Thursday, December 15, 2011

SHILOH'S UPDATE

As we come to the beginning of a new year, we will be marking two years since Shiloh was diagnosed with diabetes.  How encouraging it is as we visit our churches to hear people say, "I've been praying for Shiloh.  How is he doing?"


One of my biggest prayer requests before we left Uganda was to find a doctor that would be good to us.  I desired someone who would not be critical of our schedule or demeaning of our care for our son.  This prayer was answered far above my dreams.  The endocrinologist and dietician that God led us to have been very supportive of us and have gone out of their way to help us.  They stock us up with samples anytime we are able to make an appointment, and they are always ready to answer any questions I have through phone calls or emails.  Thank the Lord!


A new kink has been thrown in Shiloh's life this past month.  Testing results have revealed that he is gluten sensitive.  Removing all gluten from his diet put Shiloh in tears for a week.  However, the doctor has left us with the hope that by removing gluten and giving him supplements for repairing the damage done from eating gluten,  his body may be able to repair itself and may even be able to recover from diabetes.  We have never stopped praying for healing, and perhaps this will be the way it is brought about.  If this is not part of God's plan, then we accept that, too. But we do ask that you not stop praying for him, as you do for our whole family. 
Merry Christmas, Shiloh.  
We love you and pray that God blesses you with a long, healthy life.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS

One of the many blessings we get to enjoy while on furlough is seeing so many different Christmas decorations.  I need to remember to take pictures of some Ugandan decorations when we return to the field.  Decent Christmas trees weren't even sold in the stores until about 5 years ago.  Before that, the few that could be found would rival Charlie Brown's.  As for decorations, anything goes - balloons, cassette tape "string", toilet paper - you get the idea.


Thus said, our children have had a full immersion into American Christmas trees.  We visited the Ronald Reagan Museum where they had a different Christmas tree to represent each 10 year segment of American history.  On Thursday we were in a town where businesses, churches, individuals, etc. put up decorated trees in the town park, making a beautiful site at night.  Everywhere we look, houses, streets, and businesses are decorated with lights, blowups, trees, and greetings.  We have had the privilege of going to a church's Christmas concert and a Christmas party.  And despite all of the talk about America not being able to freely express their holiday wishes, it warms our hearts to still hear people in the stores, restaurants, and banks say,

"And have a merry Christmas!"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

As I was reading in Colossians this morning, all of the verses about giving thanks and thanksgiving jumped out at me.  We truly have so much to be thankful for, but we should remember to make every day Thanksgiving Day. 


Thank you for being our friends.  Thank you for the part you have had in our lives.  
May God richly bless you this year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

WONDERFUL PLASTIC CARDS

Having been to 28 states in 7 months time, our family is so ready to return home.  Despite the many miles, though, we have also been extremely blessed in our travels.  We were in 5 missions conferences right in a row, and, wow, how well we were treated!  Far better than we deserve.  One particular blessing I would like to mention is that of gift cards.  Within the last several weeks, we have been given 4 gift cards.  Stanley has had a growth spurt and had outgrown his suit by two sizes (even ripping out the sleeve beyond repair).  By using a gift card for a department store, we were able to buy him a new suit and pay just $40 out of our own pocket.  So, to those of you who have slipped us one of those plastic cards - THANK YOU!

Now, to review some of our recent adventures:

We made the trip from Austin, Texas to California in two days time.  Crossing the desert, there is little to look at.  However, passing these three race car semis several times added to the scenery.














We visited a farm where the children fed the goats, sheep and emus.  We took a walk to a pumpkin patch, had a delicious lunch from the farm deli, and browsed their country store.











We love walking on the beach barefoot. We had the opportunity to visit the beach twice while in southern California.  The water was so cold (quite a shock to the children who are more used to the warmer Ugandan water), but that didn't deter the wading.

See her running from the wave in the top corner?
Savannah was swept off her feet when this wave came in.
Everyone got a little more wet than expected.
Some of the beach "friends" we saw.
The mall where we bought Stanley's suit had a Walmart -- and it was two levels.  The escalator even carried the grocery carts up and down.

