Monday, September 28, 2009

Like cold water to a thirsty soul...

...so is good news from a far country
proverbs 25:25

i don't know when i will just decide that i need to just let my blog go cause i never write on it...but i do have something to share. 

i have been meaning to give you the blog of the girl we met in africa (who lives at the boys home...whom we built the kitchen for...remember??)

here is the link to her blog click ---->>> here

and watch the latest video on there of the "birthday dance". it makes me so happy seeing those boys dancing around! i miss them soo! the two older guys in there are Abby and Kennie (and I think Tonny might be there)----our beloved "translators/transporters/tour guides/brothers and friends". And the older woman are the ones who cooked all our meals. YUMMY. And of course all of the little ones are the ones we worked with. : ) 

be blessed! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Help Bring a Sweet Orphan HOME!

After posting about my amazing time at the Sanyu I had a very sweet lady email me asking about a sweet boy from the home. Through talking with her some and reading through her blog I was incredibly blessed. It looks like she will be traveling to Africa within the next couple of weeks to meet this sweet boy in hopes of adopting him!! 

Please visit their blog. They are selling some pretty amazing stuff that you might be interested in. Also, read about the neat ways that you can donate to help them get their children HOME!! 

be blessed : ) 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Brown Eyed Beauty

Today I am writing about one of the particular babies from the Sanyu Babies home that forever has a place in my heart. But to keep her identity private I will just refer to her has Brown Eyed Beauty. Because, she did have big. beautiful. brown. eyes. that I will always remember. 

Oh, and I so wish I could share with you her name. Cause it is also...beautiful. Infact, everything about her was beautiful

I had been to the Sanyu home many times...played with many babies. But on about my 6th (?) visit. I found her. And how I missed her before, I don't know. 

She was wearing a beautiful pink sundress.

I found her sitting in a small area where all the babies ranging in age from about 6 months to a year were crawling around. Those cute little babes were crawling all over this poor little girl. But she didn't seem to mind. It didn't even phase her. She seemed to being staring off it to space...

I had 2 or 3 babies in my lap...and a few more babies were blocking the distance between me and Brown Eyes. 

I wanted so bad to get to her. Hold her. She looked so sad. 

But every time I'd take one baby off my lap, three more would crawl on. After about 10 minutes of trying to move some babies out of the way of me and Brown Eyes, I got to her! 

Finally, I was within reaching distance!! Yet fear gripped me as I realized her how frail she looked. It appeared to be as if I picked her up I might break her. 

We stared at each other for a couple of seconds. And I realized I just needed to do it. I didn't have much time to spare before more babies separated us. So I gently picked her up. I felt so shaky as I lifted her. I could feel every. single. rib. She has a tube attached to her arm. I am guessing for medicine. 

Finally I found a bench to sit at and I cradled her like a baby. Her smile could light up a whole ROOM I tell you! I was smitten. And I forever treasure these pictures. I heard that she might be getting a forever family soon (not us. don't start making crazy ideas.) I pray that I can locate that family and tell them just how much I loved there little Brown Eyed Beauty. 

Brown Eyes will always have a place in my heart.
And I am thankful that there are no orphans of GOD! 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meeting Katie!

I have always wanted to point y'all in the direction of Katies blog...because it is simply amazing. I had always meant to do it before I went to Uganda...because she was a hero! 

But now that I have met Katie, and ate dinner with her...I can't begin to tell you how much more of a hero she is to me!

She came to Kampala (about 1 hour away from her home) to eat dinner with our group and share her testimony with us. Me and Emma met her at the babies home and she walked back to the hotel with us so that me and Emma could change---we were oh so dirty from working in the village!!

Let me just say, this girl has the biggest heart! And she is so much fun! As all of us girls were changing in the hotel...she just sat on the bed and laughed with all of us. Then we went back to the babies home to feed the babies and put them to bed. It was so evident how much she loves the orphans. 

