Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Parents

I have to say that I am so blessed as a daughter and a missionary that I have parents who not only support my minister and my being halfway around the world, but that they’re also the type of parents who leave home for part of their summer to come and join in the ministry.

Some might say, no they just came to see their daughter. Well that was an added benefit. But they have such hearts for the ministry here. And that was very evident by the tears shed on the day they said good-bye.

And I’m not even talking about my tears. When they said good-bye to the kids here, it was one sad day. Some of the girls clung to my mom with tears streaming down their faces. Some of the boys wouldn’t leave my dad’s side and even walked him all the way up to the house so they wouldn’t have to say goodbye too soon. And still others hung all over me, because they felt bad that I would be alone after they went.

It was surely a great time with them, and the time went by far too fast!

If you’d like to see more pictures of the time my parents spent here, check out this video on youtube.

A "Day Off"

While my parents were here, they were able to enjoy my “day off” with me.

My day off is on Tuesdays. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it. It was just the day that worked out best for me. I can’t do Saturdays because of the Saturday program. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are out because I preach at the kids’ fellowship in the evenings. And out of Tuesday or Thursday, Tuesday worked best.

Here’s what a typical Tuesday looks like.

It usually starts with laundry. All of my laundry is done by hand and it’s no easy job. It takes a few hours to do my sheets, towels, and clothes. After the back-breaking work of laundry (don’t forget I have to hang it out on the line to dry), it’s time to clean up the house: sweep, dust, mop. My mom was awesome and brought a Swiffer floor duster from home so now at least I can use that with a wet rag on it instead of bending over and mopping the whole house that way. By the time all of that is finished, it’s time to make lunch – all from scratch (there are no microwaveable meals or frozen pizzas here!). My favorite day off meal is Tacos. After eating, it’s time to clean up the kitchen and wash the dishes (also by hand). When everything is done at around 2 it’s finally time to sit and relax. If there’s power I watch a movie or tv show. If there’s no power then I read a book or listen to music.

It was good for them to see how a day off here goes. And I think they have a new found appreciation for their washing machine, dishwasher, and microwave!

Serious Business

It was so great having my parents around in July. Not only had I not seen them in 9 months, but the kids and staff here hadn’t seen them in 2 years! So it was a very joyful reunion for everyone.

While they were here we did a lot of home visitation. They had raised some money back at home to help families grow their businesses. These families had a small business but were in need of some extra help to go the next step. We were able to meet with these families and talk with them. We heard their struggles and prayed with them. And they were excited to know they would be getting some help.

We were most impressed with Josephine’s mother. Josephine is one of our secondary students who are fully sponsored. She used to attend Upendo but we only teach Primary kids here so now she’s at a boarding school. But her greatest needs are met by AMG through child sponsorship. Her mother had a small business of selling charcoal. We heard she was good at doing business and is a hard working woman. She wants to start a small shop. So we made a deal that if she saved a certain amount of money, then she would be given a certain amount of money to help her out. We work it out this way because then she has an investment in the business and will be less likely to just eat the profits. If she puts something in, she feels empowered and what is given to her is just to give her a little boost.

She showed us a bag full of things she had already purchased with money she had saved from her charcoal business, and we are looking forward to seeing great things from her.


Yaka has come to Upendo. What is Yaka you ask?

Well it’s not a fourth member of the Animaniacs. But it is one of the things they could put on their segment “Good Idea, Bad Idea.” Good idea: Power. Bad Idea: Yaka. (Someone needs to share this with UMEME).

Yaka is a prepaid system for electricity. It’s kind of like the old school trackphones (which we also use here in Uganda) where you load your minutes. While you have minutes, you’re happy as can be calling all your friends, but when your minutes are up, which you always hope happens when you’re talking to your Aunt Beatrice because she just never stops babbling on about her 87 cats, then no more phone calls until you load more minutes. But now they’re applying the system to our electricity. We pay a certain amount and get so many units of power. Once those units are used up, so long power. Then it’s time to go into town and buy more units.

So today, these Oompa Loompas came to give us Yaka. 

Now I have an unsightly box just inside my front door. It tells me how many days or hours I have left until all my units are up and my house goes dark. Nothing says welcome to my home like a box that tells you if you’ll have power today.

And so now begins the compulsive checking of “the Yaka box.” I already have it memorized: #074#

Oh look! I have 1 week!