Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Africa Packing List

This is my own personal packing list, so obviously some things are unique to me and my situation (female, staying in Uganda for over a month, furnished house in the city, etc.) Even though it wouldn't be perfect for everyone, I thought I'd share it here since I get emails every year asking questions about packing for Africa! You can save and print this list, so please enjoy and share and let me know how I can be praying for you on your trip :)  PS--sorry it looks funky.  Couldn't figure out a better way to have the list easily save-and-print-able.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Update from Tubur Church

Dad, Natalie, Glen, and I helped with a church plant in 2011 in Tubur, Uganda.  A friend from church (James Bobo) visited the church today and sent home an update.  What wonderful, happy news!  I imagine my feelings in heaven will be very similar to the ones I felt when reading this update.  GLORY, GLORY, GLORY to HIM!  Thank you to all that prayed and gave to make this church plant possible.  May you be blessed by this news as well.


In 2011, the Soroti Presbyterian Church and Midland Bible Church partnered in the establishment of a village church in Tubur.  They met under a tree for the first eight months and in the summer of 2011, a number of you assisted in the week-long crusade and the church dedication that followed.  I preached there this morning and I thought you might like an update.

The first question I asked was how many of them had been part of the “church under the tree” two years ago.  It was encouraging to see how many stood up.  The church building was full today and it had one of the best balances between men, women, children and youth that I’ve seen in a village church.  Usually, the vast majority of the attendees are women and children.

The man who sold the land to the Eastern Presbytery to build the church on got up after the service, along with his wife, and presented me a chicken to express their thanks for the gift of the church to the village.  They had been married in a civil ceremony some 50 years ago and last May, they had a church wedding in the Tubur church.  They never thought they would have a chance for a church wedding and were very excited to have had one in their own village.

One of the elders then got up and provided an update on several of the ministries of the church.  There are many widows and orphans and they have done two ministries, in particular, to assist.  They now have a pre-school at the church with 70 children and six teachers.  This is a service to church members and to the community as a whole. 

They have also created a “helping hands” ministry which focuses upon the needs of widows.  They have built two grass-huts thus far for widows that had no place to stay and they have set aside land and work it to provide crops to support ten widows currently. 
They have an AWANA ministry mid-week that currently has 120 children from the church and community coming.  In addition, they take up a small offering every Sunday that is used to focus upon medical needs of the poor and needy within their church.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

East Africa 2012!

Well, it's time to announce my next trip to East Africa! This time I will only be going to Kenya (no Uganda!), and my Dad will be traveling with me on his FIRST trip to Kenya! He is excited to see zebras in the wild ;)
My trip will be July 22nd through August 1st and we will be traveling with our friends from Cypress Creek Church in Wimberley. We will be planting a church in the village of Usenge, which is Morris Ogenga's hometown.

Our journey will begin with our flight to Nairobi, followed by an all-day drive to the far western area of Kenya near Uganda and Lake Victoria. We will be staying in the town of Kisumu, and traveling one hour each day to Usenge, which is the location of the new church. Usenge is a very poor fishing village where most people grow or catch their own food. The Bondo district where Usenge is located has one of the highest rates of HIV in Kenya. The need for a Savior is very real here. I was able to visit the site of this church last summer before the church building was built, so I am very anxious to get back there and see the work God has already done!

As always, we welcome your partnership this year. If you are interested in supporting our trip in prayer or financially, please contact me for more specifics! We love you!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Uganda Video 2011

This is the video that my sister Natalie made of our trip to Uganda this summer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hello Holo

Today will be our second and final day in Holo, Kenya. Cypress Creek Church planted Holo Community Bible Church 4 or 5 years ago and this has been an encouraging trip for the church and the surrounding area.

Yesterday, I went to schools with Tammy and Mike. We went to one primary school and two secondary schools, so we each took turns sharing our testimonies and the good news/bad news. I enjoyed hearing everyone's take on the gospel and I'm looking forward to stealing some of their ideas on the trail today! I shared the gospel at a secondary school which made me a little nervous because of the group size (several hundred!) as well as the age (14-20). But as usual, God was so good, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Mike's testimony was so powerful and effective. I think the young men related to him very well. I began my presentation with saying that since I was so close to their age, I wanted to just talk as friends. I felt like that time was very conversational and I got to interact with many of the students. It was one of my favorite experiences!

