Thursday, December 28, 2006

Uganda Photos

Enjoy this peek at the week.
Kitchen area and cooking supper over wood fire. Charcoal is the usual cooking fuel and wood is for large fires.

Latrine at church and the womens dormitory at the boarding school.

Papa Ange's Rwaandan dancers and drummers.

(Below Top) Pastors Jason Dewey and Daniel Kaggwa and Mrs. Erica Kaggwa, Pastor Deborah Stackhouse and daughter LaTay Stackhouse. (Bottom) Chantal Hotereshi and Mary Rockingham. Chantal has been declared cancer free by her doctor Praise God! We had prayed for her in Feb. as her breast cancer was quite advanced and a complete masectomy was recommended.

The Street by SOD UG and time with the Prison Ministry

(Top) This is a baby dedication service that Pastor Harry conducted on Sunday the 3rd of December. Mrs. Erica Kaggwa is holding a twin and is wearing the bright patterned dress in the middle.
(Bottom)Pastor Daniel Kaggwa and his lovely wife Erica join us for breakfast at the hotel.

(Upper Top) We were given the priviledge of serving the women attending the conference breakfast. Notice it isn't quite the same as what we were eating at the hotel. They were served a porridge of white maize starch with sugar added. Tasted like corn starch paste just hot and very liquid. (Bottom)Women's Morning Glory - Corporate prayer and study at 6 am every morning.

(Below Top) Sign of the Dove Childrens Ministry performing! Pastor Dan & Erica's children are Elijah (third from the left in back row), his sister Gloria on his left (behind mic stand) and his little sister Shalom in front of Gloria. Shalom and I share a birth day! (Bottom) TZ Dancers

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Here are some pictures from the kids Christmas play. So cute!

We shared Christmas Eve Dinner with Anne Tronetti, Norma, Marcos, and Marquita Levy, Mary Hannigan, Darrick Wordlaw, Jared Garth, and Marie Augustin.
We celebrated His birth with Mary, Jared, and Darrick and we are so blessed to have such a wonderful extended family here in Illinois.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Grammy Elaine's Visit

I am so blessed to have a family that not only puts up with me but loves me too!! I was so thrilled when my Mom offered to come down from Alaska to watch Jennifer and Jordan while I was away in Uganda to minister there. Praise God!! Here were some pictures of Grammy with the kids and also my new siding and windows that were finished just last month. I have been asked to remove all photos of my mother from my blog so these have been removed. Praise God for family photo albums!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tremendous! Amazing! Powerful! Incredible! Motivating Dynamic! Wonderful! Awesome! Life Changing! Inspiring!! Humbling. These are just a few words to describe the 1st Annual Leadership Conference at the Sign of the Dove Ministries Uganda. The list goes on and on…

Praise God for the heart and mind of Pastor Dan and his lovely wife Erica! Their vision, dedication and faithfulness paved the way for a truly unforgettable conference. There is so much to say and to share with everyone but I am still trying to get my body readjusted and so please indulge my bits and pieces as I find the time to add my thoughts.

December 1 - 10, 2006 Zzana, Uganda

The rain was a prelude to the showers that would be poured out by the Holy Spirit. I cannot compare the trip with the one in Jan/Feb so I won't even try. The conference brought about a whole different atmosphere as leaders and worshippers from seven different countries joined together to learn and grow together in an effort to build the body of Christ. As an intercessor I can say that the ground was ready for planting and the hearts of those present were for the most part ready to receive.
(Sidebar) However, I felt God was working in me more than ever as He gently showed me areas of my own heart that He wasn't pleased with and allowed me to receive His correction in a tender way. Not to say that it wasn't painful but believe me, it hasn't always been so gentle. I am so grateful that I listened to both my pastor and the Holy Spirit because the breakthough I experienced was priceless and I can honestly say that I am not ever going to be the same. Now some of you are probably wondering what on earth was so ugly in my life that I needed a 'breakthough', right? That is the wonder of His love! He showed me things that I didn't even see and would never be able to change after it was obvious. The bottom line is that deep inside I held on to pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, and a lot of other 'issues' that I had conveinently masked as 'harmless traits' when the Truth shined His light on them it was just plain UGLY. Amazing though how once something is labled or given a name it loses its power as we can address it for what it is. I cannot explain the changes that He allowed to take place in my heart but I can say that I am humbled at His grace and awed by His love for me. My prayer is that all of those that I have hurt over the years will be able to forgive me also and I will be able to correct any past offenses. He grace and mercy is new every day praise the Lord!

