A Crayon or A Crown?

crown and crayon

I was in our bedroom the other night and Raelee was in the living room. She called to me and asked me if her crown would melt. I didn’t understand what she meant so she came into our room and I saw a baggy full of water. This was the conversation:

“Why do you have a baggy full of water?”

“I am trying to see if my crown will soak into the water if I leave it long enough”

“What crown?” She comes closer.

“Raelee, that is a craaaay-on not a crown”

“That’s what I said, a crown”

You can’t tell she is from the south!

New Look

I know my blog has a new look but it really hasn’t changed. When I first set it up before moving to Uganda, I knew nothing about having a blog. I read many blogs but setting one up was new. I had set up other pages (Testimony and The New Thing) but have never seen them on my site. I finally figured it out after a year and a half! So it looks a little different, but it’s still the same!



I forgot to mention in my Sunday School post that the second early morning Bible study had three new people come and only two from the previous week that didn’t come back. So in total there was 10 people for the study, which we think is awesome. At the first meeting Christian asked how many people had Bibles and there were only a couple so he told the rest that we would buy Bibles. He told them we had one already in their Lusoga language, but found out that even though they speak Lusoga mostly here in the village, they are not taught to read and write it. The more widespread dialect is Luganda and along with English that is what they are taught in schools. We found that to be strange, not to know how to read and write the language they speak but we want them to be able to read the Bible so we bought ten Luganda Bibles and nine were given out last Sunday. One decided he wanted the Lusoga Bible because he knows how to read Lusoga. There isn’t a lot of difference between Luganda and Lusoga, from what I understand Lusoga is more of a slang version of Luganda. So anyway, we are so excited to see what God is doing, especially the fact that the majority of the ten were men. We don’t have that many men in the regular service so it is very encouraging! They are all muslims and it is encouraging to know they are curious and want to know more about our God. Please be in prayer for them and for Christian on Sunday mornings, but also for the week, that they will hear the words and think about them and study their new Bibles.

Below is a gospel tract in Luganda, the Gospel of John, created by Grace Family Bible Church. I would like to print these to give out to people that I come in contact with so be in prayer that I am able to do this.

For God So Loved the World

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

The Children At Sunday School

Late but better than never! Sunday was a great day, more children came and more answered and asked questions. I realize more and more that some at least are not coming just for the snacks! The older ones especially are taking an interest in the stories and really thinking about what they mean for their own lives. They never fail to make me cry, their hope and happiness is seen in most of their eyes. I have neglected to say in my other posts, although there is a lot of negative, the people of Uganda for the most part are a happy people, always laughing or singing and dancing. There is always wrestling and tussling going on somewhere (and this is in the adult males!) Even though there is distrust, even among themselves, I believe there is hope for them, and why, even though it is not the easiest thing for me, I believe wholeheartedly if we can make a change in the children’s hearts they can affect the future.

This week the cutest, tiniest little girl came to me without outstretched hand to shake and got on her knees, the sign of respect they are taught from birth I think! But when I got down on my knees to shake her hand it threw her for a minute. She looked at me oddly for about a minute and then the biggest smile came over her face. That doesn’t happen to a Ugandan woman, to have another female bow down to them and certainly not for a mazungu to bow to them. (The men don’t do this) Definitely made me cry to see the expression in her face, and my prayer is she understands she is worthy of respect and loved by me but most important I pray that she sees it is the love God through me and that love is for her also.

I love to hear them sing and do the dances that go along with the songs. The happiness and joy they have doing it shows. Even the shy ones are starting to participate, especially when they see me trying to learn. They think that is pretty funny! Even though it really stretches me, I am so thankful I have the opportunity of sharing in their lives. So when Saturday nights come around and I feel anxious, I look at their pictures and know that my just showing up makes all the difference in their lives




I have been under the weather the past few days, stomach flu (not fun!) and now Raelee has it. Doctor says bacterial infection so we are on medication that should make us well in two days! So Christian had to go by himself to visit two farmers, a husband and wife. He is growing and acre and a half – one acre is with us – of peanuts and his wife is growing one acre of beans. (pronounced beanies here! We have beanies and greenies and then there are the minerals which are they tiny dried out minnows they eat in soup. Eew.)

The rains have been good, there have been days in between the heavy rains so it seems most of the crops are doing good. As we drive down our road we see everything growing and looking very healthy. We are very, very thankful for this.

Please keep praying for the crops, but also so important are the prayers that we can teach the farmers to put back seed and money. It is very common for the people to spend all their money in the week or so that they harvest and then have to go three months without. This past week there have been many coming wanting us to pay school fees. It is hard to say no because it is children’s education, but, they have been making it all this time without us so I believe they will keep on making it. Christian is putting the word out that Mandate does not pay school fees, so maybe it will slow down those coming wanting money. When I say it is hard to say no, I sincerely mean heart tugging, compassion and hurt that we can’t help everybody so we have to make the choice that we can only help those who don’t have parents. We are only going to give to the widows. I want to start raising goats so that we can give the widows a goat. Christian and I have given most of our personal money away this month and yet it is not enough. Especially when we know there are many that are lying and cheating us.

