Saturday, December 31, 2011
So much has happened in these two years that it is hard to recollect. Not long after we returned from Kenya I began this blog, so those who don't know the whole story can go back and read. For those of you who do, we thank God that you have been beside us on this amazing journey to Africa. God has done some amazing and miraculous things in these last few years. He sold our house in just 3 weeks, 100% of our support and start-up funds were raised, we have many new friends and churches that are working with us to further the Kingdom, and our family is adjusting amazingly well to life in Uganda. None of this could have been possible apart from God and the Lord has moved as a result of literally hundreds of you who consistently pray and support us. It has been an amazing ride and we so look forward to what the Lord will do in 2012.
Since living in Uganda we have met some amazing new friends. The missionary community here has been so supportive and helpful in our adjustment to life in Africa as well as seting up our home. We know it was/is divine intervention from the Lord. The people who are helping in and around our home have been such a blessing. Mbusa who is helping with the outside work, Grace who helps with homeschooling and cooking, Prossie who helps with all other housework, and Peter who is our night guard. They may all think that we provide so much to them, but they don't realize how much they have given and taught us. There have been times when we were able to assist them, but we pray that those times they saw Jesus and not us. We are blessed now to have Prossie's two children, Manilla Hope and Dean, in our home daily with her. We have the opportunity to teach them about Jesus, so that they and the generations that follow will know the love of Christ. We also love the fact that God has placed us in the lives of our neighbors across the street. We pray that every interaction we have: taking the children to church, buying medicine for their child who has malaria, purchasing chapati/rolexes(tortillas with eggs) from the father at his duka (his shop), that they clearly see Christ and how He brought us to this new land to serve the people of Africa whom He loves so much. Even the times we spend talking to the parking people who collect the parking fees (there are human parking meters here), we pray we are seizing every opportunity to teach about Jesus and His sacrifice of love for all humanity (John 3:16). We even had one of them ask us to buy him a Bible :) We pray we have made and continue to make an eternal difference here in the lives of those the Lord has placed us here to serve.
I haven't even begun to tell you about the seminary. Right now the school is at capacity with student enrollment, and Aaron has been overseeing the building project of the newest dormitory. The next building project is tentatively slated for March with two new classrooms. Aaron is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach deep biblical truth to hundreds of preachers, teachers, and church leaders, who then take sound doctrine all across East Africa. It's almost too unreal to believe where God has put us and how He is using all of us!!
I have also had the opportunity to help out where needed at the school. For two weeks I was able to fill in for the nurse on site while she was traveling. I was stretched beyond what I thought I could do and learned so much during that time. I also have been working in the seminary textbook room, making sure that books are issued to students and then received back from them at the end of term. I'm also looking into other ways that I can support the work going on at Uganda Baptist Seminary.
In this last term at the school, Nicholas and Dylan had the opportunity to take Aaron's New Testament Background class. They really enjoyed it and did very well. In Jan. they look forward to taking another class on church history. It has given them a chance to learn more from the Africans in class and also gives them some time to discuss life and the Bible with others. Last term they spoke at length with a Rwandan pastor who lived through the genocide there in the mid '90s. Quite an education on world events and perspectives! We plan to continue to use the classes at the seminary to enhance their high school curriculum. What an amazing opportunity God has blessed us with to help us raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)! Marie and Joey have had fun learning Luganda, the local tribal language here. Marie is picking it up faster than any of us. Joey's favorite word is Bulungi which means good. He is either saying "No Bulungi" or "Bulungi" to Manilla Hope since she only speaks Luganda right now.
In reflection we want to thank God and thank you all for your vital role in this incredible adventure for Jesus. Please continue to pray for our family and our ministry here during 2012. We pray that this is only the beginning of many years to come!!!! Thank you again for being a part of what God is doing here in East Africa.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Friday afternoon outside our gate, while Marie and Joey were playing with our neighbor children, I asked about their health. Nabira, the 10 year old girl, stated that her mother was at the hospital with their 8 year old sister, Janette. Apparently a few days before Janette had gotten very sick and almost died at home. As the children were talking you could see the concern on their faces. One mentioned that maybe I could go the next day to visit her. Another one of the older boys said that maybe I could take them to see her. My heart was heavy with the thought of this precious child being so sick, and the mother having to be away from the rest of her children while tending to the sick one. So, I decided to visit the next day.
