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I Love You Mom!

These words are still true 2 years later, RIP Mommy. I love you!

IVEGOTCONFIDENCE

Esther Z, my little momAs her time on this Earth draws ever closer to an end, and her eternal life with Jesus and all that have gone before her comes ever closer into view, I would like to take a moment to share my little Mommy with all of you.

She has been very brave in the last few years to endure sickness and disease, Alzheimer’s, which has left her memory rather frayed and confusing to those of us who still have some semblance of reality left, and the burden of being alone without the love of her life for so many, many years.  She is now closer than ever to being with him and all her family and friends who have gone on before, even as we speak.

However, one of the bravest things she has tackled over the years, in my view, was to take on the responsibility of raising a child…

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V*A*C*A*T*I*O*N!!!!!!

Sunset on the beach

Sunset on the beach

Vacation.  That word conjures up a myriad of feelings, memories, and emotional responses for many of us like no other word in the English language, or any other language for that matter, I suppose.  Most of us take vacations after laboring for a period of time at a variety of different jobs, careers, or personal endeavors and at a point at which we think we can no longer stand the pressure of the daily grind, we manage to break away for awhile to enjoy time to ourselves.

Usually, vacations connote a time of rest, relaxation, travel, perhaps to exotic and  little known places, a time to acquaint ourselves with some of the wonders of the world in which we live.  Snorkeling in some fabulous ocean waters in the Caribbean, sitting on the beach sipping your favorite liquid while watching the sun set off in the distance.  Or, maybe slipping, sliding, skiing down the slopes of a snowy mountain is more your style.  Then, of course, there’s always hiking, sky diving, hot air ballooning, camping and a whole array of other vacation options one might indulge in.

We spend much time in the planning of our various journeys, saving money, applying for credit cards (which, if they are used, often means we’ll spend the next three years to pay them off!), purchasing clothes appropriate for our trip, and maybe even buying new and upgraded luggage to carry it all.

Or, maybe we travel to local places, spend time with family and friends we haven’t seen in a long time.  But for those of us who don’t have the funds or the desire to travel, staying at home is one of the best ways to “vacay”.  We often relax, work on projects around our homes, go out to eat, go shopping, or take care of things we just don’t have time or opportunity to take care of during the week after week after month after month merry-go-round that we are on the rest of the year.

Yup, that's how I feel!

Yup, that’s how I feel!

And this is where I find myself today.  The older I get, the more I value my times of vacation, wishing I could stay home permanently.  Oh, I know it probably would get boring after awhile, and, knowing me, I am better off to be around people.  But, truth be told, I am a hermit I think, deep down inside anyway, and being at home, enjoying doing much of nothing, is very appealing.  Oh, of course there is always laundry, housework, dishes to wash, etc., but it would be nice to enjoy months or years off with nothing that absolutely requires my attention for 8 to 10 hours every single day.

Maybe this is a “senior” moment I’m having or just a build up of something that’s been going on for years, but I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way.  I haven’t worked too many years, well, maybe 30 something, but I think because of circumstances beyond my control years ago, I was thrust into the work environment and maybe now I want to go back to where I feel I should have been to begin with?  Home.  Hmmm….something to ponder.  Then again, maybe I’m just feeling it’s time for a change?

What I do know is that God has my back, He knows who I am, how I got to this point and He has a plan for every day of my life.  He is good, faithful and full of mercy.  When I am tired, exhausted in spirit, soul and body, or lazy and don’t want to continue, He gives me strength and desire to do what He’s called me to do, whatever that might be.  But in the meantime, this week, He’s given me some time to rest and relax, and for that I am very, very grateful.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.  [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.  Matthew 11:28-30  Amplified Version

I read a daily devotional by Joel Osteen some weeks ago and decided to share with you because it meant so much to me, especially coming from an adoption back ground.  If you haven’t seen it, perhaps it will be a blessing to you as well.  The scripture reference is Jeremiah 1:5.  As you read these words of encouragement, please know that you are valued and deeply loved by the Lord.  You can have confidence in His ability to bring you through whatever turmoil you may be facing, because He made sure you are here to enjoy the life He has planned!  God bless you today!children

God knew you before you were even born. What an amazing thought! He saw your unformed substance and said, “I have a purpose for this life. I have good plans for them!” Then He breathed His life into you and sent you through your mother and father. They may have had issues, but that doesn’t have to stop you from becoming all that God intended for you to be. You have been handpicked by Almighty God to be here at this time in history!

