Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our Latest Newsletter

Here is this month's newsletter.  If you would like to get these newsletters directly in your inbox, then email me to get added to our distribution list.  We love to share what God continues to do through us here in Uganda.  Thank you to all of those you continually pray for our family.  We so appreciate it.


Parenting in Africa

This is an article that I recently read.  Thought it was so well said, that I wanted to share.  It's so true:)

Some people tell me it is brave to raise my kids in Africa. They could get malaria or be bitten by a poisonous snake. They don’t have a Sunday School class. They can’t eat gluten-free foods. Their friends are Muslims. They live far away from cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents.
My initial reaction is to be tempted to say, “Well, I think it is brave to raise kids in America.” I know my heart, my soul-shriveling tendency to love the world. I know my kids, how quickly they could be sucked into the idolatry of a nation whose church is the shopping mall and whose God is the latest iPhone.
But this kneejerk reaction is wrong because it assumes brave is the right word to use to describe parenting, whether in Africa or in the United States.
Brave is the wrong word.

Life As Fasting

Living overseas is a form of fasting. Fasting from the comforts of a would-be heaven on earth where there are hot showers, dishwashers and clothes dryers, fully-stocked grocery stores and someone else to teach piano lessons. Living overseas is fasting that says, “this much, O God, this much, I want to know you.” And, “this much, O God, this much, I want you to be known”.
I want to know God deeply and I want him to be known so much that I will risk scary diseases, fast from my beloved family and worldly comforts, and teach my children to engage with neighbors of differing faiths. But to live and fast like that, to raise my children like that, isn’t brave.
When I think about mothering my three children who love this steamy, desert nation, I don’t feel brave. I feel dependent. Helplessly, desperately, breathlessly, clingingly dependent.


Any mother, anywhere in the world, could receive a phone call in the next five minutes about a car accident. A child could decide Jesus is an imaginary friend and reject truth. Another could fall into immoral living.
There is nothing brave about loving little people who will grow up and could choose to abandon the things of God. But for dependency on the promises and character of God, there is terror and anxiety.
Being dependent isn’t just for mothers living in Africa. The only way to parent is with faith that God is able to keep and hold our children. The only way to parent is to be dependent on his sovereign plan and tender care for them. Dependent on the strength of the everlasting arms to hold us, to hold our children, and to keep us in perfect peace with our minds stayed on Him.
No, brave is not the right word for parents.
Dependent is.
Rachel Pieh Jones is a wife, mother, and freelance writer. She and her husband Tom have three children: Magdalene (11), Henry (11), and Lucy (6). She lives in east Africa and blogs at djiboutijones.com

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm....... In Africa

There are so many things that I find interesting living here. Uganda is a place where most things are not done with excellency and so you bear the fruit of that. Some examples are

- buying new items and within a few days they no longer work

- electrical outages for days because company doesn't have vital parts needed

- electric gets turned off because of not paying your bill, which you did but they
were behind on billing- so to turn it back on all you have to do is switch the
breaker back on inside the electrical box:)

- electrical boxes outside that are not water tight so wires rust and catch on fire

- dogs barking/kids screaming all hours of the day. This last week there was a dog on our lane that has barked all hours of the night.

- when getting dependent and student passes for family, lawyer tells you that immigration has lost the file. Waiting to see what to do about this one:)

- still waiting for screens to be finished on guest house from January when the man told me that he would be back the next day

- when you go purchase cooking gas, all the gas stations say "it is finished"

- security company that you have hired doesn't pay guards for weeks and if we were not to pay our workers we would be taken to court

So these are just a few things off the top of my head in the last few days I've been dealing with. Life here is a huge adjustment and sometimes frustrating. The Lord has said we will have trials, which can be every day trials such as these. In James 1:12 it says, "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial." We are blessed because if he exude the Love of Christ through these small trials then God will bless us with "the crown of life." My interactions with the people around me is a direct correlation with how much I love the Lord. Sometimes I don't want to think this because then I would realize that sometimes I don't love the Lord very much. My sinful nature takes over and I'm not very loving to the people that I'm speaking to because of by own desires (retaliation for what I think is right) as Peter wrote in 1:14. Peter 1:15 states, "that desire gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. I thank God for the trials here, because if we didn't have them then I would think I could live here without seeking God's wisdom and direction. Daily I'm reminded that is not possible here in our new home nor in the U.S. either. But it becomes much more evident when you are constantly out of your comfort zone:)

My prayer is that people (my family, workers, students at the seminary, other missionaries, shopkeepers and parking attendants in Jinja) when they see me will know that I love them like their Creator loves them. In some ways I do wonder if that is possible, but since I have the Holy Spirit in me which is the same as Jesus walking right beside me, then it is. I pray that each day I learn how to be more and more like Jesus. To do that every interaction I have needs to be more and more like Him. Please pray that every step I take is one step closer to being like Jesus:) For everyone who reads this, I pray that we all will heed what Colossians 4:5-6 says, "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."