Monday, January 31, 2011

Priceless W-a-t-e-r

Yesterday and today, we had no water in our house - due to a broken pipe that was transforming our downstairs dining room area into a shower - and so all water had to be turned off.

It actually happened while Rich and I were on a lil retreat - spending time with each other and God to hear what he would want to tell us concerning this New Year - which was great, by the way!

Being without water for a mere 24 hours opened my/our eyes just that little bit more to what people in many places of the world experience because of lack of water.

It was challenging - you never realize how much you need water until you don't have it!

Washing hands many times a day, like after cleaning a diaper or going to the loo - or before and after preparing food - flushing the toilet - taking a shower - brushing teeth - doing dishes - wiping the table, doing laundry and oh yes, can't forget -


At least we still have SO MANY other luxuries, like electricity and a car to drive somewhere to get some water. Boy, are we blessed - and spoiled!!!

Speaking of water, I don't think I ever mentioned that through the generosity of people from Germany, Brazil, Tahiti, Korea and New Zealand, we were able to leave money in Uganda for 2 water tanks to be built. Yippiiiieeee!!!

We had been told 1 water tank would cost US$650 and thought we could get water tanks for 5 of the Orphans kNOw More families with the generous gifts that had come in. We were so excited!

These tanks can provide a family with water for 6 months/year - during the rainy season and are a great blessing for the families.

When we got there, we found out that the prices had gone up.
We also found out that the US$650 tanks were small and that there was a need for some of the bigger families to receive 10.000l water tanks.

One of those roughly cost 4 times as much.

It was hard to decide who to bless with that ONE big tank.
First, we wanted to bless this family with it.

A beautiful family with 4 biological and 16 adopted children, plus many more that they are caring for (not all are in the photo).

AMAZING couple
- some of the people that left us feeling completely humbled by their love and selfless service to the orphans - 24/7 - WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

They already had a tank, which we saw in use as we came to their house.
They told us that it was way too small and they needed a bigger tank.

But later we found out that the family of the leader of the ministry (the ones you see in the DVD in the link above, now with many more children), don't have a water tank at all yet.

They have 4 biological children and 27 adopted (some are already adult and out of the house)
and are another outstanding couple - seriously, some of the people we met in Uganda are the most incredible, selfless, loving people we've ever met in our lives!

As leaders do - he would put his own needs at the end of the list - and would probably continue to do so.

So we felt to designate the 10 000l tank to their family!

Oh, that every family could have access to clean water!!!

For your information, the amount of people dying from contaminated water equal
20 jumbo jets crashing - EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!!!!

This is so unnecessary!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Extreme Home Makeover

I was so excited when I found out today that this family could possibly receive an Extreme Home Makeover. I just sent off an email to nominate them - would you please consider doing the same?

I have watched this family for several years now - even from a distance - and I cannot think of anybody more deserving to receive this amazing gift!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

The cry of my heart

Today's another one of those days I'm hit with "IT" -

the overwhelming grief about what I witnessed in Uganda,

the individual stories of people who's names I know,

who's hands I've touched,

who I spoke with,

prayed for

and the agony of figuring out exactly what it is that I am meant to do about it.

I've got so little extra-time and energy that I need a very clear strategy.

The last thing I want to do is burn myself out in the process ~

Or have my family suffer ~

Been there, done that ~

Not again!

Crying out to you, Lord


I've got LOTS of ideas

Please show me the first step

Or the whole picture

a strategy

YOU are a father to the fatherless

the defender of widows!

YOU love these precious people with a passion way greater than mine!

I know I can't possibly help them all


Just make it clear

And I'll be off running with it!

My eyes fail from weeping,

My emotions are deeply disturbed,

My heart is poured out upon the ground in grief

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,

because infants and nurslings faint in the streets of the city.

They keep crying to their mothers:

Where is food and drink?

as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city,

as their lives ebb away on their mother's bosom.

Lamentations 2:11-12

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just thinkin'...

... how come that people who really don't have ANYTHING to complain about complain and those who REALLY could have a reason to complain don't???

