Sunday, January 30, 2011


I was asked by a few of my sister Ugandans when I would be going back to the states. I said I didn't know, maybe sometime next year. Then they asked if I was going to stay there. Are we?
This is home to me now. I do want to go and visit the states again, to swim in the warm Atlantic, see Pikes Peak again and hike up it's side, walk the Pacific waters in my tennis shoes, and see old friends and family that I left behind.
But that's not home anymore. In fact, neither is Uganda. I have no home, no single home. My heart his in two places, and will always be.
The Luganda word for 'white person' is Muzungu. We were told by our good friend and Luganda teacher, Uncle Ronnie, "Muzungu doesn't actually mean 'white person'. It was, at first, representing the Arabs from the north, coming to Uganda. Muzungu means Wanderer."
That's the way I feel right now. The Peterson family has moved four times in the past six years, only to settle here for who knows how long. Wanderers might just fit us.
The past week has been hot, hot, hot. It's right now 94ºF outside, 16% humidity. Even mom was sweating just sitting in a plastic chair! Which is saying a lot. Walking outside in the sun is even worse, I've contented myself in a hot living room writing stories and drawing something for our family. I've put on a picture of what I've done so far.
We did a huge harvest of maize last week which was fun! It included all the good stuff, raw fingers, cuts, itchy legs, hot sun, black jacks, oh yeah. It was fun.
I've been taking care of my friend's cat for her while she's been gone with her family on furlough. There are officially two black cats that look exactly alike except one's bigger and male, the other is smaller and female. Ali is the one I'm taking care of. She is a friendly, loud cat that knows how to make herself heard. Amanda (I know I know. It's a girl's name but you can't really help that if you think that the cat's a girl in the first place right?) is our neighbor's cat. He's also friendly but not as loud.
Anyway, I should quit explaining about the cats and getting straight to the story. Thursday morning, I left home and rode over to primary around 8 o'clock. When I reached the house I heard meowing, the usual welcoming sound for Ali to be making. I walk into the house and there, on the bench straight across from the door is a black cat. Now one thing you have to know, Ali hardly ever gets up on anything except beds and couches, she's just trained that way. So here's this black cat up on a bench meowing at me. Well, of course you have to assume that Ali is here, it's just a once in a while thing, you know, her being up on the bench and all. Ok. "Hi Ali.... You've grown.... Are you Ali?" Yes, I talk to animals. I grab the food dish and put it up on the counter where the food is. Up on the counter goes the cat. One other thing about Ali. She's smart enough to not go poking her nose into her food before it's served. The food was open, and I saw that much of it had been devoured since the night before. "You're not Ali, are you? You're Ananda!" (I call the cat Ananda because it avoids further confusion of the gender) Sorry, ONE more other thing about Ali is if she has to go, she goes under the sink. There was stuff in the sink. So I pet the cat. "You aren't Ali, you don't react like she does." So I put the lid on the food and lock the door behind me. Time to visit Joel. Joel, Jensen, and Brevin like to tease me a lot for some reason, especially Joel. Joel is British by the way, I don't know if that makes any difference though.
"Ok Joel, have you guys been playing a trick on me?" Rash question, I thought as soon as I had asked it. They wouldn't have the keys.
"No. Why?" I progressed to tell him the story. So he said no, and I rode up to the Anderson's house, Brev. and Jensen's house.
"Where's Ananda?"
"Supposed to be at the Brown's (Joel's)."
"Oh, Ok. Had to check."
I'm guessing that Auntie Jill, the next door neighbor of my friend, had thought that Ananda was Ali and she put him inside the house instead of Ali. Ha. I still have to ask her and see if my theory is good. Oh, and Ananda did eventually get back to the Browns after much scratching and struggling.

Please pray for our furniture as we don't have any bookcases, drawers, or shelves yet. Pray that it will get done swiftly and well. We have had some people make things for us that were totally the opposite of what we asked for.
Also pray for me, I will probably be joining a worship team and am very very nervous. I will be meeting new people, which isn't my strongest area, and will probably eventually be singing and playing up front (maybe. I get stage fright sometimes so maybe.....)
And please pray for it to rain soon. It is just coming to the end of the dry season, but there could still be more months without rain.

