Thursday, July 15, 2010

To believe, even though shredded, even though crazy and impossible...this is where faith goes to live or to die.

To put it all on the line. To bear hope. To look into a mother's eyes and tell her you believe her dead little girl can live....It is one of the hardest things I've had to do.
It is still hard.

A baby died last night. Something I will never get used to. Even though this is the fourth human being in my community of women to die this month. Aids. Starvation. All just another word for stealing.

But this is not just any baby. This is a baby I held in my arms. A baby whose life I thought would be saved.

On Friday, I noticed one of our mothers who was making necklaces had the thinnest armed baby I had ever seen strapped to her back. Thin like the Ethiopian hunger commercials I used to watch as a child. Thin, as in death sentence. It was the first time she had brought her.

We called her into my office and found out that she has Aids. There was no money for formula. So her mother made a choice. Breastfeed her today and she lives. Hardly a choice at all. But the baby is starving now, refusing to eat. At first I think we should rush her to the hospital, but the mother says she's already been that day and the baby just needs to eat. So we buy her formula and a dropper. And we pray. The whole time this little one is pushing my hand away from her head. And I think, “This one is strong. She will live.” Come back Monday, we say, if she isn't better and we'll go to the hospial again.

On Sunday night, just a few hours too short, that little girl died.

I fall to my knees and cry. I open my bible to John and the first thing I read is from the story of Lazarus: “Didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory, if you believe?”

And then I remember a story. In Mozambique, a baby dead for 3 days, comes back to life. I feel the buyoncy of faith begin to rise again.

I hold onto that testimony because it bolsters me. It makes me believe for the impossible, when my unbelief creeps in. I don't have enough faith for this. And I need the faith of others around the world to ignite in sparks across the dark landscape.

Today, we sang. We sang worship songs through mud-tracked tears. We prayed. We asked and we commanded. We were desperate. We were joyful. We were angry. We were at peace. We hugged. We held onto a mother with a broken heart. And four women got saved because of all the love there between us.

And a baby did not get up and live.

But I am not giving up. I'm fasting and praying for this baby's life and if another dies tomorrow I will carry this tattered heart to the edge of insanity and I will ask again.

I don't know how to do this. It doesn't seem there is a book called Resurrection 101: The Tricks of the Trade. All I have is a story. And a Jesus I believe in.

  • Please pray for little baby Abetty. That she will live. We need a mirace.
  • And if that's too much for some of you, then pray the military barracks will let us at least lay hands on her body.
  • Pray for her mother Blandine, that the Comforter would come to her.
  • Pray that the Congolese community would be blown apart by God's love

Here are some ways you or someone you know can help us:

  • Volunteering in the USA--great for students! In areas of:
  • US based Program Coordinator
  • Accounting/Administrative/Data Entry
  • Video/Graphic Design
  • Website development
  • Sponsorship program coordinator
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Speaking for Fundraising
  • Connecting to Churches
  • Marketing
  • Grant research & writing
  • Introduce us to your church, bible study or missions committee
Volunteering in Uganda:
• Administrative Assistant to Sarita (most needed)
• Finance
Children's ministry
• Children's teacher/tutor/mentor/English teacher
• Counselor
• Art therapy
• Bead Program Coordinator
Vocational/Skills training
Business Skills/Entrepreneur
• IT/Techy Person
• Program development—sponsorship program on ground
• Video/photography
• House of Prayer person—building up prayer & worship with staff

List of Items to Donate:
• New computer (Mac) $1,800
• Any older laptop donations for our new office
• Projector (around 800-$1,000) (for showing Jesus films on outreach)
• Sound system ($500)
• Generator for showing films ($1,000)
• Bibles in Ki-Swahili, Lingala (can bring or donate about $10 each)
• Play therapy toys (for kids)
• New pair of school shoes for our girls (about $10 each)
• 14 little girls nightgowns and panties
• 14 dresses for ages 4-14
• Children's games; puzzles
• Art Supplies
• ESOL teaching supplies
• Discipleship/KingdomTraining Materials for children & adults
• Teaching or fun dvd's for children
• Worship music cd's
• Cd's of great Kingdom teachings—anything Bill Johnson (For Sarita & Tyson)
• Van for transporting kids ($15-20,000)
• New tires for Truck ($800)
• New Staff person for Counseling Center --$225 a month
• Building Playground for kids $500
• Sponsor a girl for $35 a month
• Cd or music player with small speakers
• Donation of digital camera

For more details please email
Donations can be made online at
or mailed to:
P.O. Box 321
Quinque, VA 22965

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Home is Where The Heart Is

You know you are back in Gulu when you can hear the sounds of little children singing to themselves outside your office window. Certainly not the sound of the Ionian sea lapping against the shore of the beaches in Greece, but nonetheless sweet.

We arrived back in Gulu last night and already back to work and picking up the pieces. I'm trying desperately not to be stressed out by the mountain of papers on my desk or the group of 30 women who were here when I arrived, looking at me with a question in their eyes, "Ok so what do we do next?"
Half the time I want to ask them, "Who put me in charge anyway?"

Because being the one the buck stops with isn't easy. And I never felt prepared to make these kinds of decisions about children's lives, or who gets to be chosen to make beaded necklaces for us while they all look expectantly at me. When all I really want to do is crawl in my bed and tell God to take over.

But the women clap and get excited when I tell them we'll start counseling classes next week and I get excited because it feels like the only thing I'm made to do anymore. So you can pray for me, because the work is never ending and the hats of administrator, and updater, and mama, and fundraiser, and wife and "boss" (not necessarily in that order :) get a little much for me sometimes.

But I feel kind of happy because I didn't lose my cool, and everything I don't feel I can quite deal with today I just put at Jesus' feet and say,
"Ok, you can deal with this one."

Also because I'M COMING HOME IN SEPTEMBER! (to my 2nd home! :) Or rather one of my "homes" which is to say that Gulu is the only place I actually have a house and my heart is here, but my heart is still renting property to a green patch of land called Virginia.

I'l be there Aug 30th thru Sept 27th to be exact and my joy over this is only muted by the fact that Tyson can't come with me.

However, while my main priority is to be the best daughter, and sister and aunt I can be to my newborn nephew (hopefully by sept 11th!)

I really do want to see you guys and chat over coffee, or speak to your church, or pray with you and I would love to update you, share vision, share amazing stories, and raise some more funds so we can keep this movement growing! :) I will be limited to the VA area---mainly Charlottesville, Richmond and DC area (no whirlwind tour for me this time! :)

So please send me an email to with a possible meeting idea (with a group or church or bible study, or just you) and a date that is open. I am NOT available from Sept 10th thru 13th..and well some babies don't like to be on time, so you'll have to be flexible with me. But other than that, I can try to make it happen.

Best Friends, book me early :) I can't stand being in your area and not seeing you!

Can't wait!