Sunday, February 12, 2017

Many of you already know that we are about to head back the the U.S. for our first furlough in 5 years as a family.  To say we are excited is an understatement.  We have had a few gatherings with our friends here in the village over the last few days and just hearing them reminisce about all the God has done has made these last 5 years such a wonderful blessing and honor to be a small part of.  


This was shortly after Colin and I moved to UG.  We might have been here 5 or 6 months when we took this picture.  Given by how rested we look, this was pre-children.

Our first car in UG.  This was the best thing that we could have driven starting off.  It was a tank and somewhat reliable.  I am glad we had it and we sort of miss it!


One of the things that I am most excited about, when we finally land on U.S. soil, is that family and friends that have been watching our family grow over Skype or FaceTime, will finally get to meet our kids.  Meeting their nieces and nephew, granddaughters and grandson for the first time in their lives.  I get a little teary eyed just thinking about it! 

My BEST (and I do mean best) friend in the whole world,  Marissa.  I love her and can not wait for our reunion.  


Colin and his Siblings.  5 years is a long time to go without hugging your brother.  
Aunt Beans and Silas.  5 years of watching this little dude grow through a computer/phone screen is about to be over!!!
We have had some family visitors!  My mom (the grands call her Kammy) has been here twice to visit....  

....and also last year we had our Pops and Uncle Toot swing over  for a visit as well.  We are always so thankful for the visitors that we have.  We know the sacrifice it is to travel here just to see us or our ministry.  It is humbling.


This is the old sign for our church.  It has been replaced with a new one, and this one hangs in our living room.  We are so thankful for the folks that attend this little church and we look forward to sharing more about our village once we are back in the U.S.

We are wrapping up our last few days in the village before we head to the city to fly out.  Please pray for us as we travel.  We have a very very very long flight and I am preparing myself for traveling with a 1 year old.  The older two are going to do great, its just the baby that I am worried about, because she is a whrilling dervish monster child most of the time (I mean that in the most loving way possible...But her first word was a growl, so.....).  I really hope we all make it out alive... ;-)  But we are so ready to see you all and can't wait to be in the U.S. very soon!!



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Our 5th Ugandan Christmas

We had thought that we would be stateside this year for Christmas, but our paperwork that is in the USCIS has yet to be approved.  We are hopeful that we will hear something in the next few weeks once the holidays are over, and we can go to the embassy here sometime next month.  We are close to our furlough so we will just continue to wait.

This was our 5th Christmas in Uganda.  Last year we were waiting for our third child to make her grand entrance, this year she is about to turn 1 year old!

We came down to the city for some rest and a break from work, and to celebrate Christmas with our teammates who are working near the northern boarder.

Before we were in the city, we spent a few nights in Jinja.






We spent a few days at the pool letting the kids swim.  

She's got some freckles.

These two can play for hours, then they also can also sleep for hours!

This is the face you make when you eat buttermilk pie with homemade whipped cream.

The Rosser family!

We had a sick day for the littlest.  But she was back to normal by the next morning.

When she is sick, it is the only time she will cuddle/sleep with us.  She is on the move too much any other time.

I am finding it hard to believe that she will be 1 year in just a few days.

Silas went on a virtual ride and LOVED it.  

One nice thing about being in the city for the holidays is the food!  We do not eat like this in the village!

The kids were enjoying the new food as well.

Due to a lack of planning, and thinking we would be stateside around Christmas time, I didn't do much for gifts this year.  The kids did get stockings though.  

Corrie's favorite gift was her very own toothbrush.

My little artist with his new paint brushes. 

Aggie Darling with her little cheese burger.  She couldn't believe her eyes!

Corrie with her toothbrush.

Checking out the goodies.

Corrie needed (and I do mean, NEEDED) to see what her daddy was doing at the table.  So she climbed  right up next to him.  (Colin was cutting up tender loin steaks for Christmas lunch.)

A happy boy eating his Christmas pie!

We hope that you all had a very wonderful Christmas!  We are looking forward to ringing in the New Year and we are so thankful for the wonderful year 2016 has been.  God has blessed our family and He has shown himself to be faithful in so many ways.  We are still amazed at the work we get to be a part of here and the folks that we get to do life with here.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Update

Just wanted to put up a little update on where we are in the process of getting all of us stateside.

We received our ruling a few weeks ago, and then we were able to file with the USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Services).  All our paperwork is currently now stateside and on its way too the USCIS office in the U.S.  Once we hear back from them we will have a better idea as to what our timeline will look like.



Please pray that no additional documents are needed!  We would love love love to be home for Christmas this year, and we are praying God makes a way for that to happen.  However, we are closer now to being on furlough then we have in the past years and we are thankful for that.




We hope to see many of you soon!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A "cooler" place to worship!

Now that things are slowing down for a moment, I have a few things that I wanted to write about.

The last week in July we had our friend, Dustin, visit us for a week.  Dustin has come the last three years and each year he brings a new visitor(s) with him.  The first year it was Carson, last year it was the cowboy Tyler and his wife Tryssta, and this year he brought Brian and his son JB.

