Sunday, January 1, 2012

Beginning the New Year 2012

I just hate it when you have to write down the date for something, but instead of writing the current year, you write down the year that had just finished? Or is that just me? Could be. 2011 has been amazing. This was one of the best changes in my life, moving to Uganda. I've made awesome
friends, gone out of my comfort zone and had fun, had
fun in my comfort zone, done things I'd never have
imagined two years ago, found
talents and shared them with many people, worked hard, lazed around, found God
more extensively than I had in the states, and found family in places I wouldn't have dared to dream even less
then a year ago. I've learned lessons the easy way and hard
way, became sick more than a few times, recovered
to bless His Name, received
amazing pets and more blessings than I could ever ask for. I do love it here! But now
I am able so say that next year, we are going on furlough. It's not a bad thing, no not at all. I just hope we'll be
back this way after visiting the States, if we
don't, I'm going to miss everything, everyone, here.
I said I've made awesome friends. Well, I have. And not just Ugandans or Missionaries either. When the
Kansas team came back in November, there were a few people I had never met
before. So within the week they
were here, I made friends with most if not all of them, just, not
quite as well as I would have liked. Thanks Emilee
for being a great new friend for the short
time you were here! Miranda, if you ever see this, *rolling eyes* you
were pretty awesome too.
As for Paige.... Must I say more? :P Just kidding. Oh and Leah, I didn't forget you
just to let you
know. ;) Yes, there are also many awesome Ugandan friends. I met most of them on the basketball
court, many in the Heart of
Worship Team and For Him team, one or two of them actually just continued to say
hello to me until I learned their names. Notice I didn't mention meeting friends in Ebenezer family. The reason for
that is, they are all my brothers and sisters.
They could be friends, but I like to think of family as family.
The first time I went out of my comfort zone and had fun was back in February. Uncle Ronnie and Hannah both
wanted me to join Heart of Worship team. I was very
reluctant, because I wasn't confident in my singing, and I
only knew one person in
the group really well. But I took a chance and went to practice the first time. I loved it!
Probably one of the reasons I loved it so
much was because this girl, named Peace, who I didn't really know at
all, invited me over to sit
by her because I was sitting alone. That was what made it so amazing I think. The
second time
was in May. Some of my friends kept asking me if I was going to this EYO Camp that was
happening. I didn't really want to go but everyone
encouraged me to, so I did. I went, and I had a blast! I've done
a lot of things within my comfort zone, like
played basketball with the big boys. It's not so bad if you know what
to do around them. I've gotten knocked
down once or twice but that's part of playing. Who cares as long as you
don't break or fracture or sprain
Some of the things I've done that I would never have imagined two years ago would be to lead worship songs,
eat goat meat roasted off the bones and liked it, learned a few words in Luganda,
an African language, and much,
much more.
Most of you readers know what my talents are, although I don't really brag about them (if I do, it'd be nice to
know). I found my talent for basketball, I already knew I had artistic talent, I
found out I could sing, playing
piano... Though the piano thing took six years of practice. I've
shared my basketball talent by helping out in the
staff team when they don't have enough
people, and helping the girls learn how to play. I can't really remember a
time when I shared my
art, although maybe cooking is an art, in that case I've shared art countless times! I've
my singing by helping lead worship and helping different people find harmonies to different songs,
performing a song with three others by taking someone's place... Piano? I've
played quite a few times for worship
nights and for Sunday worship services.
Working hard comes from helping around our house which isn't really working hard compared to when you're
working in the Family gardens. I've gotten blisters tons of times, hoeing, slashing, harvesting...
Lazing around?
Really, that only comes when the holiday's come. This day today, because I have a fever, I
had to stay home and
laze around. I don't like it so much, I'm kinda a girl who has to be active, using my
mind or body, working or
playing. Anyway...
I think the reason I've found God more extensively, is because I'm around different people who love God
differently, wider view. Also, because I'm more active in helping out in the church which means I'm
included in
Bible studies, and even those worship practices when we're just focusing on God. Thanks to the
Kansas team,
who brought my Bible and two Bible study books, even in the short time I've had them, I feel
closer to Him. I
hope this year, 2012, I'll become ever closer, so I'll never be able to pull away.
Family is important. Ebenezer family is important to me. All of them, from the eldest to the youngest, associates
and parents. They have all played a part in my life, in my growth. I know that none of them will
ever see this post,
but I want to thank all of them, starting with Aunt Lydia and ending with little Faith. You
guys are my African
family, and whatever happens in the future, I will not forget any of you!
Let's just say, for the easy lessons and hard, God has had a hand in all of them. He's The Teacher, and I'll never
forget it. Mostly when I learn my lesson the hard way, it's when I make a mistake in life. That's
the hard way to
learn, learning how to mend the mistake, and if it's not possible, give it up to God and in the
process, learning not
to make the same mistake again. The easy lessons come when I read His Word and
take it to heart, putting it into
practice whenever the time comes.
Sickness is a part of life. I'm sick right now, as I'm writing this. Just a slight cold, sinus flu, however you'd like to
look at it, but I've got a fever. Anyway, we learn to push through the sicknesses we encounter,
the mild ones at
least. God controls the bad ones, when we become sick enough so it's possible we might
die, all we can do is
trust Him that he knows what he's doing. I've never before in my life, that I can
remember, come close to death.
And I'm not bragging about it, but I don't think it would be fun to brush
past death. Malaria isn't that bad, you
people who are scared of it. If you realize you have it at the beginning
stages, it's over in a few days, just leaving
you weak and tired. If you don't know that you have it until
weeks pass, it's very possible you can die. I've had
malaria before. It's just like having a really bad fever and
aches. Fortunately, I didn't throw up like a lot of people
do if they have malaria, that's what I hate most.
Throwing up. Thank you Lord that I haven't thrown up for over
six months! Why am I talking about this?
Our pets are amazing. Well, ok. Pet. One pet is. Nutmeg (cat). She's amazing. Right now, Domino (cat) and
Neptune (rooster) are just plain annoying. Granny, (a chicken) she's ok, even though she only lays like,
ten eggs a
month. But I'm thankful all the same for all of them. Other blessings? This house for one.
Beautiful sunsets,
wonderful people, even just being here in Africa doing His work. The list of blessings
could go on and on and
on..... But if I continued to write all of them, it'd probably be weeks or months or
even years to write them all.
That's the long overview of 2011. I had fun.

