Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back "Home"

We are home! And yet we left part of ourselves behind in each place we went.Our return flights home were very uneventful-just walking past rows and rows of people still sitting and waiting.We know different ones who have waited 10 days for flights home.
When you arrive back home there is always the thinking it over,the questions , the pondering and the absolute awe of our Lord and His work around the world.And the nights of readjusting your inner clock-which is why I am up at 3 a.m!
Our last few days in Kisumu,Kenya with Steve and Dianne Warn were busy from morning to night.We have always looked forward to reading their newsletter but seeing their ministry firsthand gives a whole new appreciation for it.They have a drop-in center and home for street boys. What this actually means is they are involved with these boys from morning to night. These boys can be as young as 8 years old and living on their own.Agape provides a place to come,play ball, eat, wash your clothes, have someone to talk to and hear about Jesus. There is always some one sick, someone who needs to talk about their life,help with school work,etc.Tracy spent a lot of his time playing basketball and sharing the Word.I got the job of mending-these boys would strip down a lot of times to their underwear while I tried to sew their one set of clothes back together.They would have pants that were 4 sizes too big and I tried to make them fit.There is such a sweetness and fun spirit to many of these boys but yet they have seen much.Glue-sniffing is such a problem here. It helps with the hunger and feeling warm at night.There is certain days and hours for certain things at the center but yet it is beyond full time as they try to meet the many needs. There is some great young men (3 Kenyans and 1 American) who help out also. There is also a school connected when they move on in the program.So pray for Steves- they are impacting their world for Christ.
We were able to spend some time in fellowship with Steves.We went to Lake Victoria and ate whole talapia,went to church, spent evenings in Bible Study,and Diane and I even helped a young mother go through labor and delivery!A long story but God's grace shown through once again.
Our trip is officially over but yet will live on.We are just struck by the faith and dedication of so many people doing so much in the kingdom of God.We met people from Australia, Britain, America, Germany ,and many other places just spending their days doing often times menial and unrewarding tasks(by the world's standards) for the benefit of others and just being obedient to His call.
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,to which also you were called in one body,and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed ,do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:15-17.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We are on the way

Here we go-We found out we can leave so PRAISE THE LORD!but pray for all the people still stranded.I feel a little guilty!So pray for us and see everyone soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pray for us

Here we are -once again in the land of the unknown and uncertainty!Amazing how often our Lord brings us here.We are in Kisumu with Steve and Dianne Warn not knowing when we will arrive home! The power of God as in a volcano has disrupted man's plans all over the world!So we are calling, e-mailing,checking web sites, and hearing many different stories.We might be able to go to Nairobi but not London or London but not S.F. so...we are trying to wait patiently!There are many people with urgent travel needs,sleeping in airports,and having no information so...we cannot complain.But we are very travel weary and ready to be home. So we are in need of His patience and His peace because we don't have much of our own!

Friday, April 16, 2010


It's been a day of hurry and wait,lost bags,overweight charges that because of a computer glitch were dropped,bumpy bumpy landing through the fog(trying not to think about the Polish plane) and sitting in airports! But we are looking forward to our small retreat with Steve and Dianne Warn in Kisumu ,Kenya. Because of the volcanic ash we would not be able to fly on our original plans anyway. So here we are!
The good-byes were said and we traveled to Kigali,Rwanda.Once again the stark reality of the genocide was very apparent.This is the time of year they commemorate it.Many groups from America,etc were there. Charles and a friend Richard took us to a beautiful lake. Then he told us the story of his niece who had lived there.She was 6 years old and watched her parents and 3 siblings taken away.She escaped with her brother only to watch him killed with a machete.She then traveled and hid with people she did not know.They traveled hundreds of miles to the Congo on foot where Charles found her 2 years later and then raised her.Everyone in Rwanda has a story and a lot won't talk about it. They are trying to move on.Only by God's grace....
Please pray for us.We are a little travel weary and ready to see everyone at home!But the opportunities and experiences will be pondered for a long time!

