Monday, November 22, 2010
Now, through a series of events and one change of heart, I find myself the sole design professional responsible for presenting an analysis and course of action to the school board. How did this happen?
The eyesore – I mean, chapel - is on the campus of the neighborhood school, where our son Jonathan attends Kindergarten. EMI came to be involved in this project when our office was recently challenged to be more involved in our community, ministering to the needs of our immediate neighbors rather than heeding only the call of far-flung ministries around East Africa. We took our first step in this direction when we partnered with the local police in the design of a police post down the street from the office.
Originally I let my own pride inhibit me from even considering extending a hand to the school. It's a risky project! Are we willing to own that project and stake our (and my) reputation on it? Thankfully my colleague helped remind me that we aren't doing these projects for ourselves – they're for others. And we're not meant to honor ourselves in them – we're meant to honor our Father. I thank God for that reminder and pray that I can humbly own this chapel project and do my best for Him.
Friday, November 12, 2010
One of the best things about my work with EMI is that we start our days with prayer. Every morning we gather under this gazebo and read a portion of scripture, collect our thoughts and prayer requests, and pray. It is surprising how powerfully this focuses our work on our Father, binds us together in unity, and empowers our ministry.
Monday, November 1, 2010
"My Dad kicked me off the trampoline."
It is true, and Phil felt terrible. He was attempting a front flip, but rather than landing it, his feet ended up horizontal, kicking Jonathan with just enough force to knock him off balance...and off the 4 foot trampoline to the concrete step below.
A trip to the clinic for x-rays confirmed that his wrist was fractured. The total bill for Dr's consult, x-rays, and cast was about $37. Nice. We were able to email pictures of Jonathan's x-rays to Phil's Dad who is an orthopedic surgeon working in Kenya (Tenwek Hospital). He informed us that it was a very minor fracture and that 2 weeks in cast was plenty.
Jonathan really loved getting the x-ray pictures of his arm (his bedtime prayer that night was that he would be able to get another one really soon), and in spite of the discomfort, I think he secretly liked all the attention and the novelty of having a broken arm. And as a side note: you will be happy to know that Phil has now totally mastered the front flip.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
(Left) We had a surprise visit with my sister and her family in Northern Florida who "just so happened" to be back in the States for a few weeks in between countries! The kids loved reconnecting with their cousins
(Right) On a double date with Danny and Marge in Alabama!
(Left) Sharing a quesidilla burger with my beautiful best friend,
Bethany in South Carolina.
(Right) We got to visit Jonathan and Katie Shaw in Virginia just a few days before little Eliot Philip was born!
From there we drove up to PA to visit my Grandpa Deitz and family. It was beautiful there - the kids LOVED all of Gpa's John Deere tractors, we got to see most of my Mom's side of the fam at a potluck dinner, and we caught fireflies on a warm summer night.
More cousins!! We flew from PA to CA and got to spend 4th of July with Phil's fam. We had a fun reunion with Mom and Dad Greene, our two sisters and their families. Unfortunately we didn't get a group shot! Here are some of them enjoying ICE CREAM and trying to get their sparklers lit.
From Southern California we took the train up to Central California to San Luis Obispo, our home town...we were so surprised to step off the train and see balloons and banners and a whole group of friends from our church! We had an amazing three weeks in SLO...if we were to post all the pictures of friends and fun times this blog would be unending. Needless to say our stay in SLO and the love and care that was lavished on us by our church family was overwhelming, refreshing, fun, and encouraging...
(Left) Yummy food with Phil's college friends, Eric and Tam.
(Below) Picnic in a San Fransisco park with Phil's college roommate, Justin, and Tori (and Sugar!).
Paul and Karen Berg (right) are friends from EMI - they were family away from family last year in Uganda.
We had a quick visit with my college friend, Hannah (left), before driving the last leg of our trip up to Phil's brother's house in Washington.
After a special, fun-filled week with the Nathan Greenes we closed up our summer in the States and flew back to Uganda.
Thanks for sticking with us through this long summer travel journal...
Be on the alert for upcoming blogs about our new life in the city, and updates on the kiddos!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The trip here was long and tiring, but it was such a treat to come straight to Mom and Dad Gray's house to crash. It's been so special to see the kids re-connect with their Grandparents. We've had such fun times at the beach, on the tennis court, at the park, eating ice cream, and visiting friends...
The kids LOVED the beach...the water was so warm!
(Granddad used to swim with the gators here when he was a boy!)
Mmmm, McDonalds icecream cones!!
What a great start to our summer! We're so thankful for the friends and family we've already connected with and excited about all the folks we'll get to see along the way! We head out on Tuesday (June 15) to begin our long journey up to PA. We'll be stopping in Niceville, FL; Birmingham, AL; Columbia, SC; Newport News, VA; and finally Duncannon, PA before flying to CA for our west coast adventures.
Friday, May 21, 2010
We hear about these things all the time, and robberies like this are especially common here, but I was surprised by three things:
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Jeremy and Tamara became fast friends - they are a wonderful couple here with Equip working in the slum. We've witnessed them experience very difficult times in ministry and yet persevere in love and serve in the Lord's strength. We've seen them endure the heartache of having no children to becoming parents of two Ugandan children and now one on the way! The Lord has blessed us through them in so many ways!
Danny has been a big part of our family this past year. He was part of the Fall 2009 EMI intern group here in Jinja and felt called to stay on to help us with the Mto Moyoni project after his was through. He's been living with us since December and was such a huge help on the job site as well as a wonderful friend and encourager in our home.
We'll miss these people so much, but feel so blessed to have had them as a part of our life this past year.
Here we all are (plus Danny's brother, Brian, who was visiting) on "Tacky Night". We all scrounged through the fabulous clothes section of our open air market here in Jinja and didn't have too hard of a time coming up with these fab outfits.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Our first two buildings are in use now. I had a good friend of mine bring his camera over to take these shots.
The day before his big day we celebrated his birthday with Elijah, Judah, and Hannah Jore who came over for a morning of fun and pizza lunch. We had a water balloon fight, decorated cupcakes, watched our chameleon eat 3 flies, and played tape the tail on the donkey! What a blast! The only downer was when I found Evelyn sobbing in the corner because it wasn't HER birthday party (just a few more days, Eva!).
On his actual birthday Phil took the kids to the pool (Jinja Nile Resort), and we let Jonathan choose where he wanted to go for his birthday dinner (this was a BIG deal to him), he excitedly chose "Ling Ling" - the Chinese restaurant in town. Miss. Kelly and Uncle Danny helped us celebrate. We played baseball with Jonathan's new water bat while we waited for our food, and our waiter kindly ran to the store and bought us some candles to put in Jonathan's cake (since we left the bag of party goods on the table at home).
And the celebration continued... The day after his birthday Phil took him on a Nile River rafting trip! Our friends John and Zane came along on this special Father-Son trip. Their guide took them over some thrilling rapids and also let them jump out of the boat and swim in fun coves along the bank.
It's hard to believe he was three years old when we left the States! It's been an adventurous year and a half for our little guy! Hot season and malaria in Sudan, swimming in the Indian ocean, bus trip to Congo, rafting the Nile...I think it's safe to say he's done more than most kids his age :).