One of the things that have changed in our house since our Africa trip is that I CANNOT tolerate complaining of any form!

I didn't like it before, but now I.JUST.CAN'T.STAND.IT!

I always have before me the poorest of the poor that I had the privilege of meeting, leading a most miserable life if there ever was one -

sick with Aids


caring for grandchildren

who are orphans

no decent housing

no regular food

no easy access to clean water

no mattress

no mosquito net

no possibilities for an education

and similar conditions

talk about life being HARD

~~~ YET ~ ~ ~

I didn't hear any complaining

Sadness? YES


Silently enduring


I've got so much to learn!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Funny one...

After posting a lot of heavy stuff

let me tell you something that made us laugh today:

We had gone to the beach - oh glorious summer and awe-inspiring nature!

On the way back, Kylie spotted a dog and as she does with all dogs. she observes them very carefully to make sure they have an owner and are not abandoned.

Well, today she was CONVINCED that this dog was in need of rescuing!
As a matter of fact, she comes to that conclusion in most cases.
And the DRAMA began:

She was BEGGING us to take that dog with us or report him to the animal shelter.

She started sobbing as if the end of the world had come upon us and didn't stop for the next 10-15 minutes, no matter how hard we tried convincing her that he was JUST fine and surely had an owner.

It's quite fascinating, she's got these VERY DEEP feelings for animals that she thinks are in trouble. I guess just like me with the babies and children... 'xcept I manage to hold it in a bit better.

After she had calmed down enough to talk, she started saying, in between sobs:

"I want a dog! I WANT A DOG"

I WANT A G-O-D !!! (spelling it out)

I WANT A G-O-D !!!

Haha! She never realized her spelling error - but something in her obviously knew what she REALLY needed!

Then, as we were in the car, waiting for Rich to get a watermelon at the store for dinner - yumm yumm - Shayden comments:

"Kylie is sad - she's REALLY sad - she wants a HOT DOG!"

Oh, how I love (our) kids!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Broken heart - still

My heart continues to break and grieve for the starving, unloved babies, children, teenagers and adults in Africa.

I find myself overwhelmed with sadness again and again.

It comes at the most unexpected times, like when I get up in the morning.

Other times, it comes when there is a trigger.

Just like grief when a loved one dies.


And they are dying - and I feel it!

My family doesn't always understand why I get very quiet all of a sudden and for no apparent reason and I walk around the house with red eyes.

Until Kylie explains to the older ones who are not always there:
"Mom always cries like that - for Africa."

I can barely even type this post - tears flowing again.

YES, we had a wonderful few days camping! God's creation is so beautiful and we enjoyed family time!

But I just can't shake this burden ~ ~ ~ am consumed by it ~ ~ ~

Constantly praying and thinking, asking the Lord to give me a plan to make a difference.

Got a newsletter today from this ministry in a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, that takes in abandoned babies and cares for them until they can find adoptive families for them.
Here's an excerpt:

"The growing need for homes and places to care for these little children is apparent. Abandonment is on the increase and we are finding that more and more are babies being born via late abortions. Some are surviving,
some are not, many are being found discarded on rubbish dumps. According to the government mortuary, each month 200 dead babies are found in Gauteng alone. This does not account for the 60 babies that are found alive and in need of care. Our passion as always is to save lives."

They also wrote that they are in urgent need for finances to continue running this ministry.

If I could I would just take a plane tomorrow, visit this ministry personally, meet the leaders, staff and babies and then come back home and do what I can to raise money to keep up the ministry.

Then I get news about a lil 4-year-old in Jinja, Uganda (close to the Nile where the photo in header was taken) who just passed away - malnourished - weighing 7kg.

LORD, HAVE MERCY on these little ones!!!!
Raise up an army of loving, caring, generous people to come alongside those who are already serving them, pray for them, and share some of the abundance we have - providing formula, food, water, etc etc...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Off camping - YAY!!!

I'm SOO excited! We will be going camping tomorrow for 3-4 days! Have been dreaming of being able to do that for yeeears!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!!!!

WE WISH YOU A MOST BLESSED 2010 - with many GOOD surprises!!!