Sunday, November 27, 2011

Good Advice for Youth

I love these signs you find all over the campus at Kabale Trinity College

A Little Bit of Everything

This is a picture summary of our week. All the pictures did not land in order but I am thankful to have good wireless tonight to even load pictures! We had a fantastic day (6 hours) of worship at Lift Up Jesus Church with old  friends and new friends. More later!! Good night.
Coffee plants ready for harvest
With Hamlet and Kellen at their home in Kinugu
This is a primary school where 160 students attend.

This is the director of the school Esau who has an amazing vision for children and education

Tracy with Pastor Michael and Chaplain William
Worship at Kabale Trinity College
New Friends
Spent a great day with Vian, talking about the wedding, meeting his dad

Thursday, November 24, 2011


  It is now Thanksgiving morning in Uganda!!  Do you ever wonder why we have to learn life's lessons the hard way?  Last night when we went to bed in my heart I was praising God and thankful for our many blessings and experiences he has given us.  This morning -a different story!!! Every day we have varying combinations of water-hot water-power-internet.  This morning-no power! I was going to blog about the beautiful people and places we have enjoyed this week. Instead I am on my last minutes of battery power. Its a foggy moist dark morning and we just packed for a 3 day jaunt in the darkness of our room. Chosing by feel among our clothes that have a distict aroma of Uganda and febreeze !!! Then I started wondering what sort of grandparents and parents leave their family behind to head out on unknown crazy adventure. We will be enjoying Thanks giving dinner eating 
payday candy bars bouncing along on the worst road in Uganda!
   But always gently our gracious God draws our hearts back to Him! He reminds that He is all in all! He is our peace, our joy, our righteousness, and all we need wherever we are.
   "Worthy are you,our Lord and God to receive Glory and honor and power,
   for you created all things,and by your will they existed and were created."  Rev. 4:11

  "Enter his gates with Thanksgiving , and his courts with praise!
  Give thanks to HIM, bless HIS name! For the Lord is good;
  his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all 
  generations." Psalms 100:4-5

So let rejoice in Him and his goodness to the children of man!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Great Week

   Its been a great week in Kabale,  Uganda.  We have set up housekeeping  in the White Horse Inn.  Somedays we almost feel guilty for our beautiful surroundings and the gracious staff that won't even let us carry our own coffee cups to the room. But then we praise God for the rest for our souls and bodies he is providing here. We have had power issues, car issues, water issues, internet issues- but they seem very trivial in the big picture.

       Our morning view

    We started off the week spending as much time as possible at Kabale Trinity College.This would be equivalent to high school at home.There are 6 levels here  and when they finish they are ready for university.  Brethren Community Fellowship has had a long term relationship with KTC with many visiting from California over the years. There is around 1500 students and its a little overwhelming when they all know your name and you see many students with the same haircut and the same uniform!! We always love to catch up with the staff. They are eager to share who has wedded, produced( had babies), and how God is working in their lives.  Over the years we have learned to know many of them very well. They ask about everyone they know from California and send their love. They are very busy at the school right now with  exams and then  at the end of next week students will leave for home. We attended the early morning assemblies at 7:00 AM and are amazed at how awake they are- already dancing and praising the Lord.  

   This is Phonie in the picture. She is a very vivacious Islam believing lady who lost her husband this last year. She is 24 and has a small daughter to raise named Freeda!! We have became friends with her and are praying for the chance to share Christ as our relationship progresses. We would desire your prayers in this.

     Those that sponsor students- this is the best gift you can give over here.  Many of these students would  not have a chance otherwise. They tell us they pray for their sponsors everyday.  An example- we were having dinner at the Little Ritz with Brian, the student we have sponsored for years who is now in university, and a young man walked up named Ernest. He could not get over the chance that Brandon  and Heidi have given him. He has finished university and has a job at the bank.
   We had a chance to go to Leticia's home in the village. Leticia is the student we sponsor now. There is no words to describe. I had never seen a home with so little in my life. Her mother was so joyous and wanted to give us her goat in gratitude. Her mother is a widow with 3 girls to raise. She lives in Joab's home area. 