I will be back to finish the highlights of the leadership conference tomorrow. Love you all!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where Did October Go??

Finally a break from the silence! It has been too long but looking at the day to day activities we have going on it is no big surprise that I haven’t had (or taken) the time to write on here.

My cuz, Geri, sent me a note yesterday that just made my day and reminded me of how important friends, family and community are to me. I am getting ready to go back to Uganda again with our Church and my Mom is flying down from Nikiski to stay with Jennifer and Jordan. I am so blessed and I DO realize it. God is so good to me and I am grateful for His unending love for my family! No matter where He sends me and no matter what challenges He allows me to go through I know that I am not alone. He is always there and my friends and family are never far behind.

I finally had the windows replaced on our old house as well as the siding, gutters and soffits. It looks wonderful and I had the contractor put two layers of insulation under the siding so hopefully the utilities will go down some. We may actually turn the heat up past 64 degrees this winter! You think I am joking???

Gotta run but I will not wait so long…until next time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Been gone so long!!

Greetings to all my friends, family and whoever may happen to stumble onto this blog. I know that it has been ages since I last sat down and filled you all in on life with my gang so please just accept my apology and know that it will probably happen again. I was torn about whether or not to write about Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2006 and finally decided to wait until I was ready because it did not go as planned and the disappointment was great. I think I went into a semi-depressed state for at least 6 weeks. Anyway, I am blessed to say that now as I look at it objectively it was a great lesson for me and the results were positive in that I was able to be there for my family as they have always been there for me. I will post about it just not right now... NOW is time for some pictures and race report of my latest adventure. Seriously, it was an adventure!

Thunder Rolls Adventure Race 2006

September 8-10th Rapid City, IA

I joined a team, Team Farside, that was short a person for the 3 person event. It was a 36 hour adventure race (shortened due to unforeseen circumstances to 30 hours) covering about 120 miles in Central and Eastern Illinois. The notice was really short as I got a call the Friday before the race and agreed to race with Team Farside. Rich Zak, Steve Perez and I were to meet for the first time at the race packet pick up the day of the race. Brave guys if you ask me!

Sept. 8th 12:30pm
Drive 3 1/2 hours to Davenport, IA to meet my team and get the registration completed and get the directions to the race briefing and dinner. I was so relieved when I saw the two of them and realized that they were not GI Joe types who were looking to make their mark in the AR world. They were normal guys who just wanted to have fun and finish the race giving it their best. I was immediately put at ease and we proceeded to find some last minute gear and get our vehicles rearranged with stuff we were taking on the course and stuff we were leaving behind in my car. We still didn't have a support crew yet but we were assured that there would be a volunteer to support us at the race. The pre-race brief and meal was held in Rapid City and so around 6:40 we headed to the restaurant for the low down on race. We still didn't know where it was going to start at or finish. They fed us first and it was simply wonderful. Salad or potato soup, bread and Fettucini alfredo with your choice of shrimp, chicken or vegetable. I didn't finish all of my pasta because it was so rich and I knew in a few hours we would be doing something strenuous.. Dinner was from 7-8 and the race info, maps and course rules were given from 8-9. We finally got to meet our support crew, Marianne, around 9:30pm and when she saw the rental car that we were needing her to drive for us from TA to TA she asked so politely if we would mind if she drove her Xterra. Praise God!!! Rich had rented a sedan and we had a three bike rack on the trunk which meant taking the bikes and rack off at every point to get the gear out of the trunk. Her vehicle was a dream AND it had a four bike rack on the back with access to the rear of the SUV without taking everything off!!! God is so good!! Special thanks to Marianne for the wonderful pictures and the super special care in getting us through this race!! She's the greatest!!

