Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jehovah Jireh

As I was putting Shayden to bed tonight and praying with him, I was thanking God for healing him (he's had the flu),"... And thank you, God, that you healed Shayden." 
And I added "You are Jehovah Rapha"

To which he promptly added,"And Jehovah Jireh"

I couldn't believe my ears! 

We don't exactly talk about God using these names around our house. 
But since Shayden learned about them one Sunday morning at the Sunday School of an African church in Germany (where they REALLY teach the kids!) - he's been mentioning them every so often - especially Jehovah Rapha (can you tell that we've had a lot of sickness here lately?). 

Sure enough - Shayden WAS right to mention Jehovah Jireh - our Provider! 
I was blown away by the timing of his comment!

Today we got some awesome news - a HUGE answer to prayer! 

If you've followed my blog for some time, you will have met Praise, my Ugandan friend and hero, caring for many orphans in the crudest of conditions. 

at a pool last September with some of the kids that Praise used to care for until they got adopted by one of the "Orphans Know More" families

Well, to make a long story short, Praise has been dreaming for some time of doing a Discipleship Training School with YWAM. 

She was going to do it a year ago but that didn't work out. 

On February 4th, 2013, the ministry we are with here in Tauranga, New Zealand is offering a "Tuition Free  DTS", which means that the students only have to pay their housing and food - and of course their transport to New Zealand as well as outreach costs. 

Rich and I felt to invite Praise to do this DTS - out of Africa - removed from all of her responsibilities (she's found people to care for her kids), get some quality input (instead of always output) - and besides that get a qualification that is accepted by the Ugandan government for caring for so many children.  

Getting Praise here and covering her costs was a huge faith project for us, as we didn't have any money at all towards her expenses, just barely keeping our own heads over water.
And we couldn't expect her to participate at all, since she's scraping by just to feed and care for her kids.

in front of her house - some of the children are hers, others just go to the school that she started

We need to pay her ticket in less than a month but up to today only had NZ$420. 

Not quite enough - hehe! 

(the first NZ$100 were donated by a young man from Iran who we met in AKL, believe it or not!)

SO - today was the DAY OF PROVISION! Jehovah JIREH did it again!

He used an elderly couple from Germany - not Christians - with a generous heart!
If I didn't know God so well, I would say UNBELIEVABLE! 
But - not so!
God's ways go WAY beyond our wildest imaginations!

There are still needs, but we can now get her plane ticket and pay for her housing and food during the lecture phase!

I am just OVER THE MOON - THRILLED TO BITS!!!!

I believe that God has a very special time in store for Praise and couldn't be more excited!!!

Now we "just" need to believe God to provide for this Discipleship Training School that Leilani has just gotten accepted to today! 

It's the same exact base where I did my DTS exactly 30 years ago next January! How about that?!!! 

Leilani felt in prayer that God wanted her to do her DTS there at that specific time!


She's been working hard to save up for it - besides finishing High School (home school) - 
but it won't be enough.

AND - our son Richard in Uganda will also be doing a DTS - starting February - right here.


Thankfully, this one is very cheap :) - we've definitely got faith for that!

JEHOVAH JIREH - YOU ARE AWESOME - A GOD OF MIRACLES!

So that they may KNOW YOU AND MAKE YOU KNOWN!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Once upon a time...

There was a young woman - ok, not soooo young - 28 to be exact -

who - together with her husband and little girl

lived in a beautiful tropical island

Far - far away from her home and family.

Her "castle" was a small 1-room-house without glass in the window-openings.

Their bedroom was a small garage with a bamboo curtain.

When it rained and stormed, they would get kind-of wet in there.



But her joy was immense, as she was eagerly anticipating the arrival of her baby boy.

He was considerate not to arrive on (nor soon after) his due-date, as the young woman had a bad cold and was feeling yuck.

So - on a Sunday morning, October the 27th, 1991 - 

just as she felt that she was FINALLY feeling well enough to give birth,

labor was induced, as the baby was showing signs of distress.

In the early afternoon, HE was finally there!

JOY!!!

But wait!

He was not doing very well - was blue all over.

The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, his stomach and his arm.

It was a MIRACLE that the little boy was alive!

And the woman was OVERJOYED!!!

GOD had GIFTED her with his precious LIFE!!!

Today

21 years later

this miracle boy

Jeremie Temanu (meaning bird)

is officially grown up - a man!

WOHOOOOO!!!!!!