I was a bit concerned since I didn't know what the diagnoses was. I could easily walk into a situation where Janette could have TB, since we had heard a child coughing terribly a few days earlier. With much prayer of safety and for God to give me the right words, I headed to the hospital the next day with the oldest child in the family, Ashliff. Also, this would be the first time meeting the mother. Upon arriving I found Mother with Janette and another surprise. Not only was Janette in the hospital, but her 3 month old baby sister, Rasheeda, was also very sick. Janette was diagnosed with pneumonia and looked fairly well, other than a pretty yucky cough here and there. However, the baby was diagnosed with malaria and the flu and was not doing well. This little girl had a cough like none I've ever heard before. My children have had pneumonia, croup, flu, and bronchitis, but I've never heard anything like this before. Upon awaking the child continuously coughed, almost without being able to take a breath. All I could think was that if this had been in the U.S. she would be on oxygen, breathing treatments, and complete nursing care. The care she was receiving was intramuscular injections of antibiotics, steroid shots, some various cough medicines. and no doctor or nurse to be found. The major issue was that the antibiotic she was on was not the right medicine to eradicate the malaria. Baby Rasheeda was scheduled to get one more dose of the antibiotic, and then she was going to be released from the hospital. All I could think is that I needed to pray over this family and this child. God directed me to ask the mother if I could pray over them before leaving. She enthusiastically said yes.
I began by putting my hands on Mother, Janette, and baby. I prayed aloud with them that God would do a miraculous healing in Rasheeda, and continue the healing process in Janette. I prayed with a boldness like I've never prayed before. Afterwards, I quietly said to God, please show them that you are real. I left the hospital with my nursing mindset that new medical care was needed. So I started talking to other missionaries through the day about other options for medical care in Jinja. I also needed to find out if it would be okay to help them financially if that was a cause for them to not want better medical care. Later that day I was going to head back to the hospital, when I saw that Mother was back home with both children. I went over to visit to see how Baby Rasheeda was doing. The mother said better. We sat and talked for about 15-20 minutes while Rasheeda was fully awake and very responsive. By God's healing power the child did not cough once while being there for that amount of time. Many of you might say right away that God had healed. Yes He did!! But sitting there my mind didn't process all that had happened right away. I did tell the mother that it was because God heard our prayers. I again checked on them again on Sunday and the baby was continuing to improve even more. Thank you, Lord, for showing yourself to this family.
On Sunday we picked up four of the seven children of this family to take them to church with us once again. This has become a weekly treat now:) During church I was able to share about this miracle that God had allowed me to take part in. It was a joyous time of giving God all the honor and glory for what had happened. After church the oldest child, Ashliff, thanked me for sharing the story. I just looked at him and said, "Ashliff, thank God for what he did. I was only obedient to do what He asked." Come to find out, I have been told this is a Muslim family. Wow!!! God please work and help me be bold for Your namesake.
Family and friends...you never know what can happen when you are obedient to do what God calls you to do. Please don't let fear stand in your way, like I almost did. Step out on faith and know that God will work out all things for His own glory. Please join me in prayer for this precious family who needs to know and accept the free gift of salvation from my Lord, Jesus Christ. ------Blessings, Dana.
Monday, October 3, 2011
We are going to Acacia Community Church. It is a wonderful church with a Christian heart. We sit under a tree while we listen to the pastor preach. Last week at Children's Church there was a little girl standing by one of the tables. We were doing our lesson and all of a sudden, she screams! There was a lizard in her shoe and it was crawling up her leg! I felt terrible for her. I have some Ugandan friends. They're awesome! We also sing "I am a Team Kid" every Sunday. It's fantastic! I love to sing it!!
