Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Christmas Sacrifice

Christmas in Uganda is the time I feel the sacrifice of living overseas the most. The rest of the year it’s only on occasion that I really have to fight feeling sorry for myself. I wish I was a super-star missionary that never had any thought of being anywhere else but here. I wish I could say that I was always 100% content exactly where I am. I wish I was always happy in being where God wants me. But the truth is that I’m not. The truth is that there are moments when I’d give anything just to be in commercialized, snowy, wonderful Colorado Springs with the hugs, comfort, and familiarity of my friends and family.

I look at the faces of the people who I love here and for the briefest of moments wish I was looking at the faces of my family instead. I sit in the two room, cooking-smoke filled house of some of my dearest friends and wish for a second I was on the comfy couch in front of the Christmas tree. I drive the sunbaked dusty red roads in the hottest time of year and long for snow banks and rows of traffic lights. I jump and dance to the upbeat rhythm of African praise songs and wish I could just be back at my grand piano playing Christmas carols.

And while I love skyping with my family on their Christmas morning, watching everyone celebrate, open stockings and presents, enjoying Christmas quiche and cinnamon rolls, it’s a little like watching someone else’s dream. You’re not really a part. The mooing cow outside the window, the booming music of the neighborhood night club, the acrid smell of burning trash, and the sweat beads piling on my neck pull me back to my African reality.

But this Christmas, I got to bless a family with their most prized meal of the year: chicken! I got to see my precious little Miracle spin around in her Christmas present: a blue Christmas dress that makes her exclaim that she looks like a princess. I got to hear the squeals of joy as Sarah examined her new earrings. I got to be loved wholly and completely and sacrificially by my family in Uganda. And that was all on top of being shown every bit of love, compassion, and generosity by my birth family in the States!

So today as I write, I remember just how extravagantly I have been blessed. The truth is that I haven’t lost anything. The truth is that I get the best of two worlds while you’ll have to content with one J The truth is that I’ve only added another set of family and friends to love me. The truth is that my small sacrifice is paid back ten-fold. That’s Jesus’ truth. That’s the miracle He achieved because He sacrificed His world to enter mine that first Christmas day. What a joyous truth to celebrate this Christmas! Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Year in Review

 Can you believe it's only 7 more days until Christmas??? Neither can I! This year has just flown by, and I find myself approaching my 3rd Christmas in Uganda. While you're enjoying time with your families, I thought you also might enjoy a look at the newsletter I wrote for my mailing list, and if any of you would like to be included in future mailings, feel free to send me an email at

(click to open image, then right click, 'view image' to enlarge) 

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Tires

I thought you all might enjoy a glimpse of Ugandan culture: this is how we decorate cars for weddings in Uganda. In the states, only the getaway car is decorated, but here in Uganda there is a bridal procession of cars to carry the couple, bridal party, and all other important people to the wedding. Each of the cars gets decorated, and all the cars drive very slowly honking their horns in a steady 'beep, beep!' I got to drive the bridesmaids around so my Rav4 also got all dressed up. Annnnnd it give me a chance to show off the new tires the Lord provided through you all!

My car sporting its brand new tires and all decked out for the wedding