Took this photo mainly for my mother-in-law's enjoyment.
As we were eating supper one night at someone's house, the boy brought out his pets.  Neither Keith nor I are snake-lovers, but we both managed to hold the two snakes.  And, no, my kids will NOT be getting one of these for a pet.  I will stick with chameleons. 


While in San Diego, we were visiting with the family we were staying with and discovered that there was a Creation Museum just 15 minutes from their house.


Every time my boys saw the Medievel Castle from the outside, they begged to go.  I wish I could have photographed Shiloh's face when we walked into the parking lot, and he realized we really were going.  It was priceless.  They enjoyed the show immensely. 

We cheered for the green knight.
It was fun to watch the kids as much as the show.
  Getting to experience so many things helps compensate for the long hours of travel, the suitcase "dressers", and the sporadic daily schedule.  I'm just so glad I get to share it all with my best friend.

I love you, Keith!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

GOD'S PROVISION

God can and will use anything to meet our needs.  If He can use ravens to feed one of His prophets in Bible times, then He can even use a Muslim to meet the needs of His children.

Paul's "tricycle"

Anyone who has visited us in Uganda will remember Bro. Paul.  He became crippled when he contracted polio at a young age, but this has not stopped him from being faithful.  He got saved and started coming to our church when we didn't even have our own church building and were renting a store front in Masaka town.  About 1 1/2 years ago God gave us a burden for the people on the Kalangala Islands in Lake Victoria, and our church began praying for a man to minister there.  Bro. Paul stepped forward and volunteered.  To get there, he has to take a taxi van to the ferry, take a ferry across the waters, and get on another taxi or piki-piki (public motorcycle transport) that will take him to the preaching point.  This involves crawling from transport to transport, but he is a willing servant of God.  Between the support from the Masaka church and our family, he is able to make this trip twice a month. 

Last week while Bro. Paul was in Kalangala, he was praying for the opportunity to return the following week as many of the people he has been ministering to were returning to the mainland the end of October for one reason or another.  On the way to Masaka, he sat beside a Muslim man and tried witnessing to him.  The Muslim man said, "I know you want me to get saved, but I don't want to get saved, so you are going to have to change the topic of conversation."  Paul did, but still managed to insert the Gospel a little bit here and there.  Upon arriving back in Masaka, as he was leaving the taxi van, the Muslim man asked Paul to wait.  The Muslim handed him 50,000/= ($17) and told him to go back to Kalangala like he wanted to and preach the Gospel.  One of our village pastors has pledged 30,000/= ($10) to help with the purchase of a life jacket for him to wear when on the ferry, as the waters sometimes get rough.

A church in Rhode Island helped outfit this "motor-tricycle" for Paul.
When a ministry is opened up before you, step up to the task and let God provide your needs.

"But my God SHALL supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:19

Thursday, October 13, 2011

BIRTHDAYS PAST

A true ice cream cake made by Savannah's cousins
It is already the middle of October, and I haven't even written about our last two birthdays.  Such is the life of traveling, unpredictable schedules, and unconsistent internet connection.

A whole family of readers
Stanley has turned 14 and has not lost any of his love for books.  He has surprised us by his accuracy in shooting, especially when it isn't one of his main interests.  He broke his glasses the weekend before his birthday, so on his birthday, the day we were leaving for another meeting, Stanley was getting fitted with new goggles (as the Ugandans call them).


And Savannah is finally growing into a closer age of what everyone guesses her to be.  Although if you ask her her age, she is likely to tell you 6 or 9.  Four days before her birthday we were at her cousins' house, and they stuck candles in the ice cream and sang to her.  Then Stanley and Dixie, a college student in our home church, made Savannah two cakes on her birthday.  She was given the royal treatment.

Heart Cake
Flower Cake











We have been blessed in our travels, long though they be.  The Lord has preserved us from accidents; the price of gas is going down; our children have been blessed with a guitar and violin, Keith with an elliptical and myself (well, the whole family) with a VitaMix. One of the most phenomenal has been the provision of all of the needed money for replacing our radio station equipment.   Hallelujah! 

Shiloh and Skyler at the Aquarium in Corpus Christi
We are in our stretch of four missions' conferences right in a row.  Please pray for our health.  In September we had two conferences back-to-back, and half of us fell ill.  We are doing our best to avoid a repeat, but allergies have already had me under the weather.  However, the messages this week have been just what we needed, and we have enjoyed meeting new missionaries and seeing their presentations.