Now living on another beautiful tropical island

far from his home and family

yet close to his gorgeous girl-friend

this young man is CELEBRATING TODAY!

And so is the woman - not so young anymore at all - and her husband

as well as the boy's 3 sisters and brother.

CELEBRATING an AMAZING young man!


Jeremie,

You are the most incredible young man. 
A leader mature beyond your years. 
Such a treasure to our hearts. 
Watching you become a man has given us more pleasure than we could have ever imagined. 
You have learned to lean on Jesus and you constantly glean from the wisdom of those around you.
You love well, you give well, you serve well.

Your future - with God on your side - is BRIGHT!!!

We couldn't be prouder of you and who you have become!

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

WE LOVE YOU - SO MUCH!!!

We had a special birthday breakfast today (waffles) and I made a yummy cake (all raw and healthy) which we'll eat tomorrow - your birthday in Hawaii-time.



Here are some photos from your last 21 years.

If you have 13 minutes, have a look - and ENJOY!




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Saturday, October 20, 2012

USUALLY

USUALLY

When God provides for people it's not through stuff that falls from heaven

Admitted - it HAS happened!

But it's not the norm.

USUALLY

God provides through people with flesh and blood.

Through YOU and ME sharing what we have.

Remember Praise's accident and the Update I wrote last week?

Well,  shortly after the accident, a wonderful Kiwi family from Tauranga, who moved their family to Uganda last year to do exactly that:

SHARING the blessings they have received with those less fortunate,

loaded up their 6 kids, bought some food - and - 3 hours later arrived at Praise's house in the village to deliver it.

At lunchtime.

Guess what?

There was no food cooking for lunch.

Remember?
The ones who were supposed to do the fund-raising concert to get food were badly injured in hospital.
No concert - no food.

YET

Through Team Gordon going WAY out of their way
 - from New Zealand -
to Kampala -
to Praise's village,
 there was PROVISION of food that day (and for a few more days, I think) -
 and I'm sure there was GREAT JOY!

THANK YOU, TEAM GORDON! YOU ROCK!!!

Friends, this kind of sharing does not come without cost.
Much more than money!

But isn't this the life we're called to live?

Jesus gave the example - we are his followers.

Praise lives like this.

As a matter of fact, she had JUST arrived back at the village after resting for a week at her aunts in town (the hospital sent her home as there was no room for her), when she was very disturbed by the news she received that the girl she had brought to the hospital the morning of the accident, was actually not doing well at all.
She was very unwell and on oxygen in the hospital.
The hospital staff hadn't wanted to tell Praise as she'd just had the accident.

Immediately, Praise went back to town to be with Monica in the hospital.

Please pray for this precious 11-year-old - one of Praise's students:

photo taken off Praise's facebook page
USUALLY

God moves when HIS PEOPLE

PRAY

REACH OUT IN LOVE

GIVE

That's the way he's got it going.

Let's JUST.DO.IT!

Lord, HELP US to LOVE like YOU do!







Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Balancing Act

I can't explain it.

It's definitely not perfect circumstances 
(although I do have to admit that I am very happy to be back home!).

I have this incredible JOY bubbling out of me - so much of the day.

I feel like I could explode with happiness!

First thing in the morning

When I go to bed at night

And many times in between (with definite exceptions!)

My heart is smiling.

I KNOW this is GOD!

He just tickles my heart

and does me good!

My Daddy!

Oh, how I love him!!!

He's the BEST!!! 

My LIFE, my JOY, the reason I can sing!

(S)he who has a glad heart has a continual feast 
[regardless of circumstances].
Proverbs 15,15

I've been mostly playing a catch-up game since coming back a month ago.
Getting the house back in order (kind of).
Preparing for home-schooling Shayden next year.
While home-schooling Kylie  - and trying to figure out if I should continue with her next year or send her back to school...
Filling up the kids' love cups after very busy months.
And - oh yea - catching up with Rich, too.
Can't forget the wife part - oopsies!

 I love being a Mom and find it hard sometimes to be so torn between my kids here and my kids in Africa. Part of me would love to JUST be a wife and Mom and do the very best possible job, nurturing my kids, pouring everything I've got into them, giving them THE BEST.
And then I'd love to be a devoted grandmother,  too - of course!

But then - there are my other kids - and pouring myself into the ministry definitely takes away from my kids here. It's quite a balancing act and I'm not always successful.





                                             



Up to you to choose which one I am - hehe!

