I will not leave you as orphans I will come to you. John 14:18

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


So before I get started, let me just say that this is Andrew and I will be taking over the blog posting for a while.

Today was a bittersweet day because Courtney is headed home to be with Elle, Houston and Ivy, but that meant that I had to say goodbye to her.  To properly inform you on why Courtney is headed home and I am not, let me take you back a couple days.  

We started this week hoping and praying that we would get our documents from the court on Monday or Tuesday, go to the embassy on Wednesday and come home on Friday.  Unfortunately this did not come to pass.  Instead, we are left wondering if we will get the paperwork this week or Monday of next, not knowing how long it will take for us to get Maisy's visa once we turn in our paperwork to the embassy and feeling the loss due to us both being away from E, H and I for so long.  Because of this uncertainty, we had a decision to make...do we both stay on and hope that it doesn't take long for everything to go through or does one of us go home to be with the kids at home and take care of things on the home front?  As you might guess, we chose to send Courtney home.  The main reason that it was Courtney heading home and not myself is because my name is on all of the paperwork for Maisy's visa and I will need to sign it when I turn it in, but Courtney does not have to be there.  

This brings us to yesterday.  It was a mad dash both here in Uganda as well as in the States (thank you Dad and Janna's daughter-in-law!!) to figure out when to change our tickets to and to make sure it all got done without Courtney's ticket being messed up.  We decided to set Janna and my return date out far enough that our bases will be covered if the rest of the process is drawn out...August 2nd.  Even this changed though when tickets were being booked as Emirates has been very busy and Janna couldn't get a ticket before the 5th and I couldn't get one before the 7th! Sigh...God has a plan for everything...do not be anxious for anything.  After a LOT of work, our tickets and OUR plans were successfully changed.

Today...this morning we got out of bed, packed the car and headed for the airport.  On the way we stopped in Kampala to grab breakfast and a latte at a little cafe in a mall.  The food and drinks were delicious but our time together was waning.  On to the airport.  

At the airport in Entebbe you have to say your goodbyes outside and watch through windows (from far away because the armed guards will not let you get close) as your loved one goes through security and to the ticket/luggage counter.  We said our teary goodbyes and Courtney walked through the airport doors.  I never realized just how thick that glass could be until Courtney was on the other side and I had to watch my beloved...my support...my rock...my beautiful wife walked towards her departure from Uganda.  It. Was. Hard.

Though it was difficult to say goodbye, I know we made the right decision and that it is a very good thing that Courtney is heading home and that Elle, Houston and Ivy will get to be back with their mommy.  Though it was hard, I know that it is only temporary and that soon I will get to bring home the newest member of our family and that our reunion will be more joyous and more incredible than I can even anticipate.

Courtney, I miss you and I love you more than words can say.  I will see you again very soon and on that day, our family of five will become six.  I look very forward to that day and pray it comes quickly. Until then, know that I am always thinking of, loving and praying for you, Elle, Hoston and Ivy.  Forever and always yours,


Sunday, July 14, 2013


Things were moving so quickly and smoothly it kind of took us by surprise when we were told some troubling news last Thursday evening regarding our court order. Things are being put on hold for the time being until the court elects a new Chief Justice. All of the judges (including ours) are at a workshop in Entebbe and they are being held in a building until they vote and elect a Chief of Justice. Our judge has signed our court order but she can't hand it over until she is released from this workshop; Nothing can go in or come out, so we can't get our hands on our signed court order until they vote.

They are saying they hope to have a final vote no later than next Friday. The workshop runs until July 19th but if they vote and elect someone sooner than the 19th, it is possible for our courier to go to Entebbe to retrieve our court order. However, after we get our signed court order we still have to deal with things at the embassy and get a visa for Maisy - time frame for that is unknown at this point. Our flights are booked for Wednesday, July 17th but right now, it looks as though we have to suspend or cancel our flights until further notice.

