Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Seeing the world through the eyes of Jesus

I feel as though I have a very big responsibility to communicate a clear picture of life here in Africa. I know there are so many of you that have committed to praying for us, helped financially to get us here, and given generously so we can bless the people of Uganda. I have a deep desire to capture the essence of the people, the culture and their lives here. I want you to understand and to know how much you have blessed this community. I want you to see the huge smiles, the tears in the eyes, the bowing out of respect, their response of sincere gratefulness. I honestly feel guilty or humbled that I get to be the messenger of these gifts, that I get to be a part of blessing these people. It is so much fun. Thank you to all of you that have given so graciously of yourselves, of your time, and of your money. As many people have said to us...may God return the blessing to you tenfold.

As Lacey and I have blogged and looked through our pictures, we realize the stories and pictures do not do justice for what we are experiencing. There is the context of the culture, the smells, and the sounds that are missing. All these pieces put together make a beautiful, awe-inspiring experience. It is truly life changing.

We have given out coloring books to children while getting down on the ground with them to show them how to use the markers. We have blown so many bubbles that last time, I about hyperventilated. We have given supplies to adults...lastnight at Danida village, all the women (about 30 of them) excitedly looked through their bag of goodies--filled with soap, shampoo, lotions, paper, pens and pencils, scissors, bouncy balls, devotionals, Bible activity books, toothbrushes, hair rubberbands, etc. One woman took out a box of Irish Spring soap and opened it. She kept smelling the soap over and over. She was telling all the women around her how good the soap smelled. She kept looking at me and saying thank you. She had an entire bag filled with things and she was enjoying each item. She was so excited about a box of soap. This is Jesus ministering through you. You made someone's day lastnight, and people were brought to Christ.

Last week we gave care packages to all the mamas at Amani. We had them all gather on the lawn with the children and told them how much they are loved and prayed for. These bags were filled with items for each mama's entire family. These bags were put together from an assortment of donations from Grace Bible Church, Adelphi Christian Academy, J.J., Randi, and their children, the Wilson's, Hurt's, and many other families. We also learned that one of the greatest ongoing needs at Amani is formula for the little babies. So with the blessing of the Clough's, Lacey and I got to buy 13 cans of formula. We have distributed many magazines to the mama's and have been told by several that they want to make necklaces from these magazines before I leave. J.J. and Randi and their children, along with the Power's family, blessed Amani with brand new pajamas! The list goes on and on. We still have a stash of goods to hand out and are continuing to pray about who should receive them. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are making a difference! And we are having a blast!

An update on Katie...she is hanging in there. She is very weak and tires easily. She is very clingy and it is apparent that she is constantly in pain. She moans and groans a lot, sleeps restlessly, and appears irritable. We were able to see a British doctor who said her ear was very, very red and said she had been on the wrong medicine, so he immediately put her on amoxicillin. Her white blood cells were high which I am expecting that to be from the ear infection. Her hemoglobin level is very low, around 6.6. Todd is doing research to find which children's hospital will be the best for her. There is no pediatric hematologist in Billings, so we will have to travel to one. This will need to be done within the first month of bringing her home...and the sooner the better. I am fearing that she is close to going into crisis. Please continue to lift her in prayer. And that God would give me the strength to love her the way she needs to be loved.

Christopher is doing great. He is full of smiles and loves to be cuddled. Did I mention how much he and Katie like to eat?! If you have food, you can pretty much gurantee that you will gain two little friends!

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!


aakoenig said...

Thanks for the encouraging words and wonderful word pictures. I am just imagining everything. I am sure most of it is wrong, but it still fun to try and paint a picture.
What a joy to be blessing so many people. I suppose it is a lot like Operation christmas Child, when the children open their boxes full of gifts. I have always wanted to see their excitement.
I can't wait to have you home, but I am excited to hear and read about all that God still has planned for you.

Cloughamily said...

"Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!" Psalm 47:1,2

I love seeing Uganda through your eyes. You pay attention to each little detail and are able to convey the emotions of the people so beautifully. Thank you! It is extremely thoughtful of you to share with all of us just how God is using any little bit of resource that was sent along with you from the states. It's as though you have carried each of us with you in your pocket, and amidst all that you are doing and seeing and experiencing you are still able to be fully focused and devoted to God as well as considering us. You are so dear.

I praise God for His leading you to bless Ayub and his family. Perfect! I have cried numerous times upon thinking of what God did for him. And I keep praying for him and his family. If you see Ayub again, please tell him that friends in America are praying God's blessings over him and his family.

Hubby and I have been discussing a family vacation over the past couple of months. But this past weekend God showed us, through Isaiah 58:6,7, that He has a different plan for us. He put it on both of our hearts to fast from our vacation and to use that money for God's purpose. We're not sure of all the people and places He will direct us, but we do know He wants us to give some to Amani Baby Cottage. On Sunday, when hubby asked me what Amani's needs were and what I wanted to give I immediately said FORMULA! I cried when I read that that is what God lead you to purchase for the babies. Praise God for His superabundant goodness and love!

Oh Jenny, I wish I was with you! I want to love on those babies at Amani. One day, hubby says. If you get the chance could you post pictures of some of the children at Amani? Children who need forever families? And I was curious if there are any siblings at the cottage? I'm a glutton for boys, just so you know. Though our boys want sisters. We will wait on God's direction and timing.

Please know that we pray multiple times daily for you, Christopher, and Katie. God bless you!