This year the guys came to see the program and with a purpose too!  They carried over and installed a heat barrier in the church ceiling.  And let me tell ya, I couldn't be more thrilled.  It dropped the temperature at least 10 degrees if not more inside the church.  Along with cooling it down it also helps with the noise.  I can now hear what worship song we are singing!  It was such a blessing to have them here with us for a week.  We always look forward to Dustin visiting and the blessing that he is to our family and ministry.  Dustin is the founder of Clean Water Movement (see website here).  He has raised lots of support for the WFA Uganda program and we are honored that God crossed our paths.

JB, Brian, and Dustin.


The start of the installation process.


The very safe and up to code scaffolding that needed 6 guys to move.





JB is one of the coolest 13 year old young man I have had the pleasure of spending a week with.  Traveling to a different place, eating strange foods, sleeping in hot uncomfortable beds, sharing a pit latrine with a 90 year old woman, and taking cold bucket baths would not be the ideal adventure for most.  But JB is a rockstar and took it all in stride.  He even helped with the insulation of the ceiling and spent a morning working on Silas's tree house in our back yard. 
While they were here, Brian and JB taught our neighbor kids how to play baseball and how to throw an American football.  It was so fun to see 30 kids in the front yard, even in the rain, running and laughing and playing.  We also taught JB and Brian how to play Changa Changa.


Again, it was such a wonderful time with Dustin, Brian and JB.  We are so thankful for them and their willingness to make the trip to see what God is doing in this small part of the world.    

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Famine relief food distribution

Silas was loving all the excitement of food distribution day!
On Tuesday we were blessed to be able to see God at work in a mighty way. We watched in amazement as each home in our village of Obule received a 100 kgs. bag of maize flour. There were a couple months of prayer, planning, financial support, and logistics that went into making a food distribution of this scale possible. To get you up to speed on why a food distribution was even necessary you need to know that the majority of farmers in Uganda are one bad/missed rainy season away from famine. This year we've experienced drought throughout Uganda and much of East Africa. Most farmers are subsistence farmers so they grow what their family needs to eat and survive with little surplus. If there is a surplus that food is sold and the money used for school fees, medical expenses, and household needs. In drought, there is no yield so no crops so no food and certainly no surplus to be sold, so people have to buy food. Buying food is much more expensive than growing your own, but most folks are cash strapped. The drought has led to famine. In our area, homes are down to eating one meal a day and money to buy food is quickly becoming exhausted.

It took three truckloads to get all the food from town to the Obule church
Packing the food in the church. The church leaders spent two nights sleeping with
the bags of flour protecting them from theivery. 

God is always at work around us, and through an intimate relationship with Him He invites us to join Him in the work is doing or planning to do. As we take a step of faith in obedience and align our lives to His will, we get to see Him work through us and around us in mighty ways. The recent food distribution was one of those experiences where we and the community got to see God at work. Feeding a village for a month is an undertaking larger than any of us, and larger than our local church. But God is certainly big enough and He allowed us to join Him in supplying material needs to several thousand hungry individuals.


People waiting patiently for their bag of posho flour
As the church leaders began discussions on how we to help the village, we began with prayer - lots of prayer, and God led the church leadership to try and provide a month's worth of food for the village. Roughly 600 homes are in the area. No one had done anything like this before and we at times felt overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the need and what was required to feed this many folks. Each home would receive 100 kgs. (220 lbs.) of maize flour that can be cooked as porridge or posho. Assuming each home has about 8 individuals we were looking at 4800 mouths to feed for a month. Personally I had some fear and trepidation as I focused on all that could go wrong, but a wise friend  helped me to remember that God does not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7), and He was calling us to love our neighbors.
Ojok and Amos were two of the helpers that hauled hundreds of heavy bags for folks


66 tons of maize flour is not cheap, but numerous friends and churches were willing to assist with the purchase of the food. We are so grateful for your generosity. This would not have been possible without the financial assistance of so many. Once the call for help went out, you answered and within a week or so we were able to go to town and buy the 600 bags of flour needed. On the day of the distribution people walked, biked, and motorcycled from around the village and were at the church long before I was. Our friend Josh was able to share The Gospel with the crowd as they waited to receive their food. By 8 a.m. teams of helpers were calling names and handing out the bags. As people received their bag they loaded them onto the backs of bicycles and motorcycles and ferried them off to their homes. It was quite a sight to see a multitude of people milling around, visiting, and patiently waiting for their name to be called. Everything was so organized and efficient. None of the fears I'd had weeks before came to anything. So many people, so much excitement and joy, and so much relief as people knew they had food for awhile anyway. It was amazing to see. God allowed us to witness and play a role in a modern miracle as He fed a multitude.


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It was a steady stream of boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) ferrying people's food
to their homes and back to the church for another run.
There was so much joy on so many faces. Numerous people came up to me and exclaimed how good God is and were thanking Him. Our friend Dan said something to me the day before the distribution that really stuck with me. He said "Tomorrow will change the way people pray." I took that to mean after the distribution people's prayers will turn from crying out to God to help them to prayers of praise and thanksgiving as they saw God work to meet their needs. People saw God's love for them.

We continue to pray for rain because people are in desperate need of a good growing season going into the long dry season that typically lasts from December to April. This food distribution will temporarily alleviate some of the strain families feel during this season of famine, but we need rain. Please pray along with us.