Once the babies were all in bed we went to eat dinner at the hotel and got to know her some more...than she shared her testimony with all of us! Amazing! She blessed us so much...

So please, head on over to her blog  right now! You will surely be blessed by this 20 year old girl who is living in Uganda raising 13 small children who all call her "mom"! Her blog is.... www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com . Be blessed! 

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just Makes Me Laugh...

I feel like there has been a lot of "seriousness" on this blog lately. In fact I was just writing a serious post and decided...ya know...how about something different for a change?? So here is something funny : ) 

I found this picture while looking through some of my team mates pictures a couple of days after returning home and it made me laugh. I promise...this dog really was a sweet dog. This picture just happened to happen at the perfectly perfect timing. I actually never did really interact with the dog...because one I am not a dog person...and two I had many people tell me "don't touch the dogs in africa!!" But I think it was a sweet dog. I love the look on both of their faces too. "J" is completely chill unaware of what is happening...I love it! 
Fun fact: J, the guy in the picture is adopting a little beauty that he met in Africa! We are so excited for him! And it was so awesome to see him meet his daughter...and also heartbreaking to see him have to say goodbye to her...but they will be traveling to take her home for good soon!! Send up a prayer for there sweet sweet family! 

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Missing Uganda Today....

Here is a video that William from our team made....

enjoy and don't forget to pause my music (the music doesn't start till about 25 seconds into video). 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

~Welcome Home~

New favorite song...
Just felt like sharing it with y'all. 
You can listen to it on my playlist. 

And heres the Lyrics (you can't miss a word)  : ) 

Take, me, make me
All You want me to be
That's all I'm asking, all I'm asking

Welcome to this heart of mine
I've buried under prideful vines
Grown to hide the mess I've made 
Inside of me
Come decorate, Lord
Open up the creaking door
And walk upon the dusty floor
Scrape away the guilty stains
Until no sin or shame remain
Spread Your love upon the walls
And occupy the empty halls
Until the man I am has faded
No more doors are barricaded

Come inside this heart of mine
It's not my own
Make it home
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own
Welcome home

Take a seat, pull up a chair
Forgive me for the disrepair
And the souvenirs from floor to ceiling
Gathered on my search for meaning
Every closet's filled with clutter
Messes yet to be discovered
I'm overwhelmed, I understand
I can't make this place all that You can

repeat chorus

I took the space that You placed in me
Redecorated in shades of greed
And I made sure every door stayed locked
Every window blocked, and still You knocked

repeat chorus

Take me, make me
All You want me to be
That's all I'm asking, all I'm asking

Monday, August 3, 2009

More Info on the Kidnapping!

Thank you to all that commented saying they would pray!

If you would like a more detailed explanation of the situation...go to Linnys Blog 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Please Pray!!!!!

I don't know if there a soul out there that reads this blog any more...but please, if you are reading this...send up a prayer for 4 of the boys (do not know which ones yet) from African Hearts that were kidnapped yesterday.

The reasons for kidnapping in Africa are either for trafficing or sacrafice.

Please pray!!!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday...He Loves To Delight Us!

There are times in your life whenever you know that it is God who moved big time on your be half. Times where He did things just because he wanted to delight his child. 

My team was one of those ways that God surprised me and delighted me. He could have put me with any 'ol team...but he placed me with the perfect team. And He did it in a very interesting way. Most people find their teams through church, school, or friend. Not my case. 

For many years I have been praying that God would send me on a mission trip. And because God says that you can pray for specific things...I prayed for Africa. I kept praying that God would open the door. 

Months passed...and my dad decided to look on our church website for teams. Side note: he is such an amazing Dad. Anyway, he found a team for me! I checked out their website...sounded pretty amazing! I knew some of the people that were going. Sweet. I figured that this was the door I had prayed for God to open. 

