Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Where I Belong!

This afternoon, while driving home, Amanda and I listened to Building 429 "Where I Belong." I had goosebumps! What a reminder that we are not called to comfortable here on this earth.

 All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

Later in the evening I was on FaceBook, yes this missionary is on FB :) There was a post from a friend who is also here in Uganda. She is homeschooling 8 missionary kids! The post was a Francis Chan video. Again it was a reminder about how important it is to NOT live for this world. Just a small part of our existence is here on earth, the rest of eternity is awaiting us! Hope it put things into perspective for you as it did me! Francis Chan Rope Illustration

I may be out here in Africa living what the Lord has called me to do, for now. Both the song and video hit me....I am now in the Lord's will but I have to daily make sure I am walking where He wants me. Daily I need to do what He is asking me to do! For now it is Africa and what I am doing here has eternal value. It all comes down to just one thing......not regretting! He calls, I go.Whenever and where ever!

Lord, help me see that life here is short. There is so much more ahead. Help my selfish will be laid to rest so I can take up my cross and follow you. May my mind be set on eternal things and not the here and now. -Amen

Monday, January 28, 2013

Learning Through Faith

Friday, I dropped my car off at the shop. It is amazing how much maintenance cars out here need. The roads are hard, dust is flying, and the sun it hot. For parts that move, Africa is no cake walk.

The Beast, what I named my 4X4 Toyota Prado, had a laundry list of repairs. Just as roads are hard on cars repairs are hard on my wallet! Fixing my car is always a leap of faith. You just never know how much it will cost or how long it will take. Friday to Tuesday this time and close to $400.

The Beast!
The Lord is teaching me a lesson in faith right now. There is $100 in my account and the $400 bill comes due tomorrow afternoon. Now as you read this you might be thinking this is a peal for more support, trust me it is not! There is peace in my heart. God will provide and will do so in His timing! How do I know?! Because our God is faithful.

I know how great His provisions are! When I moved to Uganda I came out with a dream to have a car but no funds for one. 6 months after I landed a The Beast was given me to. Yes, I was given a car. God  touched some missionaries heart's. They were head back to American for good and thought I could use the car. How great is our God?!  He is AMAZING!

So just like a car was given when there was a need I know the funds will be as well. I pray for His will and timing. As He answers I can not wait to share it with you!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fast Update

 Many of you know I set out to do a 30 fast. Well I made it 10 days...10 out of 30 ain't bad, right?!

Let me explain. The first three days were very hard. The no coffee was a killer. Mornings were not good nor was I pretty. By day four I was feeling better but very weak. On day five I was feeling the better. By this time some hope was shining, making me think I could make it to day30.

After having a few low days, days 6-8, I listened to some really wise people. They pointed out it was my first fast..and 30days might be a little ambitious. They suggested I think about 10 or 15 days to start off with. After that I will be able to go a little longer next time and eventually work up to 30days.  Part of me was upset at the fact I was struggling so much while the other part wanted to end the fast that day!

Over the next day, day8, I  really prayed about ending before 30days and I felt peace about it. So I pushed through the next two days and finished as strong as I could!

It is strange to think of how much I learned about myself in 10days. Really I learned a lot. Saw some things that were not pretty but now I know about them so I can work on it. The growing process is not over, it will never be over.

For those of you who prayed for me, THANK YOU. It was need and felt. If the Lord ever asks you to do a crazy thing like a fast let me know. I would love to pray for you!

10 Things I learned about myself while on the 10Day Fast:
1. My flesh is selfish!
2. Often food is used as a filler (when I am sad, stressed, tired an so on) for me.
3. I can live without coffee (I do not like it but I can).
4. I do not pray as much as I would like to think I do.
5. There is a need to dig more into the Word daily.
6. God is slow to anger and quick to love, I need to be more like that.
7. Heath goes beyond food.
8. Others are often used to help us grow, we need to be open to listening to them.
9. I often wait to hear from God in big ways while missing the small ways He speaks to me.
10. God is so good and big! I often lose sight of that!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oh, what a shortbread cookie can do!!

