Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Family, New Home, Good Times...

Hi everyone! Well, this is my first blog posting in Africa. :) My team and I are in Kampala, the capital, of Uganda for a few more days and then we will be making the long busride trek to Kotido town (where Karamoja is). We've been getting a lot of things done here in Kampala, from changing money to Ugandan shillings, to buying a cell phone for here, to buying fruit from the market...I love it here. It's wonderful. The change of pace has been absolutely spectacular. It's nice to not always be going, going, going...and to have the realization that it doesn't have to always be like that anyway. We can slow down, enjoy life, get things done, be fruitful but also rest. :) Even take some time to pet the pig (we named Penelope), check out a preggo mama goat and her 2 babies, watch the monkeys carry their babies on their chest, and go around finding and eating the different fruits grown right here at the hotel. See the pics

So our hotel is very interesting. hehe. It isn't the "fanciest" but it has everything we need. And by all means, we don't need fancy. It's just nice to have Westernized toilets, hot showers, beds, and good food. All we need. Backtracking a bit, it was quite the experience getting here via planes. Kristi and Kenneth (and kiddos) Williams' flight from DFW was cancelled (we were on separate flights) and they didn't get another flight until Thursday. I had trouble with my ticket from Brussels to Entebbe which made me miss my flight. I decided since I had an entire day to hang out the airport until my flight the next morning, it would be safer to get a hotel in Brussels for the night. It ended up being very restful and somewhat fun. I spent the day/night sleeping some, watching tv in English & French, taking a hot shower, and then having breakfast (morning time) Brussels' style. It was tasty. Got on the flight the next morning with no problems and my team was there in Entebbe to pick me up. The Williams' family got here the next day (Saturday). We were all relieved that everything worked out just fine and that we had all made it finally. Felt like family finally reunited...can't wait until August when all our family members will be here & together:)

So we've got just a few more things to do in Kampala before leaving. Andrew & I are going to try to go ahead and get our international driver's license since we'll have our own vehicle. If we don't get it now, we'll have to make the long trek back here at some point. Trying to capitalize on our time here. Couple other small things to do and then on to Karamoja! I can't wait. We're all excited. :) Well, please continue to keep us all in your prayers.
-Good health for all of us (Kerri in particular)
-Safe & smooth traveling at all times
-Quick adjustments for the Williams' kiddos...some of them are having a little tough time with the time change, etc.
-That we would spend good time with the Lord and continue to grow & seek Him first
-That our families and friends will adjust well to our being gone for a year+
I love you all and am so grateful for you!! Keeping you posted...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fulfilling His Promises...

I can't even begin to explain how the past week has been going. How God has just provided again and again and again. I'm in awe. Seriously. Just standing amazed at Him. :) So much has transpired lately to where I KNEW that God had called me to leave for Uganda on the 16th (this Wednesday) but there were roadblocks that seemed to arise everywhere. Stress stress stress. But God continued to tell me "Do not worry. I've got it all under control. Rest in me. Rest in my promises that I've already shown you and those that I haven't even begun to unveil. I am good. I am bigger than anything you can ever possibly imagine."

He keeps reminding me of this and you know what? He's totally right. Lol. The Lord has got the funniest sense of humor, I swear. Just a couple of examples. Nothing seemed to be panning out with me renting my house out. So I had decided I was going to go with a management company to take care of things. Some good friends pointed me to the right person. We talked and she told me what she'd be able to charge for rent...unfortunately for me, it was going to be a couple hundred dollars below what my actual mortgage is. So, I had begun stressing over am I going to be able to get enough funding for Uganda much less have enough money for money to go toward my mortgage? How is this going to work? Yadda yadda yadda. Well, I'm in the beginnings of refinancing my home and knew the mortgage would drop some but there would still be money I would need to pay. I began just saying "ok God, you've got this. You'll make it work somehow." And so I let it go. Well praise God! Today I got a call from my guy who is refinancing my home and my new mortgage payment will be $3 less than what the renters will be paying. Isn't that incredible!!!! AND, my house showed twice on Sat. and twice yesterday...and someone is already in the application process to lease it. :) HE IS GOOD!!!

I've started having little bits of money come out of the woodwork from places I never would've imagined. Blessings! And I've just begun trusting more, deeper, bigger, wider,'s such an amazing process. I wish I could list everything that the Lord has been doing so that you could all rejoice in every specific detail...but just know that God is all over this journey to Karamoja. He's got us in the palm of His hand...we are tightly knit...we are being molded, refined, renewed. I am so excited to leave for Uganda this Wed!! I've got so much to do in just one day...but I'm praying for the day to lengthen and for all important things to be taken care of in time. I know HE will provide. :) I'm expectant of it and awaiting it!!