This team has been doing schools only in the afternoons, so I got a full trail day yesterday along with being on the school team. Most of the people I talked to were already believers, but I got to pray with them and encourage them. I was encouraged by a very old woman I met named Elena. She accepted Christ in 1974, and shortly after that her husband and two sons died, leaving her alone. She said that God was her comforter and defender. She went on to explain the details of an accident (her cow knocked her down and broke her wrist) and a disease she has been suffering from for 6 years. She insists that God is still her sustainer and healer. She prayed that I would always remember how faithful He is, no matter what. She was so appreciative of my visit since she can't walk to church and she can't read the Bible. She said, "your words have refreshed my soul"...Elena, you did more than that for me!

Please pray for:
1) my testimony this afternoon at the crusade.
2) The Holo area is incredibly rocky and hilly, and I'm hiking in my Chacos which don't protect me very is very rainy, so please pray I don't slip in the mud!
3) There have been some severe bee attacks in this area. Pray for the natives that have been stung and for our team to remain safe.
4) for Landon and Thomas to feel better--both are feeling a little queasy.
5) for Brenda to find the little boy named Victor that she has been looking for in Holo! She met him several years ago on the original church plant and has been praying to see him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


"There is no treasure so wonderful as that
continuous experience of Thy grace toward me."
-The Valley of Vision

Our team (Cypress Creek Church in Wimberley + me) just finished our two days in Akala, which was the church that we planted last year. We were able to do a revival crusade and share the gospel in the area with great success. This has been one of my favorite evangelism trips for several reasons. I think one of those reasons is my fantastic translator! I have never had the same translator for more than a day or two, but my friend Douglas is sticking by me and we get along so well. I've never had so much fun with a translator! Also, this team is intentional about eating with the translators, so I feel like I've gotten to know them so much better from those mealtime conversations. I am also feeling so much encouragement just from the act of sharing the gospel--it never gets old to me, even when people reject it. Today, I shared with mostly men, which made me a little uncomfortable, but many believed in Jesus! I was thankful God allowed their hearts to tune into His words even though they were coming from a young girl like me.

So far, Tessa, Thomas, Lisa, Emily, Erin, and Julie Jacobsen have been to schools. I will go with a few others tomorrow.

Mike, Leslie, Tommy, and Tammy have been to prisons. Tonight, Tammy shared about a woman at the prison who had a siezure in the middle of the presentation (unclear whether this was demonic or purely physical). Miraculously, it did not disrupt the reception of the gospel, and at the end of the presentation, who appeared to be the same woman came forward to receive Christ.

Yesterday, Lisa was able to meet an old friend from Akala that she had been praying to see. Their reunion was sweet and encouraging to both of them!

Today, Tessa shared with a very old woman who had lost all 12 of her children. She was already a believer, and she told Tessa she still believed God was good in spite of her circumstances.

Erin has been sharing some worship songs with us in our evening devotionals. Tonight, she read out of "The Valley of Vision", a book of Puritan prayers. It was awesome.

Please continue to pray for the health, protection, and effectiveness of our team! We are off to Holo tomorrow!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am a Winner!

"I am what God says I am
I am a winner
Not a loser
I am what God says I am"

This was the song of the sweet Lulwanda Children's Home kids as they celebrated their big WIN of the music, dance, and drama competition yesterday! I got to be there all day to watch the kids compete in 10 different catagories including sight singing, traditional dance, the national anthem, etc. They all performed so well! And, by the grace of God, their hard work paid off and they won by more than 200 points. My friends Natalie R. and Sarah H. were proud mamas :) After the competition, everyone marched back to Lulwanda for the biggest dance party I've ever seen. So much fun. I am so proud of them even though I barely know most of them!

I enjoyed my last day at Covenant so much. I left 63 books (mostly thanks to Aunt Janna and my mom's power shopping) with the headmaster who distributed them to each class according to reading level. It brought tears to my eyes to hear the teachers announce the gifts and listen to the students scream and cheer! They jumped on those books faster than junior high boys jump on T&T donuts in Sunday school. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. Sad that books are such a rarity, happy that they at least have a few now!

I love walking through my neighborhood and hearing kids yell, "Teach-ah! Teach-ah!"...can't think of anything more special!

On our day off today, we washed some clothes and shopped in town a little. Melanie and Winnie and I took motorcycle taxis (pikis) to get pedicures (I promise I am still a missionary, I know this sounds insane) and it was so so fun. I love those friends and it was seriously the best of the 3 pedicures I've gotten in my life. Best part? It was 6,000 shillings. That's about $2.50.

Choir practice was tonight. I'm excited about church tomorrow morning!