For The Neglected!

Some days it is easier for me to send photos to Facebook than to make a blog post, I am sorry to those who follow me on here but not FB!

The rains have slowed down but we have had good crops on our property. We planted sunflowers, hay, dandelions, two other kinds of grasses that are good for rabbits. A plant called dodo that people eat like collard greens. We first did test plots – A. Dodo with no fertilizer B. Dodo with rabbit fertilizer and C. Fertilizer all the farmers here use. The dodo that was planted and fertilized with rabbit fertilizer grew, was harvested, planted again before any of the other two plots had gotten six inches tall! We have about an acre planted with various plants that will be fed fresh or dried for pellet food for bulls, goats and rabbits. We should have planted more sunflowers! All parts of the plant is good for the rabbits and seeds will be ground up and put in the pellets.

A solar pump is in the works for the well in back of the property. It will fill tanks for the rabbit house, for the bulls and be used for drip irrigation so that we can grow even through the dry season. It’s been busy around here!

Lawnmowers Rock!

We have five acres of grounds to care for, upkeep is a lot of work. We are thankful for the help we have – three full-time groundskeepers and one that is here for a few months. But now with at least an acre planted with crops it has become too much for them. By the time they make it to the back of the property, the front is already grown up. And weeding the crops has taken up a lot of their time. So we thought instead of hiring some more workers we would buy them lawnmowers! Slashing is how they normally cut grass here and I can’t even watch them do it all day – it seems back breaking to me! No, these mowers don’t have engines but they are thrilled all the same. We were concerned with safety, don’t want anyone to cut their feet off! What would have taken them all day only took about an hour and a half today! There is some that will have to be slashed down a little first, it is too thick, but I’m sure they will have all of the front and part of the backyard finished tomorrow!

It did take them a bit to get going good, and Christian told them that if it seemed to miss any, one could mow behind the other and get the missed parts. After they got the hang of it, it was mowing pretty good but one still followed right behind the other! Oh well, they either figure it out or don’t! They are happy!

Now we pray they take care of them and maybe they will last a little while!

Serving The Least Of These

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

In this video I used pictures I have taken, because this is the world I live in. These are the people and places that I serve. God called us out of the blue to come here and serve as His hands and feet to His children, to bring them to Him. People say they admire us and don’t think they could do what we have done – leave everything behind and go to a place where everything is so different. We are just trying to be obedient to what God has told us to do. We have this calling on our lives.

But what about you? God may never call you to a third world country, but He does call you to serve right where you are. To look outside yourself and around at those you interact with everyday. There are those who are hurting and thirsty for Living Water even when they don’t know it, you can point them to the only One that can heal them and quench their thirst. Sometimes just a kind word can change a heart, lift spirits and turn someone around from the trouble they are headed. YOU can be the love of Jesus in their day or even their life.

Those that are hungry and seek to fill that hunger with the things of this world, with drugs, with everything but God. They need the Word of God to feed them, we as Christ followers are to represent Him and share with them His Word, direct them to the places they can be fed.

Clothe the naked has to do (my opinion) with dignity, how we should treat the “least of these”. The down and out, those who people have put aside, deemed unworthy of respect and help. The homeless that have mental illnesses, the veterans that can’t get work because of the things they have seen in war and the injuries that they got protecting our freedom. “And if not for the grace of God there go I”. There are too many people getting government money for free, but there are also too many one step away from that because they can’t hold things together with their minimum wage jobs that they work hard for. Dignity and respect for others no matter their income level, race, culture, religion or sex.

Visit the sick. Do you know how many people are in nursing homes – both young people who are sick and the elderly –  that have no one that visits them? We’ve been to many nursing homes through the years and it would break my heart to see the lonely and broken-hearted that have no one to comfort them. The same with hospitals. We should visit the sick, whether in those places or our neighbors and co-workers, help others at a time of need. Many church members just expect the Pastor to do all the visiting. I don’t see that in this verse, I believe Jesus was talking to all of us.

We probably have the hardest time with visiting those in prison. I think that before God moved us here this was a calling God placed on me. It’s not the most pleasant thing to do for me, it breaks my heart to see men and women who really never had a chance from the beginning of their lives end up where they are. Of course there are just evil people in prisons but you would be surprised at how many never had a loving family, came from abuse, or just made a stupid split second decision that changed their life forever. When we were involved with prison ministry the men and women connected with us because we understood that God’s Grace is the only reason we are not where they are. You may not have lived a life like Christian and I have so ministering to prisoners may not be your calling. If you have and God changed your life then I urge you to pray about it. If you have skills that could help someone when they get out, give your time for them. If you know of church groups, half way homes or counselors. I believe it is important to not only share the gospel with them but to give them something they can use when they get out to live a better life. “I will pray for you” doesn’t go very far when they walk out the doors with twenty dollars and nowhere to go but back to the life they knew before.

Everyone has a calling on their lives, serving those around us wherever God has placed us. Where you are right now is not an accident, and the people who cross your path are not coincidences. Ask Him today how He would have you be His hands and feet right where you are. As the scripture goes “Bloom where you are planted”.