We didn't have the time or space to plot our maps but I decided to just trust Rich completely and know that it is his team and he would do his very best. (Turns out we only had one slight mishap with maps and that was not a big deal except for the time lost.. Small fry in the big picture!) We caravaned to the start which was about 20 minutes from the restaurant. It is now very dark and almost 11pm. Race starts at 12:00am! We find out from the rumor mill that the start of the race is a 13.8 mile run/trek to the first transition area. (TA1) Rich told me on the phone days earlier that he was not able to do a lot of running and that he would trek most of the course. He said he was maybe good for a mile. We ran the first 6 miles and I was thinking that he must have been just messing with me! He wasn't. That was the last we ran. It was all good though. If I had ran more I would have been more exhausted on the bike..? Anyway, we had a great start and at TA1 we got into the canoes for the paddle section. We entered the water around 3:15 am. At this time we weren't sure how far the paddle was because we hadn't had the time to go through all 16 maps!

The paddle was great at first as we all settled into a rhythm. We weren't fighting wind or current as we were on the Hennepin Canal. The forecast had been calling for thunderstorms and rain but the sky was still clear and life was good.
Around 6am I was thinking that I was going to die from exposure.. (I was trying not to mention this but as Rich was climbing into the canoe at the launch... We tipped!) Yes, we started the paddle section out wet. Water was warm though and I didn't think it would be a problem until early dawn as it got chilly and I was sitting in the bottom of the canoe for 3 hours not getting a lot of circulation to my limbs.
I was so glad to see the lock ahead and find out we were going to portage the canoe because it meant I would get some blood flowing and be able to warm myself up some. I ended up wrapping a towel and blanket around me for the next segment and continually thanked God for the wonderful sunrise as it meant warmth was on the way!
Around 8:45 we saw a tall bridge and realized it was time for the rappel. We were told at the briefing that there was a special rope section added to the paddle. Halfway through the paddle we would approach a bridge where two of us would get out of the canoe and head to the top of the bridge where we would then rappel down into the canoe while the remaining teammate would position the canoe to 'catch' us. Then the third person would be taken to shore where they would do the same thing. We did it like we had practiced for months. It was fun and we all said we wouldn't mind doing it again except for the fact that this is a race and we had caught up with two teams at the ropes and as we were leaving two other teams were catching up with us... One of the volunteers told us we were only halfway through the paddle and that meant it would be another four hours or so before we would get off the water. We sang, we hallucinated, we talked but mostly we paddled.. Turns out the paddle was roughly 30 miles on a completely flat canal. Took us about 9 hours of paddling!

