Friday, March 26, 2010

Hi friends!

A lot has happened since I last updated so I will make a list (it's what we're good at these days):

-Got a three month lease on a house - It's beautiful and the biggest house we looked at but the only one that would give us the price we wanted. It also has a fabulous view of lake victoria - what an Awesome God we serve!

(our house)

(just a hop and a skip from our house)

-I got really sick for 4 full days nothing but starring at the four walls in our bedroom or rolling into the pink/peach tile bathroom. I am feeling much better now - lost tons of weight and l look rather sickly and everyone keeps saying I dont look so good but me oh my I am rejoicing inside!

-we visited a tailoring school. a couple blocks from central market there is this little hole in the wall place with about 4 young girls outside sewing like their lives depend on it - they are so determined and not even the busyness of jinja streets distract them I walked passed there several times and have always been so intrigued - finally Joe nudged me in and we (mostly Joe) asked the teacher (grace) several questions about the school and the students etc. It was very interested and I enjoyed the vibe of the place a lot (but of course not even having what people inside your school should distract you from your work so the girls kept sewing!) Needless to say I have been thinking a lot about our visit there and am thinking about partnering with them to get the summer collection up (which should help with the students schools fees/teachers salaries) and I can continue to take my time in finding the right candidates for the tukula tailor positions - all at the same time hopefully gaining some capital. It's kind of a win/win. - We'll see! : )

-I received some prototypes and they are beautiful I'm super excited to go to kampala and search through the huge fabric arcade and pick out the summer patterns!! I'm pretty pumped about everything. If anyone knows any wholesalers or small boutique owners please send them our way! believe me! it will be worth it!

-Joe bought a motorbike for $750 just today (we thought for sure we would have to pay atleast $1,000 - again we serve an AWESOME God.) We are so excited to finally have dependable and consistent transportation. Where we live in bukaya it is aazing and quiet and full of really sweet people and I just like the atmosphere there but the only down side...It's about 10-15 minute drive to town...this wouldnt be a problem in america at all but here it is ROUGH. To get transport we had to walk to the main road. at night you cant find any transport unless you walk far and if you choose to walk there's no street lights and it's dark and possibly unsafe. If it rains you arent leaving the house basically now we atleast have the option and in case of emergencies its awesome. plus its just more economically sound for tukula - if we partner with the tailoring school we will be going to town a lot. again a win/win...EXCEPT we took out of savings to buy this one because we didn't think we should take from tukula's money right now before we start production....we're praying for some donations or at least some sort of sweet miracle.

Hopefully I will have more pictures soon!
thanks for the constant support and love. We feel it! : )

Sunday, March 14, 2010

“Let’s forgive everyone, everywhere, everything, all the time…” – mewithoutYou

I write this note to you all not to preach to you but to ask that you would hold me accountable to not only what I say but to what Jesus says as well.

I have only been here a few days and in those few days I have heard from others and myself lots of criticizing and putting down of others. The white community here is something I really can’t figure out. We tear down others work because we “know what’s best” for this country. We are constantly talking about “empowering” Ugandans but strip all power away from those who are trying to do the same thing. We roll our eyes because someone is treating someone else with such disrespect. We run around showing friends our enemies planks in their eyes while ours just keep getting bigger.
By saying these things and by thinking these thoughts – I believe we are denying our “enemies” of a gift that we freely received and should be freely given. FORGIVENESS and LOVE.

Last night I cried all over my dear husband because I felt so guilty for the false image I and others were portraying of God. We refused to show love to our enemies but get glorified for loving the least of these. Jesus did not die on the cross JUST to save the least of these. We have become “celebrities” for taking the road less travelled and think that gives us the right to not grow or learn or to treat others with respect.

I no longer want to deny others of LIFE, LOVE, and FORGIVENESS through my words and my thoughts. I kindly ask that everyone will extend large amounts of grace to me as I know it takes the place of all I owe and for that I am EXTREMELY grateful.

"He has told you what is good - and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with you God" Micah 6:8

I wonder if we really believe in what Jesus said sometimes…
here’s to reaping what we sow…

Friday, March 12, 2010

After a LONG layover and a delayed flight and a dead battery in kampala rush hour we are here. I am writing this to you from Bukaya where we are with our good friend and searching for a home.

Every day so far has been pretty surreal and my heart is so full. Things in jinja are changing so rapidly and people are happy and can I tell you that we have not had to argue with ANY piki driver (motorbike taxi) in the past few days (WEIRD). : )

I don't know if it is because we are back with new eyes or if we are just too new but things are so different.

Since most people don't have email or money to call us they didn't know we were coming back - So, in the past two full days this has been our friends (and people we didnt even get to know so well) reactions: screaming, jumping, picking us up, more screaming and lots of hugging and even some crying. It has been too good for my heart. Joe and I left last year kind of out of the blue - I believe most people were confused and some a bit hurt so returning was something they never believed we would do - after all, about 85% of mzungus who enter Uganda say "I will come back" and never return. I had been regretting how we left these past six months - I didnt know why we had to do it so quickly and I knew that I was burning bridges and possibly not fostering relationships that were really good to me. but when we visited with our friends and family my heart felt such peace and I finally was able to let go of that regret. Agnes (the second tailor we hired for epoh) looked at us and said "you have REALLY loved us, with the true love of Jesus! thank you for coming back", Josephine the 4th tailor we hired said in her very broken english "I am feeling joy" Haman kept saying "oh, Jesus, I can't believe it, oh ,Jesus, I cannot believe it!" Innocence cried when she saw did Charles - He hugged Joe for so long...even the little old onion man at market greeted us so warmly and remembered us and hugged Joe.

and Betty ... imagine this: coming home from school and seeing people you havent seen in a long time who are practically your family coming towards you...yep, she thought she was seeing a ghost. LOTS of screaming and jumping and hugging and hugging and mor hugging. Kymbi is so big and he is even talking so much.

Abdallah is big as well...he called us mom and heart sank.

of course, in true ugandan fashion all emotions are extreme and come hand in hand.
This is life - out in the open - sometimes things are really great and sometimes they are sad but in Uganda all emotions are seen..there is no hiding...there is no pushing it aside. Everything is so raw and in your is good.

all this and we haven't even seen the suubi ladies yet.
: )

Today we will be looking at more homes and also getting to be a part of the amazima program as well as seeing the suubi ladies!

Things with tukula are interesting - we selfishly want to jump right into things so that we can start having a "normal" kind of life here but we have been realizing that we will definitely have to do more listening and a whole lot more praying. needless to say we still have a few meetings coming up with possible wholesalers and we are going to continue planning for them and of course just listen listen listen.

Joe and I are in such weird states - constantly being filled up to the brim with so much joy but also still questioning what we are doing and where God is pulling us and completely trying to trust him with everything....not gonna lie - it's so hard. And we feel inadequate or not needed a lot because everyone is expanding their organization or doing new things or talking about things I dont understand at all

again we are just going to continue to listen...and see where we end up...and seriously though it HAS only been two days.

we love and miss most of you people and are having a lot of fun and laughing A LOT. : )

now, time to go and do.
I will be joyful in God my Savior....- Habakkuk 3