For now we are eating out on Sundays. Some places we've been is The Keep, Ling-Lings (Chinese food), and Paradise Hotel on the Nile. At Paradise we sat where we could see the Nile River and they had excellent pizza. It was beautiful! At home we have two helpers. Their names are Grace and Prossie. I am learning how to cook. I now know how to make chapatis(tortillas but thicker) and banana bread. For Dad's birthday we had a banana loaf as the cake. We even put a candle on it!
You might be wondering about our safety at night. We have a guard named Peter. He is a very nice man. Then we have Mbusa who is our garden and yard help. Joey and him get along very well.
Me, Mbusa, and Joey
Even though we have a guard, it's God who really is protecting us. God has kept us safe so far, and I know He'll continue to do so. Praise God for what He's done. Also, please, please, pray! I miss you all. God bless! Bye for now!!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
We traveled on Aug. 31 from Dayton airport, to Atlanta(2.5 hr. layover), to Amsterdam(another 2.5 hr. layover), to Kigali, Rwanda(let people off and pick people up), then to Entebbe, Uganda. All said and done it took over 26 hours from Dayton to Uganda. God answered many prayers by having all the fees for 27 checked in bags waived, no delays, all children and dog(Buckets) did very well, and all bags arrived at destination. On top of that when we arrived in Uganda we were greeted by another missionary co-worker who took wonderful care of getting us transportation on a bus(also called coaster)and a house to stay in for that night. The next morning we visited the Game store(dept. store) and supermarket to buy some things before heading to Jinja. Needless to say we were all anxious to travel to our home in Jinja which is a two hour ride from Kampala, the capitol of Uganda.
Friday, Sept. 2 we arrived at our new home. What a home!!! God blessed us with a beautiful home that was lovingly prepared by many who serve here in Uganda. All the kids rushed in the door to see their rooms and Aaron and I stood in the living room in awe of how beautiful it is. We quickly were going in one room and then another trying to take in all we were seeing. All I can say about our home is that it is beautiful not only because of the furnishings, but because so much love and hard work was poured into it by many of our fellow missionaries. After lunch everyone left to allow our family time to be in our home by ourselves. However, plans changed quickly (as they often do here) and Aaron had to leave to do an errand. So I started unpacking some things so we could at least have the basic necessities.
In the next few days I worked at getting all bags and boxes unpacked while traveling hither and yonder to get things in Jinja. Some of the most memorable things thus far for me was my first trip to the market. Wow!!! What an experience. There were so many people and things smashed into small places that it was so hard to move. It is amazing what you can find at the market. Things you wouldn't think of like caulking, plungers (called toilet pushers), bolts and screws, any vegetable I think you could imagine, live and dead chickens, goats, fish, and the list goes on and on. Trying to get around Jinja was not so easy at first. The biggest issue is that everything is backwards in comparison to the US. You drive on the wrong side of the road, the steering wheel is on the right side of the car, and everything but the brake and gas are opposite. God help me if we purchase a vehicle that is a stick shift since I've never driven one:) I asked the missionary who took me to the market how long it would take me to get around and find things in Jinja and the central market. Her response was that there is alot more traffic now, then when they first moved here over 20 years ago. Oh boy, I thought. However, two days later I had visited the market two more times, I could navigate around Jinja, and I had actually driven a couple of blocks to drop Nick and Dylan off at they youth Bible study. So now this little town is becoming home.
The children are all doing very well. Nick and Dylan have spent time making lots of new friends. Marie and Joey have new friends of their own and have already been to a couple of birthday parties. The church we are attending is wonderful. Hate to tell you Urbancrest family but Marie said it may even be better:) I think it's because we get to sit outside under a tree. Everyone here has been so supportive, encouraging, helpful, and loving. God has blessed immeasurably. Buckets is doing well and getting along with our German Shepherd, Misty. We do have a few gecko and frog friends that live in our home with us. So far no snakes or rats, but I'll keep you posted:)
Life here is very different, hard at times, but without a doubt an adventure. When things are absurd it is referred to as TIA(This Is Africa). For example even though we drill into concrete walls screws pull out, the power strips are not grounded, if it's new it doesn't mean that it will work for more than a few days, ants overtake your home in a matter of hours, water in bathroom floor because of clogged drain, huge gaps around new windows where critters can easily enter, and the list could go on and on. Even through the many inconveniences I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. A huge blessing that occurred was that Aaron didn't get shocked when drilling into the wall to hang a fan. The drill bit hit the wires but instead of going through them, the black and red wires just moved apart. Thank you Jesus!!!