Here's the quick over view of what has happened in 2011. January through December.
January's main event consisted of moving into our new house. Now we almost have most of our furniture and two
months ago we started doing our floor.
February, for me, was exciting because I joined the Heart of Worship team and was up front for my first
Worship Night.
March, gee, what happened in March? Oh, looking back at pictures in March, we planted our first
sweet corn in our garden.
April we gained a new family member, Nutmeg! She was a tiny kitten then, as big as her head is now!
In May Micah had his first bout of Malaria, and I went to the EYO (Emmanuel Youth Outreach) Camp
June was my birthday which got celebrated five times in one week. I was sung to, like, eight times?
Then mom and dad had their 19th anniversary also.
July was Micah's birthday! Which he celebrated with an Ebenezer family member, John.
August was New Hope's Thanksgiving Day, all the families march around the roundabout and sing,
praise God, wave flags and tree branches then gather together in the Church. Plus we went to Kenya and
pet a CHEETAH!
September was our first basketball tournament and the first time I led two songs for worship night.
October held two birthdays, Mwine and Dad's. We went to Entebbe for Dad's birthday, then to
Kampala a week later for Mwine's!
November was when the Kansas team came! We had a blast together with them, going on Safari,
swimming, visiting Musana Camps... All that good stuff.
December, the Month of Many Things. First of all, we went on a family trip with Ebenezer family to
Jinja. I loved that time, we swam, took tours, ate good food, watched Mr. Bean (LOL) and got to be apart of
the Father's Blessing that went on the morning we left. Then, we took John and Mwine to Kampala right
before they left to go to their home. Those are the two closest brothers I've ever had besides Micah.
Awesome brothers at that. Spending time with them was mom's birthday present, a good one too. Then,
Christmas of course. I had fun time practicing a Christmas song and performing it Christmas morning in
church with Jeremiah, Joseph and Johnny. I did the piano and sang along with them, unfortunately the mic
was so far from my mouth. Then of course, there's New Years Eve. We stayed up until eleven at night
playing Scrabble, then prayed together as a family (Peterson family that is, most of the kids on New Hope
are with their families somewhere else) and crashed into bed. BOOOOOMMMMM........ And that ended
2011. We can just say that it went out with a bang.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

"Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for you; Your name and renown are the desire of

our hearts."

Isaiah 26:8

Thanks Jesus.


The first pic is of Aunt Lydia, her son Joshua and baby Faith, my mom especially likes this picture! The second is
one of my favorite pictures of a person and a guitar. I fixed it up better on my computer, but whatever.

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