A day in the life of…. us

There is so much to update you on, and so much I want to tell you. I wish we had a few hours and a good cup of UGANDAN COFFEE. Yes, I would rather have a cup of Terry Nester’s coffee over Starbucks any day.

However, I feel like the time to sit and process all that is going on is little. Much less any time to sit down and write. I find myself trying to sit down to do a blog post at 12:00 am. By that time in the day….. you wouldn’t even be able to read anything I have to say.

So today I’m going to try to give you a glimpse into our day. We began school a few months ago, just doing reading and math, to try to reclaim some sort of schedule into our lives. But we didn’t start doing a full day of school until two weeks ago, when Jennifer left. (Yes we are still grieving her absence.)

School is kind of our rock to the day. Other than school, there is no normal. People come in and out of our compound (house) with various needs. Brian could be teaching at a Bible School one day, and doing a counseling meeting another day, or going to a graduation. It really changes like the wind. But we are committed to homeschooling the kids and we are trying to make sure that if one of us is out of the house doing ministry, the other is taking over teaching responsibilities.

So here’s our “Typical” day:

6:30 am until 7:30 is quiet time. We are beginning to train the children to have their own Bible time, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Once they have spent time with the Lord, they are allowed to be in their room playing or getting ready for the day.

7:30 am – 8:30 am is morning chores, getting ready and preparing breakfast.

8:30 am – 9:30 am Breakfast and morning devotions with two of our staff. We have really enjoyed this time and are seeing the fruit already from this investment. We are working through the Bible Study Fellowship questions on Revelation as a family and two of our staff join us weekdays for that.

9:30 am – 1:00 pm SCHOOL! For the first time we have a school room. There is a one car garage attached to the house that we have turned into our classroom and the kids love it. We have a general schedule, but I learned after just a few days that teaching three kids at three different levels is going to have to require some flexibility. So if one child is finished with their lesson before we are ready to move on…. they get to go outside and play until I call them for the next lesson. It seems to be working well. We leave the garage doors open and all day we watch the birds fly in and our of our neighbors palm tree. Currently there are three to five black kites (like a falcon) that live in the palm tree. But we have seen many different birds go there. Our favorite so far has been a set of African Grey’s that spent an afternoon with us. During school, if Brian is around for the day, he will usually run errands in town during this time. One thing about cooking in Uganda is that you require fresh ingredients and we end up going to the market several times a week.

IMG_2016 IMG_2022

1:00- 2:00 Lunch and clean up. If any child hasn’t finished school, they get to do that now, as the others get to go play. Now, don’t get me wrong. We have only actually finished school before lunch a few times. One day last week we didn’t finish til 5:00 pm. Whew, that was a long day. IMG_2014

We are still setting up our house, so the afternoon is typically filled with household chores or projects. Currently we are trying to garden and keep our one lonely chicken in a pen. Once we master keeping her in an area
away from the 4 dogs, we’ll add others.

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm We usually have children knocking on the gate about this time. There can be anywhere from 3-15 visitors. They all come in and play soccer and ride bikes. Many of the kids in our neighborhood are Muslim and we continue to seek ways to show them Jesus. It’s also clinic time. They all come to me with their wounds. There have been a few cases that I have been really proud of their outcome. Who knew that first aid class would be so handy.

6:00 pm – I try to round up all the kids around 6:00 to say goodbye for the night. Most Ugandan’s eat dinner around 9 pm, so they don’t really understand why I am getting the kids bathed and fed so early, but they are learning that I do things a little different.  By the time we have let the hot water heat up, bathed, and eaten, Allie has fallen asleep. But somewhere around 8:00 pm we try to make our phone calls home. Some nights this just doesn’t work our, but when we are home, we try.  We have been so thankful for skype, facetime and magic jack. It has been wonderful to talk to family and friends almost whenever we want to.

Then it’s time to start all over again.

On Friday’s the Cadance and Noah go to a co-op group called Friday Tribe. So most of that day I spend doing administrative things for East Africa Outreach. I’m having a hard time balancing the things I know I need to do administratively with the other demands of life.

Thanks for listening. Writing this blog really is a bit of “therapy” for me. It forces me to sit down and think; to work through our life. The good, bad and sometimes ugly. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes it really gets ugly. But this is life. Life is messy, and relationships are messy. But our God loves to take messy and make it into something beautiful. So that is our prayer. When our schedules fall to pieces, when nothing is working right, when we have no power and no clue what to do next, Lord help us to “laugh at days to come.” Lord help us to cling to you, not to our plans.

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