I do want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who have been praying for me and my team, helping me in physical ways, financial ways...just being there with me through the preparations. There aren't enough words to describe just how much you have blessed my life and how I can't thank you enough!! To everyone reading this, please just keep me and my Karamoja family in your prayers as we are about to embark on a new chapter in this thing we call life. I can't wait to turn these new, fresh pages and see what the Lord is waiting to show us. You all are deeply a part of this journey...take that in. You all are a huge part of this journey. We can't do this without your support, prayers, and love. Thank you!!!

Until our departure on Wed the 16th, just know these things and rest in the peace and comfort of our Lord Jesus Christ that He has a lovely, beautiful plan and can't wait to unfold it bit by bit. Be blessed!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Love is everywhere...

It's been an incredibly difficult yet rewarding several weeks. I had my wisdom teeth taken out, had huge difficulties afterwards with my migraine headaches being triggered daily, had to finish working at my job which actually entailed quite a bit, and am still waiting on getting my house rented. The attacks have been coming strong but I still know that God is bigger than...anything. I still know that God desires for me to go to Uganda...there's nothing that I'd rather do in this world than go to Karamoja and be amongst the Karamojong. I've been terribly disappointed with a lot of things lately, but through this disappointment, God has shown me Truth, blessings, authentic love, great realizations, and a deepening of trust in Him. I am His beloved, His creation, Chosen for His Kingdom...He's unashamed to call me His own. He is my Sustainer. He is all-sufficient. He's all I need. :)

God has truly blessed me in the past week and 1/2 by me having an amazing visit with my family and friends back in my hometown of West Monroe, Louisiana. It was deeper than any visit I've had in a long, long time. I hung out with a couple of friends, new & old, who have become a substantial presence in my life and whom I know will always be in my life. I've realized in preparation of being with my new family in Karamoja that I need more of my family here.
It's a realization that might seem silly if you see your family all the time but I see my family a couple times a year now. And that's been completely acceptable for me. I've grown accustomed to it. I've liked it. In this though I will say I've had lots of work to do on myself these past couple of years and God has had to do quite a work in me. I've had to do lots of healing from many things, but God has made me new. So new. :) And now, I realize how much I need my family MORE in my life. How much I actually do miss them. And how much I love them. I've actually been deeply contemplating moving closer to my hometown or even back to West Monroe, Louisiana when I return from Uganda. THIS is something I NEVER ever thought I'd ever say. But God has been showing me so much in these past couple of months. What will be when I return from Africa is yet to be shown, but I am fully confident that the Lord will show me, tell me, and reveal to me in whatever method He wants to where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing.

I just have to laugh at the changes going on in my life. I chuckle at God's sense of humor and I'm amazed at His goodness. He is moving me and showing me much in abundance. My life is changing...for the better...and it's so exciting to me to ask God and to His timing. It's exciting to not have a plan. To just let Him lead. It's exciting to see His plan unfolding before me...sometimes one step at a time, sometimes multiple steps, sometimes huge leaps....just incredible. God is amazing.

My Uganda family has seriously been under attack lately, dealing with different health issues with several people on the team to support raising, houses selling/renting, etc.
Kerri: has been dealing with some issues with her WBC count (white blood cell count) being extremely low resulting in low energy, low the point to where they didn't know if she would be well enough to leave on the 16th for Uganda. And their tickets are non-refundable/non-exchangeable. HOWEVER, we've all been praying hard, hearing from God, and are confident that she will be well enough to go. Just got an update from Andrew & Kerri yesterday and she had recent bloodwork done...her levels have drastically improved, energy is returning, and it is going to be safe for her to travel to Uganda. Praise the Lord!!
Kenneth: spontaneously began having an intense allergic reaction to something this week and there's no explanation for why this is happening. So, keep him in your prayers for healing, good health, and strength as he leads his family of 6 (not including himself).
Me: Still waiting for my house to rent. Struggling still with my migraine headaches and jaw/nerve pain from my surgery. Satan has also been attacking me with complacency and I don't want that. And just praying for everything financial to get take care support, things in the present... I need 2 medications for an entire year (for my PCOS and my migraines) and it looks like my health insurance will only cover 90 days worth. So, to pay for the meds outright will be quite costly.
The Fulks (Cody, Michaela, and kiddos): Praying for all financial obligations to be taken care of, house to be sold, kids taken care of (passports, any $$ remaining off of adoptions, etc.).
The team as a whole: Just all the details to be taken care of, staying strong/finishing strong before embarking on this next adventure, financial obligations taken care of and all support to be raised or to be sufficient to go. Safety. Physical healing. Good health. Spiritual strengthening and expansion. That time with family and friends would be rich and fruitful.

I'm sure there are things going on with my team that I've failed to mention but these are the highlights of big prayer requests. Please keep us in your prayers as our departure is coming quickly (June 16th). I'll leave you all with some words from Isaiah 40: 28-31 --
Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.