I guess for me it comes down to a justice issue:

Why should my kids have EVERYTHING

and other kids - whose faces I have before me continually - 

BARELY SURVIVE?

How are my kids any more special than the thousands and millions that are silently suffering?

Truth is - they're not.
 
I love them to pieces - but how about those who have NOBODY?

ALL CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE THEIR BASIC NEEDS MET!

And the one who has 2 coats needs to share with the one who has none.

And this is not just materially and financially,

but also TIME.
 
'Nuf said for tonight.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Update on Praise

I just got off the phone with Praise, who has been released from hospital and staying with an aunt while trying to recover, still in a lot of pain - going back to the hospital now for a check-up.

She told me a bit more about the circumstances surrounding the accident:

Sunday morning, she was asked to take an 11-year-old girl from the community to the hospital, as she was very sick with HIV and dying and the mother (also HIV+ and very sick) wasn't able to take her. 

Praise dropped her off at the hospital and told the hospital staff that she would be back in the evening to take care of her. 
Believe me, when you are in the hospital in Uganda, you NEED somebody besides the hospital staff to care for you!

In the afternoon, she left with some friends to do a musical performance at a church meeting.
They were doing it as a fundraiser for her children, since they were in need of food for them.

Since it is the rainy season, there are a lot of mosquitoes around and many of the children have come down with malaria.

And in these circumstances, on the way to church, this terrible accident happened. 

It was raining and muddy.
They were driving and trying to avoid a boda-boda (motorcycle) and ended up in a ditch.

When people saw the car they didn't think that anybody would be alive in there.

Some onlookers - instead of helping - started taking car parts away for themselves...

So sad (yet typical)!

Praise herself doesn't remember any of this and only came back to consciousness in the hospital.

It really pains me to know how extremely challenging and traumatizing this whole situation is.
It just doesn't seem right!

All of Praise's friends who were going to help her with the concert/fundraising are still in bad condition in the hospital.

And - by the way - the 11-year-old girl ended up getting taken care of by the hospital staff and doing much better. So that's good!

But - PLEASE - continue to pray for Praise.
She needs healing in her body
Healing in her soul
Good sleep
Healing for her friends
Provision of food for her kids
Healing for all of her sick kids
(who are getting cared for by the people working with her)
ENCOURAGEMENT and STRENGTH

She is ALWAYS giving out
serving
rescuing
loving

And she really needs a GOOD DOSE OF LOVE POURED INTO HER right now!!!

Heavenly Father - would YOU do that please?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Prayers needed!

Asking for prayers for Praise!
I just found out that she was involved in a violent car accident on Sunday, on her way to minister through music, along with a car-load of friends.
She was unconscious for 2 hours - and is still in a lot of pain and shock. 
Thank God she wasn't as seriously injured as her friends who lost limbs etc. - as she had a seat-belt. (The seat-belt cut her)
But she does need our prayers!
Thank you!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"I love you so much, Mom!"

Those were the words that Kylie had quickly scribbled down and handed to me as we were just sitting down for dinner last night.

While we were eating, she told me that:

"Just having a Mom makes you feel 
so safe 
and good 
and comforted."

How true!

My thoughts immediately went to little darling Joseph in Uganda, who is in the hospital right now with malaria.

He has no Mom.
He has no Dad.

Josef during my visit at his school in February

But he has found somebody who's taken on the Mommy-role.
Or rather - she found him!
She's 26, single and looking after 24 treasures.

Oh - how comforting to know that she is with Joseph right now in the hospital!

And I'm sure her presence comforts and reassures him in this difficult time.

So glad he doesn't have to suffer somewhere on the streets

 - all alone - 


 

 like so many thousands of children worldwide!

Thank you, Praise, for being Mommy to Joseph today!


Yup, after a 3-month blogging-brake, due to extremely busy life-circumstances

 - including an 8-week trip to Europe - 

this is my jumping-back-on-board post.

Motivated by God's Father- and Mother-love for the orphans, 
I will keep pouring out my life, 
doing my part, 
so that many more Josephs can experience the love of God tangibly - 

through Praise and others like her!

Welcome back :) !


Friday, June 29, 2012

Glad...

... to know that right now, our son Richard is on his way to the village to bring blankets, mosquito nets and much needed FOOD to the 3 orphaned children he is now caring for (one of which is his biological sister, we found out)!

REALLY happy!

