Knicker Washin’ Day

Washing knickers is Raelee’s job, one she enjoys doing! (That’s good because I don’t!) We were getting cans of water and Jenifer commented on the cans that were full, she has been filling them in the day. I told her Raelee was washing and she said that was so good, the Ugandan girls are taught early to wash, cook and clean. I’m not sure what they think we do in America, if I start doing work outside everyone wants to do it for me. I sometimes have to wait until the gates are locked to work in peace! I guess they think we are all spoiled, which to an extent we are with dishwashers, washing machines, running water! I told her that we have raised all of our kids to do all things. I didn’t want our sons to find a wife just because they couldn’t wash their own clothes and I don’t want our daughter to find a husband because she can’t put oil or change a tire on the car!

There have been no boys hanging out wanting lunch money so we haven’t had our water cans filled as much, Raelee has been pumping and I carry them in. I have had to stop some of the guys from helping her – I try to explain that it doesn’t hurt her to work. It’s funny that this impresses them when there are 4-6 year old girls here pumping every day! I don’t like being set apart as not having to do work, there is no reason she and I can’t do some of it. They say the other “Americans” didn’t make their kids do any work and I tell them I can’t speak to what anyone else does or doesn’t do, we just feel we aren’t above working hard or sharing the work and don’t want Raelee to grow up feeling like someone else should do everything for her.

English lesson for the day:

Because the British settled here, there are many cultural things that are still influenced by the Brits, but not the same! There are “scones” but they are not like the English scones, they are like our dinner rolls. Fish and chips, some are real battered fish and chips but sometimes it is just regular fried fish and fries called fish and chips. There is tea and biscuits, all cookies are called biscuits. Glucose biscuits to be exact. And tea consists of one dip of the tea bag into the water, five or six tablespoons sugar per cup and a splash of milk. That is if they use black tea like we do, there is a mix of spices some people use as tea that has nutmeg and cinnamon and a few other spices but no “tea” in it. (I use this with pumpkin squash to make pumpkin bread.) So it is basically milky sugar-water! Gasoline is called petrol. I don’t know if this is “British/English” but they call the baton a batoon, beauty salon a saloon. A thermos is a flask. And I’m sure you know what knickers are! 🙂 So added to learning Lusoga, we have to interpret English words as well!

This Week

Another week has flown by, still busy everyday with workers plastering the Church building, tending rabbits and keeping the grounds looking good. We had a small crew working on the Government Clinic here in the village, the administrator there came to us in November with her list just before Mike came. Last year we put solar in the maternity ward and mid-wives dorm, plus lights along the walk way so the mid-wives can see at night. Because they had solar they were certified, given more money and are able to participate in a program for the pregnant women. This year the request ranged from running water, a refrigerator and new counters for their lab. What was approved was the counters! The lady didn’t quite believe Christian when he told her we don’t even have running water. And if we purchase or give them our old refrigerator we would then be expected to up the clinics solar system because the one they have won’t run it. Electricity is slowly being put in the village so maybe soon they will have it. Our crew put in concrete counters a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting for them to dry. The administrator wanted granite counter tops. Don’t we all? Haha! Ceramic tile is everywhere here so we told them to pick what they want, but they decided on Terrazzo. Jennifer brought samples and the guy who will do it, it sounds like it will be nice. If he does a good job we may have him do my kitchen. The concrete on my countertops was mixed with too much sand so it has made it very hard to clean, very sandy. So I tried an oil based stain on it, it turned out very pretty. It looked like dark wood but on the sandiest parts of the counter it has peeled off in big layers. We’ve been talking about tiling it so we will wait and see how the clinic comes out. He says he will be done Monday or Tuesday. We’ll see if it is done on time!

We are on guard number two – Nelson Mandela, or Nelson Pantello if you ask Raelee! Today is his second day and we are very happy with him so far. We were worried because his company decided to move him here in the village. Two things can happen – he can make friends with people in the village and we are concerned then we would have what we had before – too much leniency with people coming on the grounds. Or two, he may not be happy about being moved an hour away to a village. Finding out he does not speak the same language as most of the village now we are more worried he will feel all alone! They said he speaks English. Speaking a few words and understanding English are two entirely different things! He says he has been with this company five years and seems to be professional. I wouldn’t want the job – it’s pretty boring and without speaking the language he is pretty much alone. We had just got up this morning about 7:15 and heard someone knocking on the door. It was Jennifer, a group of our guys were at the gate trying to leave with tin and Nelson wouldn’t let them out until we said they could go with it. We have four guys working on a temporary wood  building at the school across the road from us and yesterday Nelson saw Christian supervising when they left with tin for the roof yet he wouldn’t let them leave this morning without an okay. Woohoo! That’s what we want! I don’t think the workers were too thrilled about it but that’s okay. Later our neighbor who is a tailor tried to come in to deliver one of our boys’ school pants and Nelson made him wait at the gate until he called Christian on the radio. (Another plus – he actually can use the walkie-talkie!) So we are very pleased with him so far – remember it’s only the second day! Both yesterday and today Christian gave him lunch money and told him just lock it up and go with the guys but he won’t. We are going to check and see if someone brings him lunch back. I don’t know if he doesn’t want to leave the property because he is on duty or if it is too awkward because he doesn’t know anyone.  We will just keep praying it all works out and he is happy with his job!

