Thursday, May 26, 2011

Youth Sunday

Sunday was Youth Sunday at Bundimalinga New Life Presbyterian Church. Led by the son of our teaching elder, it was a joyful time of worship led by youth, young men and women that are in their 20s. Vincent Byamuntura preached the sermon in which he challenged us all that we are Jesus’ agent for change. We are encouraged by the hearts of these youth as they teach “children’s church” to about 60-75 kids each week, lead passionate songs and raps, and periodically, serve the community by slashing the health center compound.

This is the first generation to have been raised under the teaching that God’s love through Jesus is more powerful than the witchcraft that is practiced by their clans, to see that monogamous marriage is the best way, and to be able to complete a high school education. There is a need for discipleship of these youth, primarily the young men, that they can be grounded in the gospel, as they are reaching out to those even younger than themselves.

So, if you know of such disciplers who have a passion for investing in such men, send them our way! With a team of almost all women, we are ready for a “few good men!”

Weekend Surprises

Lilli has proved to be an excellent Dog-Trainer
A wife of a MAF pilot sent me two dozen yellow roses as a belated “Happy Mother’s Day” from one missionary mother to another.

After a solid rain, the water tank in front of the old Leary-Nathan-Scott house, now called “Plumeria House” cracked and fell apart.

Despite the soggy airstrip, the SeeJesus Team was able to fly out after a day of great teaching at CSB.
Who knew that I could make funnel cakes in Bundibugyo?
Lilli and Patton had their first Sleep-Over as Kym and Lydia were stuck at our house due to a heavy-downpour of rain all afternoon and night!

Jessica surprised us with her enthusiasm for joining the kids in a good rain dance!

We are always surprised by the amazing sunsets over the Rwenzori Mountains.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Praying to SeeJesus at CSB

This morning, a MAF caravan plane brought four visitors to join us for the next 2 days as they meet with CSB teachers and present a training called “SeeJesus”. It is an inductive way to look at the person of Christ as he walked, talked, and interacted with people while he was on earth.

They are Robbie (Brit working in east Uganda), Steven (intern), Jonathan (pastor and trainer), and Wade (intern).

Please join us in praying for great conversations, teaching, and friendship as we all go through this training to impact CSB students in this second term.

For more information about the training, you can check out:

When your husband is your doctor

When we were support raising, someone asked us, “Aren’t you worried about taking your family to a place that does not have much good medical care?” Travis looked at them with a bit of a puzzled and even injured look as he had just completed 22 years of schooling/training to be a doctor.

In a place like Bundibugyo, I am glad that he is a doctor. Mostly, because our little family have been his primary patients. This week, we finished a bottle of Nu-Skin Skin Glue as Travis glued a deep gash in Patton’s chin closed (learning to ride without training wheels is hard in a rocky terrain!). And last week, the day after Travis had recovered from malaria, I came down with it (we do take malarial prophylaxis!). It was a really hard week, both from the sickness and from the side effects from the medicine. On Friday, I was feeling somewhat better as I had finished the malarial meds, so I was holding Aidan while I looked for his clothes in the wardrobe. When I closed the door, it hit my big toe and immediately I felt pain sear through my leg. The door had pulled up my toenail.

This is now the second time that Travis has saved the day as my doctor. The first was when he delivered Patton because he was born so fast that the midwife did not have time to arrive. The second was yesterday: the day he did a surgical procedure to remove my big toenail.

Which leaves me with two questions:

1. Do I get a discount if I get a pedicure?

2. Can I file an insurance claim and have Cigna pay my doctor? (That would help our support account!)

Meanwhile, I will be waiting 3-12 months to have a fully grown, hopefully not funky looking, big toenail. What a great way to keep me humble and my vanity in check as this is a sandals/flip flop only culture!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Suffering and Joy

One of the many motherless day-old infants that come to our home.

Joy personified in a run to find Easter eggs in our front yard.

Thanks everyone for your concern, prayers and calls. We miss you and are so thankful that you partner with us in so many ways.