Thank you to all that pray for us and encourage us through emails. I will have pictures and possible videos soon. I've been so busy trying to get our house in order that I haven't had time to enjoy Uganda yet. Today we did get to have lunch overlooking the Nile River and believe it or not we ate pizza:) It was really good too. God has been our strength through the small trials that have come and will continue to be and through it all we pray that we glorify His name. I am going to have the children post soon, so they can share their experiences thus far. Please continue to pray for our family as we transition to this new land and this new home. We wouldn't be here if it were not for the many faithful supporters and prayer warriors that we have. Thank you all.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The task at hand this week is to try to fit all necessary items into these Contico storage boxes. Right now we have twenty-four of these boxes waiting to be filled. We have one week to have all our personal belongings sold, in storage, or packed. We have begun the daunting task of packing and boy am I tired. These last two weeks we have worked to sell what we can and still are in the process of that. Today, we began packing and I look around our home wondering how in the world we will be able to get all our stuff into these storage containers. Most of our weight and space is being taken up by homeschooling curriculum and books. Aaron and I packed three boxes weighing 50 lbs. each, and we yet have essential personal items in any of them. Tomorrow we've decided to make sure we start packing our clothes. It would be bad to get over there and have nothing to wear:) (At least our children would still be well educated).
So please pray for stamina and patience as we try to pack everything we need to live in Uganda. God has been so awesome to prepare the way and number our steps. We are so close to being on the plane Aug. 31. We look forward to having a few weeks of visiting family and friends before we depart. Please continue to pray for our family as it is going to be very difficult to say goodbye. We so appreciate our many brothers and sisters in Christ who continually lift us up in prayer. Our family could not take this journey without your prayers and encouragement. Thank you!!!!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Please continue to pray for us as we continue on this journey. God continues to bless and do only what He can do. It's amazing to see and know people that are being the hands and feet of Jesus to get our family to Uganda. We can not do this without the team that God has brought together to support and encourage us along the way. Continue to pray for our support to come in and for us to be fully funded before leaving. Right now we are at 75% of monthly support needed. We are trusting in God to raise up churches and individuals to raise that last 25%. Aaron and I have no doubt that He will do it. Thank you to those who are continually praying for our family. We will be in Uganda before we know it:)
Saturday, June 18, 2011
July we will begin by visiting Aaron's brother, Davy, and his son, Joshua in VA. We are excited to see them before leaving the states. When we return, we will begin packing, selling the rest of our household goods, and getting rid of the rest. God has been so good to allow us to do much of the logistics in stages. However, I have found going through our things the most daunting and sometimes very hard, since many items are tied with memories of the children. We will be moving out of our townhouse on July 31 and moving to northern KY. A lovely couple has offered our family to live with them (including Buckets our dog) for the month of August. Thank you so much, Jim and Bonnie, for opening your home up to our family. We so look forward to getting to know you all better:)
Please continue to pray for our family these next few weeks as so much will be going on. We do look forward to our time in VA, but please pray for safe travel. Things in Uganda are coming along wonderfully well. We have been truely blessed with all the support of those who are spending so much time to make our house beautiful. God continues to bless and amaze us daily. Thank you to all those who continuely lift our family up before the Lord.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Aaron just returned from a 3 day conference in Louisville, KY on raising support. He learned a tremendous amount and came back ready to dive in full-time to connecting with churches and individuals. Since he is no longer teaching he will be able to devote more time to this. I just finished up having a two day garage sale. The Lord blessed with 2 beautiful days of sunshine. We sold most of our household items and will in turn put that money into furnishing our home in Jinja.
