Wednesday, April 30, 2014

To make Him known

This post is a little late but better late than never.


It was by far the best day that I have ever had in Uganda.  I saw what all of the struggles, the fighting, the difficulties were for and felt absolute, pure joy.

Our church decided that there was no better way to celebrate Jesus rising from the dead than with a baptism.  Who could disagree with that???

On our way home from church on Easter, two of the boys asked if we were going to the baptism because they wanted to be baptized! 

Thank you Jesus! 

When we got home and told some of the other boys were we were going, 2 others said they were ready and wanted to take that step also. 

Thank you Jesus!

So we celebrated Easter by praising and worshiping the Risen King and watching 4 of our boys give their lives to  Jesus.  The pure joy I felt that day was amazing.  This is what it is all for and made every single struggle worth it.  As I stood praising God for His goodness, faithfulness and bringing these boys into my life, I felt Him say to me, "This is what you are doing here.  I died for you.  I brought you here.  I brought you these boys.  Can't you manage anything for another moment like this?  Isn't it all worth it to make Me known?"

"Yes, yes it is."

Me and Dunkan  He is one of the boys that got baptized

me and Sylvester  He made the choice also

Getting set up for worship.  The church rented the swimming pool at Makerere University

me and John
Ronald being baptized

Sylvester getting ready


Happy Easter friends!  He is risen today, tomorrow and always!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Summertime is quickly approaching

With summer quickly approaching, the time of mission trips and summer camps are going to be here before we know it.  Maybe your little league team needs new uniforms or your kid's band class is taking a trip somewhere to perform.  Whatever the need, we can help you raise the support that you need. 

Our paper bead jewelry helps us to feed our boys, while giving a woman in the slums a fair wage for her work.  We are offering the chance to use our jewelry as a way to fund raise for whatever event you may have.  We are reducing the price of our long multicolor necklaces to just $8 a piece when you order 50-99 necklaces.  You can then sell each necklace for between $15-20.  If you order 100-150, we will reduce to $7.50 a piece and if you order over 150, we will reduce to $7 a piece. 

Or you can order coil bracelets, which are one of our best sellers.  Everyone LOVES them!!  If you order 50-99,  we will reduce the price to $6.50 per piece and you can sell them for $10-12 each.  If you order 100-149 we will reduce to $6 per bracelet.  If you order more than 150, we will reduce to $5.50 a piece.

 You can also order earrings.  If you order between 50-99 pairs, we will reduce the price to $3.50 a pair and you can sell them for $5-8.  If you order more than 100 pairs, we will reduce to $3 a pair.

Want a mix of the different jewelry?  No problem.  Just use the price for the pieces you order even if it is a mix.  For example, if you order 25 necklaces and 25 bracelets, the necklaces are $8 and the bracelets are $6.50.  Are you interested?  Email Amanda at for more info and to place an order. 

These are some of the faces you will be helping by choosing the jewelry as a way to support your cause.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The lessons of Malaria

As I mentioned in my last post, things have gotten worse around here lately.  Having my things stolen is one way to really get me and make me hate Uganda, but the other is my health.  It is exhausting being sick here.  Monday morning I woke up to wake the boys up for school and was fine.  I was awake for maybe 30 minutes and then all of a sudden, like someone flipped a switch, I was dying.  My whole body hurt, I felt like I was 500 years old as all of my joints hurt and I had no energy, and my head was exploding with the worst headache I have ever felt.  I knew immediately that it was malaria.

So I mustered up all of the energy I could to walk to the clinic.  Sure enough, they tested my blood and it wasn't just malaria but severe malaria.  They gave me an injection and told me to come back 2 more times for more and then I would have to take pills.  Yesterday goes on the list of worst days of my life.  I felt like I was dying all day and was waiting for my head to explode at any moment.  It was excruciating and torture.  I have never been in more pain in my life.  It left me to contemplate why no one has figured out how to eradicate malaria here.  They did it in the US, why not here?  I never understood how bad it really was until I had it.  Even as I type this, I have a slight headache and no energy.  There is no reason, on this earth, for there to still be malaria.  It has to be a terrible way to die and so many people die from it every year.  It is senseless and ridiculous.  Yesterday was torture.  I can't imagine having to continue with life as normal when you have it.  At least I was able to stay in bed and do nothing.  Most Ugandans still have to work, take care of kids, cook, etc.  There is no day off for them.  I don't know they manage.  Laying down was even too much work for me.

Anyway, once again in the midst of my torture God showed up.  There's a certain boy that I have a really long history with.  He knows I love him but he always tests me.  This usually ends up in epic battles that leave us arguing for a long time.  He knows I would do anything for him but somehow he doesn't always believe it.  He has been disappointed too many times and probably thinks I will do the same.  I reassure and reassure him, but it is never enough. 