Sometimes we hear parents say, “We weren’t expecting this child. They were a surprise. They were an accident.” No, that child may have been a surprise to the parents, but they weren’t a surprise to Almighty God. No child can be born without God breathing His life into them. You may think, “Well, I was unwanted. I was an unplanned pregnancy.” No, you wouldn’t be here if God didn’t give life to your seed.

In God’s eyes, there is no such thing as being illegitimate. Remember, He knew you before you were ever born! Find confidence in His love knowing that you are a person of destiny, and you are part of His mighty plan!

Uganda Bound (Part 9 — Update)

As the month of October winds down, the desire to return to family and friends in the US becomes stronger as Judy’s time with her new found friends in Uganda comes to an end.  So many experiences, both uncomfortable and wonderful, remain to be told, but for now, please enjoy the latest from our traveler.Judy at the equator

“I finally made it  into my email address book after two days!

 

And now for the story:

The moment has arrived. At last I am at Twinomujuni Orphanage in Kabale, Uganda and about to meet the girl Fred and I have sponsored for ten months. Her name is Morene and she is eight years old. I have imagined this moment; anticipating her response to meeting me and opening the gifts I am bringing. I eagerly scan the group of expectant children’s faces looking for our little princess .I easily recognize her from the snapshot April had given me months before. There she is shyly glancing at me and then quickly looking away.  Mama Emily, the orphanage director calls to her to come, speaking  Rugika, her native language. Obediently she comes forward and curtsies. My heart melts!  I hold back my emotions and give her a quick hug.  There will be more time for big hugs later. The  gifts are ready to open.  She seems happy with the two new dresses but on seeing the black, curly haired  doll I get a big, big, smile on her beautiful face and a thank you!! Her eyes are shining brightly and I am further captivated by this darling .Quietly we interact as she looks at my white blue eyed grandchildren’s pictures without saying  a word. I must go now but I am looking forward to many more times of playing with and getting to know Morene in the month I will be here in Kabale. 

 

There are many more children at the orphanage that need sponsors. They ask for a 50.00 a month commitment but 100.00 is more realistic. Sometimes two people sponsor one child. That can be arranged.  Just a side note. If you want lots of love come to Uganda and sponsor a precious child.”

And yet another note followed the previous one where she shares a little of the frustration in the reality of the place she has found herself for this last month.

“To begin my report I want to mention a few miscellaneous things.  I wish it were easier for me to understand the English/Rugika accents. The children’s voices are soft too which makes it even harder. I am finding that as a rule the people are not very courteous. In the US we have seen a decline in social graces but over here I don’t think they have a clue.  Road etiquette, as in other third world nations is somewhat  lacking. Honk, honk, move out of the way, cows, bicyclists, walkers, boda bodas,  walkers, here we come.. And they drive on the wrong side of the road too! What can I say, I am an American. Drivers talk on cell phones while they drive. Hmm, sounds familiar. Oh , I saw an ambulance and it was an old beat up pickup . May I remind you of how good most of us have it in the States!!People do not understand personal space or privacy. They live inside and outside and do whatever they need to do from bathing little children, peeing (men) or nursing a baby without discretion. That may not make much sense but because I have so much to say please bear with me on grammar, spelling and typos.  Strangers are not introduced to the newbie (that happens in America too) and that is one of my pet peeves, among many. During sermons babies cry, cows moo, chickens cluck, children talk and sometimes adults. I should mention that all buildings are open to the outside because of lack of screens, windows, doors or buildings in the process of being constructed. I am going to wind this up and begin a new update about the trip before I do something wacky and delete this.  Only 5 more days and I will be on my way home!!!!”

A Facebook note:

“I am so ready to come home! Tired, stuffy nose, missing my family, food clean bathroom, privacy! But wouldn’t trade the experience and new friends for anything. God is good all of the time.I will be taking a two day trip to some more remote areas leaving tomorrow. May even see some large animals. 

And perhaps a final entry until she returns in a few days:

“I will have to finish my story after I come home. In 5 days. I had typed a lot last night and accidently deleted it. Besides when I come home I will have pictures. I really need to return the computer to Isaac anyway. I’ll just say that I spent a night with the dogs and had a minor meltdown.  This was on the trip to Musaka.  See photos on Facebook. I did get to stand on the equator. Thanks to all who have prayed for me and encouraged me with your kind words!. 