This was made possible through some thoughtful, caring and generous friends of ours! Yippeeee Jesus!!!  THANK YOUUUUU!!!!

There is also some planning in the pipelines for some sustainable way to feed them and the old lady caring for them long-term, but this will take some time.

In the meantime, I go to bed happy to know that these children are loved by this woman (very much so, I'm told, and no, she really doesn't want to give them up to an orphanage) and also by Richard, and most of all by their Daddy, who cares enough about them to touch people's hearts around the world to allow them to EAT and BE WARM at night!!!

Father of the fatherless...

I can SO imagine their exuberant joy at the sight of the provisions arriving!!!

So simple - small acts of kindness - yet - so BIG!

These kids will get to hear about their loving Father in heaven! Praying that they will also get a revelation of him and enter into relationship with HIM!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Thrilled to bits!

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Uganda was the day I got to visit with Praise -
and the surprise that GOD had in store for her at the end of the day when she got to meet the team from "International Voice for the Orphan" and tell her most amazing story.

I totally felt that this connection was from GOD!

You can read about the whole story here - it all started with my broken tooth.

Fast-forward to this week-end:

That same ministry is taking another team to Uganda - 
and I am tickled pink about one of 3 main projects they are hoping to accomplish:

Give a clean water system for Praise and her 24 orphans!!!

This just ROCKS and MAKES.MY.DAY!!!

And I know it's gonna bless Praise's (nonexistent) socks off her!!!!

Read what Linny Saunders wrote about it on her very popular blog:

There are even a couple of photos of Praise on the night that she met with the team. 
Just after she had told her story. Not to be missed!

What a beautiful young woman - inside and out! 
She really deserves all the help and support she can get!

If you're in the USA and want to contribute to the purchase of this very efficient long-term water solution for Praise, just follow the link in the post.

Wouldn't it be AWESOME to have a part in this LIFE-GIVING project and change the statistic of
 one child dying of contaminated water every 20 seconds!


It seems that they are not too far off from the goal.

Just a bit left.

YAY!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I was really happy today...


... until I read my emails.

Being in contact with Africa through emails is dangerous. 
You find out first hand what's happening...

ALL.THE.TIME.

How do you reconcile their world with ours? 
That's the hard question that I don't have an answer to, 
and I just get wasted - again and again and again.

HERE are Nathalie and Lewis, enjoying life, parenting - and expecting another baby - YAY!!! ...


HERE is Jeremie is pursuing his relationship with Austen and working in Hawaii - 
having a great time... 



THERE is our son Richard in Uganda, who is just between Nathalie and Jeremie in age,
loosing weight through sickness, lack of money to eat and worry. 
Yes, he is finished with his studies and working as a mechanic (when not sick), but not making enough to provide for all of his own needs as well as those of his extended family.

Just found out today that his Jaja (grandmother) died - that's enough sadness in itself. 
She raised him from the time he lost his parents at age 8.

visiting Jaja - not sure where she is now, as she was a M*slim
But to make matters worse, she left several young children that Richard is now expected to care for, as the most educated next of kin.

not sure if these are the ones  (Jaja was looking after them when we visited)




They're in a village at quite a distance from Kampala, looked after by some woman. 
They are freezing for lack of blankets (it's the rainy/colder season). 
They are starving (along with the whole village, it seems).

And Richard is left with the burden to "find some money" to care for them...

My son - our (adopted) son - - - HOW can I bear it?
Yet, we cannot even afford to send him a single dollar right now to help out...



HERE is Leilani, comfortably finishing up high school (home-schooling) and having a full social life...


 enjoying an afternoon at the park with Jeremie and the family before his departure for Hawaii



HERE is Kylie, happily going to school every day 
(I will home school her in 1 month to enable us to leave for Europe for 2 months)...
Gideon is CRAZY about Kylie - she's definitely his favourite!

THERE is a 14-year-old orphaned girl who's 7 months pregnant. She had been staying with a woman who only made her work and even hired her out to work for other people. She was so desperate to go to school that she believed the 17-year-old guy who promised to send her to school in exchange for sleeping with him. 
When he found out she was pregnant, he left her and she was brought to Praise as she's been found roaming the streets.

Praise (barely older than Nathalie and caring for now 24 orphans) can't have her stay with her in the village because she wouldn't be able to get her to the hospital to have the baby - when time comes - for lack of transport. 

Where can she go?