Thank you to all who have been praying for our family and our journey to Uganda. Please continue to pray for connections to be made with churches and individuals to partner with us to teach God's Word in East Africa. There is much ground to conquer before Aug. 31, but we know we serve a God where nothing is impossible. He has been so sweet to show us this time and time again. Please look for our latest newsletter to be showing up in your inbox. Until my next post, God Bless!!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Aaron and I have prayed, thought, envisioned for so long about being on the mission field. Now the day is fast approaching. On this side of the world, we have busily been working to connect with various churches to continue raising support. We still need churches and individuals to partner with us through prayer and giving. We also have been sorting all our household goods and liquidating them. That is a daunting task, when most everything has to go. The Lord has and is being so gracious to allow us to do this in stages. When selling our house last year we had to get rid of half, and now we have the task of selling the rest. The blessing is that so far people have wanted and needed what we have, and it has been fairly easy to dispose of our items. In a week we will have a garage sale (thank you Jessica for helping us raise funds for Uganda) and hopefully get rid of a majority of our household goods. I love to see how God is working all this out, and as you get rid of something here, He is blessing us with what we need over there.
So please continue to pray for our family during this time. Please pray for partnerships to continue and for God to raise up the remainder of the funds needed to get to Uganda. So much is going on and sometimes it is easy to get caught up in all the doing and not taking time to just be with the Father. Of course with going through and determining what is going, what to sell, and what to store, there are many emotions that go along with that. I honestly thought it would be harder for the children, but they surprisingly are doing very well with it. I think Dad and Mom have the memories that are associated with so many of the items. Pray that the right house will be found and rented over in Uganda and all the details worked out. I pray that this will be a home where Christ's love will be shared with many.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
1. We purchased plane tickets today at a price greatly below our initial cost estimate!!!! We will be leaving Wednesday morning, August 31st and arriving in Uganda Thursday evening, September 1st!!!
2. Praise the Lord we have two availabilities for housing in Jinja!!!! Both are in the location we need and both are suitable for our family. We will have more information on this soon, and we thank you all for praying specifically for this need. God continues to answer the prayers of His kiddos so please keep 'em coming!!!
We thank God for your prayers and support and look forward to seeing Him move and supply what is needed to complete this preparation phase of the mission. Still much ground to cover between now and September, but we are certain that the Lord will continue to provide and bless.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Last week we were invited to a missionary conference at our home church, Urbancrest Baptist Church. This was the 5th year that we had participated in the Global Impact Celebration in some way. For the first few years we hosted missionaries in our home during this celebration. Now I can't believe we are the missionaries!! Isn't it funny how God works? We have always connected so well with missionaries, because they are as crazy as we are:) We had a wonderful time meeting new missionaries along with other ones that we have known for years. So many people were there loving and encouraging us throughout the week. It was such an inspiring time!! I'd like to thank the Overbey Sunday School class for taking such good care of our family. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share with all of you our heart and calling to Uganda. You're class is so supportive and giving, and I thank God for this time that we had to get to know all of you. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this week special for all of the missionaries.
Please continue to pray for our family. There is much that will be taking place over the next few months. However, we want to remain focused on Him who gives us life each day. Pray that we will continue to make connections with churches and individuals you want to partner with us. Prayer is essential for us to continue down this road. Please, please, pray for us and our trek to getting to Uganda and beyond.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Two weeks ago we visited Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro, OH. We had a wonderful time there with our brothers and sisters in Christ. They all made us feel so welcomed and treated us like family. We like to thank everyone who took the time to talk to us. For those who said they would be praying, please continue. We look forward to visiting with you again in the near future.
We feel very blessed to have a nice warm home. I think it is most in the forefront of my mind when the weather is as bad as it has been. Miami University has been cancelled the last two days. That is saying something:) We have about 3/4" of ice and snow to boot. However, I know by comparison to some other states this is nothing. I thank God we haven't had a power outage so far. Aaron and I keep saying to each other that we hope this is the last winter we have to experience ice and snow. We pray by next winter we will be in Uganda, where there is no snow and ice:)
Please keep praying for God to make a way for us to leave by summer. We know without a doubt that God does answer prayers. Thank you to all the faithful prayer warriors that we have on our team. God hears so please continue to lift us up. We hope we can get across to individuals that if everyone would commit to $10 a month, then we would be in Uganda in no time. Please pray whether God may be stirring your heart to be a part of educating those in Africa about Christ.