Kara Peterson

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Desire of My Heart

...your name and renown are the desire of my heart. Isaiah 26:8

...the theme for the Envisioning Week here at New Hope Uganda. We take a week every year to refocus as staff. I was invited to present for one of the sessions. It was fascinating to hear the different names of God that individuals personally experienced. They shared with each other what names of God they had personally experienced. I realized in the middle of the sharing that what they were doing is proclaiming the Name of God and His renown was going out into the heavenly realms. Amazing to think that the heavenly realms, angels and demons are learning about God and His character from what we go through and how we talk about it.

As I walked with the staff through the process of asking themselves what were the desires of their heart, I had a few travel from point A to point B but using different ways of getting there (an idea from a seminar I went to) and then asked why they did what they did. What was their motivation? It was interesting the response. Everything from "I wanted to be creative" to "It was fun." I did the same thing with our family group of about 18 kids from 7 - 19 years of age and the answers got a bit deeper: "Because I was in authority and I told them to."

But then we explored why do we do anything. What is our motivation? What is the desire of our hearts? Fame, success, money. But why do we want money? It seemed it all came down to "making me happy" Wow! Then I had to take stock in why I was doing what I was doing. What is my motivation? Some of it is good: I want others to have an intimate relationship with the God of the universe. Some of it isn't: I want people to like me. I want God to be happy with me. Ouch. I think I really just want to fall in love with my Savior over and over again because of who He is. I want that to be the desire of my heart. Now to live it out.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Moving in!

The past few months have been amazing! The power was off for most of those months, only a few hours (usually at night) was it on. Finally, the power started turning on during the night time, after six o'clock usually. Phew! Then during the Christmas week, the power was usually on 24/7.
Now we are all moved into our completely solar powered house. :) No need to worry about power any more!
Yeah, about that moving in. It took us three days just to move all our stuff.... It was a lot harder for me to leave the house we have been living in than to leave Colorado Springs, maybe it's because I know we are going back to Colorado, but we will never call that house home anymore. Our house is awesome, it's small so it's easier to move around in. We are close to friends but farther away from our Ebenezer family and the church, which will be harder for everyone.
Speaking of friends and family, all the family group kids went on a holiday during Christmas to see their families, so we were missing them while they were gone.I am also missing Jonica, the only American girl my age here. Her and her family are on a furlough in America right now, but thankfully I've got some other guys my age here that I can hang out with. Brevin and Jensen are in a family of seven, Kasana, Kynan and Tiegan are their younger brothers and sister. Brevin, Jensen and I are making a movie with all the other british and American kids here. We try to film every day (except Sunday) to get this movie done. We started last week and have gotten scenes 1, 2, 3, and six done. We are trying to get 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 done today.
We have had sweet corn for two weeks, straight out of the garden. We have also gotten strawberries, green peppers, and we will hopefully get a watermelon soon. I like growing things in Uganda! :) The only problem is that it's the dry season right now, so we have to hand water everything in our large garden....

We are missing you all here in Uganda! Please pray that we will be able to settle into our new home, and that we will get our furniture soon, we only have plastic chairs and a bench to sit on at our table right now, and we don't have any dressers or closets to put our clothes in. Also pray that our floor will get finished the way we would like it, right now it's just cement, no varnish or anything.
Thanks everyone for your support!

Kara Peterson

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Random things

Last Tuesday my Dad, my Mom, and I went to Kampala. Kara didn't want to come so she stayed at home. I had to get my tooth pulled because of a cavity again, except this time it hurt worse, and the cavity was deeper. Then last Wednesday we started packing. The people who owned the house that we were living in were coming back in three days. So last Wednesday and last Thursday we got ready to move into our new house, and last Thursday night we moved in. On Friday we cleaned the people's house, and on Saturday they came back. And yes, even as I type I am sitting at our new table on our new bench in our new house!
On Sunday, after church, when everybody was talking, Elisha, a kid of the people who owned the house and who is seven years old invited me to come down to his house at 4:00 ( I knew him because we came before his family left). So I played with him until 6:00. 6:00 is when everyone is supposed to go home. Then the next day, Monday, at about 3:55, I went down to get Kevin, who is a brother to Toby, my friend. Kevin is also my friend. Kevin and I went down to play with Elisha(Toby was sick) until 6:00.
On Tuesday Toby was better and Elisha was up at Toby's house at about 9:30, so I played there for a bit. Then at 10:30 Elisha had to go back home so we rode him home and then went back to Toby and Kevin's house. At 11:00 Toby asked his mom if him and Kevin could eat at my house and then we rode up to my house(my new house of course) and asked my mom. Both said it was okay. So we played at my house until lunch. After lunch I wasn't allowed to play so Toby and Kevin went home. Yesterday again Elisha was at Toby's house so I played with them until lunch. After lunch, Toby didn't want to play so Elisha and I played till 6:00. Today there has been so much work to do that I haven't been able to do anything. The days here have fun. We all thank you for your prayers. (The bird is a baby Plantain Eater)
Micah Peterson.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From Rats to Memories