HERE is Shayden, thriving with all our love - and the therapies and help a special needs child gets in New Zealand (horse, swimming, gym, bike, chiropractor - you name it)




THERE is little Alex, also one of Praise's children, who recently barely escaped death from malaria -
for lack of a mosquito net.
photo sent by Praise from the hospital


I read these emails -


AND THEN I go to the Tauranga House of Prayer

- crying my eyes out before the Lord -

and pick up my Bible

only to read this in my daily reading (Ps.82):

"Do justice to the weak (poor) and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy; 
rescue them out of the hand of the wicked."

My heart is broken

I am devastated

And in spite of being incredibly (and sometimes too) busy -

I am COMPELLED to continue pouring myself out

on behalf of

 THE POOR

THE WEAK

THE ORPHANS.

Just don't be surprised if you see me around Tauranga wearing my sunglasses in the middle of our (almost) winter...

Let the reader understand.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Europe trip coming up!

Wanna know what I've been up to?
And why I haven't posted much lately?

Just too busy, that's all.
I've been preparing for an awareness-/fundraising trip through Europe for this beautiful, beautiful ministry!

Some of the people in this video will be traveling with us

12 children/youth and 4 adults

Exciting stuff - and keeping me out of mischief for a good while :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Birthdays!

Leilani turned 17 a couple of days ago - and had her birthday party today!
We are SOOO privileged to have a daughter like her who brings MUCH JOY into our family and is becoming a radiant young woman who loves God and people!

Sadly, our camera isn't working at the moment, so no photos from the birthday...



AND

One year ago - tomorrow - our first grandson - Gideon Temana, the mighty warrior, made his entrance into this world - with a big battle - which, by the grace of God, he won!

We are SOOO grateful for his LIFE and HEALTH and SMILES and the busy little man that he is - full of energy - just started walking!

What a JOY he is and we are SO grateful to GOD for this gift to our family!

Here are some photos from his first year. Enjoy!


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Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy (belated) EASTER!

"Greater love has no one than this
that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15,13
 

We've had a wonderful Easter!

Hence the - belated ~ ~ ~

Just enjoying LIFE - FAMILY - FRIENDS - NATURE - and mostly

JESUS!!!
 

"He died not for men, but for each man. 
If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.”

~ C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

West-Africa


I just stumbled onto this information - makes my heart ache!
This is the area of Africa that I feel called to - at SOME point.
French-speaking Africa.

I recently told Rich that I don't know if I EVER want to go back to Africa.

The PAIN I experience with what I see and hear there is just about too much to handle...



Of course, I WILL go back.
I HAVE to.
(as of today, there are 58 children sponsored by our church-members in the "Hope In Villages+" project and this will have to be followed up - 
especially the + part...)

But not soon.

Just a 2 1/2 week trip has pretty much consumed my life for 2 months.
And my family needs me.

But nonetheless, my heart breaks for these dear people in West-Africa.

LORD, have mercy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WATER - precious WATER

Thought this short student produced, directed, and created film that has won numerous awards since being released, fit well with my recent post with the photo of Praise's children getting water.

Just another ~ creative ~ perspective on the world water crisis.

I would SO love for Praise and her kids to get access to CLEAN WATER!!!




Saturday, March 24, 2012

In Memory of you ...




 

You were abandoned
malnourished
depressed
sick

longing for belonging

love
from a mother and a father.






NOW

you are healed

well

happy

whole

in the arms of JESUS.







There are many of us who are grieving for you, sweet princess - and we miss you:


Remmie, who took you in

and cared for you since you were 2/3 months old

staying many days/nights/weeks with you in the hospital

even though you were just one of 20+ she was caring for.

She truly loved you

even though she knew you were not hers to keep.

Remmie, the Baby Home director - with the older children just before school




The "aunties" at the Baby Home who loved you and cared for you

tirelessly 



The other children at the Baby Home.



Your adoptive parents, who were just waiting for the complicated adoption process to be finished,

so that you could be in their arms forever. 



And there's our family - especially me.

Shayden (and often Kylie) and I prayed for you almost daily since last September.




My heart is in much pain - once again.



I've also loved you - and one day I know, I will see you again!

Until then,  ENJOY heaven - and your NEW LIFE there!

SOOOO MUCH BETTER!!!

P.S.: I will never EVER forget you!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

I don't know why...

... I keep writing about Praise and her children...

There are so many other things to write about, too.

I guess, when I first met Praise last year, I felt a strong connection with her and was DEEPLY moved after I left her place.

