Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Wonder of a Wind Chime


How often do we take things for granted, they are just a natural part of “our” world.  One day shortly after we arrive and had unpacked some of our things... I heard the soft giggles of children and Ahhhs of wonder.  I walked out on our back veranda and there were a few children and adults gathered around the wind chime we brought from the U.S.  

Bobbie & Mimi... “Auntie Sharon... what is this?”  ( I wish you could hear the accent, it would make this story so much better)

I kneel down to look them in the eye and say “ it is called a wind chime.”    

“Do you know what a wind chime is?”  

eyes wide ... Bobbie & Mimi... “No”

“Well, see this piece of wood at the end of this string.... and this round one in the middle...? When the wind blows it makes the wood move and strike the tubes and it makes sounds”

Bobbie... “it makes music!”

The children spent some time gently touching the piece of wood to make it chime then dashing away laughing and saying joyfully... “it makes music by itself!”  

Truth be told the adults liked it just as much as the kids, I saw several of the maintenance workers and our wonderful house helpers standing and looking at it, chatting and smiling when it would sound.  

 God provides so many ways for us to be awed and amazed by His creation.   Look for wonder and amazement in your day with the eyes of a child!


Bathing 101....

Bathing 101....

Step 1:
Turn on water heater, wait about 10 min
Step 2: 
Turn on water & adjust temp, do this quickly... you only have about 4 min of hot water... wet down completely, while catching some of the water in a shallow basin... turn water off...
Step 3:
Step into basin, lather hair & body... use basin water to pre-rinse...
Step 4:
Turn on water & adjust temp, do this quickly... you only have about 3 min of hot water... rinse hair... turn off water.
Step 5: 
Condition hair..
Step 6:
Turn on water & adjust temp, do this quickly... you have about 2 min of hot water left... rinse hair and body for final time...
Step 7: 
If it has been a hot day enjoy a tepid shower a little longer.

Seriously though, we are so thankful to go to the faucet and get a glass of water, take a bath or wash dishes and not  worry about if it would make us sick.  GSF is so blessed to have drinkable well water.  We spent time in Jinja this weekend and our friends there can not drink from the tap, they have to rinse all their dishes in mild bleach water and use bottled water to brush their teeth, make coffee etc.. 

Today, 5/20, we were with out water for some reason Meaning the reservoir tanks were low to empty perhaps because the electric pumps in the well were off line.  On days like today we are so thankfully we have a manual pump on the property that we can fill cans and basins with water for cooking, drinking, flushing toilets etc...  

Count your blessings, even those things that are “everyday, don’t have to think about it luxuries..”  that we take for granted... more people in the world do not have these “luxuries” than do.

Enjoy your shower... hand wash some dishes tonight... have fun with the kids in the sprinkler...


Monday, May 6, 2013

I only see...

May 4
I only see a small fragment of the picture...

Sixteen month old Baby Maria died during the night.  Tom and I only met her once since arriving at GSF and my first impression was that she was so tiny, with a head to large for her frail neck to support.  Baby Maria came to GSF  in crisis; weak, sick, malnourished. Through testing it was discovered that Maria had sever tuberculosis.  She had been kept in isolation while receiving treatment for her TB and seemed to be improving.  Early this week we were told she had contracted malaria.  She was taken to Rippon clinic in Jinja, then transferred to another hospital that could administer oxygen because her breathing was so bad.  She was well cared for by Nurse Dana (an AIM nurse from PA) and a national nurse named Ruth, Dr. Debbie.  She also had round the clock care by Auntie Harriet.  You see when you are taken to the hospital your family or friends are expected to stay and provide a major portion of your care.  They also are expect to provide food and often times basic supplies.

Life here is very real and raw at times.  We want to ask the question why?  Why was she allowed to be so sick? Why was her life so hard?  Why was her life so short?  I do know that I only see a small part of the picture, when God sees the whole of it.  I believe and trust that God is sovereign and He has a plan and purpose for everything.  I believe and trust that God does use tough, tragic, raw situations for His glory.  We may not see the fruit from the seeds that were planted as result of the interactions between those who believe God and his word and those who do not.  

Pray that our daily interactions will bring honor and glory to God.  That our daily actions and interactions would be a light that draws people to God.  


One week under our belt! 5.2.13

God is amazing! Daily we are learning our dependance upon Him!

Well we made it through our 1st 8 days on Ugandan soil!
It is evening and we are sitting here listening to the crickets and the hyrax screaming in the valley.  It is a very interesting sound the hyrax makes, it sounds like a woman screaming or in great distress.  It is a nocturnal animal and the call (aka scream) is it's way of defining it's territory. It could freak you out if you were not informed of what to expect at night… 

We are settling in and trying to adjust to the new time zone.    We went to church at the local village church our 1st Sunday 4/28, where both the missionaries, older children, aunties/house moms, other workers and people from 3 or 4 of the surrounding villages attend. It is a small brick "building" about 16x30, with hard dirt floor.  There were at least 50 adults there today and many children.  It was very interesting that the teaching today was basically the same topic that Pastor Chris Lewis (Westover Church) spoke about a few Sunday's ago; being a disciple of Chris.  It was wonderful to worship God in multiple languages.  We had a great lunch of Uganda style burritos at Claudia's house after church with home made cranberry walnut  cookies for desert. YUMMY!  

We are working on learning names, many of their names are so lovely, like "Prossey" pronounced like rosy with a P or Miracle.  Some of the children are so small yet have such grown up names like Ivan..  :)