Monday, April 12, 2010

God Be With You Til We Meet Again

We have experienced the farewell service at Kabale Trinity College many times now.There is always many skits,songs about us,dancing, and singing "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" in Rushika and English. You would think that it would become old hat.But..everytime our hearts are torn in two and the tears flow!We find ourselves with two homes on opposite continents and at the same time not ever quite at home on this earth!This last Sunday was our last chapel service and we were blessed to witness 24 young students come forward and accept Christ.A young minister Dr. Timothy and Tracy shared the service.We have spent the last 2 days talking to many students,telling many of our friends at the shops and in town good-bye,hanging out with the teachers, and looking forward to seeing everyone at home!We see so many people in both places with such a sincere desire to serve God in a very self-sacrificing way.
Today we are to go to Akanajuka and have a workshop with their staff.Then dinner with Joab's and more good-byes to Brian,our friends on the White Horse Staff and others.Tomorrow-Kigali.Friday -Kisumu, Kenya with Steve and Dianne Warn.We are very much looking forward to fellowshipping with them. So we do desire your prayers as we move on in Him!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Land of Contrasts

Everyday you are hit with the contrasts in Africa. The frustrations are always there-the power going off-the internet working seldom-driving from one huge pothole to another-going to 4 petrol stations before finding gas for $2 a liter-waiting 2 hours for a well done pizza-many meetings,committees,planning but no organization-everything we own is covered with dirt and has a distinct aroma!But then you are blown away by the smiles, the joy and gratitude and the spiritual eyes we see opened. When we look up at the hills we realize we are in one of the most beautiful places on earth(on this continent anyway!) and people here just accept this as life .So we do ,too!! Just this morning in the office as we were dealing with some things of life-a young girl stopped by to talk.She had lost her parents at age 8 and her grandparents at age 9 so was on her own. She visited Revival Tabernacle and found Jesus.She said-everything was taken from me so I could find Him! Wow!
One of the things we have enjoyed this trip is seeing young men and women from years past grow up and become teachers,business people and mothers. Many of the young teachers attended KTC when we first started coming here.We get many questions about Luke, Chad, Todd, and Lewis and also many of the youth that came in 2004. Your impact has not been forgotten!
We helped with a teacher workshop on Monday then the teachers had Lunch at a restaurant within walking distant.This was provided by those at home who helped with our coffee fundraiser.Thanks so much!These teachers heaped their plates and enjoyed every moment! On Tuesday Tracy talked to the young men and I talked to the young girls. Not surprisingly, many of their questions deal with boy-girl relationships! These are strictly forbidden at the school but are still very much on their minds.
After morning classes yesterday we went to visit Jackson and family.After some challenges they had to move back to his home village where his parents live. He commutes to work at the White Horse. Another amazing story of hardship and God's grace!We got to see Jackson,Kate ,Derrik,Tracy and help name the new baby "Alinda Grace".She was born in a vehicle on the way to the hospital on March 6. Then all the relatives showed up to greet us.
Jackson took us high on a hiill to view Rwanda, Congo,Lake Bunyoni , and the volcanos.All this area plays a part in the genocide history of Rwanda.The troops were often stationed here.
Our time here is winding down-one more week.Just as at home we have experienced times of confirmation and purpose and times of questioning.And just as at home-our God has carried us through and shown His light in every situation! Praise Him!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Have a Blessed Easter!

" That I may know Him and the power off His resurrection"-This our prayer for everyone worldwide today.
This was to be a day of great worship and celebration.We were to attend a joyous church celebration with Joab and Connie, then have dinner at Lake Bunyoni with them to celebrate our 34th anniversary.Instead we had a quiet morning of wrestling with various stomach ailments.Must have had a bad burrito somewhere!In all our trips to Africa this is the first time this has happened so we are grateful.Joab,Connie,Joanna, and Tracy all went to the lake this afternoon so-Here I am!I am feeling much better now after several naps.
We have been very busy these last few days.Tracy has been teaching 2 classes a day usually in Christian Religious Eduation and We usually spend much of the day attending student fellowships,watching football games of the students,visiting with the teachers, and meeting friends for dinner.We attended a 5 hour Good Friday service where the students had a part,then a 5 hour wedding reception for Wycliffe and bride.We attended with Vian and his girlfriend Evelyn.Very interesting!And as it was all in their native tongue-Rikuga-very long!Then a great supper and discussion with Vian and Evelyn.
To all my friends on facebook-thanks for your messages!For some reason I am not able to respond on facebook.The internet must be weak or something!Susanna-we finally saw Edith yesterday!I had never known that Olivia the teacher was her sister.She is doing well and sends her love.
Tomorrow is a teacher workshop and luncheon.Then we will spend part of Tuesday with Brian(one of our students)School resumes on Wednesday.
Blessings to all at home.We are having an amazing time but will be glad to put our feet on U.S. soil!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy April Fool's Day!