Love, Judy”

Thank you so much Judy for sharing your exciting trip to Uganda with all of us, and allowing me to put your comments, stories and pictures into my blog.  How precious the Lord is to give you the opportunity, and bless the people you were able to meet with your love and compassion.  I’m sure it will be awhile before you make that trip again, if ever, but you never know what the Lord has done or will do in the future to touch the lives of those precious people because you were brave enough to go just once.  God bless you bunches as you return to your family and friends who await more of your stories from this amazing trip.

 

 

Judy and her sponsored child, MoreenWell, we are still following my friend Judy through her many adventures in Uganda for the first time.  Having the ability to talk with her husband most every night helps a great deal to help her cope with the unusual toilet facilities, roads, dirt, bouts with intestinal illness and colds, as well as the different types of food that is unfamiliar to us in the United States.  However, all things considered, she is quite the “soldier” and is having a wonderful time with the children and sharing and loving them all as only she can do.  Here, along with some photos she shared, are some excerpts of emails and Facebook notes she has written in the last few days:

“Still loving my experience and have managed to avoid the latrines by holding back liquid and chewing gum. Tomorrow my roommate and her computer fly back to America. I shall miss them both!!  Halina is in her 30’s but we have had a blast together and I’ve been blessed to share this time with her.  Dorcas doing the daily laundryHowever the computer has had problems with connecting so I haven’t been able to post or email for several days.  The Ugandan family we are staying with are sweet, fun and hospitable.  They insist on doing my laundry which is all done by hand and no wash boards.  Walking over here is an adventure since there are many potholes, ruts, mud puddles, cars, motorbikes and animals everywhere.  Crossing streets is treacherous with no lights, crosswalks or sidewalks for that matter.  I look both ways and run!   The road downtown is in the process of being paved slowly, very slowly so driving through town is a nightmare. Garbage litters the streets, between buildings, front yards and overflows the dumpsters. They do have garbage pickup occasionally. Once we leave the main street to drive to the house the roads are rutted dirt paths filled with vehicles, animals, and lots of people. There are no street signs and the pathways meander in all directions. I would be lost on my own. The other day we were downtown when it was pouring. I saw an interesting sight. The bicycles and cars that carry passengers on the backs use umbrellas that have extensions over the back so that the rider is also protected from the rain. Pretty cool! I could write more but better close for now!” Sharing the clothing given by friends of the school

“…In a few minutes I am heading over to do crafts with the orphans. We will be decorating small cloth bags. Perfect day in Uganda., Nice breeze, mid seventies, bright sunshine. A man is mowing the front yard with a weed eater. I just took pictures of the electrical box at our host’s home for my son to see. Our hosts our mystified as to why their electrical devices are so intriguing to me….”

“The children at the orphanage loved the craft project and even the boys were excited p about decorating little cloth bags I bought at Dollar Tree. They wrote their names with glitter glue and then added on colored buttons, ribbon, fuzzy pom poms and stickers. Tomorrow’s project will be less spectacular. I am so thankful for this loaner computer now that I am getting the hang of it. …….”

“There’s nothing like waking up in Africa to the sound of drums and singing, children crying, birds chirping, and the sun shining. Today our host, Rev. Rurihoona is graduating from Bishop Barnham University with a masters in divinity. He is an Anglican Archdeacon and one of the most spirit filled and joyous people I have ever met……”Judy and Archdeacon David Rurihoona

“I walked into the “bathroom”, a bird flew up from the floor, I screamed, the bird flew out the window! ( the window is about 5″ by 5″) That’s what happens when there are no screens on windows.  Just another day in Africa!””

“After many days of being unable to access my hotmail account I am back on!!! I have no idea what the problem was but today is the last day I will have use of Halina’s laptop  so I am very grateful. I have no idea how often I will be able use the internet cafe. With the electricity off most of the time and needing escort to go into town, it might be a bit difficult. Sadly I have not been able to download my pictures. There will be plenty of time for that when I get home!!
Now where to begin! I continue to enjoy getting feed back from many of you and to know that you are being blessed hearing about my adventure. Thank you!!”