We have to go to Kampala again to get the title for the tipper truck. Praying we get the title this time! It would be nice if we could make it there and back the same day, and sometimes staying isn’t bad either. But we have been there and back and in hotels too much in the past month so we are ready to take a break from the driving back and forth. It’s only about 120 miles away but it takes three hours minimum to get there and has taken four to five hours before, it can really be a nightmare. It is just too dangerous for us to be out after dark, even in our town. We will be visiting the two supermarkets that had all the good stuff to see if they have any more. You can’t ever tell if they will have the same thing twice!

The kids all went back to school this week. We got our three kids new backpacks, shoes and uniforms, they were too excited! They didn’t get backpacks last year. It cost a little over $20/each for those. For the year tuition is around $120 total for all three, a little higher than last year since Fiona is in the seventh grade. Next year is high school and we are not sure what we will do then. There was a parent/teacher meeting yesterday for seventh graders and because we had already talked to the teachers about the subject of the meeting, we didn’t go. When Fiona came to get us for the meeting we told her that she should go get her father and tell him we said he should be there. By the look on Fiona’s face she either didn’t want to do that or knew he wouldn’t come. Probably a little of both. We don’t know yet if he went or if he is even around anymore. We try to find out what goes on at their home but no one tells the truth so it is pretty hard to know. I do know those kids are so much happier than when we met them. Even the baby, who is close to two now, looks healthier and smiles when he comes.

Raelee was pretty sad yesterday being all alone, I told her she could go to school with Zula and the rest of her friends. She debated and then declined. She would like a uniform though and thinks it would be nice to visit the school every now and then! I told her that’s not how it works. She would not last very long there, even if the novelty wore off with the kids, they go from 7:30-5:00. Too long in my opinion, especially in the tiny hot classrooms packed in tight with kids and only porridge at lunch. That is why we are helping them out with the new building, they have too many seventh graders this year and not enough room. Plus, Zula wanders over here whenever he feels like it, so I know she would ask to go to the bathroom and either come home or wander over to Jennifer’s house next door to the school!


Dates: August 5-13, 2017

The Mandate will be taking a group to the village of Busowobi, Uganda to work with our missionaries in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people there.  We will be doing Bible clubs for the children, witnessing to the youth and adults, building desks for a small school, and other ministry projects.  Some of the ministries we do will depend on the gifts and abilities of those who go.

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.”  The disciples declared in Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.

The Great Commission was not given only to The Mandate, but to every church, every believer and every denominational entity.  The Mandate’s desire is to enable and empower God’s people for kingdom growth to the ends of the earth.  We want Christians to experience God’s passion for all the peoples of the earth to know and praise Him. He has a passion to be exalted among the nations, Uganda included.  Should not God’s passion be ours as well?  We want you to come alongside us to share His love with the people in Busowobi, Uganda.

You can apply and get all the information by clicking on the “Resources” button under “Trips” on The Mandate website –

Costs:  $500 Base Price + Airline Ticket

(The Mandate will get the best price available at the time of purchase.)


March 1, 2017              Application, Copy of Passport and Non-refundable Deposit Due

April 5, 2017                Payment Due

May 3, 2017                 Payment Due / Medical Forms Due

June 7, 2017                Payment Due

August 5-13, 2017       Trip Dates

He Is With Us

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

To live in fear is a terrible thing. I have always been pretty fearless, it’s only by God’s Grace I am still alive and not in prison. (Considering if I went to prison I would definitely be dead – fearlessness + no filter = not good characteristics for prison life!) I very rarely worry, I KNOW I am not in control of anything so spending my time worrying and making myself sick is useless, it won’t change anything. And most things we worry about never happen – it’s the unexpected you have to worry about! Haha! But for some reason I let fear get it’s grips on me the past month, and finally had to confront it. Sometimes God has to press down hard on me to get me to look up. I am just sorry I made the two who love me miserable along with me.

Fear of what is happening in the States; fear for my family and friends there; fear of what will happen to us if Christian was to get very sick and/or die; fear of failing Raelee. Fear that we are not doing enough witnessing to the people around us. Fear of failing the mission God has for us here. Once that snowball got rolling it just got bigger and bigger. God’s word says in Isaiah 41:10:

 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

Fear. One of the enemy’s most popular weapons that he uses against us. Worry, anxiety, fear…it can overwhelm us, drag us into the mire of sin, control every action and every thought we have. It starts to cover everything around us in darkness. I believe it is at times of breakthrough, of hope starting to shine in the darkness  that the enemy fears most and does his best to blind us, distract us. Or times when the world around us is chaotic; sickness, disease and death hit close to us and the devil uses those times to bring us down, make us feel hopeless and helpless.

