Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Top 10 Reasons you Know you are Raising a Missionary Kid in Uganda

In many ways it is such a blessing to raise children overseas. They gain a different perspective on life and gain unique experiences. We have been laughing about some of the things our kids see as normal.

10.  You get to see African animals in wild. We occasionally see monkeys, bush rats and various exotic birds in our yard. You can also travel to a game park and see elephants, zebras, lions, leopards, antelope of different varieties, hippos, warthogs, etc.

9. Your kids talk in an Ugandan accent and say Ugandan phrases such as "slowly, slowly," "It is over," when the food runs out, and "It is paining me," referring to when something hurts.

8.  One of their favorite breakfasts is the local porridge. It is ground maize and soy, not highly nutritious but at least it is non GMO ;).

7.  They know how to ride a Matatu. Matatu's carry 15 passengers and are the closest thing to public transportation but they are very crowded and have no scheduled system.

6.  When you go back to the US the kids are constantly asking if they can drink water from the sink, and are amazed that you can.

5. When bra shopping in the local market your daughter knows it is abnormal for the bra seller to put a bra on over her clothes but you let her do it anyway. Janaya and I had a good laugh about this one!

4. Your kids play boda boda accident. Boda Boda's are motorcycle taxis.

3. Your kids play traffic police and even know how to try and ticket you for no reason.

2. They question every body of water. As we were siting at the doctors office watching Ugandan music videos one came on where people were dancing in a river. Eliana became quite concerned and asked, "Does't that water have diseases in it?"

1. Your kids think worms live in your skin and in your belly, not the ground.  One day while Cody and I were talking about worms (earthworms), Eliana asked if we were talking about the kind that grow in your skin or the kind that grow in your belly.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Gift of Suffering

Trials, suffering, and pain seem to be a constant companion lately. Suffering is inevitable. All you have to do is wake up each morning and you will undeniably see/feel it. But some seasons of life seem to bring more suffering than others. What do we do with suffering?

I remember when I first became a christian I was drawn to James 1:2-4. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing." I remember reading this scripture for the first time and being taken aback. We should embrace trials and find joy in them? This seemed contrary to my nature and the nature of man in general.  However I have come back to this scripture time and time again, letting it renew my mind and transform my flesh.  Despite memorizing this scripture, I recently realized that the pain I have suffered over the last several years has created a deeper fear. Fear of the next painful blow that life would bring. Scared of the next difficult trial that would happen. It was starring me in the face and I couldn't even see it.  All the while God is trying to teach me how to embrace it to grow. Trials were creating more fear when they were suppose to be establishing steadfastness and joy. Then in the midst of my angst, God showed me John 15 in a new light, revealing the joy of suffering. The importance of abiding (accepting) in Jesus. The result that when we abide in the branch He will prune the branches that are not needed (thank goodness, who wants those nasty branches that wreak of self?), and then grow fruit for His glory (vs. 8), which will then bring joy. Pain is refining me into something greater. Something that can not be destroyed, that man can not take away. This is where joy resides, this is the gift of suffering.