Judy was asked on her Facebook page about the cost of seeing the gorillas when they visited the area where they live, close to the bamboo forest.  She responded:

 “Believe it or not, they charge around $700.00. They live in the impenetrable forest and do not move from that region.” 

“I bought my first African dress and really look the part now. Ha, ha!! It was fun shopping. I picked out the fabric at one shop and went next door where the dress would be made and I was  measured. Two days later I picked up the dress and brought it home. They forgot the sleeves, it was too tight in the hips and huge on top. The shirt had bulges of extra fabric in the sides. Took it back and almost miraculouly it was adjusted to perfect size but no sleeves. Oh well! I bought the headwrap too.
 
Good news, I have been loaned a lap top to use for the rest of my stay so with that I will close. It’s time to go to the orphanage!

Later, Judy”

Later on, she writes again:

“As I was saying about my dress….since electricity is so sporadic they use old style treadle sewing machines. They look like our old singers but they are actually manufactured for third world countries. The seamstresses, men and women sit in front of their shops and sew away.

I mentioned on Facebook the modes of transportation and the boda bodas that use specialized umbrellas to protect themselves and their passengers.. Thankfully they do not pollute but are dangerous to ride since the ladies all wear dresses and must sit sideways with nothing to hold on to. No, I do not plan to ride one!!Pollution is a big problem though because all of their cooking is done on little cooking pots that sit on the floor. Yes, it is back breaking work!

Smog also pours out of the big trucks and cars that roll  endlessly through the dusty city streets.

I have many more stories to tell but it’s taken me a half hour to type on my “new” borrowed computer. Mainly because of my typos.

I will conclude with this tidbit. The food is very spartan. I eat mainly bean and rice over and over. There is no chewable meat or diary product or much fat so I have lost weight which is pretty easy for me. I do fill in some with nuts. Another issue is that they eat dinner late, around 9:00 and I am famished by then. Nuts only go so far.  For me getting enough food may be my biggest challenge.

all for now, Judy” 

The birthday cake and children above are awaiting a birthday party for all the children at the orphanage.  Since the caretakers of the orphanage and the children themselves are unaware of their birth dates, they give a party for everyone at one time.  From the photos taken by April Dobbs, founder of Shepherd’s Love, the celebration seems wonderful and enjoyed by everyone!

And, in one of her latest emails Judy shares a little more about the diet of the people of Uganda.

“………I’d like to share about  the diet  here in  southern Uganda. Did I already mention  that the basic diet is very healthy, fresh food prepared daily and purchased at the local farmer’s market? A typical breakfast for me is fried potatoes and eggs. The natives in this household also eat lots of bread and jam which is store bought.  Delicious African tea and coffee  are also served. If I am not careful I will drink too much and need to use the latrines!. An average lunch includes plain and fried potatoes, plain and fried rice, some kind of tough unchewable meat, cooked string beans or cabbage and endless bananas. There are some variations but it’s pretty much the same fare every day.. It gets very boring and I truly miss my American food, the endless variety, and especially coconut  oil and milk, cheese and salads. The downside of the Ugandan diet besides the white bread is the soda.. They drink it throughout the day right out of the bottle with no ice (refrigeration is rare). Their otherwise healthy eating habits hopefully compensate for this indulgence. A  few  more comments before closing: the beans are fresh and do not cause gas, the babies do not wear diapers.

Diapers and deodorant are way too expensive for this upper middle class family to purchase even though they can afford phones, satellite TV and have a DVD player. The BO and the pee odors  offend  my sensibilities but then I just keep loving the people and soaking up the smiles and hugs of the children!”

Sounds like this is quite the experience and one she will always remember.  Even though there are some uncomfortable things there, I know that sharing her love for the Lord and loving the children will always be a highlight.  If you feel led to pray for her, I’m sure she would be most appreciative!

God bless you Judy!
 

More Notes from our Ugandan traveler:

October 11, 2013

Mount Mutabaro - 14,400 feet.  Shared by Rwanda, Uganda, Congo“Hi Everyone!
Thanks so much for those who have responded to my updates. It makes me feel special to hear back from you!! Hope you are all well!

Things are great here since I am sleeping and eating again. I do miss my family a lot but enjoy getting to talk with Fred almost every evening. I bought a phone over here which allows me to call just about anywhere as long as I keep feeding it airtime which is a bit pricey but worth it!!!Bamboo forest --Pygmy country

Yesterday Isaac, our host’s son drove April and I to the Congo border on a wonderful highway, the only really good one in the country. We drove into Pygmy and gorilla country. I glimpsed some of the most spectacular mountain country!

