Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 Update

It has been brought to my attention that I haven't made an update here on the blog in over a year.  So, here goes.  Hopefully I can remember all that has happened. 

I am so grateful for the friends and family that have been regularly sending me funds to continue to sow into my future ministry.  Along with the money I am able to set aside each month, we have been able to send quite a bit for projects.  There is also a ministry up in WA called WonGeneration that has been doing a lot too.  They are responsible for the well and the pigs among other things.  Len Bundy just made a trip to visit Alex last month, if you're interested in seeing his thoughts, check out where he has posted some videos he filmed while there.  In one of them you can see the cute piggies! 

In the year I've been back home, I've been working a really great job that God dropped in my lap.  I make plenty of money, so I have enough to send back to my Ugandan family to continue building our compound.  The goal is to get it self sustaining.  Alex has been hard at work growing crops both to eat, give, and sell.  When I left he had goats and chickens, since then he has added pigs.  Breeding animals is a good business.  We hope to be able to not only feed ourselves and sell them, but to give to families to help them get something started to earn money as well.  That old saying "you've got to spend money to make money" is so true, but when you don't have any money, it's impossible to make more in that context.  Giving a family a pair of pigs for example, will allow them to begin breeding and selling and earning more.  Not just giving the pigs, but training them in how to make that work. This is one of the most valuable ministry tools that is already at work in the village. 

Since I left, the well was finished and the water tower added behind the house. The railing for the front porch to protect the toddlers is now installed.  Little Jerome Jethro (JJ) was born just after I left, so now they have a 1,3, and 5 yr old.  Solomon will turn 4 next month. 

Alex and Violet have done a few projects on their own, outside the chunks of money I've sent over for specific needs.  They have a small house being built behind this one.  An extra space to house whoever needs a place to stay.  This is the most recent picture I have, I'm told the roofing needs to be added soon so the rain doesn't cause any more damage to the bricks.  This structure contains their outdoor kitchen (Ugandan style) , 2 bedrooms/ sitting rooms, and a bathroom.  Originally he planned for the toilets to be Ugandan style, but now I hear he's turning them western. 

Recently we were able to get the house painted and I think it looks great! 

He even added some color to the interior ceiling decorative piece. 

Alex decided to create tiers on the land in front of the house.  The first part he was working on while I was there, digging, moving dirt, packing it down.  He created a level place out front with the intention of paving it.  Then a retaining wall was added to contain it, and the next tier down is grass.  Now with heavy rains coming in, the upper level was beginning to wash away since the paving hasn't been done yet. 

Money was sent again, and paving has now begun.  They were advised that it needed to go all around the house since currently it is just dirt right up against the veranda, so there is still structural damage danger there.  They are laying paving stones and filling around them with cement.  This project is still in process.  Rainy days slow the work. 
Here's an idea what it will look like.  

New living room furniture was purchased.  Nice to have a place to host friends, have board meetings for WonGeneration Africa, and just a comfortable place to rest after a long day of working.  We also added another solar panel and battery.  I'm still wanting to buy a refrigerator for Violet.  When I first arrived last summer she had one, but we had to get rid of it in the move because the electricity needed was too much for the solar we had at the new house.  A fridge would allow food to be stored, so less trips to the market.

And how about some pics of the beautiful Kalema family?  
Violet, Solomon, Elijah, Alex

Alex and JJ

Alex, JJ, Solomon in new Soccer cleats

Alex had the opportunity for a multi week soccer mission trip to Burkino Faso a few months ago.  That is his Mother on the left.  

I will try to remember to update projects on here more often.  The next big thing we are currently talking about is getting a vehicle for the family/ministry.  The house is a 20 minute walk from the main part of the village.  Elijah was going to school on a Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi) every day, which of course costs money.  A couple months ago that Boda Boda crashed with him on it and he was badly injured and now has the fear of getting back on.  Having their own vehicle would be a huge blessing and much safer for the little ones.  This project could run $3000-6000 depending on what car is chosen.  Ultimately we want a van, but we're still discussing whether we should try for that now, or get something smaller for now and upgrade later.  This project will take over a year at my current rate of donations and saving.  

If you would like to join us in this venture, or if you are already partnering with me and would like an alternative tax deductible way to give, go to Won Generation and under the donate link, choose 'Won Generation Africa' for your purpose. We may get a specific project page put up, but we're still discussing that, but for now...
If you want it to be set aside for the vehicle, just put that in the notes section.  Alex can hold onto money as he's saving up.  If no note, the money will just be used for whatever ministry projects WGA has going.  Otherwise, if you continue sending to me as you have been, I will send it in big chunks as we have the needed amounts for the projects.  

I also take Facebook pay if you are my friend, and I have a Square cash account now ($BaseballGrrl)

One more big THANK YOU to all who have sown into this ministry.  I am so grateful for your belief in me and love for the people I have been connected with to do this thing.  We can't do it alone.  I am beyond blessed by the body of Christ I've been connected with, even though we're now spread out over a few states.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Uganda 2016 Wrap-Up

For anyone wondering where I went....
I had intended to update this blog while I was away for 3 months, but unfortunately, Google and Yahoo both locked me out of my accounts since I was logging in from another country.  Obviously this was done by a computer, not a human, as a human would more likely see that my name on everything includes the word Uganda and my blog is all about going to Uganda.