Finally, we see the transition area ahead and it was only 11:55am! TA2 and Marianne were the the best thing in the world at that point. DRY CLOTHES! We all changed, ate and relieved ourselves (9 hours is a long time!!) before heading out on the first of two O' Courses. Orienteering for this course would be on foot the second course would be on mountain bike. We were dry, warm (sun was out and we were all confident in out navigational skills. We said goodbye to Marianne and headed out with compass and map. It took us several hours and a few misteps before we located all of the CP's but around 5:45 we made it to the third transition area. It had started raining around 4:30 and we only had to trek through the rain for about an hour. (This is the section where we had a slight misreading of the map as I alluded to earlier) It was in pretty good spirits that we got into TA3 where we would head out for the second orienteering section and the ropes section. I once again changed out of wet clothes and into dry clothes this time putting on my rain suit and warm wool hat and gloves. The rain was easing up but we were told by the race officials that part of the course was being closed and we had missed it but we could still race the 'short course' and finish. Of course we were going to finish this race. We had ran and paddled and dug through the underbrush for 18 hours at this point and we were not quitting! We were told that the ropes were closing at 8:30 and by now it was almost 7:00 (Yes, we took way too long in TA3 but frankly we needed it after being wet for more than 13 hours of the 18. We also took additional time reviewing maps so we would not have repeat of the little misdirection. Once we started off again on foot we realized that the terrain was not in our favor and if we were to make the ropes we had better head there first. The rope section was a 420 ft traverse across a strip mine lake. It was 75 ft above the gorge and the water was 70ft deep. By now it is getting really dark and headlamps are a must so we get into our harnesses and wait for the line to clear so we can cross and hopefully still get to a few of the CPs There were still 4 CP's that were open after the ropes. We were told that they were likely to close at 8:30 also since the area was a park and there were permit issues. The traverse was fun but HARD!! I need to lose about 50 pounds to do that comfortably again! It was more like a zip line for the first two thirds and then the last third (100+ ft) was hand over hand with a PFD, Pack and rainsuit on. I thought I was going to be out there for a long, long time as it was simply one hand at a time. I need to work on upper body strength for sure. : ) We all made it successfully and at that point decided to skip the other CPs because of the darkness, rain and difficult terrain. It was an area of strip mines, quarries and deep embankments with heavy foliage.

Back to the transition onto the bikes and off for our final leg of the race. The bike section would take us about 55 miles from check point to check point until we finally reached the finish line. We were all very tired by now and there were parts of the bike leg that I think we were all sleeping in our saddles because we were weaving pretty bad. We finally pulled in across the finish line at 3:55 am on Sunday and the cutoff was 6am so we were happy and even thought that if they had allowed us to do the second O'course we would have possibly made it. (NOT!) I think that we had just enough to make it fun and keep it safe. I am so proud of my team and so glad that they took a chance on me. It was definitely the best race yet! 18 teams started the race and 10 finished. We were second to last to cross the finish line but only missed the 8 points that were taken out of our course to shorten it. I am proud of my team and crew (best crew ever!!) and would love to do it again.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Pictures from Uganda

I just received these pictures from Pastor Dan Kaggwa at the Sign of the Dove Church Uganda and they are from their first Fellowship Sunday where they invited the community to join them in a wonderful Outreach and music Gala. Many were reached and many were saved and they will be doing it again soon. I praise God for the awesome work that Pastor Dan and his lovely wife Erica are doing there!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Moving forward…

Someone once said there is only one thing that we can be certain of and that is CHANGE. They must not have known the love of God because I am here to testify that He does not change and His love is unfailing. However, the statement does have some truth in it in that we can also be certain that life will bring change. Some good and some not so good but if you are living in Christ it will always be “God-filtered” and so we may as well embrace it. Many of you know that our family has gone through many changes in the past few months not to mention the past few years. But we can praise God for each of the changes because we know that they have brought us to a closer relationship with one another and more importantly with Him.

I have heard from a very good source that my brother, Joshua, and his lovely wife, Corrina, and their two girls, Sydney and Olivia are going to be moving to Chicago in July. Praise God!! Finally, we will be close to family again. We are so excited and can’t wait to spend some time with them and get to know the girls. We have never even gotten to meet little Olivia yet.

April Update:

Jennifer and Jordan finished their first Team Triathlon and it was Jordan’s debut in the triathlon. They did AWESOME!! We can’t find the disposable camera from the weekend events but hopefully it will turn up soon... pictures are MIA.

May Update:

The kids and I went to Nueva Vallarta and had a wonderful time just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. The vacation had been planned for over a year and it was a hard choice whether or not to go in light of everything going on but I am glad we did. Jennifer did come down with an ear infection while we were there and I got a bite of some kind that swelled my whole right side of the face but as always God is faithful. We both were treated by the doctor at the resort and were able to have no further complications or problems. It was a good opportunity for us to see God working in our lives. You can see pictures at www.