Last Wednesday a little 3 day old girl was brought to my ultrasound clinic. Her father died a month ago and her mother died in child birth. Her aunt who brought her in and is the only known maternal relative, has HIV. We asked if there is anyone else who could breastfeed the child. She said no. This little girl has 5 older orphaned siblings. This child probably will not see her first birthday.

During our prayer meeting, Jessica shared in tears how hard it was to see this girl in this situation and feel helpless. Can we adopt this one? How about the other 5-10 motherless newborns who come to our motherless clinic? Yet, as we examine our resources, we are not sure we can even continue the motherless clinic. We want to help the many but we also want to love each individual child. What about this one? What about all of these “one”s? God loves each of them as much as you and I. He asks us to love them.

Having malaria, having to watch programs end that are so helpful because there are too few teammates here, struggling through cross-cultural relationships, struggling with communication via internet, struggling with car issues, struggling with electric power and even water, desiring friendships and missing much of our life in the US has a purpose. We do need your support and encouragement. We do need your prayers and emails. We do not need pity (though we often want it!)

We may be suffering a bit more here than we would in the US. It would be hard to catch Malaria in the US. Still, we are not suffering the same as those around us. We have mosquito nets. We take malaria prophylaxis. Our children are not malnourished. We have parents, siblings and friends that cherish us. We can catch an airplane to the States or even drive to Fort Portal if we need a break. Our children do read and have a great teacher teaching and mentoring them. We take for granted that they will go to university- let alone not worrying about school fees for primary school. Lilli plans to be a teacher/astronaut/archeologist/African Priest and does not expect to be a carrier of the water bucket/firewood and married by 15. We know that God is love and cares for us. He is our Father and we are not forgotten.

The scriptures never say that we are not suppose to suffer. It does not even say we should flee from it. We are to enter into suffering with the joy of knowing that we share in the sufferings of Christ. He suffered so we may know He loves us. He suffered that we may know joy. Our little suffering here drives us to love those around us whose suffering is so much more profound. We pray that in their suffering, their joy may be just as profound.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Teammates

We have been saying good-bye to dear friends now for a year. We are now excited to say hello!!!

This past month we have celebrated two wonderful events...

On April 15th Jessica Ankney arrived in Kampala- almost exactly a year after visiting Bundibugyo to see if it was a place she would want to work. We are so glad she decided that she did and are now so grateful to have our long-time friend with us on the field! Pray for her as she begins to learn the language and the medicine. She is a welcome addition to our Bundi family and will give much needed love and care to the children here!

Secondly, Robb, Sheila, Avery, Avelyn and Hayden Warfield have been approved as missionaries by WHM and have decided to join us here in Bundibugyo. They served previously in west Africa and through God’s shepherding they have become the personification of many answered prayers for us. Sheila is a mom who can love her children and the community along side Amy. Their children are similar in ages to ours and will be great friends- loads of adventure, fun and laughter- with ours. Robb brings with him the expertise in teacher development and administration skills that will help support and develop Christ School. I also look forward to swinging on more vines with him! Pray for them as they begin the journey of support raising and getting physically, emotionally and spiritually ready for the long adventure waiting them here in Bundi!

Back home

It is good to be back home, though often when Amy and I lay down our heads we are not sure where that is. Lilli reminds us that home is where we are all together.

There are many blogs that are missing from the last month. In general the last month has been one of hosting, recouping, re-focusing and re-planning. After a year of juggling several good but time consuming projects and ministries, we were want to pare down so we could go deeper with relationships and in specific areas we felt led to minister. We met with the Myhres and Herrons (our bosses and mentors), prayed, journaled, thought and sought for a more focused life here. During the time we laughed, cried, got sick, played, lived without-with-without electricity and worked- the usual! Here are some photos to catch you up.

Check out our gallery for more:

We miss you,

Travis and Amy

Home at last! After slogging through 13 kilometers of mud and water, we made it!

Answered prayer? After canceling our subscription to satellite internet, maybe a new alternative was built near our backyard overnight! Thanks for the prayers and for the support. (It will still be months before this tower might bring internet capabilities to us.)

Life on the highway! Our kids have learned to go with the flow and make the best of every situation. Truly, home is where we are all together.
Our neighbor kids getting ready for our Easter celebration

Easter song, Lilli making her debut at our church service.