But as the first meeting for the team drew closer..something didn't feel right. I couldn't figure out what it was!! I had dreamed of going to Africa...God had opened the door...and yet something just didn't feel right. I kept thinking...what is my problem?! I didn't want to tell my parents about these feelings I was having because it had taken a lot of work for them to even think about sending me to Africa...I didn't want to put doubts in their mind! So I just kept quiet.

Then one day I woke up earlier than usual and decided to catch up on some blogs that I loved reading. Thats when I came across this post. Oh my good heavennnsssss!!! It was probably only 5:30 a.m yet I just felt like jumping up and down on my bed whenever I read this!!! Part of me was saying...this is so silly...I am already signed up with another team..and plus...I have never even commented on this blog...I mean...golly gee...its a BLOG...my parents would never agree to this. Yet the other half of me was saying...GO!!!!!! So I got in the shower and thought more about it. I just kept laughing out loud at my self thinking...Why am I even doing this to myself...I just need to get this out of my mind for good. Yet I couldn't. I began to pray and pray that God would open the door for me to GO. Please God...pleaaaase!??

I decided to email my dad about it (he was out of town at the time). I just said something like "Dad, I know this is so crazy...but just think about it". And then when my mom woke up I barely even said good morning before I practically screamed "Mom, you have just got to think about it! Please mom...just go read this post!" 

I went to school that day and it was all I could think about. I even told my dearest friend (yes, thats you, Jess!) to please pray for me about something. I didn't tell her what, partly because I knew she would think I was nuts...and partly because I didn't want to get too excited about something so crazy as this. I texted my sister and told her to pray. 

That night my dad called me and told me "email them"...whhaaaaaat? Really...did my dad just say to email some random people I met online about going to AFRICA!? 

So I did...and the rest is history. They invited me to join their team. We talked to them on the phone that weekend...and bought my plane ticket later that next week. Even as it was happening I couldn't believe it.

Some nights I would lay in bed and think to my self..."what if these people are just plain wackos that are going to kidnap me and take me to Africa!?" But I would always end up going to sleep with a smile on my face thinking...I can't believe this is happening! I felt like the luckiest girl alive.

I got intouch with some of the girls that were going via facebook*. They sounded so sweet! One night the team even invited me to be apart of their team meeting via *skype. Yes it was akward...but they were so sweet! 

When people would ask "are you going with your church?? or school??? or what?" I'd always feel so strange trying to tell them the story. Sometimes I'd just say...."its a long, crazy story."

I sometimes wondered while waiting for the trip to come...why this team? What was a matter with the other team? Why am I so stinken' elated over traveling with a team from out of state that I have never met?! This isn't like me. 

Yet, after returning home. After crying my little eyes out as I had to say goodbye to them. I knew. He did it to delight me. Plain and simple. 

They were like family in every way. And I can not stop strategizing  ways to get me up to Colorado to see them again. 

I am forever grateful to MY GOD that loves to delight us.  

Some photos...

We stayed up way after dark on the patio laughing and chatting about the day...

We'd wake up early to sit on the patio and laugh some more...
We'd do stupid things just to make us laugh again...
We worked hard...
We loved...

...and we laughed some more

...got way to excited about yummy food...
...like mirinda!!!

...got our hand dirty together.
...and so so much more. 

Today I am thankful for my God who does big things to delight his children. I am thankful for Team Uganda Go 09. 

African Hearts Concert

Today I feel like sharing with y'all about the African Hearts concert we went to! What an incredible fun experience! 

After a long day of working in the village we were invited to the boys concert. These boys who were once on the street learn to play brass instruments and then do concerts to raise money. What beautiful sounds they made. It brought chills to me thinking about all of these boys once living on the street...and now look at them! They really are miracles and have such a bright future ahead of them.

This is Abbey. He is an unseen Hero of this world...
He is the director of African Hearts. 
It is so apparent that he absolutely loves these boys. 
His love for God is incredible
I can't wait to see Abbey again! 