We are preparing for Memorial Day weekend with orders in for four full size sheet cakes and Jordan’s birthday cake to bake. I guess I will be in the kitchen. LOL!

Ironman Coeur d’ Alene is just 4 ½ weeks away and I am not feeling as prepared as last year physically but mentally I am more prepared. Right now I am praying that God will give me wisdom in deciding whether or not to race it this year. Either way the kids and I will be going to Idaho to visit the family. Can’t go wrong with either choice.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

April Showers

But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God. I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought! Job 19:25-27 NLT

My dear and close friend, daughter and sister in Christ, Valerie Sydnor, passed away on Wednesday the 19th of April on her 28 1/2 birthday. Born October 19th in 1977, Valerie came into my life in August of 2003 but we did not really get to know one another until June of 2004 when she moved into our home to live with us forever. Over the past two years many people have wondered and questioned the unique relationship that God built between us and even now I can only say that God had destined it. From the first day until the last day Valerie was a part of our family through the good and the bad. She will be missed so very much. There is so much I wish I could share so that others could see her the way that we do but I am beginning to realize that there are some things that just have to be treasured and cannot be expressed to do them justice. I appreciate all the love and support from each of you and want to apologize for those that I have seemed to neglected over the past two weeks as our family has been grieving and dealing with the sudden and unexpected loss of our beloved Valerie.

Monday, March 13, 2006

and time goes by....

That about sums it up. It has been a month since my last post and it seems like three months. The fact that I have been extremely busy doesn't really matter but it is the truth. In fact, I have been told that I must be too busy as I had to be taken to the Emergency Room on Saturday for fatigue and vertigo. OK, truth is I was constantly on the verge of passing out. However, after 8 sticks in my arms and countless blood tests, a CT scan and X-Rays.. the doctor said it must be exhaustion since everything seems to be in the normal range. There is one blood test still pending but I expect it to be normal as well. I have been so fatigued/tired for the past three weeks and thought I was anemic so started back on the iron tablets. I slowed down on the training for my Ironman and even started sleeping more. (Honest truth!) In fact, I started sleeping so much I was feeling downright lazy and sluggish. It hasn't helped with the fatigue though and so when the dizzy spells started last Thursday I got worried enough to call my doctor who said it was probably viral and give it a few days... Saturday I had a really bad attack of vertigo and nausea and called the doctor on call who said go the the ER and DO NOT wait until Monday. Now it is Monday and I am still tired, feeling run down, yet I haven't worked out in 5 days and have been sleeping 12-16 hours a day for three days. Well since I am normal and nothing is wrong with me, tomorrow I am back into training and I am going to just pray through it until something happens. God is bigger than my exhaustion, fatigue or whatever. Praise His name!

Kids are doing pretty good but really getting lazy too with Mom not feeling up to par I have let their schooling get sort of slack. Jordan has been working consistantly but Jennifer is a little less likely to be self motivated and so she is skating right now. They will get a surprise real soon. I am taking them in to Christian Liberty Academy for testing at the next session. : )

Val is excited as her medical card was finally approved and she is looking for apartments and scheduling doctor appointments that are LONG overdue.

Spring looks like it is finally on its way and the wind is howling. Praise God for His wonderful timing. I am so blessed and cannot thank Him enough for the wonderful friends, family and people He has put into my life. God is Awesome all the time!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ministering In Kampala

Saturday- The drive down to Kampala was not as harried as the drive up to Hoima was. Praise God! We made a quick stop in Kiboga where Pastor Fred is staying and then back on the road again. Once we reached the house in Kampala it was a day of rest and preparations for the services on Sunday. I was allowed to go out with Pastor Dan and some of the men to pick up some supplies and I got my first real glimpse of the life of villagers in the suburbs of the city. It really reminded me of Alaska in so many ways. Chickens in the yards, goats, cattle roaming among small housing with children running or sitting here and there and people handling their business from kiosks or office spaces. Many children had little or no clothes on. We purchased some material to put on the roof of the church building and some flip-flops for two of the team and then headed back to the house. The most interesting highlight of Saturday was when I realized that there are NO traffic signals, signs, or any other visible means of saying who has the right of way. I had been in country 5 days and it dawned on me that I had yet to see a stop sign or any other sign for that matter. Scary is an understatement. Of course, Life is an Adventure.