It is hard to hear news like this when we are already home-sick and when we thought we would be boarding a plane on Wednesday, but despite being a little teary-eyed about not being able to come home as soon as we thought, we haven't lost sight of all the good that has happened and the blessings we have been given. We continue to thank God for making all of this possible - because of the Lord and His will for us, we are here in Uganda with our soon-to-be daughter!  

Please pray with us for a Chief Justice to be elected this weekend so that things will be announced Monday. If this happens, we will be able to send our courier back to Entebbe to retrieve our signed court order on Tuesday, which will then allow us to go to the embassy on Wednesday. 

Phillipians 4:6-7

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Our alarms went off extra early Monday morning as we had to be on the road by five am to ensure we made it to the U.S. Embassy in Kampala by 7:30. We wanted to be one of the first in line so that we could get in, be seen and be on our way to the IOM office for our 11:00 am appointment for Maisy’s physical.  Half asleep, we stumbled our way to the car in the pitch dark being sure not to step on any toads in the process! We loaded up our belongings and made ourselves as comfortable as possible. Our relaxation quickly diminished; we were soon as wide-eyed as deer in headlights - driving at five in the morning in Uganda is sure to make anyone pee themselves! Cars whizzed this way and that, botabotas swerved between cars and trucks, headlights shone brightly in our eyes as we zoomed into the opposite lane to pass slow-moving vehicles. One learns to pray extra hard in these circumstances!!!  Praise the Lord we made it to Kampala in one piece!  

We approached the Embassy and were searched before being allowed inside. Once we were given the OK, we walked in and took a seat next to a handful of fellow Americans – most of whom were also visiting the Embassy in regard to adopting a child. Conversations quickly sparked due to everyone’s curiosity about the persons sitting next to them. We didn’t do too much talking ourselves but we certainly did a lot of listening… However, each couple seemed to report disappointing news in regard to adoption – things like appointments not being scheduled for weeks out, judges denying cases, talking about how long they have been in Uganda waiting for things to move forward, etc. When you are surrounded by negativity, it is easy to get wrapped up in a blanket of worry and anxiety. We looked at one another and yet again spoke these words, “Do not be anxious for ANYTHING” and we silently prayed.

We were able to pick up the IOM forms at the Embassy, take Maisy to her DR. appointment and have Maisy’s visa photo taken (again she screamed but we did manage to capture one shot of her with both of her ears showing). It was a very long day in an extremely crowded, hot and busy city but we survived and we continue to thank God in it all and for all the blessings we have received along the way. As Americans, it is in our DNA to want things done fast, done NOW - expecting things to go a certain way and in a timely fashion but usually speaking, things are done a completely different way from what we want because it is God who calls the shots and thank the Lord for that because His way is the very best way! We are learning time and time again to be extra patient and to expect the un-expected! Everything we have gone through and continue to encounter is in the Father’s hands so we lay everything at His feet. We remind each other everyday that God has been driving a very smooth Cadillac and we need to be grateful and not loose sight of the fact that it has been quite a bump-less ride thus far!!!

Please continue to pray that all paper work is finalized no later than Thursday, July 11th as we need to be back in Kampala at the U.S. Embassy Friday morning with ALL paper work in hand; meaning - court ruling, medical records, signed irrevocable release forms, etc. Once we have all the paper work in hand and turn everything in to the Embassy, we then make an appointment to pick up our visa, which Lord willing, will be the day we head to the airport. Our flights home are booked for July 17th so please be praying that everything is finalized before then so that we can keep our flights as scheduled!!!

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is it’s own trouble.

Hebrew 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Psalm 107:1
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dreams Really Do Come True

What does one do the night before going before the Court Registrar in Africa in hopes to be granted guardianship of a child from Uganda? Well... You listen to the ticking of the clock, the horns of the taxis, the voices of the pedestrians passing by, the gazillion toads croaking and the loud music blaring from the night club a mile away; you blink your eyes a million times trying to convince your brain that you are in fact tired and it's time to get some decent shut-eye; you toss and turn and check the time on your phone for the fiftieth time; you look at the precious baby sleeping next to you and become teary-eyed dreaming about the possibility of becoming her mother and most of all, you PRAY.