We are alive and well in Uganda.On April Fool's day I pray we all may be considered fools for the gospels sake.In the last week the power here is off more than on and the phone lines also.So internet time can be few and far between.I was posting the last batch of pictures when it went so there is more to come. And It just went so am trusting batter power.
Every time I think I have been down the bumpiest dirt road in Africa-Guess what!We traveled to Kinunga Tuesday.This is where Geralds parents live.Gerald lives in our area and attends Stan State. We traveled 3 hours to the Bwindi impenetrable Forest.This is where they trek gorillas.The forest is so dense and thick you can not believe.We did not trek gorillas as it is $500 US.We stayed in The Silverback Lodge at the very top of the mountain.This is a 4 star resort that Geralds dad is involved in.The view is incredible.Then Geralds parents and his sister Ester took us around Kinunga and to their home and to see a coffee project he is involved with.We had the best time with them.Very gracious and hospitable. Then the bumpy teeth jarring ride back.And today back to work!We were actually missing the students and teachers.We break tomorrow for 4 days for Easter.Good Friday service at All Saints Anglican,spending time with Vian and his fiancee ,Easter at KTC chapel,our 34th anniversary, teacher workshop on Monday-thats our weekend!Blessings on all!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Morning

It is a beautiful Saturday morning in Uganda.Tracy is riding with Joab to return his father to his home near Mbarara and then on to see the school farm and irrigation project. After finishing my housework which consists of cleaning up a 10x12 room with no cupboards or closets and washing out lightweight clothing,I am enjoying a day in town relaxing and shopping.
We have had an interesting week.The school has experienced fist-fights, lock-down due to theft,and a down to the last minute championship football(soccer) game between S2 and S6.This was played on a field with 2 inches of water.So much slipping and sliding.They are normal teenagers with all the problems,emotions and interests as at home.
We met with the sponsored students and they are so appreciative of all who help with their school fees.They tell us they pray daily for you.Thanks from them for all your support.
On Friday we traveled to Kisoro-1 1/2 hrs on paved 1 1/2 unpaved bumpy road. Kisoro is the Uganda side of the mountains and volcanos we saw in Rwanda.It was again breathtakingly beautiful.We met up with Chris' brother (Chris was the KTC headmaster at one time.)We also stopped at a school started by a former teacher.We traveled miles down a muddy rocky road to see a resort on a lake.Of course it was raining and we got stuck!We arrived back at the hotel tired and muddy but enjoyed the day.
We have found out we are very old! Many conversations go like this:
Us:Do you have parents?
Them:No they died.Its ok. They were very old.
Us:How old?
Them:They were in their early fifties.
Us:Do you know we are 56 and 54?
Them:Oh, you are very very old.
AIDS,hard work,disease, and no health care takes it toll here.
We are so blessed to be so old and able to move around here and see God at work.We pray that none of us miss any opportunities to share"Christ and Him crucified".

Monday, March 22, 2010

Our week at Kabale Trinity College

We have been in Kabale for 7 days!We are now considered staff at Kabale Trinity College.We sign in in the morning.We are trying to make them understand -we will eat their food and use their toilets.We just want to blend in(which is a little hard!)We have an office in the Vespry for counselling and studying.We leave the door open and many students stop by to talk.Many subjects come up-dating ,witchcraft,homosexuality,sugar daddies(for school fees) and many others.There is such a big need to know they are accepted and secure in Christ. Many questions begin with"Will I go to hell if I...?"There is 1500 kids at the school and so many needs.
Saturday we traveled to Akanajuka children's home.This is now located a few miles out of town.David and Kathryn Guniea,a young couple from Australia have carried this vision from ground up.They have built 5 homes with one mother and 8 children to each home.Now they are working on a school.Of course the children had to sing and dance for us!Pictures later.We are going back in a couple weeks and Tracy is to do a seminar with the staff.
Sunday we worshipped at the chapel at KTC.It is so amazing to see 2000(with visitors) worshipping and praising the Lord with song and dance!!4 hour chuch service then lunch with the staff.Its fun to reaquaint with friends from years before.The teachers are a young enthusiastic group.They love to talk about the Bible. Peter one of the young teachers has wedded since last year and brought his beautiful bride Sharon.One of the first things he said to us was how much Galations 2 :20 has come to mean in his life this year.Praise God!
This place is so beautiful.Green hills, flowers,and friendly people.And on the flip side the filth and smells in town is overwhelming.We do return to our hillside retreat every evening and try not to feel a little guilty.
This weekend we are to travel to Kisoro, a town up in the hillside around 60 miles away.Then we will go to church with Pastor Johnson Bakashaba on Sunday and visit his home.We never know what will happen next here.We are in our room right now with lightening and thunder and heavy rain so I expect the power to go anytime!God Bless all of you and thanks for your prayers!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Life in Kabale