Sunday- The plan was to go to Church for a 10:00 am service but I think it was noonish when we finally arrived. It is a good thing the Americans were the only ones who really seem bothered by lack of punctuality. I have been wondering for a while now why we don’t just use terms such as, “around 10 or 11” or “somewhere in the vicinity of late afternoon,” or perhaps “sometime tomorrow”. If I were to do it over I would have left my watch in Illinois and just started taking in some deep breaths of contentment. Really, what is the big hurry for? Well, except for the number of daylight hours, what is our big rush?

The people at the Sign of the Dove Uganda are beautiful with hearts that are ready to worship in Spirit and in Truth and minds that hunger to be filled with the Word. There is joy and gladness in the midst of struggle and survival. God is just so awesome!! The ground and building were dedicated and the preaching was what our ears needed to hear. (as usual) I don’t think I could ever get tired of hearing the pastors on our team preach or teach and that includes those from Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. They are all so anointed.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Crusade in Hoima, Uganda

The Crusade in Hoima, Uganda

Wednesday was the first day for the team from America to join the crusade that had started on Monday. The day started at 5:00 am for me with my workout and prayer. I was able to jog around the courtyard where we were staying and also use my resistance band and jump rope. I got my heart rate up for a good hour before the day really got started. After breakfast and loading our bags, we started the trip to Hoima which included a long, dry, bumpy ride over some very rough road and some wonderful scenery. There were women, men and children walking along the road carrying bundles and water jugs on their heads that were often larger than the people themselves. We passed many little ‘villages’ consisting of a couple of living structures scattered here or there. Some were just poles with grass coverings others were mud huts and grass roofs, and others were brick buildings with or without roofs. There seemed to be nothing for miles and then you would see a woman walking along with a bundle of coal on her head and nothing but empty road for miles.

We arrived late-morning and got ourselves settled into the guest house where we would be staying and then we had lunch before heading to the Church and crusade grounds. Hoima is a smaller town than the capital, Kampala, but bigger than a village. There seems to be a good deal of governmental offices and departments there in a relatively tight circle. There is a stronghold of witchcraft in the district of Hoima and we were to come face to face with it that first night. We arrived at the crusade after the teaching sessions were over and joined them outside in the field. There was a platform set up with a sound system to amplify the message for those who were within the reaches of the speakers. (Yes, it was loud) The music was mostly in local Lugandan and some English but the spirit of praise and worship is the same in any language and so it was beautiful for me. The minute I stepped off the van I was surrounded by children many who looked like they were from a “Feed the Children” commercial. I didn’t understand a word they said but one little boy knelt down in front of me and bowed his head and held up a coin of some sort. The other children gestured that I should take it but I knelt down to the boy and looked him in the eye and said “no thank you, keep your money.” I wasn’t prepared for that at all.

I spent the first couple of hours praying and really didn’t have an opportunity to ‘see’ too much but the worship and messages were powerful. I could sense the fire in the heart of Evangelist Chris who was preaching first and getting the people ready for the main message. Pastor Harry preached about being light in the darkness and that was definitely the theme for the week.
There was an incredible moment when after the alter call the Pastor whose Church we were assembled at announced that one of the men who had come forward was a witch doctor who was over 127 other witch doctors. He was called up onto the platform and asked why he was giving his life to Christ. His testimony was short and simple. His wife was healed from cancer and it wasn’t his witchcraft it was prayer in the name of Jesus that healed her. He had accepted Christ before but had backslid when he needed money and realized how much he was losing by giving up his witchcraft. Now however, he was ready to give it all up because he knew it didn’t work and he was just stealing from the people. He was unable to have any peace and so he wanted to recommit his life and also get rid of all of his witchcraft paraphernalia. After all those that needed prayer were prayed over, the former witch doctor brought all of his things to be burned.
There was much prayer and binding of the spirits as he denounced all of his former tools of bondage.