That saying "The Lord works in mysterious ways, " could not be more true! I just got a call from a missionary friend working in the the North part of Uganda. She just had received a small care-package I sent to her via another missionary. 

She called with an excited voice, it brought a smile to my face! She proceeded to tell me how thankful she was for the care-package. The other day she noted she was walking around the house looking for something small to eat. She was craving some British Short-Bread cookies, which I just so happen to have picked up in town for her package. Her voice was so joyful as she told me how much the little gift meant to her. As I listened to her I could not feel that the Lord used me to bless her. He had me go into the right shop, walk down the right allies,  and pick the right cookies.

Really think about it. I know her but we had not spoken in weeks. I was clueless she was craving short-bread. Also I was so unaware you could even get them here in Kampala, but the Lord knew! This small event has made me stop and think. How many times does the Lord use me or uses others and we are unaware of how we are being used.   It just is a testament to how He knows best, His timing is perfect, and what great things happen when we obey Him! So from now on I pray to be better at being open to the Spirit! If He moves I will go, if He prompts I will respond, and so on.

Lord use me! Even in little ways. When you do something it is not for nothing. Help me see how every little thing plays a part in your master plan. Soften my heart so I can hear your Spirit better! -Amen

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Better than water for sun soaked skin!

Today the African sun was out in full force! Rainy season is over, hello hot hot heat and dry dusty days.

After spending most of the day in the sun my skin was dry and tired. Even with sunscreen on and replied a few times this Scandinavian DNA never really tans.  I have made peace with always turning a lovely shade of red. To help combat the sun dried feeling I soaked in a lovely coconut milk bath, home made of course!

It may sound a little odd, I thought so too at first but TRUST me. Your skin will love it and you will love how you feel after! The coconut milk proteins are better than water for your sun soaked skin and the lavender oil helps make that red color fade. The smell is also amazing. So tranquil and tropical! Next time your skin is crying out for some love after a day in the sun.....feed it with a rich milk bath!

How To:
1/2 cup coconut milk (I use powered because it is what I have. From the tin will work just as well.)
15-20 drops of lavender oil
2-3 heaping Tbps of backing soda

Add all ingredients to a lukewarm bath as you are drawing it. Soak in heaven for at least 30 min.

Chocolate and Strawberry?

What is better than chocolate and strawberry? Ummm....in my mind NOTHING! While getting real strawberries is a monumental task here in Uganda I have created a yummy and easy way to have both flavors in one bite!

This treat is a great crowd please-er I made it for an orientation and it was gone in just a few short minutes. Easy and yummy nothing can be better!

How To:
-Make 1 box of strawberry cake mix (follow instructions on the box and set to the side)
-Make one batch of homemade browine batter (yes home made because it is the best)
-Grease one 9x8 pan (I use coconut oil)
-Pour the cake mix into pan
-Pour brownie mix on top of the cake mix
-Bake in oven on 180C for 15-20 minutes (tooth pick should come out clean when done)
-ENJOY every bite!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The View As I See It...

As I type there are three little girls asleep in my guest room. We shared a night full of fun, movies, nail painting, pizza, giggles, stories, and more! They are here growing up in Africa. Each day they learn more about this world we live in, as well as how the Lord has called us into it to help others come to know Him.

As I sit in my candle lite room I can not help but think. What will these girls grow up to be?! The Lord has a great plan in store for them. They have hopes and dreams. Who knows....maybe one will be first woman president.

While I think about them and what the years to come look like, I am excited, but also sad. I love kids (if you did not know that already). Something inside of me looks at the view as I see it and is over come with mixed emotion. God has called me to Africa. He has blessed me. Each day He shows me where He wants me. Today He wants me with these sweet girls. But there is a hole in my heart. I long for little ones of mine own (not only biologically but through adoption as well). As I have a ball with every child the Lord passes in my path with I wonder.  Will ever have children of my own?

