Wednesday, August 28

Uganda Day 3: Karamajong

We did so much in Uganda in such a short period of time that it is hard to blog every detail. So hard. But this day was really special. By this day our team was really exhausted. Jet-lag was catching up to us and we were feeling weary but we had a FULL day of serving ahead of us.

(I may have had a few little melt downs here and there but who's saying anything anyway)

We started off by going to church. Church in Uganda is very different then church in America. These people don't just sit and attend church. They get into it and they 'do' church.  And church isn't a 'rushed' hour and fifteen minutes. It is anywhere from 2.5 hours to 4 hours. I might have fallen asleep 3 times during the service and then the spontaneous worship and dancing would jar me awake. The congregation would jump up and dance and the praise team would play a song anytime the Pastor made a REALLY good point. I couldn't understand anything the sweet pastor was saying. His accent was thick. But I am guessing by the 3 spontaneous worship breaks during the sermon, he must have been bringing the house down!

That is our team leading a worship at the Ugandan church!

After the service we ran by the hotel so we could caffeine up. Coffee in Uganda is TERRIBLE.
Seriously. Its gross.
So I was not only jet-lagged but I was also having coffee withdrawals. Not a good thing.
I was edgy and shaky and I have never been more thankful for a nice bottle of Coke.

After we got our caffeine fix we went on to visit the Karamajong tribe. This place wrecked me. It ripped my heart out and I fell in love. The children, the women, the babies... they were so beautiful and so excited to see us. I would consider this tribe to be barely reached. It is a tribe that is being introduced to Jesus but hasn't been populated with many missionaries. This tribe is a tribe of "outcasts". They are the "unloved", the "forgotten", the "shunned" and they come from all over Uganda. The children were desperate for our affection and attention. They were almost aggressive about it. Fighting over who would get touched or hugged next.
I wish I could have held all of them.

Above Photos by Whitney Ray. 

We broke up into 2 teams to minister to the people more effectively. One group went with the children and ministered to them while the other half went to minister to the widows. I, as well as Phillip, Stephen, Tim, Ashley, Jessica W and Megan were on the widow team. We each went down the line and shared truth with them. We shared the Love of Jesus with them and told them how valuable and how cherished they are to their Father. Their creator.
(I didn't share...I was too over come with emotion)
We each then prayed over very specific things that the crowd asked us to pray for.

Prayer over spiritual warfare

They didn't want us to pray for earthly things. They were wanting the things that God can provide. They wanted more of Jesus and what he had to offer.
After praying we went and prayed over a few people specifically.

One woman grabbed my hand and asked for me to pray for a husband. For a husband who would love her baby that she had as a result of rape. The precious woman gripped my hand and asked me to tell God that she needed shelter and money to buy food. She needed a husband to provide those things. She couldn't do it on her own.
After pleading with the Lord to see her right where she is at and asking him to provide supernaturally for this woman, His daughter, she asked me to ask God to heal her baby. I reached my hand out and touched the face of this tiny baby. It could not have been more then a couple months old. As I touched this babies little face all I felt the intense heat coming from it. This baby had the highest fever I have ever felt with my hand. His/her eyes were tinted a deep yellow color where it was supposed to be white and its mouth was dry and its body was slightly trembling. This poor thing was deathly ill. Here in the middle of this village. With no doctor around and no protection from the elements. I pleaded with God, the Great Physician, our Great Healer,  to save this baby. To restore its body. To bring his healing touch. I have faith that that sweet baby is alive and well today with no trace of sickness or disease.

Moment like that change you.
It changes you perspective.
It breaks your heart.
It makes you hunger for the Power of God.

Moments like that make you seek the Kingdom with urgency. For days I dreamed about this baby. Maybe one day I will see that sweet child again.

After visiting the Karamajong people we went for a little team treat at King Fishers Lodge. It was awesome. The perfect way to end our hard work in Uganda. We took a boat tour on the Nile and ate some Yummy food. It was perfect to sit and relax before heading to Ethiopia the next day.

Tuesday, August 27

Back to School. 1st Grade.

School started today! Woohoo!!

This is "round 2" of 1st grade for us. We feel more confident then we did last year and we are ready to own it.

We got the same teacher we had at the beginning of the school year last year. (We held parker down after Thanksgiving break for those of you who are just now following our story. See here.)
It was honestly the best decision we have ever made for him. Even though he still reminds me from time to time that he is really 'supposed to be' in the 2nd grade.
I am sure I will get this every year until he graduates. Oh well kid. It is what it is.
I am still confused this year why God is calling me to this particular style of education. When I look at myself I don't not see the typical "homeschool' mom. I am not the weepy mom on the first day of school I am the one bolting to my car yelling "HALLELUJAH!!!" on the inside. While I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kids, I also LOVE LOVE LOVE time for myself to do my own things and time by myself.
Selfish? Maybe...

However I do recognize that my children will be adults and have children of their own someday and that this current season will be over way too fast. I am told that one day I will sit in my quiet house. No kids, no noise and no mess and I will cry. I will cry and long for the day to hear Mario in the background and I will long to be running my sweet babes to and fro.
It really is a beautiful season and it is a beautiful life.

Congrats to you mommas whose kids started school last week, this week and next week. I pray that all of our kids have the BEST year yet and that their little minds and hearts flourish.

PS...I have about 5 Arica posts I will be posting with the next few days. This summer got away with me. But it has been great being somewhat 'screen free'.

Monday, August 12

Winding Down.

Summer break is winding down.
It is sad how fast this summer went by. It seems like yesterday that we were celebrating the first day of Summer.
This summer held so much adventure.
We went to Uganda+Ethiopia, Phoenix, Lubbock, Dallas.
Phillip's sister visited us for a week.
My sister was here from Dallas all summer.
We have swam, played and have watched alot of movies.
We have attended lawn concerts and have had birthday parties and dinner parties.
My kids have mastered driving me crazy and have mastered sleeping in until 9:30.

While I have been embracing summer and I also ready for school to start.
I am ready for schedules, soccer, crisp fall air, fall flavored food, Starbucks Thanksgiving blend coffee and much more. (including a regular blog schedule again)

This Thursday night from 6-10PM my best friend Lana and her husband are having an Estate Sale. Because they feel like they just HAVE to be all obedient and follow God and move to Africa and such. I mean how amazing is that! God has been moving on their hearts in so many areas over the last couple years and this summer they undeniably heard God tell them to GO! Sell all of your possessions and GO! So... They are. I know she misses me already. I mean who wouldn't.... Just kidding. :)

But really... If you live in Midland or Odessa or even Lubbock or Abilene you should come. Come and buy all the pretty things in her house. I am so proud of my friends for being brave and facing the unknown. For laying down their life for the sake of those they will meet in Ethiopia. I am proud to call them FRIEND.

How has your summer been? Are you ready for school to start back up?