The volcanic mountain Mutabaro is over 14,000 feet high and shadows Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo. I did see a few Pygmies but only as we sped by. No gorillas! They reside in the National Park and the entrance fee is way too expensive for missionary budgets.  We did see other interesting sights like a bamboo forest, pine trees, a taxi truck overflowing with people, a guy riding a bike with a child on the back holding on to a truck. It’s simple amazing how many thing are done here that would be illegal in the USA. A line of young women carrying many similar looking packages on their heads caught our attention. We asked Isaac (who is a Mugeka/local people group) what was going on. Apparently when a young lady weds,  her friends bring her gifts and come to stay with her for a few days AFTER she is married. The husband goes else where! Wouldn’t go over in the States! Do you think?

Family life is a community affair. The daughters and sons often live with their parents after they are married. I guess this is often the case in poorer countries.  And so it is here. Actually one of the daughters who is married and has a daughter lives in an apartment in town. The men do not help with “women’s” work but the women all work together, laughing and giggling as they wash, shopping for food, cook, clean and care for their children. They often sit awhile to chat and enjoy the day outside when it’s not raining. The pace themselves and “set” times are give or take an hour or two. This works great  for me!! My husband can verify that being on time is not my strong point!

Another thing I like is the healthy lifestyle. Their food is organic and locally grown and bought fresh each day. They walk almost everywhere unless they choose to hop on a bodaboda (not sure of spelling). These bicycles or motorcycles are available on every street corner for a small fee. Each vehicle is equipped with a padded seat and the person either straddles the seat or sits sidesaddle if a female.

Well, it’s time for sleep. I walked about three miles today and played and washed some clothes. I am tired!

More later, Judy”

A sweet mother and daughter, somewhere in this world...

A sweet mother and daughter, somewhere in this world…

I found this story on Facebook, and it really spoke to me, maybe because my little mommy is very elderly and every time I visit, it very well could be the last time I see her on this earth.  I hope you will read and enjoy this little story, apply it to whomever in your life it has meaning, and then, show them in some way how much you appreciate their life and relationship with you.

 “Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced…. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said: “I love you and I wish you enough.” The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?” “I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said. When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?” She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory, “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.” She then began to cry and walked away. 

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them. Please Share this with your friends. It has the potential to inspire a lot of people.”

The Good News is that as Christians, when we rely on, trust in, believe in Jesus, we have hope to see our Christian loved ones forever and our separation is only for a moment in time.  If you have never received Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, may I encourage you to do so.  He is loving, kind, strong, patient, forgiving and merciful.  Speaking personally, praying the sinners prayer was the best thing I have ever done in my whole life and I would recommend it with all my heart.  Life as a Christian is not easy, He will not allow you to stay as you are, you will forever grow, learn about yourself, and sometimes it isn’t very pleasant, but the peace and fulfillment factor is well worth whatever you may give up.

What I can promise you, though, is that you will have enough, and more than enough!

Judy and the gorillas

The only gorillas she’s seen!

Well, just when I finish one update, she sends another!  Hope you are enjoying what has become a bit of an internet diary of Judy’s wonderful trip to Uganda for the month of October.  I am trying to include as many of her photos as well.  Please let me know what you think!

God is so good…

October 11, 2013

“Still hanging out over here in Uganda and loving almost every minute now that I am sleeping and feeling tip top! Thanks to the Lord for intervening! I’ve decided that the life style here is way more healthier than ours, other than the risk of malaria. Our host family buys fresh food grown organically in nearby fields on a daily basis. They drink a fermented probiotic rich porridge made from sorghum regularly, exercise all of time by working hard and walking everywhere.  All of the women work together caring for the children ,cooking, washing and cleaning. And they sit to rest and visit………and best of all, serve tea and popcorn (my all time favorite food) every afternoon. And then I get to play with and love on the adorable children who are so curious about me and want to learn about America. Only draw back, I am missing my family….and sometimes electricity and flushing the toliet regularly.”

Judy and her laptop

Notice the mosquito netting?