The next morning was early for me as I was up at 5:15 and we hadn’t gotten to bed until after 11:30 the night before. I was up praying on the front steps when I noticed that there were others out in the yard in front of the house that were also praying and worshipping. It was beautiful to enter into His presence together with others so early in the morning as the sun rose in the east. The sky changed from night to early dawn and the praises of His people filled the air. Awesome! My spirit so needed that fresh anointing. By 6:30 almost the whole team (Ugandan, Tanzanian, American, and Rwandan) was out in the yard praying and singing. We had corporate prayer and worship before getting ready for the day and breakfast. This was also the time for me to get my ‘workout’ in by running in circles around the yard and doing lunges up and down the driveway. This was the pattern to follow for every morning we were in Hoima.
Side note: The women who were cooking the meals did all preparation and cooking outside on small coal stoves without any of the modern conveniences (not even a vegetable peeler) or an oven.

Thursday was a full day at the church where there were teaching sessions in the morning followed by the crusade around 4:00 in the afternoon. The church was constructed with poles and aluminum roofing and dirt floor with benches and mats for seating. They had brought plastic chairs for the guests to sit in. : ) I felt right at home for those of you who have ever been to my house. Same plastic patio chairs there in Uganda as I have in my dining room.

Pastor Brian preached first and was as fervent and zealous as any evangelist I have ever seen which was so refreshing coming from the U.S. Then Pastor Dan, who founded the Sign of the Dove Church Uganda, taught on the Potter’s House and it was an awesome word from the Lord and his heart for Jesus was so evident in every word he said. He is so much like Pastor Harry that if I didn’t know better I would say he must be his son. They are so alike in spirit, heart and vision and definitely anointed for the teaching and preaching of the Gospel.

That evening there were many who were delivered from various spiritual bondages, people were healed and several dedicated their lives back to the Lord. It was a powerful time and the gospel was preached loud and clear. At the conclusion of the services during the crusade a Christian movie was shown each night and it seemed to draw a good number of people. We didn’t stay for the movie but headed back to the guest house each night to prepare for the next day.

Friday was the last day of the crusade and it was very busy with many sessions and times of prayer. Pastor Deborah ministered to the women, Pastor Harry ministered to the Pastors, Pastor Cory and Desiree ministered to the youth, and Pastor Brian ministered to the men. I was with Pastor Deborah and after her message we prayed for about 70 women along with Pastor Dan’s wife, Erica. I cannot really describe how powerful the move of the Holy Spirit was and do it justice. God Moved. Lives were touched by the Holy Spirit.

On the way back to the house for lunch we were surprised by an infestation of roaches that were in too great a number to be anything but a direct attack against us. We suspect that it was caused by our direct attack against witchcraft and praise God that it was nothing a can of Raid couldn’t handle. It was sort of gross having roaches crawl up my skirt though.

That evening at the last night of the crusade Pastor Harry preached again and then there was a call for prayer and again the Spirit moved as people came to the alter. The most incredible testimonies are still back in Hoima where they will be sharing with families and friends about how Jesus healed them, how they were delivered from curses and how they had wanted to die but now they have hope. The most powerful example was when Pastor Brian and Chris were praying for a child who couldn’t move his tongue and was crippled in the limbs. The tongue was moving and the limbs were flexing after praying for the child. There was a sincere desire for the people of Hoima to step out of the darkness of witch craft and sin. To God be the Glory!!

Prayer on Saturday morning was a sweet communion and a time of thanksgiving for all that God had done and what He is going to do in Hoima. We packed up and cleaned the area for Ms. Gertrude Nseka whose house we had been staying at. There were so many people I met in Hoima that I was unable to see again before I left that my heart is saddened that I didn’t get to say goodbye properly. Apostle Moses Asiimwe, Evangelist Chris Isabirye, Susan, Faith and the others from the Christian college. I pray that God will continue to bless their ministries and use them mightily for His service.

