Saturday, August 26, 2017

Well drilling is a little slow right now

I posted earlier that the rains have returned and that means people are busy in their fields plowing, planting, weeding, and harvesting. The well drilling naturally slows way down during planting and harvesting times because people need to be in their gardens tending to the food they will eat and/or sell. This year has been atypical in that the water well drilling has been slow all year. The drought and resulting famine brought the well clubs to a halt as there was little enough food in the home and what little food there was could not be used to feed a 10-neighbor well drilling team. Where we drilled 120 water wells last year, we've only drilled 17 this year. Things are looking up though. Starting Monday we have 2 new well clubs that we will begin working alongside training. There are 8 other well clubs waiting on a free drilling rig and trainers so that they can also begin. We only have about 2 months left before we need to head back to America for baby #4, but it should be a busy 2 months full of well drilling and farming. I'm hopeful these well clubs will hit the ground running and we can add another 30 to 40 water wells before the year is out.





Rains have returned and crops are growing!

We are thrilled to report that the rains have returned this season. It is raining several times a week, usually in the evenings or overnight. It makes for good sleeping weather. The sun is out during the day so people are still able to get out and work in their fields. The crops are growing well. We planted earlier than most down at the farm. We have several fields of maize planted, watermelons, tomatoes growing in the alley-cropping alleys, bell peppers, several varieties of jalapeƱos, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, sweet corn, squash and zucchini, along with the typical crops seen in most gardens - beans, cassava, egg plant, and sorghum.

Last season was still dry, however the crops planted at the farm did surprisingly well. The Ugandan national average for maize is right around 600 kgs/acre. Last season God blessed us with nearly 3 times the Ugandan average with a yield of 1770 kgs/acre.

Over the last three growing seasons we have seen a steady increase in our yields across all crops. Maize has increased from 1000 kgs/acre, to 1188 kgs/acre, to our best yet of 1770 kgs/acre.
Sorghum has also done very well. We harvested 1668 kgs/acre last year while the Ugandan national average is 320 kgs/acre. We've also seen great harvests of watermelon (13,600 kgs/acre), peanuts, and beans.

Because the farm is a training/demonstration farm we have a number of small plots where we experiment with nontraditional crops, and many traditional crops but planted nontraditionally. We are completely sold on the results of the Farming God's Way (FGW) method. Many people come by weekly to visit the farm and to know what we're doing differently than they, but adoption by the village farmers is slow. Ladies throughout the village have been far more likely than men to implement the changes in farming that they learn from us. My guess is that the ladies see the results and go home and do it. Many are not interested in the whys? or the science behind FGW, but witness the results and make the necessary changes in their own gardens. The men need to be sold on the idea, hear the science behind FGW, see quantifiable results, and then they still go home and continue with the way of farming they are used to.

We will continue to planting and growing and teaching and trust God to do a work in people's hearts and bring them to the place where they are willing to trust God in all their ways (including farming) and stop leaning on their own limited understanding. We do praise God for the return of the rains and for the upcoming bountiful harvests. I know the dark mood that hung over the village during the drought and famine period has lifted and people are excited about the future.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Corrie

Corrie is loving all the new sights and sounds that Texas has to offer.  She is also growing and becoming a very strong and independent little girl.

Lily Kate (her cousin) gave Corrie some glasses to wear....She looked pretty darn cute!
At Sea World, she could hardly contain her excitement!  Neither could I .
But all that excitement wears a girl out.

Our crazy schedule over this past month has meant lots of naps in the car.  
This was her favorite toy one morning... 
We have also had some very early mornings.  Like 3:30 early.  But she is so happy when I get her out of bed...Wish I could say the same about being up at 3:30 in the morning!  


Silas is a U.S. citizen

Silas became a citizen of the United States earlier this month.  It was by far the easiest part of the whole process.  We went in at 9:00 and he had his citizenship papers in his hand by 9:30!  It really was a wonderful thing to be a part of.



My mom, sister, and (surprise to me) my nephew flew down to San Antonio for a few days to be with us to celebrate Silas, and to see everyone.  We went to Sea World, the Alamo, walked along the river walk, and then went up to Fredricksburg.  










It was such a wonderful time to be with my family and to witness our son becoming a U.S. citizen.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Reunited with the Rosser and Boles families

Our dear and long time family friend, Charla, came and took over 500 pictures of our arrival back into the states.  Click here to view the wonderful and fun pictures she captured of the long awaited reunion.  Thank you Charla!

Our first flight with the kids

We have been in the U.S. for a month now and things are finally starting to settle somewhat into a routine.  
So I thought I would just post a few blogs with pictures of our first few weeks.

Our first flight with the kids is over.  We had a 5 hour flight then a 16 (!!!!) hour flight.  

Colin is pushed the 3 kids through the Entebbe airport.  It was super NOT fun arriving to our gate.  We didn't know that on the type of visa that the kids had, they had to have return tickets.  So at the counter before we even went through immigration, we had to buy Silas and Aggie tickets to come back.  And given all the heat on adoption in the country these past few years, folks were going over all our documents before they would let us leave the country!  But the Lord went before us and we were able to get to the gate and let the kids have a few minutes to run around.

Flying with babies...Oh my goodness.  Corrie was too big  for the basinet, so she had to sleep across me.  Needless to say I  did not get very much sleep during our 25 hours of flying!

Sials and Aggie did great.  They loved the food and the movies and slept ok.  It was really fun for them.

About 12 hours into our second flight, Corrie was done.  So she spent a few hours on the ground in front of us playing.

All in all, it wasn't all that bad.  Just long.  Our kids did great and I am thankful for that.  

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!!