Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Raining Hope Chapter 11 Update #8

Raining Hope Incorporated
Chapter 11 – Update #8
January 10, 2011!

I am safely home back in Ventura! The last couple of days in Uganda were challenging to be on the internet. I will be sending out another email with an update of what God did during those days! I will be traveling to Riverside today to have the first meeting with my new ISP Uganda team! Please pray for me as I travel today, especially on the drive back home. We meet from 6:00-9:00 pm this evening. This year our International Service Project’s theme is “Yield.” Our verse is Luke 9:23-25 “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”
On Saturday my morning went very quickly. I had last minute visits that morning before leaving. I had missed Pastor Gerald the day before when I went to visit the family. He came by early to drop off a few letters, so he joined me for breakfast. We had a great time of fellowship and sharing! Solomon then joined as well. As I went to finish up a few last minute details, my friend Sarah Saaba came by. She used to work at the hotel. We were able to share together for a short but very precious time. The four of us joined in prayer as Pastor Gerald prayed for my safe journey.
On the way to the airport we stopped for our “chicken on the stick!” We weren’t able to have the traditional chicken when I arrived. So we made sure that we were able to have chicken for the journey home! We made a couple of visits on the way to the airport. We stopped in Mukono to have a few moments with Godfrey. We still made it to the airport in plenty of time.
The security has continued to be stepped up at the airport. They now do additional automobile checks as we enter the airport. We both have to actually get out of the vehicle while they check the car. Remember during the Thanksgiving holiday when there was so much in the news about security checks at airports? Those that complain probably would not do well traveling overseas! We had a security pat down and check right next to the car! When we pass that check point we now have to park in the parking lot and walk our luggage up to the departure area. Solomon helped me get the luggage up to where I stood in line to enter.
The checking in process ended up being one of the most challenging I have ever had. Long lines and a very slow process all added up to frustrated travelers. Our plane had also arrived late which added to the whole long process. We ended up leaving about 1 hour late. My concern was my connecting flight in Dubai. Most of the time, I have long layovers of more than six hours. This time I only had 3 hours inbetween! But I arrived just in enough time to make it to my next gate! Praise the Lord! We actually arrived in Los Angeles 30 minutes early!
I arrived at LAX about 7:15 am on Sunday. I collected my bags and made it through passport control so quickly I surprised Kiana and Carol! I think the whole process only took ½ hour instead of the normal hour. I refreshed up, got my latte  and then we headed to church! Since we were in the Los Angeles area, we drove to La Puente to attend church at St. Stephens Baptist Church! I have served on the board of trustees at CBU with Pastor Tony Dockery. The church is also very supportive of our ministry. We were able to attend the Sunday School class as well as the 11:00 am service! It was an AMAZING service!! The Sunday School class had me give a short greeting and report of our continued work in Uganda. The class is a very vibrant and fun! They love the Lord and take the study of His Word seriously. We loved being with them once again. The worship service was just what I needed coming home. The choir is amazing! The music was powerful. The preaching of God’s Word was so encouraging for my first day back home. God ministered to me in ways that helped the transition back to life in America. God is good.
By time I got home, I started the unpacking process. As Kiana, Michael, Heather and I were all here at home…at some point I just fell asleep!
I am quickly catching up on my rest! I am excited about meeting with my new team tonight at CBU. Pray as I make the 2 ½ hour drive to CBU this afternoon. It is always difficult to go from the land of Uganda to the busy traffic of the Los Angeles area. I normally try to stay quiet for the first week. This time God has other plans for me! It will actually be nicer driving home tonight as I get on the road about 9:15 pm. There is less traffic, but pray that I will be able to stay alert and awake!
I will send another update out in the next day or so to catch up with what I was not able to report on. I just wanted everyone to know that I have arrived home!
This morning I read in Psalm 9:1-2, “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High,” Our God is good! Chapter 11 has been another amazing chapter in a story of God’s goodness and miraculous works!
Thank you for journeying along with me!

I challenged the children to get up early and be excited to meet with God this morning. Wouldn’t you know, I ended up waking up late! I have been getting up at 4 and 5 am. Today I woke up around 7 am! I jumped out of bed and my first thought was the children! I ended up feeling bad that I was up late. I still went outside on the balcony and had a short time with the Lord. But, you know I learned another valuable lesson. After my encounter yesterday, I was anticipating and excited about my time alone with the Lord! I have had times when I have scheduled to meet with someone and have had to cut the time short because of a sudden interruption or arriving late. I feel a piece is missing when we are not allowed to have the full time. I also don’t want to miss anything that God has for me.
There are no devotions with staff on Wednesdays. It gave me time to catch up on updates and administrative work for Raining Hope. I had a great visit with Mrs. Otile today as I waited to meet with her son, Robert. We are still trying to work time out to go to the land. Pray that happens in the next two days!
Solomon met me for lunch and we went next door to the Sunset Hotel. My favorite Chinese food anywhere is here in Jinja! Isn’t that so strange! It is so peaceful to sit and enjoy the view of the Nile. We were able to continue discussing the needs of the home and the plans for the first term. God continues to confirm His plans through His Word.
We stopped by Indulge to check on the mosquito nets. They had not yet arrived so we will try again tomorrow.
We did go by two of the primary schools. We have discovered that schools are not opened for registration. Solomon found someone to talk with to just get basic information. One of the primary schools is private and much more expensive than the government subsidized school. I was at least able to drive by the schools to see where they are at. One school is right down the road from the home. They would be able to walk home at lunch. This would help with the cost as we would not have to pay for food at the school. We will go back when registration opens in a couple of weeks.
We spent the afternoon at the home working on craft projects. When I organized the bags of supplies, I discovered some leftover fish (really! Ha! Just constructions cut outs but leftovers still the same!) and bookmarkers. The children had lots of fun. Just when they thought they had finished decorating the fish, I would bring out more! Henry would come over saying, “They are all over.” Then he would look and say, “Ah, there’s more!” When I declared it was like the story in the book of Matthew about Jesus multiplying the fish and the bread, they all got a good laugh out of that!
During the devotions, I continued to share from the book of Exodus about leaving Egypt and entering the Promised Land. We focused on these verses in Exodus…
7 Then the LORD told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey.”
We thank the Lord that He saw our suffering as well and came to rescue us. We are living in the land of milk and honey. Funny that the other day when Solomon was feeding his 2 dogs, April and May, they had a huge bowl of milk! I thought, “Wow! Even our animals at Raining Hope have milk overflowing!”

Prayer Requests:
1) We are accomplishing all that needs to be done. Thank you for your prayers. With just a couple of days left, pray that we will be able to get done what He desires.
2) Pray for our decision of which schools the children will attend. This will have to happen after I go home. A praise is there is someone who will make our uniforms for us! This will cut down the cost considerably! Pray for the needed funds for school fees.
3) We are coming to the solution to the managing of the home issue. Continue to pray God gives us the final confirmation. God is good.
4) We are going to visit our new land on Friday. Pray that this works out.
5) Pray I continue to have my alone moments with God to seek His direction and discernment.
Our children send their greetings and love to you!

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