Monday, August 29, 2011

A different baptism

Saturday was wonderful! Spending time with friends, and Richard, our son! 

When I arrived at the place of the baptism, I thought, "Wow, this is nice! Looks like a great beach." And yes, it WAS beautiful! But then I was told that swimming in Lake Victoria is NOT an option - unless you want to risk getting REALLY SICK!

I couldn't help but remember the clear, sparkling stream that we baptized Leilani in many years ago in Tahiti - or the swimming pool in our church in NZ that Nathalie and Jeremie got baptized in.

Getting baptized here is a whole different ball-game, when you have to take medication to try and prevent getting sick from being dunk... and then are still not sure that you won't get sick.

Well done, Josiah! Go hard after God!

just missed the actual baptism of Josiah (15) - oldest son of the Gordons - friends from Tauranga, now serving the orphans and disadvantaged children and widows in Uganda - just been here 6 months

some of the family watching

celebrating with a nice dinner afterwards - also with Nicky, another missonary from Tauranga, and Richard!!! More about my time with him later

Today, I'm going to Jinja, where I'll stay with one of the core families of the "Orphans Know More" network! YAY!
Should be an interesting time ~ ~ ~
Probably no internet for a while...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Safely arrived in Uganda!

Just a quick update, as I am waiting for my ride and it's already late...
Had a good flight and was thrilled to set foot again of African soil!

I just LOVE Africa - particularly Uganda - 'course!!!

Sooooo good to be back!!!

Had a very good time in Germany - and YES, I love Germany, too!
Wrote a blog post about my time there but it disappeared strangely just as I was pushing the "publish" button... - oh, well, what's new?

We've had so many communication challenges during this whole trip away - USA - Germany - and here I am in Uganda - and at least for a few minutes, I've got time and internet...

I boarded the wrong train yesterday on my way to Frankfurt airport. Was chatting away with my sister and didn't pay attention that there were 2 trains scheduled in the same direction - just 4 MINUTES APART! I was scheduled to go on the second one, but went on the first one instead.
German precision - imagine that!
Just 4 minutes difference - ya gotta pay attention to the minutes in Germany!

And here I am in Uganda and my ride is already more than 30 minutes late - haha!

Anyways, thank God, the controller came straight as the train left and told me I was in the wrong train and that it wouldn't take me to the airport - oups!!
No problemo, though, was able to hop off at next stop and wait the extra 4 minutes until the right train came chugging along. OUFF! That was close!

When I arrived in Uganda at 2am this morning, there was nobody from the guest-house to pick me up - as arranged.

No problemo again - just took a taxi - and then asked the guest-house to deduct the cost from my room, since airport pick-up is normally included.

Anyways, after a few hours sleep I am off now to spend the day with our beloved son Richard at a baptism service somewhere not too far from here - where I'm also meeting up with the wonderful Gordon-family who moved to Uganda 6 months ago, with their 6 children! Will spend the week-end with them - and Richard! Am so excited!

Traveling alone gives a whole new dimension to my relationship with the Lord.

And as scary it can be at times, it's absolutely, incredibly wonderful!

Cuz JESUS is the best companion, helper, counselor, provider, protector - and HE knows best!

To be so vulnerable, incapable and weak - and - to walk hand in hand with the one who is capable, powerful, all-knowing, wise, loving, caring, protecting, helping - it's "da bomb"!

He's the absolutely best to be walking this journey with!!!

And - by the way, God also came through financially! Not only are my expenses and airfare covered, but I've got blessings to give out to the poor! I"m so grateful and happy! And it came in the most unlikely way - as usual - in the 11th hour (not literally, but almost).

Would appreciate your on-going prayers! Love to all

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh, the FAITH of a child!

The other day, while doing laundry at a laundromat, I needed to use the bathroom.

Nothing unusual.

But as I was going in, I couldn't figure out how to turn on the light.


I fiddled and pushed and pulled and did whatever else I could come up with to make the light switch turn on (it was pitch dark in that hallway and bathroom).

No success.

I ended up finding one of the employees to help me.

When we got back to the bathroom, there was another lady trying to figure out the light switch

Also no success.

All of a sudden, no idea why, the light went on and I let her go first.

When I came back later for my turn,

same thing.

I couldn't figure out how to turn on the light switch.


THEN - Kylie, who was with me, came along and just RAN into the dark bathroom -




The light-switch was a SENSOR and turned on when there was movement in the room.

Oh boy!

It took a child to just RUN IN THERE to get it to work.

No complicated - "Figuring-it-out-before-you-step-in" - kind of stuff.

And then it hit me:

THAT's what FAITH is all about!

God speaks to your heart,

You obey and "Run" -

No need to figure out the light before-hand


The light comes on!

God's provision flows

Be it strength



whatever the "light" is that we need.

We've got to take the first steps into the dark sometimes

and TRUST God to take care of us!

Another lesson one of my children reminded me of.

Thank you, Kylie (who's been sick in bed today)!

"Now faith is confidence that what we hope for will actually happen;
it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."
Hebrews 11:1

Kylie showing off one of her gifts my mom sent for her 8th birthday
that we celebrated with aunts/uncles and cousins a few days ago
In 4 days, I will take a plane to Germany to see my mother
 (who's in hospital at the moment with a broken femur - please pray for her!) and

5 days later

 2 more planes

to my beloved Uganda!

I will be traveling for 3 weeks

~ all by myself ~

As exciting as it is,

 not gonna lie

it's also a bit daunting.

Traveling to Uganda with Rich last year was SOOO good!!!

I wasn't supposed to go by myself on this trip, but it has just worked out that way.

And I feel I DO need to go and have peace about it!

