Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby, Building and More

I know everyone is anxious to hear if we have had the baby. I wish I could say we have. My actual due date is not until Saturday, but I was hoping and thinking she would come early. Especially since I have been having contractions and strong Braxton hicks for about 3 weeks now. God's timing is perfect though and I am thankful for that. We have had a lot of illnesses running around lately and I see where some days I really would have struggled to give birth. We are now mostly healthy.

We have been busy doing things around the house with the beginning of rainy season. We are working on planting our garden, building a chicken/duck coup, fixing our driveway, and fixing up the apartments on our property. It is exciting to see all the changes. I will share some pictures for you and leave you with that, and hopefully next week I will have some exciting news and pictures of the baby to share with you!

This is the coup. It still needs a roof, fence and couple touch ups. We are excited to have eggs once it is complete. We have quite the collection of birds because the people here give them as gifts. We have 10 chickens, and 3 ducks.

There is another picture I posted a couple months ago when posting pictures of the house. If you remember the pictures this is quite an improvement. The land is tilled and today I planted the mounds of watermelon, cucumber, acorn squash and butternut squash (I was hoping with all that garden work I would go into Our peppers, and tomatoes are just peeking out of the ground. Just a couple more things to plant. We have enough land to let a couple local friends plant some items for themselves. Can't wait to reap the harvest!

Here is some progress from Shalom Home. I haven't posted much about it lately. It is coming slowly but surely. These pictures are about 2 weeks outdated. The round building is going to be for staff and all we need to do it put the thatched roof on it. They are also building a latrine. We have all the beds thanks to many of you, and we will be moving them in shortly.

Inside hall wayMichaela

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spoiled Brat

Have you ever asked God for something only to complain about how He answered? I have to say I get pretty irritated when my kids complain about something I gave them. But am I any different?

I was laying in bed, couldn't sleep. Was having contractions that seemed they were to lead to labor. I had been having contractions for 13 days prior to this praying that it would lead to labor. I was feeling sorry for myself and my situation and started changing my mind about having going into the labor because the situation wasn't "ideal". As I laid there I was thinking it wouldn't be the best time because Cody had malaria. That night, I was asking God that there would be a breeze because it was so hot in the house and I was drenched in sweat. About an hour later a nice breeze made it's way into the house. Then I started complaining because there was this abhorrent smell coming with it. In the field just above our house a dog had died and it's rotting carcass had brought a horrible smell inside our house. Seconds after I was hit me. "You aren't happy with anything are you?" Lots of previous ideas of this same unsatisfied character crept up into my mind. The complaining, the sense of entitlement, the selfishness, the position of a spoiled child.

You could look at our short time of 5 months here and think they have come with a lot of trial and hardship. Compared to what? My life back in America? Newsflash..."You're not in Kansas (Colorado) anymore." Billions of people live way below the way I live and yet I still complain. And what about all the ways God has answered my prayers. What about what He has done and not what He hasn't. I needed to repent.

It can be difficult to go against the culture I was raised in thinking that I deserve to live a certain way. That when things don't go my way I can manipulate something to make it go my way. You see life isn't like that here. We can't just "fix" your problems. We have to have a deeper reliance on God for our needs. This is actually quite a blessing. So why am I complaining all the time? "God do this my way." How sad for me because this attitude makes me miss how He provides in other ways. Big ways. I've been so blind.

God has done some amazing things during our time here and answered our prayers in ways we had never expected, not to mention in the process we have grown in ways that are inexpressible.
Funny how I asked God to give me deeper faith like Habbakuk but wasn't prepared or grateful for the answer. (Wow this goes deeper than I thought :)

Habakkuk 3:17
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.

Seriously I have lived through none of these things Habakkuk describes. Am I going to let the joy of the Lord be my strength as Nehemiah says or I am going to be tossed about by my situations, and be held captive by my untrustworthy emotions and lies of how I think I should be living?

How sad it is that we can miss the many blessings of God because of our "brat" attitude.

2 Corinthians 4:8
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, through now for a little while, if need be you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

I could give 10 more scriptures but you probably get the point.


Apeyo's Update

In our last newsletter (if you haven't seen it you can go to our website and download it under newsletters) I mentioned 2 malnourished kids that were in our neighborhood. The little girl was not as severe as the boy Apeyo and so naturally I gave him more attention. Apeyo is between 18 months and 2 years old and weighed 14 pounds. I started taking food to him and the little girl in the morning and evening. I would often bathe them as well. Apeyo was always covered in flies and in fact some were living in his ears. After 2 weeks I am happy to say he is doing much better. Thank you for your prayers for him. It is quite amazing how a massive amount of calories, nutrition, clean water, medicine, and love can change a person. God has answered so many prayers. His mother had another child right after him and so he took the back burner. As a mother she has really blossomed and is doing a good job taking care of him, and learning that his life has value. This last Sunday we took him and his family back to their village as they needed to prepare the ground for planting sorghum. It was a bittersweet moment. Good to see him stronger and in better health, especially good to see how his grandmother showed great love for him, sad that I will not be able to see him as much and see his smile.
Here he is was just 2 weeks ago after he started eating plumpy nut.

