Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Monday, December 20, 2010

December in Uganda

Considering I was only in Uganda for 10 days of December, things were fast and furious. Here is a recap of what has been going on at LCH and in my life:


Lulwanda Children’s Home Primary school finished off the school year with great success. We have a great group of teachers that are not only dedicated to teaching the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also have the heart to invest spiritually and emotionally into their lives.

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There are many activities that the children look forward to during

the holiday times. Kites were a big hit.

Congratulations to our GRADUATES!!!

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(Phoebe Namono, Flavia, Esther, Davis, Samwiri, Sarah Mukwana, Joel)

We had a wonderful graduation ceremony for our Nursery students that are moving to Primary school next year. They were so happy to have a day that celebrated them and their hard work. We pray all success over them as they will join Teacher Rebecca’s P1 class next year.

The HOME:DSCN7682e


Happy Birthday Lulwanda!!

That’s right. Lulwanda celebrated its 6th birthday on December 1st. We invited some important local figures, Pastor Morris, the parents of the school’s community children, and all of our staff and children to join in a day of appreciating and celebrating all that God has done in the past six years.


One thing I really love about living in Uganda is that there are many opportunities to meet new people, share about what you are doing, and then visit their ministry or have them visit you. Of course, I take every chance I get to boast in what God is doing at Lulwanda and invite people to come see for themselves.

1. Friends from Made in the Streets: In October, I met my housemate Jennifer in Nairobi, Kenya to visit MITS, a ministry that works to get children off of the streets and trained in a skill. I had the opportunity to share the gospel with some street boys in downtown Nairobi (bottom left). For multiple reasons, life has “forced” them onto the streets, usually falling into the habit of sniffing glue or jet fuel. It was heart wrenching to see so many kids, with such potential, just wasting away on the streets. MITS has a community center downtown and for those children who show continued commitment to change their lives, they are then selected to go to the “farm” where they are taught basic literacy, math, and computer skills and are then trained in a skill (tailoring, catering, woodwork, hairdressing, or mechanics). I spent two nights at the farm and met Phiona, Laquita, and Jess. They then took me up on my offer and took the 12 hour bus journey to visit LCH and me in Mbale. We had a really fun week together.


The MITS “Farm”

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2. Friends from Revolution Ministry: I heard of this ministry from a friend and was able to connect with three wonderful ladies who came from Kampala to teach our oldest two classes about what God says about sex before marriage. Walk Pure: Learning to save your most special possession for the right person. I am so grateful that the Lord opened this door for the kids to be taught the truth about sex and how God views it, especially since it seems to be an avoided topic in this culture. Although beginning shy, by the end of the 3 day seminar, the kids did not want these ladies to go. Naster and Sylvia even called me aside and asked if I could call their boss to request them to stay for another week. Ha. I know that our children also captured the hearts of these ladies. They had nothing but praises to give back for what is happening with and in our kids. In a world that seems to push the idea that sex is “cool” my prayer is that the information that they learned and the value God places on purity would influence their lives and their decisions as they continue on to secondary school. Please pray with me.

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3. The P7’s visit their village: All of our P7 graduates had an opportunity to visit the village where they came from. Many of the children have not been back since they first came to LCH, so I can only imagine how surprised their family members and neighbors were to see how healthy and hope-filled they are. It was fun to hear stories of who they got to see, how they helped fetch water or work in the garden, and how they felt about life in the village. Despite the nice visit, all of the P7’s still concluded that life in the village is very hard and they are so glad that God has brought them to LCH where they have many more opportunities.

Other things at LCH:

DSCN8104 DSCN8107 The new girls hostel is well on its way. I can’t wait to see it finished when I return. And, I am even more excited because as 20 of the older girls move into the new building, that leaves room for 20 new girls to come and ultimately, 20 more lives to be changed for the glory of the Lord. God is so good!!



There is always time for fun at LCH.


I really don’t know why this chicken is pink. We received it as a gift and after asking 3 boys, they all promised me that it

born pink and not painted. I still think they might be pulling my leg.



One afternoon I was making bread with some of the girls while the other children were playing outside. I started hearing shouts, “Wamusota! Wamusota! Wamusota!” The girls then said, “There is a snake outside!” At this pDSCN7655eoint, I heard stones hitting against the side of our metal building. Walking outside and approaching the corner, I saw a big snake slither into the main hall. At this point, the uDSCN7657encles (who were retrieving hoes and machetes) arrived and killed the snake. Sick! I hate snakes! We went back to our baking but about 5 minutes later I hear shouts again and the girls said, “Teacha, there is another snake.” What?!?! Sure enough, in the same spot, Enock killed another big snake that looked like his friend. We decided that we should pray against the schemes of the enemy and thank the Lord for his protection. Please continue to pray that God’s hedge of protection would be within the fence of the LCH property and that nothing meant to harm any of us would. The thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but Jesus came to give life in the fullest!!