Morning couldn't have come soon enough. The sun crept it's way into our window and we were up and at 'em at the drop of a dime. First things first- time to make some tea; tea for baby, tea for me! Next came a quick bite to eat and then on to packing the diaper bag with any and all things we could cram into it - things that were sure to help Maisy be a content and cheerful girl while in town! 

Jackie went to Kampala this morning and so Ricky was home with us in the morning and drove us to court. Before we loaded up and headed out, Janna, Ricky, Andrew and I gathered around the kitchen table and prayed together. Our motto since being here in Jinja has been, "Do not be anxious for ANYTHING!". Our hearts were beating extra fast as you can imagine but we certainly didn't feel scared or uneasy.

We arrived at the court house one hour early. We walked around to the back of the building to the Court Registrar's office and made ourselves comfortable on the not-so cozy wooden benches. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. It was 9:45 and our witnesses were no where to be seen. Our appointment was at ten, though in Ugandan time, ten means ten ten or ten fifteen or perhaps ten thirty. We were especially thankful for "Ugandan time" today as our witnesses did show up - just a tad bit later than expected (Thank the Lord and thank you to all of you who prayed for these witnesses to comply). A few other cases were reviewed before ours and so we sat some more (actually, Andrew paced, haha!). Pretty soon, ten thirty rolled around and our case was called. Each of us filed in to the small room and found a seat. All the witnesses were asked some questions and were then sent out.

Maisy's biological mother, the interpreter (again, thank you for praying for this - having an interpreter for the biological mother was a blessing!) the lawer and Andrew, Maisy and I were all asked to stay in the room. At this point, they began asking the biological mother questions about her wanting to give her child up for adoption. Andrew and I sat quietly and listened as the interviewing went on but were never asked a single question. Finally, the Court Registrar excused us and left the room. We didn't quite know what was happening as he just got up and left with no explanation. We soon realized that he had gone to a meeting with the judge- who was supposed to be on her way to Kampala but got held up for some reason! After waiting around for quite some time, the Court Registrar returned to his office and continued to interview all witnesses, this time without us present. While the Court Registrar had been in the meeting with the judge, we came to realize that the biological mom's uncle had left his I.D. at home - this is not good news as you need I.D. to identify yourself to prove that we didn't just pay someone off the streets to pose as this person or that. Ready for this? The Court Clerk forgot to ask to see the uncle's I.D.!!! God. Is. Good.

The witnesses continued to be called in, asked questions and excused. As they came out, each of them approached Andrew, Janna and I, shook our hands and wished us the best. Another hour past and finally, Ricky said everything was over - Good news, WE HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED!!! We were astounded because it is unheard of for them to hear a case like this without having to ask any questions of the prospective parents. We found out later, that Jackie had a dream last night - that when we got to the courthouse, the Registrar had just set Andrew aside and had nothing to do with him.  She did not tell us about the dream because she didn't understand what the visions truly meant and did not want to freak us out not knowing the possible meaning. After today's events it is clear that dreams really do come true!

Ahhh... Sigh... We can breath again! First things first: Thank God. Secondly, celebrate by enjoying a latte at The Source!!! So now our paper work is being typed up and will be delivered to Kampala by hand to the judge on Monday. The judge will sign our file and send it back to Jinja. We have an appointment at the Embassy in Kampala on Monday for a Dr. appointment for Maisy and to pick up more paper work - this time for processing Maisy's visa. One thing at a time; step by step, day by day.

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I've been MIA the past few days, sorry about that! Let me blame my absence on a rancid batch of chapatis. Chapati is a Ugandan specialty which is a flat unleavened bread with some resemblance to a pita or tortilla. We had been enjoying chapatis with most of our meals upon arriving to Jinja but I assure you, from here on out, chapatis will not be garnishing my plate any longer! I cannot remember the last time I have felt so ill. Food poisoning is awful and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy! I was bed ridden for a full day and night. Thank the Lord I was able to get up and walk around again this morning because...