When we took him back to the village. His grandmother is to the left.

Please keep praying for Apeyo and his family. That his mother could continue to love and care for him. That his health could continue to improve. He has never learned to walk because he has not been strong enough. He is now strong enough to stand up for a small amount of time. Pray that the love of Jesus we showed to his family would bare fruit. That our relationship with his family would continue to grow.

I hesitate sharing stories like this because I fear the glory will go to me and not to God. Know that I am just an instrument. We don't have any super powers, and I am still a sinner like anyone else. I have issues in my life that God continues to mold more into His image. Given the same situation I would like to think many of you would do the same thing. Don't hear me wrong I love many of your encouraging words! It is refreshing. I just ask that you remember it is the power of God and nothing I have done apart from Him.

Luke 18:10
So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded say, "We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.


P.S. I didn't share this with many people but wanted to let you know to keep praying for Achuka Moses that the Williams are caring for. He is another little preemie baby that was brought to our gate. His mother died while giving birth and we think she delivered him when she was 7 months along. They are taking care of him until he is strong enough to go back to the village. He is doing really well and is quite the healthy miracle. Continue to pray for the Williams family. You can check their updates at

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I feel like for the last 10 minutes I have just stared at the computer screen trying to collect words to express my thoughts. I have written several paragraphs none of which I have kept. Part of me wants to vent all about the week I had last week, but I feel like I would be drawing attention to ourselves and not to God. I have been dealing with pride issues and feel it is best to get my heart right before writing about some different circumstances in our lives.

With that I am just going to give you a little update. We have had our first visitors since we have been here. It has been a big blessing to have them here. They brought many great things for us including all my baby things! (If you have never heard of Envibum diapers you need to check them out. They are awesome!) I have started nesting and am getting really excited about our baby girl entering the world. I am hoping I will go into labor early as I did with Carter at 37 weeks which is what week I currently am in. My due date is not until April 2nd but I could have her any day now. I think my body would like to wait until we have a cool day but that may not happen for quite some time, so I can't hold out for that :) This week I have been trying to rest and relax more, but it has been hard not to clean every inch of my house with the nesting settling in. (I am very happy about having a small house :)

Our visitors also brought many other things for us from America but my favorite was the cards of encouragement from our friends and family, that was such a blessing! I do have to say the dark chocolate was pretty nice too!

Have a Great Week!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Rest of the Story

For those of you who are new to this story you need to first read last week's blog to get the first part of the story. If you have already read it then here you go:

I want you to go back about 7 weeks from where I left off last time. Winnie’s husband was leaving for the village to visit family. He left on a Monday leaving 5,000 shillings which is about $2.50. He stated he would return in 3 days. Frugally, people here live on about 5,000 shillings a day for food, and other supplies. This was to last her 3 days for 4 children and herself. She decided she had nothing to do but to put her trust in God. She prayed and ask Him to provide a way to sustain. The first day, which remember was Monday, she went to the market and bought coal to cook with, and a meager amount of food. She was left with 1,500 shillings for the next day. Tuesday she spent the rest of the money and had an undersized amount of food left for Wednesday. That afternoon she heard from a mutual friend that we were looking for someone to do the hand washing laundry and the cooking for lunch. Her friend highly recommended her and we asked her to come to our house so we could meet her. We were unaware of her desperate need and hunger, and she did not voice it but wanted to wait on God to provide in His timing. We decided we would see if she would be a good fit for our family. She came Thursday, not a minute late, but rather early, eager to work and to serve. When the day was complete we gave her the days wages. With these wages she was able to buy food for her family for the night and for day to come. She thanked God for His faithfulness. We really liked her and asked her to come back on Friday. After doing so we paid her the days wages and asked her if she would accept a job with us. She gratefully said yes, and was overjoyed at how God had again provided. She was able to buy the basics including water for her family for the weekend.

Meanwhile sitting in our kitchen was something that started becoming heinous.....moldy beans. It is a long story as to how we ended up with them, but to make a long story short we were naively scammed into purchasing them not knowing they were partially moldy. We were striving to save money by buying them in bulk......100 pounds. After reaching about half way through the bag a wondering continued and we asked ourselves, why we were enduring eating the rest of the bag. We ate them every day for dinner, and everyday just looking at them brought more dread. The motivation that people around us were hungry kept the fork going to the mouth. The breaking point finally came that same Friday that Winnie had just started working with the us. We felt we could lift our guilt of throwing them away and instead offer them to others who needed them, and would even be thankful at the chance to even be able to eat. We asked Winnie if she thought someone in need could use them or if we should just throw them away. She reassured us that it would not be a problem to give them away and with that we told her that she could take some if she wanted. She didn’t say anything but just gave a great big smile and a thanks. I thought, she is sure happy over something egregious.

Because of different circumstances her husband was not able to return for 3 weeks. I am not sure what she would have done with just 5,000 shillings for 3 weeks but God had it all in His hands.

Listening to this story in light of the scripture mentioned last week has deepened my faith. It not only comes from this story but from the many things God has been rousing in my heart through assorted circumstances.

May we never forget:

For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

And now you know the rest of the story.....

May God Be Glorified,