I was able to post a couple updates as a "Note" on Facebook if anyone hasn't already seen them.  But really, I didn't do that much exciting anyway.  If you want to see pictures and you're not my Facebook friend, you can still see them.  I've made the albums public.

I have been home now from Uganda for about a month.  People always ask, "how was it?" and honestly, that is hard to answer.  It was hard, it was fun, it was interesting, it sucked, it hurt, it was great!  10 weeks is a long time.  It was not what I expected at all.  I thought I'd go out and start ministering to people, I thought I'd pray for people and see them get healed.  That didn't happen.  Instead I just kept hearing God say "Be still, sit with Me."  So I did.  I sat in my chair and read 20 books plus a few books of the Bible, I talked to God and journaled what I heard Him saying to me.  I just got to be quiet and let Him speak.  He showed me some mindsets that needed to be changed, He talked to me about my dreams, and He gave me promises to hold onto.  For that, it was amazing.  Life is so busy here it can be hard to make the time to sit still with Papa like that.

On the other hand, I ended up dealing with multiple illnesses/pains that were difficult.  I overheated in my first week.  Very strange, just had to sit in front of a fan drinking cold water.  For 3 days I did that, then I decided to put on Jesus Culture's latest album and worship.  The presence of God was thick around me as I turned my eyes to Him.  It was so great!  Then song #8, Set Me Ablaze came on and an icy cold feeling started in my toes and traveled up thru my whole body.  When it was done, my temperature was back to normal.  Yay God!  He has such a weird sense of humor.  :)

I got a weird pain in my side a few weeks later.  It started after dinner and grew until I threw up, then it just went into a cycle of getting worse and throwing up for a little relief.  I was wimpering, crying out to God, praying, singing worship songs...  Violet stayed with me the whole time, she was amazing.  It went on for 4 hours they told me later, but by God's grace it only felt like 2 hours to me.  I still have no clue what that was about, a few theories have been offered up, but no way to know for sure.  I even suspected witchcraft.  As the only white person in the village, and as white people are usually missionaries, it is feasible that a witch doctor could've sent a curse my way.  When I had that thought, and I prayed against that angle, the pain went away shortly after.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  But maybe not.  Who knows?

And of course, a couple weeks before I left I managed to get Malaria.  That was fun.  Really it wasn't too bad.  I had chills and hot spells off and on for about 4 days, then the last day I had 2 hrs of shivering on the couch and when I tried to sit up my whole body felt dead.  Alex asked if he could call the doctor now and I finally said yes.  The pills were sent over and I took the first dose.  Intense sweating immediately broke out (and lasted 6 hrs) and within half an hour I started feeling better!  I had no appetite for about 5 days, forcing food down to take the pills and not much else.  On the plus side, that was a nice crash diet right at the end allowing me to arrive home down 25 pounds!  lol

I had the chance to observe "real life" during my stay.  When you go on a short term missions trip, you often end up in nice housing, everything is set up to accommodate American tastes, and life is all planned out and the schedule full.  This wasn't like that.  I stayed at first in the Kalema home with an outdoor pit latrine.  A month and a half with no running water or toilet.  I had to learn to do things like everyone else in the country does it.  I had to wash my hair with a bucket and a basin, try to wash my body  with washcloths and baby wipes.  (Ok, so they don't have baby wipes)  I had to learn to not only pee in a hole, but poop as well, and of course, the new diet causes diarrhea for a couple weeks right?  Good luck!  Real life.  It's not pretty.

I saw how the girls work all day, cooking, washing, cleaning... it all takes so much longer by hand.  I asked to help a few times, but they just laughed at me and refused.  One time the 17 yr old maid gave me a matooke and a knife and showed me how to peel.  Instantly, every kid in the vicinity was there gathered around to watch and laugh.  Doing everything by hand takes a long time and is really hard on their backs.

I saw how hard the men work for so little money.  I saw how jobs usually seem to be sunup to sundown, 7 days a week.  It made me sad.  Where do they do life?  When do they get to enjoy time with family, or go do something fun?  I asked Alex and he just looked at me in shock.  "I never thought about that!"  ???  I looked at this culture that is living in survival mode wondering, Why survive if you can't enjoy life at least a little?  Harsh reality broke my heart.  They work so hard, yet they don't seem to be able to get ahead.  They're just surviving.

I met some amazing wonderful people, the board members of Won Generation Africa.  This small band of believers has a goal to find a need and meet it.  They don't have a lot of resources, but they're still doing anything they can to help out the people around them.  It's so awesome!  I will be joining their efforts when I return.  So many of the dreams I have had are already beginning to take shape within this little group.  What I realized I bring to the table is fresh ideas.  Coming from an entirely different culture means I've had the chance to see things that they haven't.  I can tell them about things they've never heard of, and together we can make a difference.  I'm excited to get back and start dreaming together again and seeing what God will do.