I was awakened by a door slamming at 3:15 this morning. I forgot to prop Micah's door open and the wind came up. As I lay there wide awake trying to go back to sleep, I kept hearing the sounds of rats right outside our bedroom window and in our storeroom. I realized I wasn't going back to sleep anytime soon. I had a sense I should get out of bed and pray for our family.

It has been a rough season. Having the holiday season in a new culture and climate is different, to say the least, but also difficult. To add to that we moved from yet another house to a new house with many glitches to be worked out and apparently many rats to keep out. We also moved from taking care of a dog and chickens to no animals whatsoever (except the rats, yes!). We have all been struggling to differing degrees. For me, most of all, I have struggled seeing my family sad.

So when I decided to get up and pray, I started with those things God had placed on my heart about my family for 2011. He brought me to the one thing that hinders me most from loving my family the way I need to and that is fear...fear of anything besides the fear of God (a loving and reverent awe for God). Psalm 86:11 stood out in my mind:
"Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart
that I may fear your name."

Then God started flooding my mind of memories of things He had shown me in the past:
Fear of the Lord is foundational
Prayer must be like breathing
All must be for the glory of God
Righteousness and justice are inseparable
God's Word is the Bread of Life
I needed to remember those foundational building blocks the Spirit of God had shown me in the past to give me a Rock to stand on. I never thought I would thank God for rats but...Thank you, Father God, for the rats. You can bring back the owl to our tree tonight, though.
Only by God's grace, Tim

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Holidays?

It sure didn't feel like the holidays around here. Not to say some fun things didn't happen. For instance, we moved into our new house the day before New Years and spent New Years Eve enjoying the feeling of being HOME! But still, it sure didn't feel like Christmas at all. I realized that all the cues that tell you Christmas is approaching don't exist here. There is no weather that is getting colder, it actually gets hotter. No snow. No lights on the houses, no decorations, no holiday music, Christmas programs or concerts. The kids had a hard time this Christmas. There were tears because we did not have a Christmas tree, and it just didn't feel like Christmas. We all missed family and friends. We missed traditions that we love. But it got me to thinking; what should the celebration of Christmas look like? I know we always talk about the meaning of Christmas, that it is about Jesus coming as a baby. Yet I can't remember a lot of talk about what a true celebration of that birth might look like. We seem to say it is about Jesus, and then promptly talk about what we want for Christmas, what Christmas concert we want to see, what we will eat, etc. It seems it is a lot about us. I wonder what would happen if it were our birthday and all of the guests came and told us what gifts they wanted to get for our birthday, what they wanted to eat, what they wanted to do at the party. That would seem pretty backwards, wouldn't it? Yet it seems to me that is what we do on Jesus' birthday. It is all about what we want. And how disappointed we are if Christmas isn't all we hoped it would be, maybe we didn't get the special gift we wanted... I wonder what Jesus wants for his birthday? What would he want the day to look like? How would it change things if he were actually sitting there in person and we were to celebrate his birthday. It seems to me it would be a bit awkward to keep things like we usually do them. Kind of like we were ignoring it is all about us and not him. So maybe it was a good thing that it didn't feel like Christmas this year. Because if it had, if we had all of the usual decorations, programs, presents, I might not have ever asked the question "What would Jesus want to do for his birthday?" I can't say I have the answer to that. But I do intend to think about it this year. And hopefully by next Christmas I will have a better idea of whose birthday it really is, and how he might want it celebrated. Stay tuned for next December! Love, Kim