Maybe a family is not what God has for me. If so, that is something I will have to come to terms with. Only He knows what is down this crazy road called life. So from where I sit there is joy paired with longing. I will do my best to give it to the Lord. Fully lay this desire down at His feet and TRUST. So much easier said than done. I will hold on to the truth I know: 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me. 
 No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.
 Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths. Psalm 25:2-4

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How could you say NO?!

Look at these faces?! Too cute! How could you say no to them?! I can't! I see most of these sweethearts each and every day. They life near the Central Region office.

Their families have answered the call of the Lord to serve here in Africa. Many are working among unreached people groups in Central Region. In many of these remote areas where they are ministering education options are slim to none! So most MKs are home schooled.

I am so excited to say Central Region Short-Term supports these AH-mazing families with home school support! Many of the families have expressed the need of support through a STmer coming out from any where to 6 months to a year. It maybe heard to think ahead to the next school year but it is coming! Two families here in Central Region are asking for help for the 2013/2014 school year! Please pray with me. Praying the Lord to touches people's hearts for these precious MKs. If you or someone you know would be interested in helping out...here is more info!

Is God calling you?

Do you have a love of teaching? Is your heart passionate about children growing into who God has created them to be? If so...WE NEED YOU!

Many families working in Chad, preaching God's word, have children. Children need to learn and in order for children to learn teachers are needed!

For more information: AIM US Office

8 New....

2013 is here! God is moving! This month alone 8 new Short-Term missionaries will land here in Uganda.

2 have landed this past week. Just yesterday they finished orientation and are headed to their ministry locations. It was so great to hear how each one had a different encounter with God and how uniquely His called each of them to Africa.

Every orientation gives me goosebumps! As each ST missionary tells their story I see how big our God is.  I also love to see them draw out their stories, yes we have fun in orientation with colors and markers! With 2 out of the 8 done I am getting even more excited for the rest of the month!

Post Bus our Short-Termes use to get to the South-West of Uganda
Please join me in prayer for the 2 new STmers and 1 skilled STmer who are traveling to the South-West of Uganda to their ministry location. They are enjoying a 5 hour bus ride to meet up with their Unit Leader and go through one more field orientation. Travel in Africa is never easy nor what one expects. We are praying for a safe and uneventful ride!

Also please cover the 6 yet to arrive here in Uganda. 1 New short-termer is currently at AIM's US office going through orientation and will be flying out on the 9th.
AIM US's last Short-Term orientation! A few of these STemers are here on the field already!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year and New You?

You know that saying you always hear at the New Year?! "Here is to a New Year and a new you!" Well this New Years was the first time I really thought about it. I am all for the new year part....change is the only thing that is consent. But the new you part made me a little uneasy.

We all want to be the best we can be......the person God created us to be. He has great plans for us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

We are each created to play a role is His symphony that tells the world of His great love for us. So when someone says "here is to a new you" my spirit cringes! I do not want to be a new me where the change starts with me!

Really! Think about it. If I was the person I wanted to be I would not be who the Lord created me to be! My natural self is selfish, greedy, stubborn, ugly, impatience,  you all know I could go on! So with all these sinful traits why would I not want more of the Lord?!

Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 
Romans 5:3-6

So this year I am asking the Lord for a new me, one that is of His design. For the next month I will be letting go of things and clinging more to the Lord. Giving up all processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugar, and more unnatural products that I so often put in my body. Giving up to replace what has been missing! Fruit and veggies will be the main staple of my diet for the next 31 days. 

Now, I am not naive. It will be hard! Very hard. But a wise friend has encouraged me to pray, A LOT! So is just what I am going to do. There are many things I could pray for. What the Lord has touched my heart to pray on the ministry He has called me to, Central Region Short-Term. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord is doing a lot in our Short-Term missionaries, the countries and areas they are working in, in the people they are ministering to, and in me.       
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21

The next month will be a wild ride! So excited to see what the Lord does. There will be change, for the better! I would love your prayers during this time, I am sure it will not be pretty for the first few days!