Monday, October 31, 2011

Uganda-trip slide show

Here's another slide-show for ya - this time about my recent Uganda-trip.
It's shorter than the USA one :)

The daily needs - just for SURVIVAL - of the precious people you'll see on the photos - are HUGE!

As you watch, would you allow God to touch your heart - and cause you into doing SOMETHING to HELP?


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Rich and I are not the kind of people that are overly funny or laughing a lot.

As a matter of fact, we've oftentimes talked about how we are just both too serious

and how we need more laughter in the family.

I've been hearing laughter in the house now for over an hour


playing with Rich

{after he got back from being gone for almost a week}

It's so refreshing!

This boy has got the GIFT of LAUGHTER!

He laughs about anything and everything and has got the most wonderful sense of humor.

That's the ONE THING that stands out to everyone who gets to know our little treasure.

When we got that phone call from the social worker

over 4 years ago now

about a 6-month-old special needs baby needing care for 2-3 months

and we refused because it was the absolute worst timing

and later accepted, cuz God kept tugging at our heart

And when the first 6 months were so incredibly challenging

(yet enjoyable)

NEVER EVER in our wildest dreams could we have GUESSED that as we were "rescuing" this little one

that HE was going rescue US!

Not only in the laughter-department, but many more...

... like the little-brother-department

 (yup, he's perfect for Kylie, plays with her and she with him, teaches her to forgive over and over etc etc)

God sure has ways that are WAY different than we could ever cook up ourselves.

But - oh, so much better!!!!!!

This little boy is SUCH a BLESSING to our family!!!

He will soon have surgery on his right hand (the better one) to give him the function of at least one thumb. Could be as early as next Thursday, but for now, we don't know. Watch this space!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I don't hardly get any comments ever on my blog, 

but I KNOW that there are many of you reading it - haha!

So - this is my call to all of you lurkers from 


Next year, from the middle of August until the middle of September, there will be a 

VERY SPECIAL HAPPENIN' on the streets of Europe!

Drumroll, please.....

Inspired by a God-given DREAM to the Kings Kids leader (the wife, Mabel) in Uganda

Combined with a God-given IDEA to me in New Zealand

both about 2 years ago

sealed by mutual amazement about God's leading

and a time of prayer in their home in Uganda

almost 1 year ago,

This project IS gonna happen - YEAH!!

ONLY with God's help

and YOURS!

This is the idea:

Taking some of the ex-orphans in the "Orphans kNOw More"-families

who have been trained and well-prepared

to minister on the streets of Europe  

(there will also be a week in the UK)

sharing the Gospel

and their stories

with their traditional African costumes




They have SO MUCH to give and will be a tremendous blessing to people on the streets who don't know the GOODNESS of God!

The JOY they exude will be like a breath of fresh air for all who'll hear/see them!

Dickson and Mabel already spend 6 months ministering in Europe with a similar team

- before they got married -

and they said that people LOVED SO MUCH what they were doing that they would ask where they'd be going next to follow them around.

We experienced the same thing when we had a team of Tahitians in Germany many moons ago.

Europeans RESPOND so well to what THEY have to give!!!

Our desire is to do this project in collaboration with churches

who would be willing to house the team (about 20 total, including us)

feed us (just for 1 day)

and also give an opportunity for us to share with the Christians about the orphan crisis in Africa.

Besides ministering to non-believers on the streets

~ together with the Christians from the church (if they want) ~

we would want to bring awareness and hopefully raise support amongst the churches,

so that MORE ORPHANS can find loving forever families (in their own country)!!!

So ~ ~ ~ this is YOUR CHANCE to make a difference!

Email me at

and let me know if you think YOUR CHURCH MIGHT want to host our team!

No obligations yet - let's just talk and see

We will have only 1 week in each country

So - you've gotta move QUICKLY if you want us to come to your city!

Watch this space...
I'm very excited about this project

as well as UTTERLY aware of our dependence on GOD for this to come together,

plane tickets and all...



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Start Something that Matters

When I was on my way back home from Uganda, I picked up this book in one of the airport book-shops I was passing through.

I felt that I should read it, as it resonated with something that Rich and I had already felt to do concerning the fundraising for African orphans.

It is a fantastic, compelling, inspiring book!

It's the story of the "TOMS" shoes - not sure if you've heard about them...

