Showing posts from 2009

Megan Note...

Thank you for all of your prayers for Megan and her therapy. I almost forgot to mention! Right now she is doing therapy through the county (a free 10 week program) and also meeting with someone privately once a week. She was shy in the beginning, but is now opening up and things seem to be going well. God is so good!

One Month In

Where did the last month go!? Forgive the neglect to this blog. I guess coming home to the States can do that. Just sucks you in! Having said that, we have so been enjoying our time with family and friends. It has been great to be at our church home and see familiar faces. We also have enjoyed meeting new ones. We even have gotten in a trip to Legoland with grandparents. What a fun treat! When Caleb was too scared to ride on one roller coaster, Mom and Dad went anyway.

David just left for his first trip away. It is quite a different story to be single mom with 3 kids here than it is in Karamoja. I actually drive here and have places to go and grandparents to see! Yes, and some occasional shopping to be done. :) Caleb has begun second grade; a slightly rough start, but a start. Jacob is now a two year old. My baby is gone and a little boy has appeared.

We hope we can spend some time with some of you and please forgive us for the 7 (now 6) months going by way too fast.

Furlough Bound via Barcelona

It has been our longest stint in Uganda (almost 2 years) but we are finally headed back to the states for a 7 month furlough. Our flight leaves Uganda tomorrow night (technically, Wednesday morning) a half hour past midnight. Pray for our tired kids :(

On our way home we will be making a 5 day detour through Barcelona, Spain to visit missionary friends! We have never done anything like this before and we are very excited.

We look forward to soon spending lots of time with the grandparents, church family, and many of you. Here we come!

Namorupus Outreach Report

Often events do not turn out at all as we plan because the Lord has planned something even better. That was the feeling we had as we hiked back down the mountain late Tuesday afternoon.

The week did not begin on such a positive note, however. We arrived in Namorupus on Monday morning to find very few people. We were told that the pastor had gone to Namalu for the day. We wondered what had happened. He had seemed so eager to welcome us and had promised to invite many to come out for the event. What had happened? Anyway, we spent a bit of time doing some teaching to the few men, women and children who were there. They thanked us and promised to inform the pastor that we had been there and that, as we had told him, we were planning to return the next day as well. We were also told, however, that we should come earlier on Tuesday because the ministry would have to be quick since the pastor had plans to be away in the afternoon. A bit puzzled and discouraged, we hiked back down the mountai…

Namorupus Outreach Postponed One Week (October 19-22)

At 6:30am we drove to Tokora Health Center (about 4 miles from us) where we left the vehicle and began hiking. It was about a 2 hour hike to reach our final destination. There was quite an unexpected turn of events. In an effort to find the best venue for our ministry, some locals suggested that we just use ‘the church’. Al and I were quite puzzled – ‘What church?’ We learned that there is indeed a church building built by the locals. We reached what turned out to be quite an impressive albeit very humble building constructed with wooden poles and a grass roof on a clearing high up in these hills at the place of a gorgeous view. We were told that ‘the pastor’ was away for the day. When we asked who this pastor was, we were told that he was associated with ‘Emuron’. Reverend Emuron is our friend in Namalu to whose congregation we regularly preach. I managed to reach him by phone to ask about this group. He told me that he had no involvement with them but that they had likely used his (…

Outreach to Namorupus

A community of Karimojong live up in the mountains not too far from us. To reach their villages one must hike about 2 hours from any main road. Our medical clinic has done a number of immunization outreaches in this place but we have yet to do any extensive evangelistic outreach there. Well, we are scheduled to be there a number of days next week (October 12-16). David and Al Tricarico plan to be hiking up into the hills before 7am each day in order to be with the people preaching and teaching and yet be able to make it back down before the heavy rains (which have been coming lately). Please pray for good weather and for ministry that will result in a great spiritual harvest in Namorupus.

Rejoicing on Language Progress for Daughter and Daddy

Last week we had an appointment with Mrs. Newnham, Megan’s speech therapist, who had just returned to Kampala after being home in the UK for a few months. She was very pleased with Megan’s progress. Megan has made significant strides in recent weeks in her ability to produce sounds. There is still much work to be done. There are many sounds which she is able to produce when coached but which are not yet coming spontaneously and habitually. Nonetheless, we are very thankful for the progress made. Mrs. Newnham believes that if she continues to progress at her current rate, she should be on par with her peers within 18 months or so. Praise the Lord with us even as you continue to pray for Megan.