Waiting for the concert to start...
yes, we did get friendship rings...
and yes i do love this girl so so much and really want to see her
After much anticipation finally the boys walked out...
and did they look dapper or what? See those handsome
red outfits? Pastor Dwight's church gave them money
to buy uniforms...and this was there first night to wear them!
They were so proud! 
And did I mention...that we had fun!? So much fun. 
There was continual dancing and whooping and hollaring :)
Look at George as he breaks it down
Kenny and beautiful Sandra dancing  away!
I just thought this was cute...

Towards the end of the concert these acrobats came out and showed us what they could do! At times I had to hold my breath because some of the stunts looked so dangerous! They were fun to watch!
And as it got darker the dancing continued on! Towards the end everybody was out in the grass dancing away while it was pitch black. The boys would one at a time get in the middle of our big circle and dance or do the worm and we'd all scream, clap and jump up and down for them! It was so much fun to just not have a care in the world and enjoy a fun night with friends.

It truly was one of the most fun nights...and one that I will never forget! 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just Another Perfect Day In Africa...

warning: i am kinda going out of order here. i still have lots more to write about. but for today i just felt like writing about our second to last day in africa. i know...i should go in order. but hey, its my blog...right? and plus...i am going to make this into a book for myself one day...and then i will put the posts in order. 

p.s. again, i stole these pictures from a friend. 
You know those days that you just wish would never end?? You wish you could just freeze the moment right there. You see pictures from that day and would give anything to just jump back to that day? You know what I am talking about? Thats how our last Saturday in Africa was.

 It was kinda a "free" day. We all decided that we would spend the day in the village with the boys. We had spent the last week there almost every day...but during that time we were so so so busy building the kitchen and planting trees that we had hardly any time to just "hang" with the boys. It was kinda a bitter sweet day. This was our last day with the boys. But we enjoyed the moment and have amazing memories of that day. 

It was a beautiful Saturday. The boys were all home waiting for us when we came. We brought ice cream for them! They were all so excited. The offered us bites of their ice cream...how could you deny it when they hold out their spoon and flash their beautiful smile at you. :) We told them that it was their special day and the ice cream was for them!! 

Now I'll just let the pictures do the talking....
It was a beautiful day...
and I'd do anything to go back to that wonderful Saturday. 

We gave all the boys ties to wear to church. They were SO proud. 
Sweet Abdul with his ice cream...
 I think I have mentioned this before...but Kennie did not like to smile! So we had to do everything in our might to make him smile. :) And he eventually would. 

Abdul and Sam...
I'd do anything to jump into this picture right now. I will forever cherish this picture. I am going to frame it soon...

They gave us a special treat before we left. Jack fruit!! It was very interesting...we all decided that it tasted like a mix of grape and banana. And had a very weird after taste. hmmmm...i can't say if i liked it or not.  

I found it very emotional to ride down that dirt road that lead out of the village for the last time. And it was pouring. Which didn't help with the mood we were all in. 

Tony's Girls Home

If you have been reading this blog for a while you have heard me talk about Tony. Today I am going to share a little bit about his ministry and how they blessed us. 

Tony helps run a girls home. It is kinda of like the boys home that I have talked about...except with girls. He helps get young girls off the street, gives them a home, and shares the love of Christ with them. The girls learn how to dance, sing, and make jewelry. They then raise money by putting on performances.   

It was so evident in the way that he talked about these girls that he truly loved them as if each of him were his daughters! What an amazing example of a Godly men for these girls!
We did not work directly with the girls home but we were blessed enough to be able to go to a performance of theirs one night. And it was quite the performance!!!! They set up chairs for us and made us feel like the most honored guests. They even sang a welcoming song for us and incorporated each of our names into the song! It was very sweet. They did such a great job pronouncing all of our names and we LOVED it. In fact...through out the rest of our stay in Africa we all had that song stuck in our head. We'd be throwing bricks and singing the song "how do you do lexie how do you....lalalala" . Hahah!! It is quite a catchy song I tell ya.