... As we were sitting around eating breakfast Jackie got a call from Ricky telling us to get dressed and head to town as we needed to be in court asap. You should have seen our faces as we were all just waking up, enjoying the cool morning breeze while sipping a hot cup of tea not expecting to be in court until Friday afternoon - we leaped up and ran around like chickens with our heads cut off! We threw on a nice pair of clothes, gathered our documents (like passports and such) and flew out the door. On the way to the court house, we had to tract down Maisy's biological mother at her school as she needed to be present. Thankfully we found her no problem and she hopped in the car and we were off. Ricky was anxiously waiting for us outside the court building. When we arrived, we quickly shuffled our way through the halls and into the court room which was filled with long wooden benches - like you might find in a historical church. All the windows were paned, painted a dark green and swung open, allowing a nice cross breeze to circulate. In the front of the room sat the judge and the court clerk. The room quickly filled with men and women of all ages - mostly appearing for criminal charges. Andrew, Ricky, Janna, Mais'y birth mother, Maisy and I all sat in the very back row and listened quietly as case after case was brought forth. Two hours past and we hadn't yet been called. Finally, the judge declared a recess. Everyone filed out of the court room and Ricky said, "Ok, let's go, we must now visit the judges chambers". Although we were confused as to why we would need to go to the chambers if we hadn't spoken in the court room, we knew to keep quiet and so we did as Ricky said.

The court clerk filed us in to the judges chambers and we sat still as can be and as quite as a mouse. Ricky told us that it was a blessing that we got to be seen by the judge in her chambers because when she called the recess, she was supposed to get in a car and leave for the day.

Once the judge gave the "OK", our lawyer began explaining our case. The judge quickly interrupted and asked, "When do you think I will have the time to look at this file? I leave for Kampala tomorrow and  have many other cases ahead of this one. I am going to have to pass this case on to the courts in Kampala...". We were all SILENT and white-faced on the outside but on the inside we were praying like mad. The lawyer continued to plea and managed to convince the judge to give us five more minutes of her time. She listened, asked some questions and by the end of the meeting her decision was: "Come back on Friday with the birth mother, the birth mother's uncle, a probation officer, a police officer and the founder of ISAC Kids (which is Ricky) and you can take your file to the court registrar and he will finalize this case". PRAISE JESUS!!! We now have an appointment Friday morning at 10:00 am with the court registrar and ALL people listed above must be present in order to receive our court order. Please be praying that we can locate all persons and that everyone cooperates. Anything can change in an instant with one tiny mistake but we are trusting God fully and know that He has brought us this far, He will take us the rest of the way - at His pace, His timing. So we continue to pray for peace, patience and understanding as we wait all of this out. The good news is that if all goes well on Friday, that will be the end of the court hearings - meaning we will only have ONE court hearing VS. two! That would be a huge answer to prayer as it would cut down on time frame and we could possibly get Maisy's visa sooner than expected.

After we finished up at the court house, we drove back home to grab some lunch and to freshen up and then headed out again - this time, to another village on the other side of town. Once again, the people were oh-so welcoming and genuine. The children greeted us by kneeling down before us and shaking our hands - they do this to show respect. One darling little girl maybe around the age of four or five came running up to us, arms open wide, sporting a very contagious grin. She was thrilled to see so many Mzungu vistors! We enjoyed some conversation with the women, handed out some gifts and spent some time in prayer. They prayed over Andrew, Maisy and I and for our adoption. Although we couldn't understand what they were saying, it was incredibly powerful and we felt the Holy Spirit among us. The women looked at us and said, "This child will go to the States". Jackie told us that when these particular women pray, they pray hard and long and they will even fast until they have an answer.