Judy and 6 year old MoreenOctober 7, 2013

“Feeling much better today! I hung out at the house all day and mostly rested.  Stomach still a bit quirky.  Dorcas, my new friend, offered to do my wash. Very grateful as it is hard work. It’s all done by hand bending over a tub. We just got called for dinner. Never know what time it will beVendors in the Market Place served. Anywhere between 7-9pm. So I’ll try to post again later! Hope you saw the pictures I reposted from April Dobbs collection. Still need to get the picture thing figured out.

***************

Just a few highlights from the past few days before I close my eyes to the barking of dogs, people laughing and babies crying in the background. Night has fallen at the equator, always at the same time year round, 7am. Morning also comes at the same time, just 12 hours later.

Did I mention my first third world latrine experience? It’s not for the faint hearted but it was a nicer one than some so I survived.  Since the hole is ground level you have to squat real low and aim just right which I didn’t do very well.  Besides my legs are long and I was wearing a long skirt.  Men are so lucky sometimes!  Well I’m probably embarrassing my kids and husband but I had to share the nitty gritty so you can appreciate your clean bathrooms and restrooms wherever you go in the USA. 

On a more positive note, the church services yesterday were off the charts.  Boy, can the Ugandans sing!!!  Their voices are filled with the joy of the Lord and resonate full and rich accompanied by only a drum and lots of clapping.  I was captivated.  I am so blessed to be here despite stomach cramps every time I eat which hasn’t been much the past few days.  Keep me in your prayers and goodnight from Uganda!!”

******************The Market Place

October 9, 2013

“Greetings from the nation of Uganda.  Today is Independence Day.  51 years ago the nation separated from England!April Dobbs and Anajukare

We are watching the ceremonies on TV.  Just before that we returned from a walk to town to do banking and shopping.  It’s hard to describe the scenes observed along the route.  Nothing like I ever imagined.  April and I are escorted by Isaac our host’s son who does the bargaining and oversight of our purchases.  Plus he keeps us safe.  The natives stare at us endlessly and I do feel a bit conspicuous but don’t let it bother me. I wear my long skirt, a blouse and tennis shoes.  Many of the young women dress stylishly and that clothing is sold on the streets.  There are no decent sidewalks just hardened dirt with lots of ruts and uneven ground.  I must look down constantly to keep from tripping.  Once in awhile we are blessed with some smooth stones.  Trying to take in everything and walk at the same time is about impossible.  We return just as the rain starts to pour and I do mean pour!!

Thanks to many of you who prayed for me!  I decided not to eat yesterday but to only drink a mildly fermented African drink made from sorghum called oeoshari.  It is very tasty to me but then I am the gal who likes kefir and konbatcha in the US.  By last evening the stomach cramps were gone and I dared to eat lightly.  A neighbor had invited us over for dinner and served the most amazing food in her very beautiful home.  Auntie Nora, our hostess, runs a nursery school and is a very astute business woman.  Her school is the first nursery school in this area.  Our spread included g-nut spread, peanut spread, rice, mushroom soup, kale and many other meat dishes which I did not try.  Oh, must mention that she just had solar power installed in her home.

We have had electricity and water for the past two days and what a treat to take a real shower instead of bathing in a basin.  Apparently rain and electricity do not mix in Uganda.  Also when they have plumbing or electric problems there is no one to call to fix it.

Happily I am sleeping better.  It took about a week to get adjusted to the time change.  Also I am getting used to the altitude which is about 6500 and breathing easier. Judy and the school children

After the church service at the orphanage on Sunday we happily passed out the new sheets that were purchased with some of the money from your generous contributions.  Next we will be buying towels.  all of the wash at the orphanage is done in big kettles of water and hung on the wall surrounding the buildings to dry.  The kitchen is very primitive with cooking pots placed on wood coal fire pits to cook.  Dish washing water is heated in big kettles for cleanup.  It is all back breaking work done by some of the sweetest people.

Church in UgandaI love African singing accompanied by drums and vigorous clapping!  The church services are full of music that compels me to worship the Lord with all of my heart.  The liturgical Anglican services which I had never attended before are meaningful expressions of faith in the reality of our loving and might God.  Taking the offering and communion are not just tacked on to the service but are important parts of the worship service and lasted for about an hour.  I actually kneeled and took the wafer and wine from the priest.  Every part of the service other than sermon there is done with singing and the reading of the Scriptures.  The only down side was using the latrine after the service.  You’ll have to read my FB post for that story.

