don’t deter anyone, they will just yell for 20 minutes in the window, just to tell us hi and ask how is here. And I fall into bed about 9 pm every night! Most days are good, and I don’t think about it, but some days I do miss running water but I love our new life and wouldn’t change anything~

I’m Back

Sorry I have been absent for so long. So busy, and so exhausted! I was sick with a head cold and exhaustion over Thanksgiving, I cooked Turkey for 11 people but didn’t get to go to the dinner because that wore me out. Three days after that our friends came and I enjoyed their visit, it was more talking and fellowship than actually doing, and I was still trying to gain my energy back. We were so excited over the boxes that came with supplies for ministry, work, and just things that spoil us! We got many, many dolls that were handmade with love by ladies in our church back home – with a special one just for the girl, the “Raelee” doll. Now I have the task of who, when, where, and how to give them all out! It will be exciting.

We got to talk and make plans for the new year coming. So many exciting projects at first can be overwhelming but we know how much these things will help our community and communities around us. This week Christian has a crew at our Canadian friends’ school finishing out three of their class buildings. They didn’t get home until after 7 pm last night so I told him not to kill them! He said it was them that wanted to finish the room they started. Everyone here in the village are very proud of the guys learning the new skill of plastering, we are very proud of them and pray that as they get more experience and exposure it will lead for more consistent employment elsewhere. Then we will have the task of teaching them to set goals and save toward them.