I'm not sure if you all understand this, but Maisy isn't ours as of yet. We have not gotten a court ruling and guardianship order, therefore, she is not legally under our custody and we cannot take her back to Oregon until we have these things. This is why we are seeking as many prayer warriors as possible  as we continue to jump through all these government hoops! Continually we are seeing God's goodness through it all as He is blessing us left and right - for instance like this afternoon, being called to the judges chambers when she should have been done for the day. The Lord is constantly reminding us that He is in control as we see other cases like one today where another American appeared in court also hoping to adopt and is hearing bad news after bad news including being told her case is now being transferred to Kampala. Jackie said once your file is passed on to the courts in Kampala, things are a whole new ball game - documents are far more difficult to process. This particular woman according to Jackie and Ricky, has been in Jinja trying to get her court ruling since January. Our hearts break for this woman and we pray things look up for her! God has a plan for all of His children and sometimes we don't understand why things happen the way they do but it is so important to keep your focus on the Lord and to be grateful in ALL circumstances! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Put on Your Sunday Best

I am a day behind with posting to the blog as you can see. So let me  begin with telling you a bit about our day yesterday...

It was Sunday here yesterday which meant it was, "put on your Sunday best" day.  We woke up early and dressed for church. Jackie drove us in to town and we headed in to service. Now just imagine this: You walk through doors but once inside you are actually still outside as it is not a building with four walls but rather a very large tent so-to-speak. There are chairs before you sitting atop red dirt. As you look around you see a large stage and colorful fabric hanging as decoration. There are twenty or so men and women on the stage singing and dancing (LOUDLY!) and chickens waddling under your feet.

Andrew and I sang, Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord for the congregation and we were thrilled that the musicians played along - we thought we would be doing it acapella! The pastor asked if we would sing another but we had only "prepared" (decided the morning of the service!) one song; we weren't expecting to be put on the spot like that! After church Jackie told us that if the pastor likes what he hears, he will ask for more and if he doesn't, he will say thank you and ask you to be seated, lol. So I guess he liked the mzungu's solo!

We went home after the service and enjoyed some lunch and a little rest. When Ricky returned from preaching at another church in town, we packed up and headed to explore the source of the Nile River. As any foreigner would, we envisioned where we were going, picturing something completely different from what we actually saw. In our minds, we figured we were going to a remote, quiet place by the river where you could walk up to the shore line and dip your feet in the water if you wished. We thought perhaps we would see crocks (not that we actually wanted to!) and that it would be a peaceful setting. Perhaps we could find a spot like this if we drove farther down the river but this is what we actually experienced...

We pulled up to a ticket booth, payed for parking and proceeded in to the park. It was definitely a tourist hot spot. There were souvenirs everywhere; men and women asking you to come inside their store to shop, ladies offering samples of beans and tour guides hoping to sell you a ride on their boat down the Nile, music playing (American pop songs like: Bruno Mars) and locals playing a game of pool in the bar.

As we were exploring, two Indian women - probably in their twenties, came up to me and wanted to take a photo with Maisy and I. We were laughing saying they probably thought I was a celebrity or something because I was wearing a large floppy sun hat and big sunnies (sun glasses). After gazing out at the river for a while, Ricky took us for a stroll around the remainder of the park. We saw wild pigs, a woman washing her clothes in the Nile and monkeys playing in the trees. One monkey chucked a piece of fruit at my foot and I joked saying, I bet they sit up there taking bets on how many mzungus they can hit!

Today marked the beginning of a new week and a new month. Jackie and Ricky left early in the morning for work and Andrew, Janna, Maisy and I slept in for a bit. When Jackie returned home she was weary and informed us of a protest going on in town. People were throwing gas and stoning public transportation vehicles due to payment increases. We were worried as we had to go to town later in the day to have another passport photo taken of Maisy. Jackie told us not to worry, that the government was taking care of the situation and that things will be back to normal in a few hours. Well, she was right. Things calmed down within a few hours and we made our way to town to run some errands. We made it in to town and you would have never known a protest had gone on earlier in the morning. Things were as normal as ever.

