Thursday, March 15, 2018

CONGRATULATIONS, GRADUATES!

I know.  You are thinking...this is only March.  Who graduates in March?

Daniel, Abigail, Shae-Lynn and Shiloh singing a special
Being missionaries, one thing you learn is adaptability.  We are good friends with another missionary family here whose kids have grown up with ours.  They are leaving for furlough next month, but wanted to have a graduation party for their graduating son before they left.  We have two graduating, also, so we combined everything into just one party.

Daniel wanted a rice crispy cake, so that was the cake on the left.
 On the right is just a regular cake.
Something that is different in Uganda is that there is no graduating ceremony for when you finish secondary school (high school to Americans).  But our church had a great time enjoying our tradition, especially enjoying the food.

A great time of fellowshipping and eating after the service
Your next question may be, "Why do you have two graduating together?"  One of the misconceptions about homeschooling is that the mom is teaching every subject times how many different grades there are.  I am no super teacher, so I have never taught 6 different subject levels to 6 kids or even 6 different classes to 4 kids.  We combine A LOT!  I just require more out of the older children than I do the younger ones.  That being said, a couple of months ago I realized that Shiloh has been doing nearly everything Shae-Lynn has done in the last 4 years.  So, after consulting with a couple of other people as to the pros and cons of letting him graduate early, we decided that it was the best decision for us.

Friends for 18 years (well, Shiloh would be 15 years)
Shae-Lynn and Shiloh will be taking college classes via correspondence until we go on our next furlough, as well as continuing to attend our Bible college here at our town church.

Great Job!
Please pray for the children of missionaries.  It is daunting knowing that after high school, you have to move to a new country to learn a new culture and begin adult life - without your parents.


Missionary kids need your support, understanding, and love.  
They need friends.  
They need your prayers.

Monday, March 5, 2018

VMAM ON FIRE

While we were on furlough, my husband presented the new ministry he started upon our return to Uganda.  If you have seen any of our prayer letters, you have read the great reports from the Village Mentorship and Assistance Ministry (VMAM).  One of the questions frequently asked was whether or not I would be going with Keith to the villages.  No, I do not travel with Keith.  He travels with two men, so sleeping accommodations would not be ideal as he stays for 3-8 days in the bush.  However, that does not mean I am totally out of this ministry.   As the Bible mentions, there are those staying at home who "tarrieth by the stuff." (1 Samuel 30:24)

Keith leaving early in the morning for a village

Besides the curtains, covers, and other things I have sewn, there is the weekly work I have for this ministry.  Yes, the biggest part is laundry.  But it needs to be done, right?  Praise the Lord for a washing machine and very long clothes lines.

Piles of blankets, towels, sheets, and clothes waiting to be washed
Upon Keith's arrival back from the villages, our entry way and living room are usually holding places for the trunks and equipment until the truck is cleaned and all the linens are washed and repacked.

Despite the stack of trunks, the coffee bar is still accessible
Keith has seen many people saved as he preaches and goes soul winning in the villages and has been able to encourage many pastors.  While we do not like the separation, what a small price to pay for seeing churches getting grounded in the Word of God and helping pastors better reach their people.

Parked in the village
But no ministry is all a bed of roses.  Yesterday as Keith was driving the VMAM truck to the church with Savannah, the back caught on fire.  I was about 5 minutes behind him in our van, so when I came upon him parked alongside the road, flames were shooting out of the tarp.  The locals were throwing dirt at the truck in their attempt to try to put out the flames.  We always have plenty of water bottles in the van, so the kids jumped out with a couple bottles each to throw at the fire.  Keith was then able to get in the back and reach a 5 gallon jug of water to pour on the remaining fire.  I then grabbed the empty jugs and drove fast and furiously to the church to get more water.

The burned tarp
The culprit was a can of bug spray that had either rolled or had been put by the batteries which are used to run lights, sound equipment, and charge electronics.  With all the bumping around, it had evidently sprayed out starting the fire.  A mattress was right above the batteries, so it caught on fire quickly.  When it was pulled out of the back to smother the flames, the locals wasted no time taking off with it.

The fire starter - a can of bug spray

Where the fire started at the batteries
The truck itself is fine, and just needs a little bit of paint on the bars.  The tarp is being patched.  New batteries, wiring, and a mattress will need to be bought.  Keith suffered a burn on his forehead, and his church pants are ruined, but his life and Savannah's are spared.

This trunk was on a shelf near the top of the bars
Keith is scheduled to be in another village on Friday, so please pray that everything gets fixed and replaced before his scheduled departure.

The last sight I have as the VMAM team leaves each time
Thank you for praying for us.  You never know when our lives are in danger.