When I got home from the clinic, he came into my room to check on me.  When he saw that I wasn't doing so good, he sat on the floor and held my hand as I tried to sleep.  He was so cute and sympathetic.  He put his head on my bed and just sat there for a long time.  When he finally spoke, he was so worried about me and I think he thought I was going to die and leave him. 

The speech that came next, could have been a death bed speech.  It was worthy of an Oscar and could have been in any Hollywood movie, but I meant every word and thanks be to Jesus that I live another day and it is really going to come true.  He was worried that since I was so sick, I was never going to recover and there would be no one to take care of him or the other boys or fight for them.  I told him that I loved him more than anything and would do anything for him.  I promised him that God wouldn't take me away from him because it was God that brought us together.  I told him that God knew how much we needed each other, so He couldn't separate us now.  I told him that everything would be fine and I will always fight for him no matter what.  Even if I don't have the strength, I knew God will give me His.  I told him that he was going to have a great life and that I was sorry that life has sucked so far for him, so much so that he can't believe it will be different now.  But I promised him it would.  I told him that I knew he was going to grow up and be a great lawyer that fights against injustice and stands up for people that are persecuted.  I told him that I knew he was going to find a girl that makes him so happy and he would be a great father and I would love his kids just like I love him because they are his.  I told him that we would sit around the dinner table when I am 80, laughing and telling his kids stories about how he used to drive me crazy.  He laughed at the thought and maybe he started to believe it.

He isn't usually a mushy kid.  I know he loves me, but he isn't one to show it so much.  But yesterday, he was vulnerable.  He showed me his fear and his worries.  I worry the same thing too.  If something happens to me, what will happen to these kids?  I've been here for him for almost 3 years now.  The one constant in his life.  The same for the others.  And the thought of losing me was too much.  It sent his world crashing down on him.  Today I am better and out of bed and we are all happy again.  But the memory of yesterday is still with us.  It is difficult for these kids to believe that they have a future.  Life hasn't worked out at all for them up to this point and they all believe that I will just be one more person that leaves.  All of the promises in the world aren't enough to make them see the future I see.  But one day, the future will be here and I will still be with them and they will see that I kept all of my promises.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

There's always hope

I think something big is about to happen over here.  It seems that left and right bad things are happening.  That could only mean that someone is trying to break me and make me give up.   Things haven't been super easy around here lately but someone is stepping up their game and trying to get me where he knows it will hurt.  Jokes on him though because God is bigger and always uses even the worst to bring Him glory.

There is one boy in particular that lately I have been feeling like maybe there is no hope.  It is one bad choice and heart break after another lately with him.  I have been feeling like maybe it is too late and too many bad things have happened and all of the love in the world can't fix him.  Every day is like an epic battle to do even the smallest things.  It is just bad and I am at a loss as to what more to do for him.

Saturday, when I was on my way to a women's group for church my wallet and phone were stolen in the taxi.  The conductor distracted me by making the door open while the man next to me got in my purse.  I didn't realize what happened until I was out of the taxi and by then it was too late to get the plate number or do anything.  I went back home trying not to be angry. 

I was walking with one of the boys to get the taxi and on the way I was explaining why a lady that we know needed to be back in the US for a while.  I was trying to make him understand that while there were people here that she loved and would miss a lot, she still needed to be back in a place where she could simply live life and fit in.  I told him that it is exhausting living in a culture that isn't your own and everyone always paying attention to you and wanting something from you.  Even me, when I am done with Uganda and feel like I need out, it is because of the constant pressure and asking for help and being taken advantage of.  There comes a time when it is too much and I just want to live life where people won't notice me or expect anything of me.

So when my wallet and phone were stolen, I was really sad and trying hard not to hate life and be bitter.  When I got home, the boys were just as angry as me and one of them went to the police to file a report.   But the police don't work for justice here, they work for who can pay the most and seeing as how my wallet was stolen, there was no money to pay.  I felt like I was robbed all over again.

Saturday night, I was sitting in my room and 2 boys came in, the one that I mentioned before and another one.   I saw hope that I haven't seen in a long time.  I saw God working His magic and making a bad situation good.  He knew that I was sad about my things being stolen so he used his own money to buy me cake and soda. 

It seems simple, but I haven't seen that boy in a really long time.  The boy that I fell in love with and wanted to give up everything so he could have a future.  We have struggled so much lately.  So much.  But in a bad situation, I saw hope.  I saw the boy that I knew, that I have been missing.  I was reminded once again of why I chose him and that everything will be fine.   God is so good.  Even when I feel like all is lost and things are never going to get better, He shows up and proves me wrong.

God is good, all the time.
All the time, God is good.