Time to sign off for now.  I think we’ll be going over to the orphanage in a few minutes to hand out more clothes to the kids.  That are out of school today because of Independence Day!!

Until another time, be well,

Judy” 

Wow, how exciting this whole adventure is!  Such a testament to God’s keeping power, triumphing over adversity, sharing His love with others, no matter who they are or where they are.  God bless these beautiful people!

Hope you are enjoying this as much as I am…so glad she’s letting me share this all with you.  Can’t wait for the next update!

Here’s another installment of the always interesting and very exciting trip of my dear friend, Judy, who is out of the country for the first time ever.  I have once again taken the liberty of tweaking some spelling, grammar, etc.  and added some internet photos I found of the area she speaks about until her own pictures are available, but basically this is her report.  Please enjoy with me as she tells more of the story:

Perhaps this is what Judy saw.

Perhaps this is what Judy saw.

“Agande! That is Rukega for hello! Rugeka is the language spoken in this area of Uganda. As you might imagine I am having the time of my life. Until today I have felt well and had plenty of energy despite little sleep and tons of activity. Despite not feeling well God came through as usual and I was able to play tourist. Issac Rorihoona, our host’s son, drove The Dobbs, Halina and I to the most amazing and beautiful lake I have ever seen Lake Bunyonyi. Yes, in some ways more glorious than Tahoe and much less populated. The lake holds 29 islands and we took an old wood motor boat to one where we ate lunch and walked some. I saw the most perfect vacation spot! My brother and Kalee would love it! A large African styled hut with huge comfy bed and other simple furnishings and open to the lake view. Just below the cabin were  very clean looking (unusal for this area) latrine and shower.

While crossing the lake we could see terraced mountains and women cultivating the ground, many birds, cows, goats, dugout canoes, flowers and other lush vegetation. The day was perfect! Fluffy clouds, right temperature, and no rain! Everywhere along the way people called out to us, “moozgoo” (not the right spelling but means white man). The children in particular are excited and all smiles when they greet us! We saw lots of people, mainly men hammering away at rocks to make gravel and sand for construction. Rick and April had brought over safety goggles that are discarded in the USA. The workers were happy to receive them as many do serious damage to their eyes when bits of rocks fly off.carved boats
Needless to say I could go on and on. I wanted to write sooner but we’ve had challenges with the internet setup. My roommate, Halina are learning more patience hour by hour. Halina is a young friend of the Dobbs (the couple who began the orphanage).  This is her first trip to Africa as well!  She is so much fun and we love talking and doinhg lide together in our sparse bedroom. I am using her laptop for the next 10 days until she has to go home. 

Just a few samples to give you an idea: A toilet that does not flush well, a sink outside that only gives a trickle of water and not hot, no electricity most of the time and this morning the water was off too. Flushing the toilet was done by carrying rain water from the barrel in a pan and dumping it in and plunging the bowl. The plumbing is old and decrepit. The electricity wiring is not up to code! I could relate quite a list of all  the inconveniences, a very long one!!! Let’s just say that we in the USA are blessed beyond measure and should give thanks to our Creator for allowing us the incredible privilege of living in our great nation!
Having said all of that, let me share about the people. The Rorihoona family is hospitable beyond words. They are all so sweet and gracious, warm, loving, fun, generous, etc.!! I felt like I had know them for ever…love at first sight!! Rev. Rorihooni is the sweetest man with the biggest smile ever! The grown children live here and work  at the orphanage. Several have college degrees. The Mrs. walks like a queen, is very beautiful and runs the home with such grace and ease. Sadly she does not speak any English.  The others do but with accents. If they speak slowly I can usually understand them. If I speak with my fake British accent they understand me. So funny. The children in the orphanage are the highlight! Only pictures can tell the whole story!! They are so appreciative of the simplest things and very respectful! They loved receiving the pillowcase dresses and tee shirts and toys!  They loved playing the hokey pokey and laughed and entered in.  At this 7,000 ft. elevation  I almost collapsed by the time we were done!

I do hope you find this interesting and not too long. I’ll hopefully write more often from now on and not so long!!
Blessings and love to my friends and family,

Judy”

Sounds so wonderful.  Hope you enjoyed this next installment of a missionary in the making.  I can’t wait for the next one!

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