We took one of our workers daughter to the clinic for a broken arm. Dr Nelson’s X-ray machine was down so he sent them to another hospital and said it should not be more than 20,000 shillings for the X-ray, don’t let them try and charge more. They charged 25,000 and Christian only had 21,000 and left because they wouldn’t take that. After going outside, he realized how his actions affect everyone around so he asked the father if he had the 4,000 needed. He did. The girl got the cast, and Dr Nelson said that was it until time to remove the cast. We get a call today from our neighbor asking about the cost of the girl’s treatment. Christian explained that we didn’t pay cash except for the X-rays, everything else went on the account we set up at Dr Nelson’s hospital, we pay at the first of the month with our money and money the workers have put in. Our neighbor says he gave 50,000 shillings the day the girl broke her arm because it was at his house and he felt bad. No mention of that when having to pay for the X-rays. Then yesterday the father came back to the neighbor and said he needed 60,000 more for more treatments. The neighbor gave it and then decided to call. So we have learned we will have to communicate so that we don’t all get taken. It is a hard thing to live with so much corruption, but that is the culture, has been for hundreds of years. When there is Godlessness, this is what you get. Americans that are putting God out of everything take note – you have no idea what it is to live where there is no one true God. Our prayers are that people are saved, come to know and follow Christ no matter the cost and see a change in their communities and then the country. I don’t mean to be negative, I am not discouraged – most days! Because I know that God put us here for a reason – we are stubborn and hard headed – and although we don’t understand the reasons or His plan right now, our Faith in Him keeps us going, encourages us and helps us to see the good around us. There are those that are saved, and trying to find the path and purpose that God has for them, and it is difficult in a place that the first Christians gave a very confusing and warped understanding of God. They taught about getting rich, all being healed if you have enough faith. Do you know what this does to peoples perspective of God when those things don’t happen? It makes it very difficult to disciple, but we start at the beginning and try to bring them up, in a place that is contrary to everything the Bible says.

Pray for us, the people and that God’s Holy Spirit break through the darkness that has been upon this country for decades. Pray for more lives to be saved, and pray for the children that come every Sunday to hear the stories about God and God’s people. We had about fifteen more this past Sunday, making around eighty-three. So amazing!

Going Batty

Christian went to get a candy bar out of the “candy drawer” and he said “Come here quick”. There was a tiny bat hiding behind the pringles can. We thought at first it was dead, but then it moved just a tiny bit. Christian put on gloves and took it outside. Creepy to think he was in here! How long has he been here with us? Haha! I will probably have nightmares tonight!


The new Mandate website is up and running. Looks so good, please visit. So much information on what The Mandate is doing and info on the July trip!

http://www.themandate.com/     http://www.themandate.com/events-page/discussing-the-importance-of-vaccines/

You can donate online by credit card and 100% goes to the ministries – not to administrators! It is so important for people to come on board with us and help us to help others. There are so many people here in Uganda that need help. We also support missionaries in other countries, just go to themandate.com.


Sunday School

Sunday didn’t start out well for me. The devil isn’t happy about what has been going on with the children, and now Christian is teaching from the Bible early before the regular service. My interpreter Derek texted me to say he wasn’t coming. It was short notice that Christian would also be preaching the second service so there went my support and photographer. It just seemed nothing was going right. I was crying and decided I wasn’t going to do this anymore. I asked God why it had to be so hard. Next thing I know, Derek arrived and I knew that God was listening to my cries and He wiped my tears. I still didn’t have a photographer until after the story, but that isn’t the most important thing. We had a great time again with the children, they talked about what they learned last week and I have to say I could tell they were really listening last week. I am so very thankful God has sent Derek, he explains things so well to the children, in a way they can understand. He sings and dances and gets the kids involved. I believe God has big plans for him in ministry.

The Bible study Christian did was mostly our workers, which is awesome. They are almost all muslim, in name and upbringing mainly. It was good to see that they have interest, and eight of them said they didn’t have Bibles but would like to have one. The people around us mostly speak Lusoga or English. But the language that is more common is Luganda. We had already bought a few Lusoga Bibles but we found out that the schools do not teach how to read and write in Lusoga. (Doesn’t make much sense!) So they asked for Luganda Bibles, which we found in Jinja and bought. Please pray for these men and women. It is very hard on them when they do come to Christ, some get shunned from the community and have even been chased away. And pray especially for the men. Our regular church services usually only have a couple men besides the two Pastors. So we are really excited that there are more wanting to learn more about Jesus.

I posted on Facebook that we are now the parents of 17 kids! We came here as parents to three kids, but it seems here if you help kids by caring, feeding or paying school fees you become their parents. In one way that is a good thing – I know it is for the kids that don’t have one or both parents, but on the other hand some parents use that to just quit taking care of their kids thinking we will do it! Really we have 7 that we support, feed and send to school 3 of that family. We have Derek that we are trying to keep in school. The others have a mother and we have helped with their education but have had to stop that. It is one thing to help but another to be used. And where we were afraid or didn’t want to say no, we learned that most of the time they have a way other than us. So for now we are sticking to the widows and orphans and some medical for children. Our workers still have their medical fund so that works out great.

