Salima has been teaching our six children so they won’t fall behind. She has started teaching in our big building. The government also has classes on TV twice a day according to their grade levels that they watch at her home. We are proud she has taken this on by herself. We don’t know yet how schooling will be handled once quarantine is over since children have missed pretty much an entire term. And they also have Bible class. The girls were telling me so many scriptures and stories in the Bible today. Salima brought them to clean the apartments next door – she usually cleans once a month so it doesn’t get overrun by spider webs. She said they need to learn how to clean!
Thursday was two of our girls birthdays. They are sisters five years apart but share the same date! Their older brother and sister share a same birthday also. It was the first day we have seen them since we quarantined almost two months ago so it was a joy to see them. We got to visit for a few minutes but it was the highlight of the last two months! They are both (along with their sisters) are the sweetest girls, always joyful and have a huge love for Jesus and for their community. And us! They bring us joy but Salima is such a great and close friend to me. I think I might have been the happiest to see her!
Resurrection Day Part 3
Happy Easter to everyone! I know Easter this year is different for everyone but have loved seeing different ways people are celebrating in the states! Here is the third part of our Resurrection Day story!
Resurrection Day Part Two
If you haven’t watched part one please go back and watch! We were able to record and upload today so we will be back Sunday with the rest of the story. Love that Raelee took over this time and I really didn’t need to read the scriptures because she pretty much explained them!
And a PS – the cat had 4 babies in between! So no meowing in this one. It did take us four times because I kept saying the wrong words and we would get tickled. Then we would have to wait on our camera man to stop laughing!
I have to compress the videos and upload to YouTube- it still took 2 hours! So I hope the link works and you can see the videos!
Resurrection Day Part One
Raelee and I decided to record for you the story behind why we celebrate Resurrection Day (Easter). We’ve done it in three parts to try and get them uploaded by Sunday. (Please ignore the cat, she is in labor right now and a little freaked out, we apologize! – we recorded three times and she was worse in the other two!)
Peace I Bring To You
I am thankful that our embassy here has been working with the Ugandan government and airlines – as the airport is closed – to be able to keep bringing in an empty plane to take Americans that want to go back. (There have also been planes taking foreigners to other countries) comments are so rude about Americans either being stupid or “deserters “.
We foreigners have had to make tough decisions when we left our home countries in the first place. We knew we would have to prioritize what we could fly across the world for. Think about that. Prioritize what would be of the utmost importance in going back. Whose sickness or death do we have to choose? Because it’s costly, both financially and emotionally. We know there will be sicknesses, emergencies, fears and troubles our families and friends will go through and we can’t be there for them. We’ve had to count the costs and we had to put it in Gods hands. And He has blessed us and shielded us.
It was not an easy decision to stay here when the virus started. We did pray about it. My parents, sister, son are all in the high risk categories. The other son lives in California. My mother in law works in a nursing home. We cannot live by “what if’s “ because we would be out of our minds with worry – all the time. We have to lift all of them to God – He can do what we can’t.
The Americans that are leaving I’m sure at this point is because of necessity, because maybe their parents or family have nobody else. Maybe they don’t have the faith we have and the assurance we are where we are supposed to be. We don’t have blind faith, we know what the possibilities we could face are. Some may just be panicking but the ones that are saying they are stupid or deserting are with their families in their own country and can’t comprehend what it is like.
Right now we are already getting calls and texts from people who are not in any different situation than they were already but are taking advantage and asking for this asking for that. Yesterday we went out of our way to help the workers by paying them early and paying in cash because we were concerned when transportation was shut down they wouldn’t be able to get to the bank. Or the banks might be shut down by payday. I know I’m not perfect, I know I make mistakes but I am 99% sure as I was counting each workers pay and putting it into an envelope for them I counted three times. Yet we had one (new) worker who has already started to show some problems come back and say I only gave him half. I don’t believe it but I can’t prove it. So next time we will make them all open them in front of us. We gave one worker his and his wife’s in separate envelopes and said make sure she gets hers, it’s not for you. This morning she came to wash and asked Jenifer why she didn’t get paid. Went through the whole conversation we had with her husband and she said “Oh, I just thought that was a gift”. They know. But because they usually get paid on the fifth I don’t doubt on the fifth some will probably try and use the same excuse. “Oh, we thought that was a gift” even though I thought I was very clear I was paying them early and in cash because things are changing day by day and We wanted to make sure they are able to get what they need. And there are some that are truly in need now but we cannot help. Especially when we try to help our community first and we can’t even help all of them.
It is especially important right now for everyone everywhere to turn to God. The panic and the worry will just make things worse. You can worry about a thousand things and nine hundred and ninety nine times out of the thousand won’t come about. Or more times than not the things that do happen aren’t even on your worry list.
We aren’t perfect in anyway when it comes to our Spiritual walk. We make mistakes. We take our eyes off God and start worrying about what “we” should be doing what “we” want to do. We’ve had to learn hard lessons when we didn’t first pray about it. We’ve gone on vacations because we wanted to and nearly died. I’ve looked at my husband at times and said “did you pray before we did this because I didn’t”.
I’ve written in my calendar the timeline of this virus as best as it’s been publicized and I saw that when we were wanting to go on a break – when we were so frustrated and wanted to get away that I reserved hotels and when I tried to buy the plane tickets something (the Holy Spirit) would stop me. The day after I came the closest to buying the tickets Kimuli fell from the tree and would have died if we weren’t here. But i saw it was also at the time the airport here shut down flights coming in and putting travelers under quarantine for 14 days in hotels at the personal cost of $100/day. God was protecting us.
