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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tis' the Season

It has been a wonderful December with the children home from school for holidays. In the spirit of Christmas, we have done many fun activities. It has been great!

Everything is new to the kids, so I can bring even the most basic ideas and they love it.  
We have:
made an advent calendar on the notes board
read Advent readings from the Jesus Storybook Bible
made trees out of construction paper and glitter
made over 200 dough ornaments
painted said ornaments
made 160 sugar cookies for the Lulwanda Christmas party
iced said cookies

 And we just celebrated our Lulwanda Family Christmas Party, 
complete with a tree decorating competition…

… and even Father Christmas came to join the fun.

And of course, in Africa, no party is really a party unless there is some dancing :)

But as I have reminded the children each day, we don't celebrate Christmas because of the things we get to do, the new clothes we receive, or the special food we eat, but rather we celebrate the gift God gave us of a Savior.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah 9:6-7

So, with great joy in our hearts, 
we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Nothing Sweeter

There is nothing sweeter than receiving these.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

End of 2013 Newsletter

The Lord has done great things. My prayer is that He is glorify in my life and the lives of these children. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. But even mores, thank you so much for taking the time to pray for me and the children. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving in Uganda means receiving a live turkey the day before. All was set for our gardener to bring a turkey he had scoped out (from his village) on Wednesday morning.  As I saw him walk in the gate, turkey-less, I went out to see what was going on. Well, apparently the man he had planned to buy a turkey from had sold ALL of his turkeys the morning before to some butchers in town. Oh Uganda!

So, Wednesday morning, turkey-less, with no plan, I created a plan B:  Call Melanie because she works in a village and surely there are some turkeys there. 

After a few hours, one of her helpful staff members had found some turkeys, but the own was still in the garden so we were not yet able to negotiate a deal.  Feeling the time crunch, I cancelled plan B and created plan C: I asked Peter, my gardener, to go on a "turkey adventure." About 30 minutes later he arrived with this nice one.

Mature turkeys have beards… coming out their necks… you learn something new everyday.  
(kinda weird and gross)

So, for those who have not had this experience before, after slaughtering the turkey,
you pour boiling water on it to help make plucking easier.

And then you begin.

And eventually you get to this.

After the turkey was prepped (I spared you the photos of that process), I started on the pies.
Two pecan pies, two pumpkin pies. All from scratch because that is the only option here.

And 4 pies, some stuffing, and 1 bathing turkey later, I called it a day.

Thanksgiving morning was busy finishing the stuffing and cooking the turkey. I am so grateful for the missionary community here. We had a HUGE celebration, including non Americans, with TONS of food. So yummy!

This is such a sweet photo of my friend Carol and another friend, Kayla's, baby.

And here we are. Stuffed and happy.

I did almost have a disastrous (but would have been epic) moment when I sat on my chair, that was on a slight hill, lost my balance and felt the chair starting to tip backwards. Flaring my one arm around (because the other was holding a plateful of pies), in my head I had a brief second slow-motion moment of seeing myself tip completely backwards and pour my whole plate of pies on my face. Luckily, I was able to catch myself before I fell, but that would have been a great story.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My favorite sign in Uganda

Some things you see here are cause for a double-take. This is my favorite sign I have seen yet in Uganda, right in the heart of Kampala.

Advertising a company that sells chicken.

An African Day

 My daytime gatekeeper/gardener had his traditional "Introduction Ceremony" last month. I was glad to be among his family and friends that escorted him to his lady's home village to be official "introduced" to her family.

In the midst of the 3 rounds of fake brides that march out, you always know when the real "bride" is in the lineup when you spot someone with diamonds in her hair.
Peter's beautiful fiancé, Barbra (in pink with the diamonds in her hair)

Sometimes my friends have asked ourselves (and each other), "What were they thinking when they decided the traditional dress should be one with very pointy shoulders, a big belt, 5 extra yards of fabric that you tie to your side, and a blanket you wear underneath the whole thing to make your bum look bigger?! And did they not realize that the men are really wearing a white man-dress?" Ha.
As with any dressing up, it is fun to do every now and then.
And people in the village LOVE seeing a mzungu, much less one in a gomesi (the traditional dress).

I spotted this cutie in the next tent and had to get a photo. 

And here they are... the fiancés. This is after Peter had to be "found" from among the crowd by his fiance's aunties. This is a sign that both sides have accepted the marriage proposition.

And an African day is not complete unless you have carried something on your head. 
Bringing the gifts Peter is giving to Barbra's family as a token of appreciation.
 I think I was carrying a basket of onions :)