*The song is Kings & Queens from the same titled CD by Audio Adrenaline

** The video quality may not be the best, I made it a small file and still took two days to load!

National Heroes Day

Today is Uganda National Heroes Day, a day to honor all those who sacrificed themselves to better the lives of the Ugandan people. But there is great debate about who is honored and what constitutes a hero. Many of the heroes officially recognized by the government are fallen soldiers who died during the civil war here in the 1980s. Because the people of Uganda still grieve and carry the painful memories of crimes committed by both sides against the people, there is no widespread agreement as who should be honored.
This might be why I was told it is a day to honor whoever you call your hero. This person said Nelson Mandella was a hero, to which I agree. I think a hero is someone who will sacrifice their life for another, and that is why we have Memorial Day in the States. Jesus is my hero because He sacrificed His life for mine even though I didn’t deserve His love. No one does. I also think those that have been martyred for their faith are heroes, they sacrificed their lives telling of the love Jesus has for everyone if they will only accept Him.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
Just under Jesus is my hero on this earth for He shows me the love of Jesus always, no matter how difficult I may be. He has been my greatest example of Jesus love. He personifies 1 Corinthians 13:4 –
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy;
love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
For the past seventeen years he has taught me so much about the characteristics of Jesus just by the way he lives his life. And has helped my faith to grow everyday. He is one gift I will be eternally grateful for.
Who is your hero?

We had a good day Sunday, there were more visitors to Bible study with Christian, three women. We believe that class is growing because God is getting ready to do new things with our Sundays! We are praying it grows into a service but are waiting on God’s timing on how to do that. In this muslim culture, men are not used to worshipping with women and when we first got here there were no men in the church services. They also have a hard time with having singing with the Word of God. So we wait on God to grow this small group while teaching them His Word. The new women that came asked Christian to pray with them and also asked if he could get them bibles.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

I had a bigger than usual older class and am very excited and encouraged about it. Not only were there more older children there, even the newcomers participated! We are learning all about the Bible, including memorization of the books of the Bible. When they have memorized the books they will receive their very own Bible. There was a lot of excitement among them and I am glad. I believe the ones that really want to learn more about God will work hard to get one and will appreciate and take care of it. My prayer is all of them get one!

We also have a new addition to our Sunday School service, Isaiah. He is living here in the village and working for us and with us. At least until November, for six months he travels with a ministry we met, the founders of it are from Alaska. They go to villages all over Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and more for six months doing children’s ministry. They stay for about a week doing a school, I guess it would be comparable to our vacation Bible school in the States. We are happy to have him, a very sweet and quiet young man. He has jumped right in to helping out wherever he sees a need, whether he is asked or not. I have a feeling I will be sad when he has to leave! We are thankful that we have been given the opportunity to look out for him while the rest of his team is off doing other things. He came to Christ a few years ago and his family disowned him and chased him out of his village. He really has no family to go home to when their time of travel and ministry is over for the year so we were asked if we could look out for him and put him to work – they would pay his salary but they care so much for him that they didn’t want to leave him to fend for himself. He says we are a blessing to him but already he is becoming the blessing to us!

Hope you all have a blessed week, pray for us as we try and get our car situation sorted out! We have so much work here to do and have to travel back and forth to Kampala at least once this week (in a wrecked car).

Uganda Martyrs’ Day

cross-2279433_1280Saturday was Uganda Martyrs’ Day and celebrations are held June 3 every year at the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine in Namugongo, Kampala. This day is a public holiday, which brings millions of people from near and far to make pilgrimage to this Holy Land. Over the past couple weeks we noticed groups of people walking along side the road carrying belongings and water, we saw many as we traveled to and from Kampala last weekend. People young and old come all the way from other countries in Africa – Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and more. They walk miles and miles, for days and weeks, to honor those who sacrificed and shed their blood in the name of Jesus Christ. Celebrations begin on May 25 in many places, especially in towns where some of the martyrs were from with the final celebration and mass on June 3 at the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine. We’ve seen the grounds where the monument and museum are and would like to go there one day.

There were forty-five converts to Christianity that were murdered between 1885-1887, among them the first missionaries to Uganda. There is an interesting story about the martyrs and the king who had them killed here:

I am thankful this country’s leaders are open to Christianity and that those who follow Christ are not put to death, but we still pray for all the people here that come from muslim families that come to follow Christ and denounce the faith their culture and family live by. The ones that are thrown out of homes and villages just because they accept Christ as their Savior. They sacrifice all they have always known for their faith. We are praying for our neighbor who has come in private a few times to talk to Christian about God, Jesus and the Bible, he doesn’t come to Bible study and we believe it may be because his family are devout muslims. It is a hard thing to go against everything your family and friends believe in so please pray for this man and for Christian to have the wisdom and words to say to him to help him understand the love Christ has for him. For all of us.

New Fruit

We found out we have an unusual fruit tree out front. Funny after almost two years we are just now finding out about it! It is called soursop and grows on the graviola tree. They are not all heart shaped though! It is delicious but I can’t really explain what it tastes like. Kinda like a mango and kinda like a peach. Maybe that’s why no one has told us about it! It is in the very front corner of our property (now at the corner of the mill) and is not a place we go to. We will now! The tree is about ten foot tall, I think we should trim it so we don’t have to have someone climb up to get our fruit!