Sisters are the best of friends.
Thank you for your prayers for us.  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SKYLER!

Skyler chose Lucky Charms as his birthday cereal.
Last week someone asked how we came up with the name "Skyler," and I had to admit that we thumbed through the baby name book after he was born to re-name him.  We had named him Seton at birth, but the Ugandans pronounce the "e" as a long "a."  Well, that was a little embarrassing for them to be announcing on our radio station, "We would like to congratulate Pastor Keith and Mamma Shane on the birth of their son Satan."  So, after a day of hearing them call our little man "Satan," we decided a name change was in order.

Yes, he really did shoot this gun.  It nearly knocked him off his feet.
Very unusual to see him still.
Skyler is the Energizer bunny of the family that never runs down.  He has so much energy that we have to be sure to provide an outlet for it each day.  He loves to play ball and wrestle with his dad.  He is hesitant about trying something new but will embrace adventure when he is assured that it is safe.  We are so blessed with him being a part of our family.  We love you, Skyler.

Two heads are better than one?
Using a salt shaker to break open peanuts.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEITH!



The Lord has blessed me to be married to such a great, godly man - one that turned 40 years old today!  One thing that he has said often is that his tastes have changed a lot as he has aged.  He used to have trouble eating mild salsa; now he keeps asking for hotter and spicier food.  So what did we do for his birthday?  We toured the Tabasco factory.  My biggest disappointment was that they no longer make Tabasco Jelly Bellies.  Those were SO good.  (I like cinnamon, hot things, too.)  The tour was very interesting, though.  Let me share a couple of recent photos Keith while in the States.

He has driven over 15,000 miles since March - not in a go cart, though.

  
He loves trying new things.
He's a great preacher.

He's my best friend.


Friday, July 29, 2011

GOD'S HAND AT WORK AT CICI'S PIZZA

Today closed out our week of Enrichment Week at Baptist International Missions, Inc.  The last meal served was lunch, so another family agreed to meet us at CiCi's Pizza for supper.  (Keith and I were going just to feed the kids and for the fellowship; we have been fed SO well this week that we could stand to skip a couple of meals.)  As we were waiting for the other family, we helped our kids fix their plates.  A lady stopped Shane and asked if we were driving the van that said Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministry.  He confirmed that we were.  She then asked what mission board we were with, and he told her BIMI.  After she had taken her food to her table, she came over to ours, handed Keith some money and said, "Our church supports several BIMI missionaries, and I really like them.  Here is some gas money for you."  WOW!  Thank you, Lord!  Our green gas monster hungrily drank that $50, and our children were given yet another reminder of our Lord providing for our needs.  All week long, the Lord has given us blessing upon blessing.  In our minds, the week was "over."  But God delights in surprising His children, leaving us humbled that He cares so much for us.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

FURLOUGH FUN - MAY and JUNE

So much has happened that it is difficult to keep up with it all, let alone find the time to write about it.  Thus, I will share some pictures with you to try to get you caught up on our lives without boring you with a long dialogue.
May 29: Skyler's first bowling experience.
May 29: Savannah declared the bowling
shoes to be so cute!

May 30: Memorial Day fun
May 30: Skyler caught 3 fish
and fell in love with the sport
June: Southern-themed t-shirts for all
June 2: Standing in front of Sight and Sound Theaters.
We loved seeing the production of Noah.
June 3: Silver Dollar City - Skyler and Savannah
June 3: Silver Dollar City - Boys cool off with water ride
June 4: Stanley experiences a quick dress change at
Sight and Sound Theaters
June 7: Shae-Lynn riding the horse Honey
June 7: Shane, Stanley and Honey
June 16: Combat with the pastor's kid
June 16: Bald Knob Cross, Illinois
June 20: Savannah looks right comfortable
June 20: Shiloh and his favorite reptile - the komodo dragon
June 20: Yes, we are petting the stingrays - very soft.
June 20: St. Louis Zoo train - tickets given to us by a stranger
June 20: Shivering in the penguin house
June 21: The kids usually get to ride the merry-go-round
in compensation for following mom around the mall.