I will be meeting up with different people all along to further plan and strategize about partnering to

"help, visit and care for the orphans and widows"
(definition of true religion according to James 1,27)

It does feel a bit like running into a dark room, though.

There are a lot of un-knowns,

lots of "stuff" could happen.

My health hasn't been the greatest.

Our USA-trip has been very taxing/tiring and I'm not exactly at the height of my energy levels.

Finances for the trip are only covered partially

I will need God's help MAJORLY in every.single.area !!! 

But here I come


Extravagently LOVED by God

Who is the FATHER of the fatherless - the DEFENDER of widows!

Fully EXPECTANT for HIM to turn on every.single,light.that.I.will.need!


AND - if you think of me - and Rich and the kids, too - please PRAY for all of us!
Rich will be driving from New York to Los Angeles with the kiddos and then fly home to NZ.

Friday, August 12, 2011

An Afternoon in New York City

First things first: the highlight of the afternoon - especially if you ask Kylie - was this - on Broadway: 
Kylie was mesmerized by the LIVE snakes that this guy was showing off to everybody - inviting people to take photos while holding one of them - for pay ('course!)  
Kylie kept sticking around, petting the snake again and again - until the guy just decided to put it on her (without pay) and telling everybody what a very brave girl she was (he didn't even ask our permission - oh well, too late - she loved it!!!)

Even Spongebob was there!!!
Here are some more photos from this afternoon - - -


What a city!!!










 but are we ever glad we don't live here :)

No offense - we're just not city-people...

Taking the Metro - first time ever for our little ones

VERY EXCITING - especially for this lil guy!!!

Coming out of the Subway

Lots and lots of interesting things to see today - looking at the re-building of the World Trade Centre

All the cranes and work being done is fascinating to watch - in the background you can see one of the towers built more than half-way already

New York was definitely way too noisy for Shayden!! He was plugging his ears most the afternoon...


What can I say???

Seen from a distance on a (free!!!) ferry-ride - trying to imaagine what early settlers might have felt coming into the city by boat -

Crazy sisters - enjoying the afternoon

No comment needed :)

Empire State Building in background

Musings while traveling

"Gonna see the White House!"

Those were the first words coming out of Shayden when he woke up yesterday.

Yup, we'd been to Washington, DC the day before - for the afternoon. Went to a couple of amazing Museums, saw the Capitol from a distance and as we were leaving, we hoped to see the White House.

Unfortunately there are a FEW things in the USA that can't be done by "drive-through" or "drive-by" - one of them being the White House. Oh well - we preferred to get back to Rich's brother and family to spend a little more time with them instead :)

We had such a wonderful time with them and also Rich's sister and family - camping together and celebrating Kylie's birthday!!!

Yesterday, while visiting friends in Pennsylvania, Shayden commented on the spread of raw veggies on the table with a sing-songy voice:

"We're having VEGGIE TALES! - Broccoli, Celery..."

Writing in the car - coming close to New York City now - can see the sky-line in the distance... gonna park at a campground and then planning on going in for a few hours to see the "Statue Liverty" - as Shayden calls it, after we taught him that it's NOT Superman - and a few other sites! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hysterical laughter and doughnuts

Sorry, but somehow my blog won't keep all the spaces/paragraphs I am writing when I publish. Trying to fix the problem... In the meantime, here's a lil update:
As we're nearing the end of our trip throughout the USA (just family from here), and I finally have some quiet moments in the car while Rich is driving - with a new laptop (yup, the other one gave up) and a fixed internet stick (was defective), let me share about the amazing few hours we've just had:
Last night, while visiting a friend and his family in Virginia (from a YWAM school 27 ago!!! - thanks so much, Tim and Lisa for a fabulous evening!!) , sharing about Orphans Know More, Shayden had an uncontrollable, hysterical laughing fit for about 10+minutes nonstop - not kidding!
It was the most refreshing thing that has happened in a while!
We were all cracking up with him, as he was obviously a bit on the tired side - and re-playing a "Goofy"-DVD in his mind, having pushed the "repeat" button of one particularly funny scene.
This little guy has humour like no-one in our family and laughs like no-one! What a gift he is!!!
This photo was taken this morning at the doughnut place - read on...
Later, shortly after arriving at the church parking lot, where we were parked for the night, a fuse blew and that meant no airconditioning for the hot night... Oh well, what's new?
Yesterday morning, we had detected a water leak in the campervan/travel trailer which led us to a leaky pipe - that we need to get fixed today - on our way to Washington DC.
So, no water, no toilet-use, no shower, and a hot, sticky night after a hot sticky day - (although most the day was spent in the airconditioned car, I've got to admit :)
This morning, as we were out of food/water for breakfast and couldn't possibly go to a supermarket the way we'd climbed out of our "beds" - sticky, icky, smelly - we decided that a stop at a near-by doughnut restaurant was in place - of course ONLY to use the bathroom and get a bit cleaned up... hehe
With less than $10 to our name (yup, we are in need of some BIG provision!), Rich made an order for doughnuts and drinks for the family ('xcept me, I can't handle the sugar and fat in those critters).
When it was time to pay, this gentleman who'd been sitting in the doughnut place when we walked in, intervened and insisted to pay the bill! WOW!!!!
Rich started telling him what we were doing and before this generous, kind-hearted man left the place, he gifted us with another whole tray of freshly baked, still hot - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - doughnuts, you guessed it!
Not only breakfast, but lunch today - YAY!!! Not the healthiest, I know, but at least Rich and the kids are happy!
We were all having to hold ourselves together not to start laughing out (too) loud!
How bad must we have looked - walking into that place????
Or was it just God's smile on us and a lil encouragement and treat - just at the right time?!!
Off now to get the trailer fixed and Kylie to the doctor (not the first doctor visit for our family) - - - before heading to the campground -