Sunday, June 1, 2008

Adventures With Mark

Okay, I will admit that once again I am a little bit behind. However I am in the midst of a rare two day weekend. Yes, I took Saturday off from school and I have been hanging out with Seth playing with balls and reading books. There was also a little bit of water and mud in there somewhere too.

My view for this month is going to be my top ten list and my top five list. Ten reasons why being a missionary is excellent and five reasons why it is difficult. Perhaps I can entice a few of you to come join us or jump into another culture.

Top Ten…
-Meeting new and exciting people
-Learning new sports, cultural experiences and traditions
-No forty-below-with-wind-chill weather in Uganda
-Learning a whole new meaning of the word faith
-Making a difference with the children you work with who are eager for your help
-Working with staff who are supportive, excited and generous to a western face
-Life is a slower pace than the west and there is not as large a concern to “keep up with the Jones’” idea
-Priorities or what is really important in life become more focused
-Traveling to different parts of the world one would usually never see
-Not as much junk food – okay that can be positive and negative

Top Five…
-Missing family and friends
-No hockey to watch or ice to play on
-Power cuts on a regular basis
-Poor international communication with the internet and phone
-Hazardous driving conditions no matter what the weather!

I should also add that the past month or so has seen our children sing for the queen and the president of Uganda at the Westminster Abby in London. We also had Kirk Franklin come to Uganda and our children sang with him in the two concerts at which around 20,000 US was raised for the new school. God is good as soon half of the walls for Phase one will be up!

Adventures With Sarah

May has been the most fleeting month I can remember in a while! We enjoyed a great visit from dear friends from home, and have made new friends who stayed with us as well.
Although motherhood is my ‘main thing’ right now (and I find it equally challenging and rewarding) I would like prayer for another matter that has been growing in importance to me. I have recently experienced another wave of culture shock. I didn’t know that was possible but my friends who have been here long term say it comes in waves and at any time. In the past 2 months I have struggled greatly with feelings of helplessness and failure concerning the people around me every day: Almost as much as when we first came. I’ve been asking God how I can plug in more to those around me wanting to feel that I’m actually changing something permanently or just ‘mattering’. So far I have just ended up feeling overwhelmed whenever I try to ‘come up’ with a way. Here it is so different than back home. You can’t just reach out to the neighbor lady with kindness or a loaf or bread or have her over for coffee unless you are prepared to face and address the great need of her immediate family and most likely her whole clan and then the next neighbor lady who heard you are a kind person. I don’t say those things in a derogatory way… not at all. That is the reality here and there’s no way around it. Please pray with me about how I can do something different if God has something specific in mind and is giving me a nudge to get me going. Or pray that He helps me understand that there is significance in what I’m doing for Uganda even though I don’t see that right now.
I guess that is all I want to share this month. I have plenty of work to do this month with writing term letters with the kids at the school and helping prepare for teams coming this summer.
My little man continues to be the joy of this house! He has been teething ‘seriously’ as we would say here in Uganda, and has needed to be on meds regularly just to sleep. He has a huge mass resembling an iceberg about to burst out of his lower gum as his right side lower molar. He currently has 8 teeth and his eye teeth are threatening as well as his left side molar. Yep… some days are long! I’ll let him tell you more about himself. As for us, we find him more fun every day. Personality plus and such a people lover! Here that is a great blessing because babies and young children are a very community thing. It is very common for people here to outright thank you for caring for your child… as if it a great favor to them. Pretty funny.
I’ll sign off now and let Seth tell of his fun life! God bless all of you! Thank you for keeping in touch! Sarah

Adventures With Seth

You Hey everybody! Do you know what I would do if you came to my house? I would be shy for maybe two minutes (while I am smiling at you) and then I would give you a high five if you wanted me to and then I would just keep making eyes at you as I play with my toys and try to show you my cool books and other stuff while I try not to get too close to you. And I can say so much stuff now. Mom says it’s about 20 words. Hey, did you know there are little penguins in South Africa on the beach? We went there one time and I loved them so much. Now I have a little one that goes with us in my diaper bag and he is my bud. I still love to play with balls and am learning to kick by myself without somebody holding my hand so I don’t fall over. And guess what? My mom is getting a chubby tummy. I’m starting to get suspicious. I heard mom say something about ‘sharing my toys’. I’ll let you know when I know what’s going on. Something’s fishy I think. And pretty soon we’re going back to Canada dad says. I can’t wait to see all of the people that are on mom and dad’s fridge. I look at them all the time and point to them. I guess I should go. My new favorite thing is reading books. I can sit for a long time and point to all the stuff I know. And my Grandma and Grandpa Carpenter gave me a Baby Einstein video and it is the best thing ever! I’m learning about numbers and I like to say ‘hi’ to the tiger puppet! I really have to go now. I’m hungry again! High fives to everybody! Seth

My Buddy Francis

I like hanging with Francis when dad is at work and mom is busy in the house. I even try to copy him sometimes and stick out my tongue like in this picture. Dad says Francis is a very important friend that keeps us safe at night. He is the best night guard in our division where we live!

Farmer Seth

Look at the stuff from our garden! I love the corn lots. Even when I just had 4 teeth I could clean my pieces bare. I like to help dad and mom in the garden with my wooden spoon.