She's doing exactly what I've felt I was supposed to do since I was a little girl:

taking in abandoned babies and little ones -

I just find my heart so strongly connected and constantly praying.
Praise was really encouraged about the money that has been given to help her with the debt for the house and she 
THANKS EACH ONE VERY MUCH!

Here's an excerpt from her email yesterday:

...Since now many people know that i stay with children so i find that 
almost every day i get more than one phone call telling me
about cases of suffering children and even last week they brought  a
baby and left the baby in one of the class rooms  at night and in the
morning we found a child  crying wrapped in rugs and i took it to
police and they the police asked me to keep it... 
 
God helped and found a pastor who took the baby.
 
There's much more to say - Praise also goes out and shares about the love of Jesus with the street kids, she tries to find families for the many children that end up at her doorstep.
She cannot possibly take on more at the moment, as she cannot even properly provide for the ones she's got.  But she's got a HUGE heart!

 

this is where the children get their drinking (and other) water - NOT clean!

 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Some mighty beautiful school-kids for ya!

While my heart is about to burst with blog-posts,
I'll refrain myself and take it slowly...

For today, just a lil treat with a couple of short video-clips from Praise's school, started just over a month ago..

Explanations are on the vimeo site where the videos are.






 
AND - an excerpt from an email Praise sent me last week, after I told her I had arrived back home safely but my heart was pained with all that I saw and witnessed in Uganda.

I just LOVE her heart!

"I know my sister, Africa makes me cry too though i live in it but
what people pass through here also make me cry tho i'm an African
too but i know where there is God, there is hope that one day one time
God will hear the cry of His people here and things will change."
 
 
THANK YOU if you have prayed for Praise's situation (see last post) or given!
 
EVERY prayer and EVERY gift counts!
 
So far, close to NZ$700 (US$500) have been either given or pledged. 
I'm so excited as I know what JOY and RELIEF this will mean for Praise! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What I DON'T like about Africa

There is ONE THING that I really don't like about Africa:

It's a certain automatic mathematical equation.

Wanna know which one???


 SKIN-COLOUR WHITE = MONEY

I know this may seem blunt - but it is true.

When people see you as a "Mzungu" - white person - 

they automatically think you've got money.

 
Ahemmm
 

As much as there is truth in it

It bothers me, because it is NOT ALWAYS true!
{just take me as an example... hehe}


And by the way, not everyone in Africa thinks this.

On our first trip to Uganda, Rich and I were told that

more than anything,

more than money,

what our African FAMILY REALLY want is

our FRIENDSHIP

our LOVE

us WALKING WITH them -

letting them feel that they're not alone in their intense struggles.


BUT - for the majority, the above equation is what they've got in mind when they spot white skin,

as wrinkly and freckly as it may be - haha!


{of course, with the exception of the children}


Remember Praise?

If you're new to my blog, you can read about my recent visit with her here and here.


Well, after my visit, the team from International Voice for the Orphan that I wrote about also visited her.

They took pictures of the children so that they can find prayer sponsors for them as a part of this beautiful ministry they have recently started.

This was supposed to be a blessing for Praise and the children

And I believe that it WILL BE - some day.

But at the moment, our/their visit is more of a "curse" for Praise

WHY?

Because she's now got PRESSURE from her debtor to repay the loan she took to get the house into a live-able state before she moved there with the children early February.

some of the children with Irene Kisolo, who is over-seeing Praise together with her husband Sam on the day we visited from Jinja (2 1/2 hours drive one way)


He saw the Mzungus visit - and concluded that they must have left a lot of money for Praise

{which I'm sure we ALL would have LOVED to do!!!}

But unfortunately, this was not the case.

So now she's got the debtor at her heels, demanding a prompt repayment of NZ$2,600 {US$2,200}

This makes me  ~  mad!

All I can do is PRAY - for GOD to intervene.

Will you pray with me, PLEASE?!!!



THANKS for letting me vent!
Boy, this blog is therapeutic for me :)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

IF you want to GIVE towards this need, you can do it through

Orphans Aid International (mark: Orphans Know More, Praise) if you're in New Zealand

YWAM Cimarron (mark: Orphans Know More, Praise) if you're in the USA and

from any other country, just email me.
{and please also let me know with a short email if you give through the above websites - THANKS!}

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hilarious!

My heart's been SOOO heavy - and my body SOOOO weak.

 I am really struggling to readjust after this trip.