The answer to my fear – and to anyone’s fear is reading God’s love letter to us, remembering the scriptures He put there for just times like these. I didn’t even get out of bed yesterday until I had listened to music with headphones for a couple of hours and through the words of the songs God spoke to my heart and I spoke to His. He reminded me how much He loves me, He held out His hand to pull me up and out of that pit of fear. He told me He is with me and He is ready to strengthen me if only I will look up. It’s just like when Raelee is frightened and I tell her over and over “Look at me, I am here”.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7

Fear Not. There are choices I have decided to make to keep the enemy and his weapon of fear and anxiety away. I choose to look up. I choose to guard my heart and my mind, I will not look first at the news, at social media as soon as I wake and less everyday. I choose to do more to lighten the load my husband carries. I choose to find ways to parent Raelee with less frustration on both our parts. We are both “outside the box” people – just on different sides of the same box! I choose to fill my mind and my house with music that lifts God and our hearts. I choose God first in the mornings and last at night; and all the time in between I choose to look up. I choose to fill my mind with His truths so that there is no room for lies and darkness. I choose to pray first and pray more. I choose to remember that the One who breathed life into me is in control of everything, that nothing catches Him off guard.

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

“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”   Isaiah 43:1

There are many, many more scriptures that talk about fear, anxiety and worry. I believe there are so many because God knows everything we face, He knows the enemy’s schemes and weapons against us and mostly He knows the only way we can stay strong and be courageous it to keep our focus on Him – to look up.

And never fear for He is with us.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”  Luke 12:22-26


Dates:  May 27-June 4, 2017

The Mandate will be taking a medical mission trip to Uganda this coming year.  We will be offering medical clinics in the village of Busowobi; at Our Village School, outside of Iganga, and in the surrounding community.  We need medical doctors, dentists, eye doctors, nurses and others who want to share God’s heart by showing love and compassion to the people with the skills God has given them.  Those who are not medical personnel will help with triage, pharmacy, sharing the gospel, playing with children, etc.

Awaken to God’s heart that all people may know and worship Him.  May God awaken a desire in you to be on mission with Him.  He will provide the power, the resources, and the direction. (Acts 1:8, John 15:16-17)

All the forms and information for the trip can be found in the resource section of The Mandate website under trips. Pray about taking part with us in this ministry trip.  The people who live in the areas we will be doing clinics in do not have the means to get good medical care.  You can make a difference in their physical and spiritual health. Come join with us to reach this people group in Uganda.

Costs:  $500 Base Price + Airline Ticket

(The Mandate will get the best price available at the time of purchase.)


February 20, 2017                          Application, Copy of Passport, & Non-refundable Deposit Due

March 1, 2017                                  Payment Due

April 5, 2017                                    Payment Due / Medical Forms Due

May 27-June 4, 2017                      Trip Dates

Give Smiles!

PLEASE HELP!!!! On Christmas Day we gave out soccer balls to our group of faithful kids in Sunday School. New Years Day over 300 kids attended thinking we would be giving something out. All of these kids have little to nothing so it is a big deal to get something. And even knowing this is why many will come, it gives both the opportunity to tell them how much Jesus loves them but also the opportunity to keep some of then coming. We have enough older kids coming now that we can separate the older from all the babies…it gets out of hand with all those under four! And parents have commented they see changes in their children’s attitudes since attending every week. Praise God! The past few weeks I have been teaching and using experiments to get the message across and this has gone over very well.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  — Proverbs 22:6

Easter is our next holiday and its an important one as far as witnessing. I know there will be many, many children come.  My faith and hope for this community and this country is in the children. We already see changes in attitude about some cultural values in the twenty-somethings. I believe that the children coming up can bring great changes both spiritually and morally. So, that all being said, I will now plead for your help and to be quite honest will be greatly disappointed if we don’t reach our goal. Our plan is to have breakfast and tell the story of Jesus great love for us all, how He died and rose again just to show that love. I have a comic tract in three languages and candy to give. My prayer is they take it home and share with family. I also would like to include a leather bracelet made by a man here who is willing to make 600 of them for $1 each. ONE DOLLAR to bring more joy than you can imagine to children who have nothing. So by the end of this month (February) I need to raise $600 so he can get started and have them ready by Easter. Please, please go to and donate. You can donate to the general fund by credit/debit card or by check. One hundred percent of all donations go to our missions. We are also raising money for Bibles, I would love to be able to put a small Bible in every child’s hands!

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. — Mark 10:13-16

(The above photo is one of the bracelets he has made, we haven’t yet decided what we will put on the bracelets.)