We went in to the passport office and had Maisy's photo taken but she didn't like it one bit. She didn't like having to let go of me and she really didn't like the strange man in her face trying to take a photograph of her.. We managed to get two shots of her, one where she is sitting on my lap and has her head turned sideways so one of her ears are hidden and another where she is looking straight into the camera but is screaming. Please be praying that the Embassy accepts one of these shots otherwise we will have to go back to the passport office again which will take extra time in the process and another day traveling to Kampala which makes for a very long and tiring day for all.

Jackie took us to The Source which is a internet cafe. We enjoyed a yummy latte and some good conversation. Then we did some grocery shopping around the fruit and vegetable stands as well as the Indian supermarket and headed home again.

I did some laundry this evening which is hard work! I'm going to be very strong when I return home! Only the women do the laundry and everything is washed by hand and hung up to dry. I have so much respect for all the women around here; you see women hiking up hills balancing boxes, sticks, bags, water jugs or buckets on their heads with babies strapped to their backs. These women are the epitome of Wonder Woman!

Maisy is doing wonderfully and day by day is opening up more and more. Today she let me put her down quite a bit and ventured in and out of the house - something she hadn't done since we arrived as she wouldn't let me out of her site. She is still keeping her distance from Andrew, though while we were in town, she played with him a bit (even though she was still in my arms) so we are seeing progress there. Please continue to pray for bonding between Andrew and Maisy.

We feel everyone's prayers and feel at peace about everything. We are not anxious about anything as we know God is in control. Our court hearing with be on Friday, July 5th. Time slot is TBA. We will be traveling to Kampala next Monday for a Dr. appointment for Maisy as she needs a physical before leaving the country and we will be going to the Embassy Monday as well to sign more papers.

We will be visiting another village on Wednesday so we will have lots to report yet again!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Village

It is day number six into our trip to Jinja, Uganda. Let me begin with painting a picture of our day yesterday, June 28th...

We spent most of the day at home waiting for a phone call from Ricky informing us to meet him, the lawyer and court clerk in town to sign papers. Once we got the OK to come, we headed in to town.

Maisy LOVES car rides; something she really didn't do much of at all before we arrived as children typically do not leave the homes. After we got to town, we explored the store fronts and enjoyed a cold coke (was nice to have a little something to remind us of home!) while Ricky and the court clerk finished making the books containing all information needed for our court case - things like our home-study, birth certificates, passport photos, backgrounds on all persons involved in the adoption, photos of our home and family, etc.

The books were made and we followed the men into a building where Andrew and I, Maisy's birth mother and the birth mother's uncle all read through the paper work. Once we read everything over, we were taken into a room where a lawyer was waiting. The lawyer asked Maisy's birth mother and the uncle if they understood what they read and what they are signing - which is a major issue because if they do not know what they are reading (since it is in English) they therefore do not understand what they are signing and if they sign it without understanding, it could be a major problem if after the fact they do not agree.

The birth mother and uncle do not speak much English at all and they had Andrew and I sweating there for a bit. When asked by the judge if they understood, they were saying that they did not understand English, therefore made it seem as though they didn't read the paper work and didn't know what they were signing. It is true that they couldn't read it but what wasn't true is that they didn't know what they were signing; they were very aware of that and 100% on board. But it is confusing to the lawyer when they say they don't read English but they knew what the paper work said. So they said no at first  but then changed their answer to yes because they knew if they said no, the paper work wouldn't go through and they definitely want it to. They realized their mistake in saying no and quickly said yes. Thank the Lord the lawyer believed them and wasn't too bothered by their change in answers. It was nerve racking though, being in that room with everyone and worrying someone might say the wrong thing. One wrong turn and things could be wiped as easy as one two three. Please be praying that the day we go to court (day is still unknown at this time) the judge will speak the native tongue of the birth mother and the uncle when directing a question at them. The uncle
Must be present because the birth mother needs her closest relative present in court - two signatures agreeing to the adoption.