Back from Uganda

WoW!! God is still alive and working in amazing ways all around the globe. I just returned from Uganda, Africa and can honestly say that my life will never be the same. I went with little or no expectations and came home filled with awe and wonder at a country and people who are so unspoiled that it made me quite ashamed to have ever complained about anything. (Job, house, car, etc.) There is new meaning for me in the word content. Okay, now for all those who have been asking me 'how was it?' here goes my best recollection of the 12 days spent in Uganda. Too short. Okay, I will be serious.

My trip started a little sooner than the rest of the team traveling from The Sign of the Dove, Waukegan as I had treasures (Jennifer and Jordan) to deposit in Idaho before leaving the country.

I left Chicago with Jennifer and Jordan on Friday the 20th of January to take them out to Idaho. They would be spending time with Papa and Grandma JoJo for the duration of my trip. We arrived late on Friday and then I was able to visit and rest on Saturday before heading back to Chicago on Sunday morning. My flight arrived in Chicago late in the afternoon Sunday where I promptly got busy packing and baking banana bread. (Long story- but suffice it to say, the rescue ministry never got their loaves but my neighbors can't wait for me to leave again.) I took Pastor Cory seriously when he said pack light. I had one duffle bag and my carry on pack. : )

Monday at noon we met at the Christian school where the van took us to the airport. There were six of us on the van and we met the seventh and final member of the team at the airport. We flew to Amsterdam where we had a 4 1/2 hour layover before boarding the plane for Entebbe. It was good to get to talk and share and relax a bit before the last leg of the journey. Both flights were roughly 7 1/2 hours each and so it was good to break it up.

We arrived late in the evening local time at Entebbe and the mosquitos were the first to greet us. The mosquito spray was packed in my bags and finally after almost an hour of standing in swarms while waiting for customs and our visas I asked if anyone had thought to leave bug spray in their carry-on. PRAISE GOD for Pastor Brian!! His wife had put some in his carry-on bag and he saved the day. We finally got through customs and met our hosts from Kampala, Pastor Dan and his wife Erica, and what seemed like the whole church from Sign of the Dove Uganda. The warmth and sincerity of there greeting was foreign to most of the team. It reminded me of flying into the Kenai airport with the whole McGahan clan there to meet me. The airport is about the same size too! Smiles, welcomes, and so much love from our brothers and sisters in Christ!

We loaded onto a 15 passenger van and made the drive to Kampala where we would spend the first night before heading out on a 4 hour drive to Hoima in the morning. The sights and sounds were different but mostly because of how late it was and how many people were out walking, shopping, and working. I asked someone finally why so many people were out at midnight and the answer was something to the effect that people there work late so they are out late getting things done that they can't do while they are at work. Hmmm, real mystery there eh? I guess the thought I had was that it wasn't safe because street lights, sidewalks, neighborhood watch were not evident. : ) Anyway, the roads are similar to Alaska during the spring thaw without a grader to smooth them out for a few years. Ruts are the norm and smooth road is the exception. I am not complaining mind you just observing. I saw too many people walking to ever complain about a rough road. I was blessed to see that we were staying in a house and not a tent and was even more blessed to see the toilet and sink. God is so caring and loving that He meets each of us right where we need Him to. : ) I think tents would have been fun though!

Well, we left on Monday and arrived on Tuesday evening and I will tell all about Wednesday later! I am tired just thinking about all that traveling. : )

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I love Jesus and want my life to be a reflection of His life in me!

A Good Read...

  • Rooms by James L. Rubart
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Any book written by Terri Blackstock
  • O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
  • Black, White, Red (trilogy) by Ted Dekker
  • Driven by Eternity & Rescued by John Bevere
  • Under Cover by John Bevere