For our entire Mission, the Karimojong language has been extremely challenging to get our arms (and tongues) around. We have continued to work and make slow progress. Well, we are pleased to report that, for a couple of months now, David has been doing a fair bit of preaching in Karimojong. He is …

Footsie and Random Things

Sunshine here. Before I talk about the footsie part, let me say another thank you to all our visitors we have had this summer. We enjoyed all of those that visited. My kids especially enjoyed them. Thanks AGAIN to those that helped Megan with her speech therapy. She misses you.

Caleb, our 6 ½ year old, is very excited about our upcoming trip to the states for furlough. He even has a countdown on our school whiteboard. His first task in the morning these days is to change the number! We all are getting excited about our trip home in about 2 months. It’s hard to believe that it will be almost 2 years since we will have been back in San Diego and seen some of our family and friends! We look forward to seeing all of you soon. We also ask for your prayers as we are setting up our furlough speaking schedule and for the details of setting up a temporary home in San Diego.

Please also pray for the health of some of our Mission. Some of you may have heard about the illnesses running around our s…

Speech Therapy home in San Diego

We are grateful for your many prayers offered up for Megan’s speech development. Therapy continues to go well and she continues to make progress. Now we are thinking about how to best help her during our upcoming furlough (beginning in November and ending at the end of May). We have been investigating our speech therapy options. There are free services offered through the public schools. However, we are told that the process of getting started can be time consuming and that we cannot start the process until we are actually there stateside. We will also pursue the route of a referral from our pediatrician. However, we are not sure whether this will be covered by our medical insurance. We would much appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s provision and direction in enabling us to provide the best help for Megan during our brief time. We also welcome advice which any of you might have for us as we pioneer through this process.

Ministry to Lomorimor

Thank you for your prayers for our ministry in Lomorimor. The village warmly welcomed us into their midst. They came in very large numbers, especially the children. Please pray that the gospel proclaimed would take root in the hearts of many there and result in a harvest of righteousness. Pray for us as we think about how to best approach follow-up ministry to these villages.

Outreach Update

Thanks so for your prayers for our outreach to Okudud. A follow-up report is overdue. (Apologies for my lateness!) The outreach went well. A good sized group gathered to hear us teach through our Gospel for Karamoja materials. This location was suggested to us by our friends from Nakathian [an outreach venue last year] who continue as the leadership of the fellowship in that village. Okudud has an interesting and recent history. Famine or other problems often force people to leave rural Karimoja in search of a better life in the cities. They do not always fare so well and many end up on the streets. This problem has led to resettlement efforts by the Ugandan government. Okudud is partly the result of such an effort just this year. So we had the opportunity to minister to such resettled folks as well as to transplants from other parts of Karamoja. They received us warmly.

There is no established church in Okudud, just residents of varying backgrounds and religious faiths (often nominal …

Saying Goodbye

We have learned long ago that the mission field is full of goodbyes. So, this last weekend we said another goodbye, this time to our very good friends, the Howards. We arrived on the field here in Uganda at just about the same time 8 years ago. We had our first babies within a few months of each other. Caleb has loved the friendship he has had with Elyse and he sure will miss her! I have enjoyed a wonderful friend in Melissa and look forward to a friendship that will continue for many years. Their family has been so good to us through these last years, and we thank the Lord for putting them into our lives. So, as I am very sad to see them go, I am excited to see them start their new life Stateside, and to see them in that new life on our furlough this next year, Lord willing! :-)

Oh to be my six year old when it comes to saying goodbye. As Caleb stood there before we left our friends, he said ‘bye, see you in February!’ with a smile on his face.

Back to Business as Usual

Many of you have been praying for us regarding our need for peace with the community. God answered them. The days following the meeting we received kind expressions of good feelings from many in the community. It seems that plenty of folks were as dismayed as we were by the hurtful things spoken against us by their neighbors. And even some of those who themselves had taken the strong stance in support of ‘chasing’ away particular members of our Mission have now backed down and assured us that they have no problem with any of us. Why the change? Perhaps some had been overtaken by ill feelings and had spoken things which they later regretted. Others perhaps have simply backed off now that they have seen that we will not be intimidated or coerced into taking any actions which we believe are wrong for the sake of pleasing the community. At any rate the Lord has granted us the peace for which we asked such that we can continue proclaiming that only one who can give us true and lasting peac…