And NO, we won't start selling shoes... hehe

The book has since become the #1 New York Bestseller!

Have a look at this poem about it and the ideas in it - striking!

Definitely worth a read!

Monday, October 10, 2011

ENJOY this song!

I just LOVE the WORD of GOD!!!

And this song, too!

And to think that I heard orphans in Uganda sing this song

Teenagers who used to be child-soldiers and have known unspeakable abuse and suffering...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Richard - our Ugandan son

While the Rugby-World-Cup-Fever is raging

with the New Zealand "All Blacks" playing tonight -

yup, even at this German/American-family - house

my thoughts drift to our big son in Uganda:


Seeing him again on this past trip was bitter-sweet.

Of course, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE him!!!

at a local African Restaurant, sharing lunch

He's a wonderful young man!

But I felt some - or rather lots - of pain and loss in him this time.

Last time, he was just so thrilled just to see us, 

his parents.
(as he's been calling us for years now, even though we've just been sponsoring him)

This time he was more vulnerable.

He shared with me how hard it was growing up without parents.

He's had a very hard year, 

been sick lots - even at the hospital several times -

his grandmother being very sick

and a LOT of pressure on him

to provide for the extended family.

To somehow come up with money for this and that need.

Imagine this:

Here you are just barely 20

still at (mechanic) school

and you are expected to provide for a whole extended family.


Because you're the most educated.


isn't he a handsome young man?!!

What struck me the hardest was after he said good-bye and walked off to his dormitory

I watched him walking away

and he just looked so - how can I say??? - beaten up.

Not literally, but in his spirit.

An orphan

with an orphan-spirit.

Empty inside.

So sad!

And yes, he does know God - somewhat - but

What a contrast to the young men I saw at the "Orphans Know More" families.


They all started out as orphans.

But our Richard JUST got an education through our sponsorship.

Yes, an occasional spiritual input.

But what he REALLY NEEDED was a FAMILY!

Parents that care for him,

provide for him

walk through all life's ups and downs with him

and help bring him to a place of HEALING


not just literally, but spiritually!

My heart is aching for you tonight, Richard!
I am sorry that we cannot be the kind of parents to you that you need.
We are not there for you.
We don't even hardly know you.
We are so sorry.
All we can do is PRAY that - somehow - God would give you a revelation of himself as your father and mother - and you as his son!
We love you so much!!!

You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear,
but you received the Spirit of SONSHIP.
And by him we cry: "Daddy".

Romans 8,15

P.S.: I think he also really missed his Dad Rich this time!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Have I told you...???

I've written so many long, wordy, sometimes heavy posts lately...

Just gotta shout it out tonight:

I am addicted to JESUS

So in love with HIM!!!


And I LOVE Africa,

just LOVE it -

or rather - the African people!!!

It's funny,

A few days after I got home from my last trip

I told Leilani:

"If I don't EVER take another plane in my life, I'll be just fine!"

Fast-forward 2 weeks -

I told Rich:

"If I had the chance to go back to Africa NOW

I'd hop on a plane in a heart-beat!"

My kids call me crazy sometimes

I guess they're right!

'nuf said.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Challenging YOU today

As much as the best kind of help for the poor has to do with empowering them and helping them get on their own feet so that they can make a living for themselves (see video in post below)

there ARE many situations that require 


like the many homes that take in abandoned babies off the streets

and toddlers

and older children as well.

There's a HUGE NEED of SUPPORT for these ministries!!!

I've had the privilege of meeting a number of wonderful local, Ugandan people
who have stepped out and taken in these precious little ones.


asked them questions

and looked behind the scenes of these children's lives who have been 


just by THEM reaching out and


You should read some of the children's stories - WOW!

They will not say it right away

but it is CLEAR

that the single most BIGGEST STRESS FACTOR for them

has to do with the FINANCES - or lack thereof - 

to meet the needs of caring for these little ones.

As a matter of fact, I am in contact with one of them

who has been diagnosed with a major health challenge since I got back home.

The reason?


When I asked her about the main stress-factor, she said it is the


And YES, she DOES trust GOD

But I know from my own experience,

that this area of constant concern can take a toll on you.


Would you allow God to break YOUR HEART with the things that break HIS?

Would you be willing to do SOMETHING???
You can maybe "fast" some of your every day pleasures, or extras

and give the money you save to help run some of these homes?