After that, we headed home and Ricky stayed in town for a very long time. We waited anxiously for him to return to tell us how things went. Thankfully, so far so good. Come Monday, Ricky will meet the court clerk and lawyer once again, this time along with the judge (which apparently is unheard of - to see the judge before your court hearing... Praise The Lord for that because it may just mean that we get a court hearing sooner rather than later). After the meeting Monday, we hope we have a court date set in stone and we are praying for July 4th or 5th so please pray with us!!

Today, June 29th was a tough one emotionally. Jackie took us to a village where we met some incredible people. This day will never be forgotten...

We packed up a handful of items that we brought to Uganda which were donated to us and headed out towards the village. We came to a narrow, bumpy road and Jackie said, "This is where I usually hop off the bota bota (motorcycle/public transportation) and walk in to the village, which takes two hours by foot." Thankfully we didn't have to park and walk since we were in a car! Jackie dove down the red dirt road and as Andrew and I sat in the back of the car, we took in the sights
before our eyes.

We passed huts made out of clay, children on bicycles carrying loads of sticks, women balancing bananas on their heads while carrying a baby on their back, babies crawling around naked in the mud and goats, cows and chickens eating on the road side.

We passed one home that was built of nothing more than sticks and a small tin roof - it looked more like a jail cell and inside this tiny home stood a family of at least seven. We continued down the road to a creek where Jackie said the people bathe, drink from and allow the animals to urinate in. Can you imagine? The women are usually the ones who collect the drinking water and quite often are rapped on their way to or from the creek because it is so secluded. Breaks. My. Heart.

As we pulled in to the village, the children swarmed the car and shouted, "Mzungu, Mzungu!" (Mzungu means "white person"). Then we heard joyful noises and singing coming from the village women. We were greeted with hugs and hand shakes and with a tour of the village. There were SO many children and they followed us around like little ducklings. When you looked at them they smiled and giggled.

The kids were fascinated by my camera and when I took a photo of them, I would show them the image and they thought that was the coolest thing ever. Then they all wanted to be in a picture, haha!

We were shown their homes and where they slept, their "kitchen" - wood burning stove, where they fetch water and where they keep the animals. They sleep on nothing more than a dirt floor and if they are lucky, a few wooden slats.

We set out the gifts we brought and each woman was called by name. They each got to pick ONE item. Literally, if they got ONE wooden spoon, ONE plastic cup, ONE toothbrush, ONE blanket or ONE tube of toothpaste, they were over the moon. Two children were called up to the front, both of which are sponsored through ISAC Kids. These two children were given some gifts that were sent to them from their sponsors. As they received their gifts, the look on their faces were priceless; Sitting back and watching this brought tears to my eyes, firstly, because it broke my heart to see 50+ children sitting back watching, wishing they too had a sponsor and secondly because in America, we are constantly wanting more, more, more - give me bigger give me better. These people have NOTHING and yet they are the most joyous humans you will ever meet. I'm crying now as I type this because it is just so saddening to me that we as Americans are never content and these wonderful, humble people here in Uganda are thankful, grateful to God that they have food on their plate each day.

The children all run around bare foot wearing clothing that is torn, stained, covered in ten+ layers of dirt and yet they have the largest most contagious smiles you will ever see. These people are so incredibly genuine and tender and will always have a special place in my heart.

Andrew and I brought bubbles to the village and boy oh boy was that a hit or what! You should have seen the children laughing and trying to pop them! We got pictures and video so hopefully some time soon we can share those with you.

Well, it is late here and we have to be up early for church in the morning. Andrew and I are supposed to be singing in the service- eek! Mzungu solo, lol! I'll let you know how that goes, haha! I will update again as soon as possible.

P.S. Maisy is doing well and seems to be getting over the malaria. Thank you for praying!