This will probably be a little rambling as thats where our thoughts are today!We are settling in here to life at the same time realizing we are staying at the nicest place in town and eating the best food.When you drive by the garbage dump and see small children (like 5 or 6 years old)who live on the streets you realize its probably not a big deal the electricity was off so you couldnt dry your hair or you will eat the exact same food for breakfast for a month.God is definitely working on us to get self out of the way!The program changes every day-every hour!Tracy was informed half an hour before classes to talk on service in Uganda society.Joab asked what I wanted to teach and I said nothing spur of the moment!We decided on talking to the girls about women of the Bible but later one of the teachers told me they had changed it to HIV prevention!!Definitely not my field of expertice!!so we do desire your prayers to be flexible.
Kabale is a beautiful area with many friendly people.The town is very filthy.You need to wear shoes at all times and not look down to what you are walking thru.Nothing comes easy here.People are working hard for the food for today.It is often overwhelming but we realize all we can do is what the Lord puts right in front of us.So we do desire your prayers that we will be found in His will.We miss home every day but we do wake up with joy to see what is in store for us that day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pictures of Kabale,Uganda

The White Horse Inn where we stay

Pictures of Rwanda

Coffee in Rwanda is looking good!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Here we are in the Edirisa Coffee Shop in Kabale.We were welcomed by many old friends!!We arrived here yesterday and spent the evening with Joab,Connie,and Joanna.Then today we went to the school to receive our "program".Everything here has a program!Then we went to the teachers room to see many faces we know.Its amazing how quick a year goes and you feel back at home the minute you walk in. We are spending today settling in and obtaining a cell phone etc.Tracy will start teaching Wednesday and we are to report every day as part of the staff.They have not yet decided what program Tracy will be teaching!So...
Our last 2 days in Kigali were very good.We had a Bible Study with some folks we see every year.We talked about suffering ,forgiveness,and rising above.I don't think we sometimes have a clue!These people have lost family members to machetes.And what we consider suffering!Then Sunday we had a great day at the Presbyterian church.French service was led by a Swiss woman missionary and Tracy preached at the English service.
We again had communion there.We met missionaries serving there who knew Dave and Babs Veneman from Modesto. Then telling Charles' family bye we headed for the border.
It was very good to arrive here where we feel so much at home.It is great to communicate in English and to see so many people who are part of our lives.The internet is very slow but I might try some pictures.God Bless and thanks for your prayers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Greetings from Kigali!Thanks for all the prayers!We have had a great trip so far with just a few bumps along the way.In the London airport I checked to see if our camera charger was in and realized the charger and battery were on the kitchen wall!Fortunately we were by an electronics store that sold both for a not so small fee.So far with a europe-UK-usa converters put together we can't get it to charge .So we are in search of a camera shop today.
We arrived in Kigali Thursday morning and checked into the adequate Presbyterian Guest House.We have tried to make them understand one towell is not enough for 2 people!!we went out to the farm with Charles.The coffee Tracy and Charles planted a year ago is doing very well.Of course all the neighbors showed up to watch the muzungas(white folks)!Its very sobering to be in such a beautiful place where so much sorrow happened.This is the place where Charles' family lived before the genocide and where many of them died.He was also in hiding in this area.We meet people whose families were the killers and those whose families were killed.There is still a haunting look in so many eyes.But the children are the hope-they love to laugh and play.
Yesterday we went up to the Gisenyi and Goma area.A long bumpy ride.And once again beautiful.We were in the volcano region very close to where Dian Fossey lived and died.(Gorillas in the Mist)I read a biography of Rosamund Hasley Carr-Land of a Thousand Hills-my life in Rwanda.For all you readers I recommend this!She was an American who lived in Rwanda for 50+ years.We visited her plantation-Mugongo.7800 elevation.It was a flower farm complete with acres of English gardens.It has been Imbabazi Orphanage since the genocide.They invited us in for lunch but we needed to get back to Kigali.We were right by Goma which is in the Congo where there is still a lot of unrest.
Today we are on our own in Kigali.Sitting at Bourbon Coffee Again!!Tonite we have Bible Study with friends we have met before.Then tomorrow Tracy will speak at the English service at the Presbyterian church.Then we will leave for Kabale 'Uganda.We are ready to leave big city french speaking for Kabale where we feel so much at home!God's Blessings on everyone at home.We will post pictures as soon as possible.All of you seem so far away and yet very close!

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's time to go!!!

We have said our good-byes,we have been to the park,we have read Bible stories,and we have had birthday parties.It's time to go!We head out tomorrow mid-day and head for Kigali via London and Nairobi.
It's a strange feeling of leaving home to go home!We are blessed to be strangers and pilgrims
here but also feel at home on opposite ends of the earth.We will arrive in Kigali,Rwanda on Thursday March 14,2010 so please keep us in your prayers.