August 24, 2011

When You Are 55

When you are 55 and have been working at a computer for 3 years you should reconsider climbing Spencer’s Butte, especially if you’re in a hurry.

We knew it would be “stretching it” to get it done and meet the rest of the family near the gazebo boat landing at 6. I knew I would be the weak link, but I didn’t know it would confront me full in the face as it did. After all, I work out hard 30 minutes 3 times a week at Emerald Pool! But I’m 55 and I sit a lot for my work. Rats.

Halfway up I wondered who put this old body on me, anyway. Spencer’s Butte is just a butte. It’s not Mt. Kilimanjaro! Pant, pant, pant with my heart going thump, thump, thump. Sweat pouring off my hair under my hat. My husband and son and daughter-in-law kept smiling sweetly at me. And coolly. I stopped to rest again.

On the descent the wobbly legs on this body wouldn’t behave and today, a full 3 days later, my calves are still complaining. But I’m not. It was a great day and a blessed week and we separated all too soon.

They flew off to the other coast this morning, leaving my house too quiet and empty. I tore open a special chocolate she brought me “in remembrance of her” and wondered what had just happened. Was it all just a dream? Wading in the river at Harrisburg, jumping into the surf at Yachats, 2 sons throwing 2 boys around the living room, great-grandparents smiling broadly with their admiration of the 3-year-old’s Spiderman pose, sisters-in-law meeting for the first time and exchanging photos and quips. Did that all really happen or was it just a sweet dream?

I saw more than one eye with a tear, and that was so precious to me. An amazing thing love is.

“Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share but our toil he does richly repay. Not a grief or loss, not a frown or a cross but is blessed if we trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”

“Then in fellowship sweet we shall sit at his feet, or we'll walk by his side in the way. What he says we will do. Where he sends we will go. Never fear, only trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey!”

© 1887 John H. Sammis

August 8, 2011

News from Uganda - Saturday School Rules

Greetings, Everyone!
It's actually a very cool day today. This morning at 5am, it was only 71 degrees in my room. BRRRRR. Almost wished for 2 blankets on my bed. Almost...
At Saturday School, we had to come up with some new rules that will be implemented next month: no more babies or young children (like under 3) can come anymore. We must have cleaned up 4 pee puddles (sorry for all you faint-hearted... actually here we say "someone urinated" or "someone defecated"), had many young children crying, had all the young ones sitting on the stage because they aren't old enough to play the games, etc. So, no more young children or babies. There was even a baby who couldn't have been more than 6 weeks old with an older sister!
The other new rule is if anyone comes after 11am, they will have to wait till the next month to stay. What is happening is, children realize we give biscuits and juice at the end, so they come only for that part. We'll have to see how it goes next month!
We had 197 kids this time...perhaps only 150 if they can't bring younger siblings next month. I have sent you a picture of 4 of our kids helping carry all the things down for Saturday School. From left they are: David, carrying 50 cups in the bag and a jerry can for the juice (it's empty at this point); John with a box of biscuits on his head (120 pkgs) and 50 cups; Dovico with a jerry can and cups and Natasha with the packets of powdered juice - they don't look heavy, but she actually had the heaviest load of the 4! They all came up to our house where we store all the Saturday School stuff, and took things down for us.
For the team - you 10 know who you are! - coming in less than 2 weeks, the 2nd picture is of the man who we paid to dig the drainage for your bathing room. This is just outside the western side of our house. There will be a drain in the bathing room and the pipe will go to this hole, which will be filled now with rocks and an iron sheet on top, then some wooden planks and dirt on top of that. And voila! a drainage pit for your bathing water! Pretty cool, huh? It took him about 6 hours to dig the pit. (He was paid Shs40,000, or less than $20 - a good wage for this work!) He was so tickled that I took his picture and when he saw it on the computer, he laughed at seeing himself.
Mutwahiru is doing well - his leg is healing nicely and he may even get the metal contraption off his leg in about 6 weeks. The only thing is, he needs to stop kicking the soccer ball when the boys are playing. He SO wants to be one of the kids! But, he could wreck the work on his leg so far, so we're keeping him from kicking these days.
We have decided to wait on the Jinja trip with the kids until December - too much going on at the end of this term with the camps, Americans being here, etc.
We will be getting some new chickens in about 3 weeks - please pray that we succeed in this business venture! Our maize should be ready next week... we're planting cotton this week... so many things... our eggplants and tomatoes are being used daily now... sure am learning a lot about agriculture and small businesses!!!
Okay, I'm going to FB now - going to try to download some videos from Saturday School.
Love you all, and am so glad to be partnering with you. There is a possibility I will be home for a couple of weeks in September. If so, I hope to see as many of you as possible and say thank you in person!
God bless you!