Friday, April 25, 2014


Is it ironic that I will take my last malaria pill today?

Yes, yes it is.

Why you ask?  Good question.  Because today is World Malaria Day! 

Malaria is a nasty illness that I unfortunately have looked in the eyes of.

A child sick with Malaria
 A child sick with malaria
A child sick with malaria.
600,000 children in Africa died from malaria in 2010.  600,000!  A child dies from malaria every 60 seconds, most of them are under 5 years old.  The maddening part about this illness is that it is totally treatable, preventable and curable!  For less than $3 a person can be tested and treated for malaria.  So why do so many people die of it, you ask?  Great question again...a few reasons.  1...they don't know what they have.  When we visited a village with Healing Faith, we were able to watch Jason share with a lady what malaria is and what causes it.
Guys...she didn't know.  He had to tell her it wasn't an evil spirit but a mosquito.  They don't have Google.  Sometimes it is as simple as not knowing.  (The best part of talking to this lady was Jason also shared Jesus with her!)
2.They don't have access to health care.  Simple as that...they can't get to a clinic.
3. They don't have the $3 to get the test and the treatment.  Most Ugandan families live on less than $2 a day.  Let me say that again, MOST UGANDAN FAMILIES LIVE ON LESS THAN $2 A DAY!
When you/I think about 600,000 children dying from an illness it can seem overwhelming.  So you might be asking yourself, "I want to help, but what can I do?"  Oh all are asking such wonderful questions.  I am so proud.  There is this great organization Healing Faith.  They are in Uganda and are dedicated to educating, testing and treating malaria.  And...sharing the gospel.  Rob and I had the honor of serving with them in October and hanging out with them in March.

The work they do is fantastic.  There is one problem...right now in Uganda it is the rainy season.  Which doesn't seem like a huge deal, but when you are trying to get to a village, down a dirt road, in the rain...well, that is pretty difficult.  If it is raining Healing Faith usually has to cancel their village visits, which means more malaria going untreated.  Booo!  We don't want that. 
Healing Faith is starting a campaign today to raise $25,000 in one week to buy a fully-equipped Mobile Malaria Vehicle that will allow the team to reach the villages year round.  You want to help!?  Great!  Go to this website and donate ANY amount.  And I seriously mean any amount!  Any donation amount will get you entered into a contest to win a t-shirt.  A $50 donation gets you a t-shirt.  I am going to head over there now and make my donation and get my free shirt!
Aren't they great!?  I just love them.  In fact, I love them so much that I am going to do my own contest through the blog!!!  All you have to do is share this post on Facebook, Instagram, and/or twitter (when you share it #worldmalariaday, #malariabites, #mobilemalariavehicle) and like the Healing Faith Facebook page.  Then you will be entered into a drawing to win one of these shirts.  If you do all of those things, that is 4 chances to win.  I will pick the winner next Friday May 2nd.  So you can share this post, on each of those outlets once a day for a week.  If you do that you have a pretty good chance of winning! 
Let's spread the word about malaria and help Healing Faith get their Mobile Malaria Vehicle!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This word "retreat" keeps coming up in my head. I keep hearing, "Just go back to the way you were living.  It would be so much easier.  Watch tv every night, find something fun to do on the weekend, do what you for yourself.  Retreat."  Every time I start feeling something, or "processing" something I hear, "retreat, retreat, retreat." 

Then I feel this nudge to press on.  Keep moving past the pain, hurt, confusion.  Keep my eyes on the Lord and press on. 

Today I really felt it...

Retreat, retreat, retreat.

Some things kind of came crashing down on me and it was all a little to much.  Things I have been suppressing for the past week and a half, things I have been retreating from hit me like a brick wall.

As I was driving to house church I was thinking, "ok, people are going to ask me how I am doing.  Do I give them the fake I am okay or the honest I am feeling a little bi-polar today."  God knew what I needed because actually no one asked.  One sweet friend simply came up gave me a hug and said, "I wasn't going to ask how you are, I just have been wanting to give you a hug."  Have you ever felt like you just wish God had on skin and could hug you?  Well, that was God's way of giving me a hug.  He is so good.  I am sure my friend had no idea that in that moment she was Jesus to me, but she was.

We sat down to do our content time and Rob played this video.  Go watch it...seriously. 

I sat their, with tears in my eyes, thinking "this is why I am not going to retreat.  This is why I press on."

Jesus didn't retreat. 
He surrendered...
his whole self...
to God's will...
on a cross.

That is the God I serve.  A God that died for me. 

I am going to stop listening to the enemy yelling "retreat, retreat, retreat" and I am going to start listening to Jesus whisper, "surrender, surrender, surrender."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Re-Entry, Processing, and How Was Africa

I hate these words.  All of them. 

I don't want to "re-enter."  I don't know how to re-enter. 
I don't want to "process."  I don't know how to process.
What do those words even mean?  How do you take your entire family to the other side of the world, to a world that is nothing like the one you live in and then re-enter...process.

How do I begin to answer the question, "How was Africa?"  (Don't get me wrong, I know people mean well when they is just really hard to answer this.)

A great friend has reminded me this time around that "re-entry" is similar to grief.  After all, we are grieving the loss of something...a place/people we love.  So as I think over the stages of grief, I find myself somewhere between denial/isolation and anger.  I don't want to allow myself to think about all that happened.  I have emotionally disconnected myself.  If I "go there" I might just break down.  If I re-live all that was...I will just grow sad that it is over.  If I come to terms with the reality of Uganda, I may never go back.  So I deny...refuse to think about it.  I have isolated myself.  I don't really want to talk to people.  I don't want to answer the question "How was Africa?" That would require me to re-live it and remember...I am in denial.

Then the anger piece starts to creep in.  Why did I have to come home?  Why did I ever go in the first place?  Why do I love people that live so far away? And I just get kind of mad. 

I know that in time I will move past these things, but right is hard.  I don't want to go back to "normal" life, but I don't know where to go from here.  Each day I awake and pray, "Lord, I don't know what this day holds, but I am praying for your grace to take the next step.  Lead me, Father.  Lead me."

If you have gone a trip like this before you are thinking, "Yup...I know that feeling."  If you have not, you are thinking, " probably need to check into a hospital and get on some meds."  Let me ease all of your worry...this is normal.  I struggled in October too.  It was different, but it was still a struggle.  I will resurface soon.  It may take awhile and I will be changed, but I will. 

Until then...
I will wake up and go through the motions and
miss this...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

I Am a Lucky Girl

To say the last 12 days were some of the best of my life would be an understatement.
Not only did I get to see people I love and serve a God I love,
but I got to do it with people I love.
Particularly this guy...

He has worked so hard over the last several months to plan out every detail of this trip.
He sent email after email to book rooms and our driver.
He corresponded with George often about our "program."
He was in constant contact with Brett and Diana from Equip 1
about what we needed to do from a ministry stand point.
He spent many hours talking to the kids and I about what we would experience and how
God would use this trip in our family.
He spent time posting things on Facebook to raise money for Ebenezer and Change4Change.
He took time to prepare his heart and mind for all God had for us.
All that time he spent to prepare for this journey paid off ten fold.
Even though his plans didn't go exactly as he planned, he knew they were
going exactly as God planned.
I love watching him serve the people of Uganda with joy.

He is a great example of love to the children at Ebenezer and the surrounding community.
He is so compassionate for the needy and oppressed.

He is fearless when it comes to preaching the word of God.

He is amazing at encouraging the young people.

He is a hard, hard worker!

He is loving and caring for the fatherless.
How is it that I get to do this life with him?
I am not sure...
but I am sure happy and blessed that it is me!