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Tis’ the season to be jolly. Whether in America or Uganda, there are certain touches that can help put you in the holiday spirit. I feel like this is especially important in Uganda, seeing as the weather in December is quite the opposite of cold. Actually, December and January are the hottest and dustiest months in Uganda (reaching up to the 90s- when we usually live in the mid 70s).

We also had an expat Christmas pageant, complete with carols, special music, and the children acting out the story of Jesus’ birth.

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L: My sweet friend Tiffany

Below: My housemates- Jennifer and Emily

Below: Uriah, Emilie G, Me, Tiff, and Zoe



I left Uganda saying, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”. As I told the church before I left, “I feel blessed to have two homes. I am leaving home (Uganda) to go home (Texas). Yet while I am at one home I always miss the other home. That just gives me a bigger push to pray.” So, I love you Uganda. I will miss you greatly. And I promise to be a voice to boast in all the God is doing in you!

I will be in America (mostly Texas) until the beginning of March to enjoy a chilly Christmas, to spend quality time with family and friends, to speak to groups and churches as an advocate for LCH, and to do personal fundraising to allow me to continue my mission in Uganda. Thank you for continuing to follow me in this journey and may God bless you for all the prayers you have lifted up on my (and my kids’) behalf.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Up Up and Away!

It is almost hard to believe, but TODAY I am flying out of Uganda and headed back to Texas (Depart 00:40 on Dec. 10 Uganda time= 3:40pm Dec 9 Texas time). In preparing to come "home", I would like you to pray with me over some specific things:

- that my big toe would heal properly (without infection) . (I kicked a ball and then was bleeding. Not sure really what happened.)
- that the Lord would ready my heart for the transition back to Western culture
- safe journeys as I travel to the airport and for flights to go smoothly
- fruitful and fun time with my family
- opportunities to share with new groups/people about what God is doing at LCH (If you have a small group, etc. that would be interested, please let me know)
- wisdom in what tactics to use for my personal fundrasing
- refreshment and change in my heart (specifically I am praying Psalm 139:23-24) and that my soul would be satisfied more and more in God's love for me

Thank you for praying. I hope that I will get to see many of you when I am home. I am planning to visit Houston area, Midland, New Braunfels, and Dallas area. And then I will see where God leads me :)

God bless you!

PS: Since I have been out of the country, I am seeking recommendations for a good/Christian dentist and eye doctor. Let me know if you have one (in the Austin area or even one of the cities I will be visiting). Thanks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Like kids in a candy shop...

The first thing to know in doing anything in Uganda is that they really value formal “letterhead” requisitions. Everything seems like it must be so official and follow protocol. This would be ok if the follow-through was just as thorough. But 9 times out of 10 you can expect for the unexpected. That is what makes field trips such an adventure. You really never know what to expect.

But, despite the odds, some teachers and I took the older students of Lulwanda Children’s Home Primary School on an educational tour to Jinja (about 2 hours away). To my surprise it was wonderful! We started at Kakira Sugar Works. Our group divided into two and the P7 students went to the factory where they process sugarcane into sugar granules while the other students toured the Confectioner’s Factory, where they make sweets.

I had no idea the process it takes to get our sugar. Wow. As we entered the grounds of the sugar factory we first received our fancy green hard-hats, in case of flying sugar cane or abrupt “sugar storms”.

As we entered, all senses were taken over, from the sights of the massive machines, to the overbearing grinding sound, to the sweet smell of molasses. We walked from one machine to the next, feeling the steam from the 3rd step of dampening the sugar cane, preparing it to be ground for its juice.

After the cane is ground, it must be purified through three processes: being washed with limestone milk, evaporation of the excess water, and then a sulfur smoking.

After this, the granules end up in another machine where they are steamed to remove the molasses that coats them and them emptied onto a conveyor belt to day and be packaged.

But if you ask the P7 what the best part of the tour was, they would all agree that it was at the packing station. Imagine: A silver bowl. A heaping mound of sugar. And permission to eat as much as they want. The only rule: not even a granule can leave on your hands or in your pockets as you walk out of the factory.

Meanwhile, the other students were touring the Confectioner’s Factory.

They saw the boiling vats, the“secret recipe” of making lollipops, and the machines that then shape the sticky sweet into the proper candy or lollipop shape.

The saying has never been truer, “They were like kids in a candy shop.” Only instead of paying for sweets, they only had to answer a question correctly and open their pockets. They left the factory so excited to eat and share the great treasures they had earned.

After spoiling our appetites with too many sweets, we headed into Jinja town for a simple lunch and then to the Tip Top Bakery. As we approached the mixing station, many of the children’s eyes started growing bigger seeing that three of them could fit into a single bowl that they used to mix the bread dough. They also were eager for the following days’ practical lesson of making bread like they had seen in the factory.

We ended the trip with a brief stop as Masesse Port, a small fishing village and port and then headed back to Mbale.