You can also PRAY!

Or do a fund-raiser
or something else creative.

I have made up prayer cards for about 20 children,

most of whom are in the need of a forever-family,

and I will be making more

as the 20 get snatched up.

There's a photo and some information to help in the praying.


All you have to do is send me an email - address on the right side of the blog

and I will send you a prayer sponsor card that you can print out.

I can also tell you how you can give.

It doesn't matter which country you're reading this blog from

I will be able to find a way for you to channel your finances

with the utmost integrity

straight to where they are needed.


Let's do it!!!
"For I was hungry and you fed me
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink
I was a stranger and you invited me into your home.
I was naked and you gave me clothing
I was sick and you cared for me.
I tell you the truth:
when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters

Matthew 25, 35, 40

Monday, October 3, 2011

There IS good aid and bad aid

I'm SO VERY GRATEFUL for the amazing people that God has placed in my life who have been teaching me on my journey to want to help the orphans and widows.

I was completely IGNORANT just a couple of years ago.

Had a good heart - 

compassion - 

but there's DEFINITELY a good way to help and a bad way to help!

Roughly, the bad way makes people dependent on continual help.
The good way is to EMPOWER people to help themselves.

On this last trip I felt I got a crash course in holistic, effective GOOD community development and aid. It was amazing! I just soaked everything up!!!

who embraced me as part of their family

taught me so much!!!

I even saw a coal-operated iron for the first time!

I had brought my Sunday clothes to their house so I could iron them,

but since there was no electricity, Fred prepared this iron - 


In the end, we didn't need to use it as electricity decided to grace us once again.

And - as a matter of fact - a young man named Gideon, a family friend who was over at the house, offered to do the ironing for me! 


It seems that Ugandan young men all know how to iron!

I guess it's kinda important for them to learn it, if they don't want to get eaten up by the mango-flies (through non-ironed clothes)

Here's an excellent clip that sums up so well what good aid really is!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

From Hopelessness to HOPE and a FUTURE

Before you read on, please re-visit this blog post from last December!

Now look at this picture (and the others further down):

Lydia with Judith, the YWAMer who is heading up the "Women of Hope" ministry - Lydia called her "my best friend"

When I met Lydia on my recent visit,

she was beaming,


I first met her at Judith's house.

Judith and Fred are the ones who have taken her on,

led her to know Jesus and 

are encouraging her.

They've also been feeding her and her children most days

even though they themselves have hardly anything.

She right away showed me some shorts she'd sewn for Judith's little boy.

When I visited Lydia's humble place

still the same place as last year,

this is what I saw:
showing me a skirt she'd sewn

There's a (single) mattress now that the 3 children share

I know, we should've gotten a bigger size mattress...

but hey, it's better than sleeping on concrete.

Lydia is sleeping next to them in a sleeping bag that somebody donated for her.

There's also a mosquito-net now.

Lydia was so proud to show me the different pieces of clothing she'd been sewing.

It was priceless - and one of the most encouraging encounters of my trip!

2 more pieces of new clothing she'd made

To see the difference it made 

for somebody to step up and take the risk of

committing to pay the tailoring training for Lydia

as well as her children's school fees.

Yes, I felt that I needed to step out. (with Rich's permission).

I DO like to keep my promises

but had NO way of knowing HOW I would come up with the money it would take month after month.

And yet

I felt compelled to DO SOMETHING.

And, boy, am I ever glad I did!

God has been faithfully providing so far

(through other people)!

Lydia will finish her training in December.

Then the plan is to get her a sewing machine and set her up to start her own little business.

She will need to pay back the sewing machine as she will be making money,

little by little.

I expect that in another 2 years, she will be on her own feet financially,

able to provide for the children's school fees, food, etc

Hopefully for the rest of her life.

with the 4-year-old twin boys Kato and Waswa and her 7-year-old daughter Amina

Just to see what a little bit of help can accomplish was SUCH an encouragement!

Judith told me how before Lydia would always cry and be completely hopeless.

NOT - ANY - MORE!!!!


May there be MANY MANY more like her!!!

We're just starting, folks!

Let me know if you want to help others - 

or help with the sewing machine for Lydia (US$130) -

or the children's ongoing school fees for another 2 years.

Folks - this is SOOOO WORTH every penny!

happy children!