  The reason we were in the village was for a bride give-away of Joab's cousin.
We traveled way way up a bumpy dirt road to where we had to walk the rest of the way. I can't even describe the 4 hour ceremony. Very interesting. We were the 2 white faces among 300 to 400 people on the mountaintop. Another incredible view.

Connie cutting cake
Meeting up with my friend Olive who I have known for a long time

The path out through the banana forest

Joab's mother

  This has been a great week.  Seeing old friends, making new ones, and seeing many people around the world who worship the same God we do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

God Sleeps In Rwanda

   There is an old Rwandan saying "God goes elsewhere during the day but returns to Rwanda to sleep at night."  While we may not agree with the theology (God never slumbers) I definitely understand the sentiment.  Every time we return we are awestruck by the beauty of this small country. And following closely behind-  the heartache oof the beautiful people here.  Seventeen years ago, one of the most atrocious genocides in history was carried out in this country. Around 1 million people were killed in 90 days. Many by their neighbors and friends. You see many people with missing limbs, many with large machete wounds, and many haunted looks.  But at the same time you hear much about peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness. We know this is only possible through Christ.  God is at work in Rwanda.
   We were met at the Kigali airport by our friend Charles and taken to the now familiar guest house.  After different flights and 21 hours in the air- we were exhausted so had supper and headed to bed. However our bodies didn't know what time zone we were in and we both laid awake all night!
    The next morning we headed for the farm.  We were joined by one of Charles' twin daughters. Kaleen- a beautiful 16 year old. Charles has  an amazing story. He lost around 60 members of his family in the genocide.Many in the area of the coffee farm. He could not return there for many years.  Around 3 years ago Tracy and Charles decided to clear the land and plant coffee here.  It is slowly becoming a place of redemption and hope instead of sorrow.

   When we arrived at the farm- it was such a peace to see what God is accomplishing in each of our lives near and far to bring His joy, His peace, and dependence on Him out of circumstances and pain we do not understand.
  We were soon joined by the neighbors and entertained with song and dance by the children.  Its amazing how those who have so little can be so happy. Charles, godparents live nearby and are very dear people. They scolded me for always taking their picture and never bringing them any.  So I am looking all over Kabale for a place to develop pictures! 

  This hillside place in Rwanda is so amazing.  I wish everyone could experience it with us.  I even picked out our retirement home!  But then I realized our children and grandchildren were far away. And so I am content to visit when we are able!
   We had Bible study  that evening with friends and continued in the next day after church to Uganda to be met at the border by Joab and Connie.  We will continue with the Uganda side next time. We thank God for the prayers in our behalf and for His work  that is going on around the world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Home Away from Home

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?'

"You have said "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord do I seek.

    These verses, both from Psalm 27, have  been swirling thru my head and heart.  On one hand we have fears of the somewhat unknown journey we are embarking on and on the other hand we do want to be found in HIM, His ways, and His will.
   We do desire your prayers.We have a little over 24 hours until we are Africa bound. We have said many of our good-byes and now are realizing the anticipation of seeing those we love on the other side of the world. We stand in awe of a God who has allowed us to have this privilege to share in taking "Christ in me-the hope of glory" to people we may meet up with.
   We always face the challenge of  leaving home with people we love and everything familiar to go "home" to a place that feels so welcoming and a part of us but yet never quite at home either place. It is just one more reminder that this life is very fleeting and unless we are anchored to the Rock Jesus Christ we have no hope of ever truly being " at home."
   So the time has come. We will leave San Fransisco to Atlanta-Atlanta to Amsterdam-Amsterdam to Kigali, Rwanda to be met by our dear friend Charles. After a few days there we will go to the Ugandan border to be met by Joab and spend around a month in Kabale Uganda. Around December 12th, joined by Ben and Tami Miller we will move to Kampala Uganda to attend the wedding of Vian and Evelyn. Then we will arrive home December 19th to enjoy Christmas at "home."

   This is the gang we are leaving here. The older ones all ask when they can go along.  We pray that someday we can share a trip with them!!

   "For from Him and thru Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:36