Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I started this almost 2 weeks ago but am just now getting around to finishing it...

Yesterday, I went to a church craft sale to sell jewelry.  It is a smaller, local church.  I didn't know anyone that went there, but saw the sign asking for vendors.  I have been selling the jewelry at the Farmer's Market but I worry that if I am there every week, eventually it will become a waste of time to be there.
So I went to this church yesterday not knowing what to expect.  What I found was very friendly people.  Everyone talked to me, welcomed me, and the lady in charge went way above.  She was very friendly and treated me like we were old friends. 

The sale was supposed to last only one day, but since the sale was kind of slow, they told us we could leave our things set up and return after the services on Sunday.  I decided to check out their service and then be there to sell.

Service started at 9 and there were maybe 100 people.  The pastor told a story from his childhood about the dinner table.  He told us how the table was a covenant of love.  That when you sat at the table at his grandma's you were considered family, no matter what had happened earlier in the day.  There was no discipline or angry words at the table, only love.  He compared it to the table where we take communion, where there is only love and we are all family.  It was a simple but very powerful comparison.

After service, everyone talked with each other and knew each other.  I had forgotten what it was like to attend a church where everyone knows everyone.  People know you and when you aren't there, they miss you and wonder what is wrong.  There is also accountability.  It is impossible to sneak in late, not go, or sneak out after service in a hurry. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my church.  I love the messages.  I love the worship. But if I don't go, no one notices, no one knows me.  It is impossible to know everyone.  I didn't have a problem with that until today...

I remembered what it felt like to be part of a church family instead of a nameless face in the crowd.  To have people that know you personally and care what you are doing or going through.  They have really opened my eyes and have started to make me question what church is supposed to be.  More and more, I am starting to think that church was intended to be a family and with this church, I think it is possible...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."  John 14:14

If you ask any of the boys what John 14:14 says, they know.  They believe it with their whole heart and recite it often.  For me, sometimes I forget.  I don't know why, but I do.  

Lately, I have been feeling stressed and worrying.  The time that I wanted to spend in the US is coming to an end and I feel like I have accomplished nothing.  I don't have any sponsors and without sponsors, I can't return, the boys can't get off the streets.  And so I have been stressed and doubting.  Stupid I know...

Sunday, I decided that I was going to put it back in God's hands, where it should have been all along.  I decided that this week I was going to fast and ask for guidance.  And like always, God heard and answered.

I know God loves these boys more than I ever could and wants them off the streets way more than I do.  So I am putting my faith back where it should have been all along.

I hope you will pray with me...

God, I know you love these boys way more than I do and Your heart breaks with each night they spend on the streets .  I ask that you provide a way, that you would put people in my path that have a heart for these kids and want to see them off the streets.  I pray that you would provide all the resources that are needed to bring these kids into a home, so they will never have to spend another night on the streets.  I pray that I will be back in Uganda by Christmas so the kids can receive the best Christmas gifts ever, a home and a family.  I ask these things in Your name.  Amen.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Future Plans

As most of you know, I am planning on returning to Uganda in December.  What you may not know is why or what I plan on doing.

The why:

When I left for Uganda almost a year ago, I was supposed to stay for only a year.  The plan was to check it out and return after the year for school.  I didn't know what I would find in Uganda and I questioned if I would like it.  At first, I didn't.  Everything was so different and took a lot of getting used to.  What made the transition easier was the 16 boys I was living with.  They were so excited to have me there and welcomed me immediately.  After a while, I started to see the house as my home.  Then I started getting involved with the street kids.  After that, there was no going back.  I looked forward to Wednesdays and spending time with them.  Soon we started having programs 5 times a week, but I ended up there 7.   I found a reason to go see the kids everyday and it was really difficult to leave at the end of each day.  Before I knew it, working with the boys was all I did. 

I soon became close with several boys, at the house and on the streets, and I began to wonder how I could leave and never see them again.  How I could just walk away, like I never loved them.  I started to wonder why I was going to waste another 5 years of my life in school to do something good in the world, when I was doing something good now.

It was in those questions that I started to doubt returning to the US at the end of the year.  What also contributed was everyone that I talked to from home told me how happy I looked in all of my photos.  When I stopped to think and listen to what God was telling me, I discovered that I was where He wanted me all along.  I was happier than ever and finally felt joy.  I realized, very event leading up to that point, God put in place to make sure I made it to Uganda and stayed.

The what:

1.  Open a home for street kids.  The kids I feel called to are older boys, 12-16.  The older a boy becomes, the harder it is for him to go back to school and get chosen for a home.  Just like in the US, when a family is looking to adopt or foster, usually the younger kids are chosen first.  Same thing in Uganda.  It doesn't help that the longer a boy is on the streets, the harder it is for them to get off.  Living on the streets, the kids are their own boss; no one tells them what to do or when to do it.  They develop a sense of freedom and independence that is hard to let go of unless they really want to.  All of the kids that I am closest to are in that age group.  I know that they will take a lot of work and a lot of patience but I know that it is worth it.  They deserve a chance and I want to give it to them.

2.  Outreach within the community.  We work in a slum.  Everyone is in a terrible situation and needing of help.  When we come in and only pay special attention to the street kids and send the other kids away, it is no surprise that it furthers the resentment and dislike some people feel for street kids.  I want to have a day once or twice a month where the community kids can come for a snack, watch a movie, hear about Jesus, and play fun games.  I think that this will go a long way to helping build community relations.

3.  Start a women's program.  I plan to do this by starting a small group, 5 women, and teaching them a craft.  I am thinking weaving because they can make baskets, place mats, purses, etc.  The program would last for a set period of time (6 months) and they would be paid well above market value for their items.  They would keep a portion of their money to provide for their families and the rest would go into a forced savings account.  During the 6 months, the ladies will also receive business training, English classes, counseling, and Bible studies.  It is the goal at the end of the 6 months, they will have enough money saved to use for capital and enough knowledge gained to start their own business.  If the first group is successful, the program will be replicated every 6 months, eventually increasing the number of the women.

Yesterday, I was trying to put together a 5 year plan.  I think it is important to know my goals and objectives for my ministry in Uganda, so I know what I am working towards.   As I was writing, I kept wondering is this even possible?  But I kept writing.  If it is God's plan for me, I know He will provide a way.  All morning today, I keep thinking, the problem with asking God for the impossible is sometimes we get it.  Right now, everything seems like an impossibility, but with Him, I know it's not.

If you want to help with any of these projects, email me at and I will give you more information as to how you can!

Thanks for the continued prayers and support.






Emma washing dishes after programs

playing football at programs

playing football