Here is a video of the song :) (sorry I do seem to be a bit shaky with the camera....)Enjoy! Oh and the cute little girl in the tan plaid skirt is the one that says my name at 2:11 seconds into the song :) You have to listen for it. 

After lots of singing from them they then invited (or more like pulled us in) to dance with them!! They of course thought that it was hillareous...because white people just don't know how to shake it like them. But we had fun trying.

After some dancing Tony had each of us go into the middle and introduce our selfs...

After introductions we enjoyed some time meeting the girls. I loved talking with them...and of course...they each wanted their pictures with us. So I got about a zillion of these kind of photos. And I love each and every one. 

beautiful girls. 

This sweet girl (pictured below) especially touched my heart. Her name was Violet. She asked me many hard questions like..."Do you have a father? And a mother too?!?!" I told her that she too has a father...a heavenly father. 
More to come...later. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Back!

Not like I ever mentioned I was leaving y'all (anybody out there that reads this anyway??) but....have no fear. I am BACK. 

I don't really know what happened to me while I was gone (I mean...I do know that my sister got married during that time period...read more about it at www.karleighmei.blogspot.com :)). I was on such a good roll writing out each day. And then I started to lose it. All the days started running together and I started to get overwhelmed trying to think...what did I do on DAY 5!?! DAY 6??! So instead of writing out the rest of the day---day by day---I have decided that I will just start writing about my experiences of the last day. Because frankly...I can't remember what happened on each day. Yes, I know...I should have kept a journal. But I do remember very clearly the things that I want to journal about. So here goes...

Coming up I am going to be writing about the African Hearts boys brass band concert, Tony's girls home program that they put on for us, more photos and writings on the Sanyu, funny stories, church service...and more :) 

Ah, it felt good to get that out there. Now I feel like I can write again! Watch out....I'm baaackkk (for any of those out there still reading...anybody?)  ;) 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday :)

oupps...its sideways...oh well!

Monday, June 22, 2009

sam & i :)

i am working on "day 5 post"...but for now...

"A pictures worth a thousand words 
but you cant see what those shades of gray keep covered
 you should have seen it in color" 
~lyrics from the song "you should have seen it in color"
this is sweet sam. i love this picture. he was one of the 13 boys that lived in the house where we were building the kitchen. i fell in love with this sweet little guy! and miss him so much! any time he stood next to me...he didn't just stand there...he was always hugging me.he taught be how to count to 5 in Lugandan :) it brought me so much joy to be around him! this picture was taken on our last day at the village...we had bought the boys ice cream! it was a huge hit! the boys were all so sweet asking us if we wanted bites! 

i pray that i can see him again some day (next summer??)! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 4~ Church and Crusade!

So much to say about this day...this will probably be a long post...

The day started off bright and early. We went to the church in the village and it was an awesome thing to be apart of! These people love Jesus with all their hearts and they express the love through dancing and singing! And let me tell you...these people can really DANCE and SING. They make us white folk that are trying to dance look like crazies. 

One thing that hit me while in Africa is that us in America might have lots of "stuff"...which lead us astray and don't allow us to focus on God. But with these people...all they have is God! And that is enough for them! How cool is that? We could all take some lessons from these beautiful people. 

It was a beautiful service...we sang lots of African songs, but also some English songs. Songs like "These Are The Days of Elijah". The moment that I am pretty sure left us all breathless was whenever Tony played on the trumpet "I Surrender All". It was beautiful. 

After the singing was over Pastor Dwight preached a powerful message to the people. Then after he was done he had our group come up to the front, then he told the people that if they wanted prayer to come up and we would pray for them. Me and a few other girls said that we would pray with the kids. Lots of kids came to the front and the translator would tell us what each child wanted prayer for. At first I was completely overwhelmed and wondered how we were going to be able to pray for all of these children individually! Everything worked out and each child was prayed over. Many of the children asked for prayer for headaches, and stomach aches. A few shocked me when they asked for prayer for "wisdom and understanding". It was amazing to see them asking for this at such a young age! 