Clinic Crisis Update

Thank you for your prayers for us our regarding our conflict with the community. Another meeting took place yesterday. This one included the Local Chairman (LCIII) of our sub-county. We had hoped that his presence and leadership would bring a more peaceful and orderly environment in which to address the concerns of the community. As it turned out, the meeting was anything but peaceful and orderly. Never in my life have I been verbally assaulted and maligned like my fellow Mission members and I were yesterday over the course of that 5 hour meeting. In one passionate speech we were even called ‘killers’ and ‘Satan’. It would be difficult to recall all of the specific issues raised. Much criticism flowed out of a general frustration over our Mission’s failure to help the community to the extent and in every way that they believe that we ought to be ‘helping’. Just to give one example, there was protest of the charges, which patients incur at the Clinic. We were accused of being in Karamo…

Crisis at the Medical Clinic

This has been one of the most difficult weeks that I can remember for our Karamoja station. We ask for your prayers for our Mission, particularly for the work of our medical clinic. The week began with us having to make the difficult decision to release one of our staff members. This contributed to an already present problem of shortage of staff. Furthermore, we had already been in the midst of a water crisis as a pump had broken. So we decided to close down the Clinic temporarily while working to resolve these problems.

What we did not anticipate was how strongly the community would react to the release of the employee. People gathered outside the Clinic demanding a meeting. They even blocked the main entrance with thorn branches and declared that the Clinic is closed until the problem is resolved (to their satisfaction). (This heavy-handed tactic was quite alarming albeit a bit humorous since we had already closed the Clinic for our own reasons.) The meeting was very difficult as the…

April Happenings

April has begun and has brought with it lots of rain! Either the wet season has officially begun or we are being teased. Sometimes early rains can get everybody busy with their farms only to disappoint them by disappearing for six weeks. We would appreciate your prayers that these ones would continue and would result in a bountiful harvest.
Two weeks ago we came up to Karamoja with David’s parents! The kids have sure loved having them around, as have mom and dad. We have enjoyed doing some traveling, seeing some sites and making some memories.

Kopetatum update: Our neighbors in Kopetatum are slowly rebuilding their homes after having them completely wiped out by that fire we told you about last month. Government aid came in the form of a large contribution of grain. Our Mission decided to further assist by buying much of the aggregate which the people had in possession for sale. We will use it for some construction projects current and future. Also, this last week many of us went out …

Fires, Speech and the Word of God Advances!

FIRE IN KOPETATUM. We spent most of this past week in Mbale and Kampala. On our way back we heard about a terrible fire which occured in Kopetatum. Kopetatum neighbors Nakaale and is the village where we have been involved in a church plant work for a number of years. Never had we seen a fire cause such destruction to Karimojong homes. Thankfully, not one person was injured but everything else – homes and all possessions including many animals – were destroyed completely, burned to the ground. Several families lived in these two ‘eres’ (large groups of homes in one circular fenced-in enclosure), about 150 persons altogether. Members of the Mission have been out there to be with, pray for and encourage these ones. Most of the people are currently sleeping under the stars while beginning the hard work of rebuilding. Please pray for the Mission as we seek to help in the best way possible in this difficult situation.

MEGAN UPDATE. One reason for our trip to Kampala was to see Megan’s speec…

The Doctor Is In!

We’ve tried to avoid an apple a day because we have definitely not wanted to keep him away! Yes, Dr. Jim Knox arrived this last week to Karamoja. It has been a long time coming. This has been his desire for many years. What a blessing to see it finally come to fruition. It’s a wonderful comfort to have a doctor around, for the Karimojong and also for the missionaries. Please pray for Jim as he adjusts to his life and work.

Facebook Woes…If your friend request is not quickly confirmed, please do not be offended. For some reason, Sunshine is unable to access her Facebook account from our computer. So, for right now, if you want to contact her or be up to date with the latest goings on here, please just email us directly. As for the outstanding friend requests, eventually Sunshine’s mom will ‘check in’ to our account and confirm them. :)

Southern California Fires….in Karamoja??

Around 11:30am on Wednesday there was a distant fire burning in the field to the east of our compound. We would have immediately called the fire department if there were such a thing in Karamoja. I was a bit concerned but our Karimojong friends assured me that it would not reach our compound since the wind was blowing it in a bit more of a southern direction. Furthermore, when the rainy season ended we had cleared the fields all around us making a good firebreak. Nonetheless, amidst a situation which in Southern California would have most certainly called for the precautionary measure of immediate mandatory evacuation, what did we do? We went to lunch! We headed to the main compound (where we eat rice and beans with our teammates a few days a week). After just a few bites I heard that the wind had changed and fire had come our way and I was running back to our compound with several of our workers to make sure things were ok. The closer I got, the thicker the smoke was, the more my eye…