Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Little Brian

While we were in Texas, we told some of you about a little boy from the orphanage who had found his way into our hearts. As far as we knew, he wasn't officially adoptable because he had a mother living in the village somewhere. He had been at Amani since he was about 3 months old with no visitations from his mother in 3 years.
Brian and I began praying that either this child's mother would come and take him home or that God would make a way for him to be a part of our family.
While we were in Texas, "Little Brian" 's mother was contacted and a visit was scheduled. She came a few weeks before Christmas and I heard that she cried when she met her son. Brian was also able to meet the mother and he said she also has a baby boy named Peter. She was anxious to take her son home before Christmas so arrangements began to be made.
The day before he left, I was able to give him a goodbye hug. I don't think he knew he was about to leave (he doesn't know one "mama" from another yet) and I didn't even know he was leaving the very next day--or that he wouldn't be returning. But two unique things happened in that goodbye...

He gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek.
And I told him "I love you"

On Christmas Eve day, little Brian went home with his real mama... and his new little brother Peter.

I grieve for my loss, but rejoice for his gain. God's ways are far above our ways. And this I know to be true:


Saturday, December 27, 2008


WHEW! Thank God for Christmas break!!! Now I finally have a chance to catch up on this blogging!

A short review of the last two months:

1. Nov. 5 ~ Began journey from Jinja, Uganda to Houston, Texas to attend Brian's brother's wedding
2. Nov. 10 ~ Arrived in Houston after a long stay at Entebbe airport and a miraculously cheap price for a one way tickets!

Hurray for PIZZA and MEXICAN FOOD!!!!!

3. Nov. 16 ~ Aaron and Rachel's wedding was BEAUTIFUL and there's no way on earth we could have missed it!

4. After the wedding, we began brainstorming on how in the world we would get back to Uganda in only a few weeks!
Tickets were pricing out at about $5,000 for the two of us so we knew it would take a miracle!

5. We worked our old jobs (me - hair, and brian - waiting tables) in addition to picking up holiday work and random other jobs!
People were so gracious to us as their hearts were moved to give very large tips and/or donations. Thank you!!!

6. We found a great price through a missionary travel agency and were able to purchase round-trip tickets for only $3,000!

7. Dec. 8 ~ We departed our beloved Texas to return to Jinja, and finish out our year long commitment to serve our cousin Danyne and her family.

8. Dec. 10 ~ Arrived in Jinja, only to find that the wrong keys had been left for us and we couldn't get into our own house! It took quite a while before we were able to find some keys that would open the door...
Once we were inside, it was almost no consolation as we found our house covered with dirt and grime and gecko poop. This was to be expected, but is even more difficult when you are exhausted from travel.
I cried. We went to sleep very early that night and just closed our eyes to the place.

9. Dec. 11 ~ The next morning we woke up very early (6am) and got to work cleaning our house! It took a full 12 hours and once again we were exhausted. I cried some more. Five weeks in the USA sure does get you use
to all of the comforts and conveniences. It's easy to adjust back to that, not so easy to adjust again on this side! :) We went to bed early again that night.

10. Dec. 12 ~ And the next morning ~ all was sunshiny again! It's amazing what a clean house and some good sleep can do!

Since then, I've been slammed at the salon--everyone needing their hair done before Christmas. That's good of course--but Wow--I've been worn out! Needless to say, I'm thoroughly enjoying my 4 days off,
especially since upon returning I've been given a new schedule of working 6 days a week instead of the 5 I've been doing. Whew!

Brian and I are looking forward to August which is when our return tickets are set for. We often use this term "AUGUST RUSH" to encourage ourselves that 8 months isn't really that long. :)
We do believe that God brought us here for a reason and that He is working things in our lives and through our lives even though from this perspective, we haven't been able to figure out what it is yet! ha!
So we are content to be where He has placed us, and surrendering ourselves daily to His hands that are forming us... but we can't help looking forward to the day it's finally time to go back home!

Here is a pic of our first Christmas as man and wife. Brian surprised me by expressing unprecedented Christmas spirit! He's been passing out candy canes (Ugandans have never seen these before!) and he even came home one night with Christmas lights! We never did figure out how to hang them... our walls are made of cement and we have no drill... so the lights were draped around and behind the couch! I've never seen lights like these before--they are very festive! Aunt Nellie sent me some Christmas stockings which I never could figure out where to hang, so they too were leaned against a wall once they were filled with some of the stocking stuffers my mom sent with us in our luggage. Mom also sent us a tiny Christmas tree, only 6 inches tall, which we loaded with lights and mini ornaments. Brian's idea is for our tree to get 6 inches bigger for every year of marriage!

Christmas Eve, we went to dinner with some people at a new restaurant called "Flavours". The food was decent and it was a nice atmosphere. Nothing to write home about or anything.... hey, wait--I am writing home about it! Must have been better than the usual Jinja cuisine. :) Afterwards we went Christmas caroling with some of the missionaries in the area. I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I don't get out much! The evening was even a bit "cool"... it could have even been compared to a warm Christmas in Houston! The last stop was a couple's house who served us up some tasty apple cider and Christmas cookies. Yum! I was pleasantly surprised by the Christmas feeling in the air. :)

Christmas morning, we talked on the phone to our families during their Christmas Eve. We had home-made Indian chai (my specialty) and opened our gifts. Brian got for me all new and matching dishes! Plates, bowls, silverware, a pitcher and matching glasses, coffee mugs, etc... It's so fun to have our own dishes finally--we have just been using hand-me-downs for everything so far. Now we have things that are nice for us here, but not so nice that we will need to tote them all over the world with us. It feels good to have something that brings you a little happiness, but that you aren't attached to and could have one day and leave the next. A good Christmas present indeed!

Then we prepared our side dishes to take to a Christmas "brie" (South African barbecue) with our S.African friend Jonnes (sp? "yawn-ez"). I made green bean casserole and Brian made potato salad. Our neighbor Amy made a tasty sweet potato casserole and afterwards we enjoyed dark chocolate brownies made by Jonnes!

To close, here is a picture in front of the main supermarket Brian goes to and a Ugandan Santa Claus passing out candy and dancing like the dancing Santa Claus next to him. Always something random to laugh about over here!


Monday, December 22, 2008


since we've been back!

I've been slammed at the salon and am often too tired to get to the internet...

so this isn't a "real" blog, but just wanted to say that we are here and alive!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! we miss you all!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Back 2 Uganda

Thank you SO MUCH to all who helped us through work opportunities and/or donations to get back to Africa. God has truly provided and we thank Him for your generosity and prayers! We leave Texas on Monday, December 8th, and are set to return in August of next year.

Stay tuned for more Jinja sketches!

Lots of Love