Yesterday was my birthday - spent most of the day laying around - resting, grieving.



What made my day

and caused the biggest laugh I can remember in a long time

was my sweet Kylie's note for my birthday:



 In case you can't read it:

I love you, Mom.
You are the bravest Mom I know.
You go to dangerous places
you have a kind heart
but sometimes you leave the hard jobs to Dad.

Happy birthday!


When I asked her later what she meant by me leaving the hard jobs to Dad
(she was in school when I read the note),
she said, 
"Oh well ~ ~ ~ you know ~ ~ ~ taking care of us kids!"

I KNEW it (that's why I laughed so hard!) !

What does the proverb say:

"A cheerful heart is like medicine!"

Sure was for me yesterday!

Oh, how I love (my) KIDS!!!
 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A king, a horse, turtles and apple-pie

... or in other words:

FAMILY-TIME!!!

Today was the first day that I felt like myself again - since arriving on Wednesday night.

Pouuaaahhh - it's been a tough few days.

But so much better now!


Kylie's way of spending quality time is role-play.

She's quite the determined little leader-personality

and full of creativity.

I just have to do what she asks me to do


follow her cues


and she's happy!

In case you need an explanation:

Kylie is the royal horse, pulling the carriage with King Shayden.


That was yesterday.



Today we made turtle houses for them and played in the "pretend" pool...

Kylie and Shayden also helped me make an apple-pie with apples from our garden(!!!).

What else can you do on a rainy day, trying to be quiet,
 with Rich catching up on sleep after his busy night-shift.


And of course, my knight was most delighted to wake up to one if his favorites!



Fun times!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

HOPE arising!

“Sometimes I would like to ask God why he allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, when he could do something about it, 
but I’m afraid He’ll ask me the same question.” 

Anonymous



As I am still struggling to digest my recent heart-breaking Uganda-experiences,
I need to lift up my spirits tonight.

I'm by myself, Rich is working a night-shift at the ambulance,
the kids are gone or asleep.

And my thoughts drift to Lydia...

If you've been following my blog for some time, you'll remember me first meeting this young widow in December of 2010. 

Well, SOMEBODY did decide to DO SOMETHING to be Jesus' outstretched hands to this precious woman - and she is in a COMPLETELY different place today!!!

No, actually, she still lives in the same place, but already during my last visit, there was a huge change.

Please read this blog-post before scrolling further down. 

C'mon

read it first 

please!




Well, I found out some more bits of information on this last trip that made me even happier about stepping out to help her:

Her late husband came from a Muslim family.
 After his death she was to become her husband's brother's wife, according to Muslim tradition.
But since she was a Christian, she refused this.

As a result, she was ostracized from the whole family.

She really was in a VERY HARD place when I met her!!!


TODAY, she has HOPE for a future as a seamstress with a sewing machine.

God is also restoring the relationships with her husband's family.
They respect her and are starting to be involved in her and her children's lives.

This is SOOO COOOOL and I am in AWE of what GOD has done!!!

She recently gave her testimony to a group of women who are still in great poverty and desperation and her encouragement made them all cry...



Don't get me wrong:

Lydia is still struggling to feed her kids,

I am still committed to {somehow} paying her 3 children's school fees for 2 years,

she'll need some time to develop her skill and build up a business
 
and she is longing for a decent place to live.

But she has HOPE!!!



Have a look at Lydia last week, as she was sewing bags for me to bring back home.






Her (female) pastor has allowed her to keep the sewing machine at her place and work there, too, 
as she can't work from her tiny rented room without windows.

She is hard-working and very motivated.

Look at the beautiful bags as she was bringing them to me on my last day in the Jinja-area!




I will try to sell them and the profit will help pay off the loan for the sewing machine.

Actually, come to think of it:

If you'd like to buy one, email me and I'll send you one.

Anywhere in the world!

They are light and the postage won't be much.

There is only one model

 - reversible - 

with a pocket for cell-phone/keys

straight from the beautiful continent of AFRICA!

INCLUDING the very special smell of smoke coming from the charcoal fire that food gets prepared on (will go away with washing)!
  
YUP!

VERY SPECIAL INDEED!!!

The cost for one bag:

NZ$20

US$15

13 Euro

(plus shipping)



Leilani already snatched the first one from me as soon as I arrived back home.

Only 14 left...

Oh well, if this story {hopefully the first of many more to come!} didn't make your day  -

it sure made mine!