After church the children all wanted pictures taken of them! They were jumping all around us just wanting a little bit of attention and the chance to be in the picture. So I got lots of pictures of the beautiful faces! 

Like this one...
And these beautiful girls...
These two little ones were decked out in their Sunday best! The little girl had something in her eye and big brother was helping out...so sweet. 
This sweet little girl sat on my lap during church... 
We brought candy and wow was that a hit! 

Beautiful faces...

Once we were finally able to pull away from all of the children it was back to the hotel to change into something more comfortable...and then we were on our way to the crusade! 

The crusade was in the slums area...we were told not to bring our cameras because it was not safe. So sadly I do not have any pictures of the crusade...although, I might know where I can swipe them from a friend :) 

We got to the slums and the excitement was everywhere! A band lead the way up and down the streets and people came out of their home to see what was going on. It was like a parade! Once there was a good group of people following us we went to a big open area where the crusade began. There were many children there...all of them wanted to hold the "Mzungus" (white peoples) hands. So we each had at least 10 kids or so all holding our hands and then many many more surrounding and trying to get a place to hold our hands too. Then they wanted us to dance and jump up and down with them. That was a work out I tell ya. :) It cracked me up when one of the little kids rubbed his hands on my skin and then smelt it and then motioned for all of the other kids to smell my arm too! Haha! I guess that a lot of bug spray and sunscreen smells good? Then another time when I was clapping and looked down and they were all not only clapping because I was clapping but also clapping the exact same way as I. So sweet. 

As the night went on and more people came to know the Lord it was evident that Satan was not happy about this. We experienced some serious spiritual warfare. I have never experienced something quite like this and it surely opened my eyes I taught my something. 

One incident involved a "Bodaboda"  which is a motorcycle. By now it was pretty dark outside and we were trying to keep all the "Mzungus" close together for protection. But with dozens of little kids surrounding each person it was nearly impossible to stay close together. A Bodaboda kept riding back and forth along the sidelines of the area that we were in. Back and forth, back and forth. It was evident that people were getting annoyed because they were trying to listen to Pastor Dwight's sermon. A lady from our group (side note: love this lady so much! she was so much fun and I was blessed enough to sit next to her on my first flight with the group. It was a blessing to have somebody from the group next to me! I'll call her "M". ) grabbed the guy on the Bodaboda's shoulder and told him firmly to STOP. M then walked away from the guy. The guy who was very high and drunk threw his Bodaboda down and went after her. I looked back just as a bunch of guys were all holding the guy down and keeping him away from M. The guy was obviously looking for a fight to start. It probably only lasted for a few minutes but it felt like forever. I grabbed all the kids around me and ran to the closest guy from our group I saw. Right as all of this was happening the lights went out and the speakers started going out as well. It seemed to get pretty chaotic for a while. Another side note: Now, we prayed before the Crusade began...and I remember specifically Pastor Dwight telling us not to let fear get a hold of us. I tried to remember that but my human nature got in the way and I was COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT. I looked back out into the crowed ...and I saw the most powerful thing. Everybody from my group had their arms stretched out over to the scene where the "Bodaboda incident" was happening. Everybody was praying. I looked at the guy next to me with huge tears in my eyes and he asked me if I was ok. We then both joined the rest of the Mzungus with arms outstretched praying that God would come to the scene and that Satan would be removed from this place. 

And sure enough! God came big! The lights came back on, the loud speakers began to work again and the "bodaboda incident" subsided! And the biggest praise was that about 60 people came to know the LORD that night!! What an amazing experience! I learned so much that night. I learned what the power of prayer can do...and about putting my fear aside! Here are two picture I was able to find from friends...
The band that lead the way to the crusade! 

Lots of little kids everywhere!