We admitted last week we were looking at too many things lately through our own eyes and our life has been off kilter. So we made the decision to be more intentional in our spiritual life and as soon as we did that and fear left us, frustrations were less, anger was less the above problems started cropping up. That’s what the devil does. Don’t stop. Know it will happen. Keep driving and praying through it. Don’t give up and despair. That’s what the devil wants.
For now we aren’t facing what many around the world are facing. The president of Uganda started in the very beginning of February putting in place many things to protect the country and has been making changes as things progress. There are 44 cases, all in and around the capital and all traced back to the two planes that came in from Dubai two days before they shut the airport down. (Which by the way is where we would have changed planes coming or going) Half the cases came from ones in the mandatory 14 day quarantine in hotels. The others weren’t from high risk countries so they were only put on twelve day home quarantine. They believe they have tracked them all down now and are watching their communities carefully. There is no transportation- hasn’t been public transport for about two weeks now and keeps getting extended. Private cars were allowed to be on the road until people started taking advantage and using them as taxis. The President stopped that. He is trying to keep movement around the country to only emergencies to keep the spread down.
But we do face concern about families and friends. And the people around us. And having discernment as to what to do here.
I know it often sound like just something we say when we say Pray about it or “I’m praying for you”. It shouldn’t be taken lightly or said if you aren’t actually seeking God. If you aren’t seeking God in everything then who or what are you praying to? It’s an everyday, all day living and talking with God.
Matthew 6:33 says – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
He never said it would be easy. He never said we wouldn’t face sickness and tears and sorrow but when we seek Him and know there will be a day when we don’t have to face these things then we can find peace.
We are sincerely praying for the world – through this God is calling everyone to come to Him. He’s shaking the world to turn from their wicked ways and todays world is full of wickedness. He’s not the cause of this but He is the answer.
We are praying for those who don’t know Him to seek Him and He WILL find you. He’s there already. Waiting on you. We are praying for the faithful, stay strong, keep your focus on Him for peace and comfort. But it’s up to you, He doesn’t force anything on us.
I read this post to my husband before I posted – I usually don’t. He can read my blog or not! He said it was good and he felt fine to post. He warned me because I lay my heart open and talk openly about challenges that there will be people who may comment negatively. Be prepared for that. I know this and I haven’t ever had negative comments but it’s why I post on my private life blog and not always on FB. I see many people that only comment to instigate hatred and controversy. If you’ve read any of my posts I believe you will see my faith. And if you don’t agree you are welcome not to follow me. I respect your opinions but it doesn’t mean we should tear others down. Just move on.
We love you and you are all on our hearts always.
Saturday we got to visit our kids at school. We haven’t seen them since the end of January. They are all doing so well and we had a great day. The youngest is Elisa and he is a character. We’ve been caring for them since he was just a baby. He keeps us laughing! They get excited because we bring lunch, goodies, and pocket money for the canteen! I want to commend the school for taking precautions, before we could enter school grounds we had to get out of the car and wash our hands.
The oldest, Phiona will be leaving primary school at the end of the year and we have to make decisions about where she will go next. She has struggled all through school and is now 17 and is in what we would consider about the seventh/eighth grade. Secondary school is tough and we don’t think she’d do well so she is thinking about going to tailoring school instead. She wants to be a clothing designer. And luckily we have already put Takia through tailoring school so she could be a great mentor to her and she won’t be far away. It is going to be very hard either way for her to leave her siblings because she has been mother to them for the past five years since their mother died. We were encouraged that their father had started to come around but were just told he married his third wife and left. He left the second wife with them (here on the village) and she doesn’t like them. When they are home for holidays she cooks her own food and the girls have to prepare food for the six of them. Pray with us about Phionas future and the decisions we will have to help her make.
For once I am not just behind the camera!
As it is harder to make blog posts there is sometimes more stories on FB. You can follow us on The Mandate Uganda on Facebook.
A little joy for your day!
“Baby Christian” is growing up! He has the funniest personality. He’s been Raelee’s little man since he was born and hangs out at our house just about everyday. He’s been in Sunday School since he was a couple months old and he sings songs all the time. And loves to dance. Here he is showing off his moves!
I get a lot of entertainment when we go to serve lunch. Three boys try to imitate how we talk. It’s hard to hear because of the laughter. But they crack me up!
Hope you have had a wonderful Sunday, a day of rest and a day to worship and praise our Lord!
We had an off day I guess you would say. Chris said the people in his bible study seemed like maybe they weren’t getting what he was saying. I told him not to worry about it, they were hearing God’s word and God says it will accomplish what he sent it out for. THEN I went to teach Sunday School and at the end of the story of the angel coming to Mary I asked a few questions and all I got was blank stares! There were over thirty little ones – under three, so it was loud, babies crying, Ms Betty moving them around. She is constantly moving kids from one place to another. And the older kids that were there I haven’t seen before and I think they were just there for food. They were rude to me as they left – didn’t even acknowledge when I said goodbye. But I had those words echoing in my mind that I had just said to Chris about his class! (Thank you God. Haha!) Some days are like that!
This week Raelee has been painting nails. I would say the women’s’ nails but I have seen a few guys around with green and blue pinky nails! She asked this morning if she could paint her friends nails and I said it was okay. About an hour later I walk outside and see women sitting at the picnic table. This is usually a sign someone has a problem and needs (or wants) something! They will sit there, watch us pass by doing this and that, and as soon as we go in or start on something – that is when they come! But as I got closer I saw that they were all painting their nails. Apparently Raelee had tired of it and she was in the barn helping her daddy! I had to run to keep from getting my nails glittered! The women had a ball doing each others nails, I think next time we go to Kampala we should get more polish! It seems the uglier the colors the more they like it! To each his own!
And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:4