Last week was a rough one, this week has started out rough already so please pray for us. For perseverance, for compassion, and for God’s direction and His Will be done. Pray for us to help keep our focus on the One that knows our hearts and has His hand always out to pick us up when we falter. The devil doesn’t win in the end of God’s story and he won’t win here! Sometimes we run, sometimes we stand, but always we have faith in the One that holds us in the palm of His hand and never, NEVER let’s us go!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

1 Corinthians 9:24
[ Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith ] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Hebrews 12:1


Handmade Dolls

Raelee has been busy making little dolls with bananas that didn’t get a chance to grow! The rains and winds often blow the banana trees down. Luckily, each tree will have offshoots at the base called suckers. We have transplanted many suckers to get more banana trees. She uses beans for their heads and flower petals for their little hats. Quite the imagination and creativity!

Dinner At Shafik’s Home

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

We did it, with hope in our hearts that we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves or our host we went to Shafik’s house for dinner. We took along Sharifu to interpret, he is some kind of relative. (I hope to get into relationships in my next post!) It was a nice evening, we arrived at 6 pm and I think dinner was served around 7:30. Sharifu had told me earlier in the day that he told Shafik that mazungus eat dinner around 6, so that was the time set for us to come. There were so many children running around so Raelee went to work on them. I swear she is the Pied Piper, it only takes about five minutes and every child within a mile is following her, obeying her every command. Doesn’t matter what color or nationality or if they even speak the same language! There were goats everywhere, and she spotted a baby right off the bat and had five or six kids running to catch it for her. Now, her holding and babying that goat was hilarious to those kids because they don’t have pets. They have dogs to guard, cats to kill rats and goats to eat. They don’t pet them or baby them. She is considered strange because she babys everything that is even just a little smaller than herself. She even passed up the human baby for the goat! After about ten minutes I was freaked out enough so I made her put it down. It didn’t look all that healthy to me, and I was already a little freaked out at our surroundings, the dirty snotty children and the dinner that was being prepared outside! She put the goat down and within minutes we saw her walk into someone’s house by herself with ten or twelve children egging her on. As I started walking that way she came out of the house with a cat! Jeesh kid, leave the animals alone, you are getting quite the reputation as the crazy mazungu girl! You can see by the picture below the triumphant look on her face and the joy and amusement on the children’s faces!


We didn’t do much talking beforehand, except Shafik trying again to talk us into moving next door to him! His family has many acres of land and he has decided that he doesn’t want us to ever leave Uganda so he wants to give us land and help us build a house. We told him that if ever there came a time that we have to leave it is because God is moving us and we can’t tell God no. He asked if we could say no to moving! He has a very sweet personality, that shows through even though we don’t speak the same language. It is very pretty land all around, but they live right off the highway.

Finally dinner came, by that time it was dark so you know I was more than a little panicky to eat what I couldn’t see! It was very good, I have to say there are good cooks here to make the little they have to work with taste so good. Rice and gravy, matoke (which looks just like a banana and grows on trees that look just like bananas. I get confused all the time!) and chicken. The matoke is baked and then mashed like potatoes. It is very dry and I do not like it. Christian and Raelee eat it so I piled a lot on their plates to make up for my not eating it! I slipped my chicken to Christian and ate the rice and gravy! Free range chickens here are pretty tough and even though I had gotten the breast it was very hard to even pull it off the bone. They had fixed enough food for an army and told us it was all ours. I told them we don’t eat like Ugandans and they laughed. Shafik and Sharifu joined us in eating.

When we were finished eating, Shafik’s father came out to visit. He asked many questions about America and Australia. Not sure about the Australia part but apparently he knows someone who went there and I guess thought the two countries were close. We told him about America but said we don’t know much about Australia. He wanted to know if we had things in common with Uganda and we told him there were a lot of things we have in common. Yes, people farm and have livestock. Then about the weather, Christian told them about hurricanes and they were amazed. He told them how people have to evacuate their homes and the father couldn’t believe it, he wanted to know how you would eat, and did you take your cows and chickens with you when you leave home. We told him no and he was so shocked and wanted to know what happens to the animals. Funny how they look at things and what have the most importance here. If you are blessed to have cows and chickens (like they do) it would be out of the question to leave them behind. Thankfully they don’t have to worry about evacuating because of a hurricane. We did enjoy talking with him and he told us (through Sharifu) that all the work that has been done by Mandate has meant so much to the people in this community. And he added that especially what we (Christian and I) have done since we got here. Then he hit us up on educating ALL the children in the community! I know it’s hard not to be able to send your children to school, the government schools are not good, supposed to be free but they aren’t always. Then there are the private schools (some not much better than gov’t schools) but they cost so much. We told him that is something we pray for but at this time it is too big for Mandate to try to take on. One step at a time! He also asked about getting a bore hole (water well) over there. We told him that we just put one in and it would be about six months before we put another in and the Chairman is the one who decides where it goes. We would put in a suggestion but it was up to him.

All in all it was a good evening, nobody got sick, even the one handling all the germy things! I am thankful to God for watching over us and giving us the courage to go into the awkward and kinda scary situations and talk about all He has done for us.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8