So all in all, the trip was wonderful.  I learned a ton, I suffered a bit, and I made some amazing new friends.  I now have a much better idea of what direction to go.  Before I had a lot of dreams but no idea how to go about starting anything.  God has placed me with a group that is already moving, so I will now just be able to join in and bring my resources to the table.  God is so good, so wise.  Always knows what's up before we do.  He is faithful to provide all we need to do what He has created us to do.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

6 Days

A few more pics - the rains have hit hard I'm hearing, so that is slowing things down a bit, but they're still working hard.  :)  The wood is for the roof / ceiling and the plumbing is being installed as well.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

8 Days

Just over a week now until I hop on a plane and fly to another world.  It's starting to feel weird.  It always does.  I love being there so much, but it still feels so strange and scary to make the journey.  I don't know why.  It's just so unreal.  The "goodbye for nows" are starting.  I've stopped buying groceries, so I'm scrounging for meals or eating on the go.  Trying to think of everything that needs to go in a suitcase, hoping to stay under weight on my luggage...  This has all happened so fast, yet at the same time it's taking forever to get there.  Time is funny that way.

I don't have any more house pics to show you, not sure what's happening with that at the moment.  I have requested the last chunk from my retirement fund, hopefully it arrives in time.  I have all the items I need, just waiting for one thing to come in the mail still.

I don't know what the next 3 months hold for me.  I'm going with no schedule, no agenda to speak of.  I am just going on an adventure with Holy Spirit as my guide.  I know I will be stretched in new ways, far beyond my comfort zone.  I'm on my own, no team to hide behind.  Just me, one solo mzungu.  It's a huge responsibility, the way they treat us, like we're celebrities almost.  It's a strange feeling to drive down the street and have kids come running just because you're white.

One thing I'm looking forward to so much is the church.   I spent a few Sundays at this place and it was so wonderful!   These Ugandans know how to worship!  The joy in that place is incredible!!  So much fun!  Amazing singers, fun dancing, and just a beautiful atmosphere to be in.  I remember one of the most awesome moments from my 2010 trip was when they took the offering.  They had 3 baskets up front, Tithe, Offering, and Charity.  The hundreds of people streamed up to drop their offerings in the baskets.  Some gave money, others gave a bag of some sort of food, and a couple guys brought up a whole branch of bananas.  It was beautiful to see people who have so little being so generous.  That's what it should be like.  If we all give a little, we can help those who have nothing.  This church in Masulita is beautiful.  (The church is people, not a building)  I look forward to being a part of this church body.

I will miss the people here, I've felt so accepted into the church here in Yuba City these last 6 months.  This is a good place too.  This is a people who know how to love well.  I hope that I can take all that I've learned from my life's journey from church to church and give what I have to these people and in turn, receive from them what they have and bring it back here.  I think that is what the church is supposed to be about.  We are diverse, yet united.  We each have a flavor, or a piece of the puzzle.  When we come together and share our unique pieces, it makes something beautiful.

As always, I would love to have your prayers.  Any time you think of me, just send up a quick prayer to Papa God.  :)  Pray for safety and health, and pray for divine encounters and that I would embrace the path Holy Spirit is taking me down.   Thank you all for your support.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30 update

Just over 2 weeks to go now!  I'm both excited and nervous.  This is a pretty big ordeal.  Lots of money, lots of unknowns, lots of new things...

Alex tells me the walls are up and ready for the roof now, so this is a view from atop a ladder.  Yay!  

I am about to take the last chunk of $$ out of my retirement account on Monday so I can finish the house, get solar panels, and whatever other costs I run into during my 3 month stay.  

What can you do to partner with me in this you ask??

I need your prayers first and foremost.  My back is still not 100% and I need it to be.  I will be doing some physical labor and lots of walking and that will not be very pleasant with a tweaked out back.  Pray for safety and health.  Pray that God will connect me with people who will be a part of the team on the ground.  I am looking for "spiritual parents" to have contact points to send new believers to to help them grow in the Lord.  Pray for good connection between myself and Alex and Violet as we brainstorm and pray for what God has for us moving forward.  And of course, God will be doing some major renovations in my heart I'm sure.  He always does.

And yes, I could use some financial help as well.  I can't know for sure how much I will need to spend while I'm in Uganda, so I am looking at the possibility of returning with no money.  I have accounted for August rent already, but any other bills and expenses when I first get back will be up in the air.  I have a couple people who have sent me donations regularly, so they will at least get me thru the first week or so.  If I end up with leftover money it will just be put into the Uganda account for next time.  

  • Checks to Jessie Osborne can be mailed to 652 Almond St.  Yuba City, CA 95991
  • Paypal - Jessie Osborne or
  • Facebook pay -
Even after I'm gone, these will get into my bank account and I can access with debit card while I'm over there if I need it. 

I'll update this blog regularly while I'm away.  Keep me bookmarked and I'll let you know what I'm up to, what needs I've run into, and more specifics on how you can pray.  

Thanks friends.  Here is one more picture, Alex tells me this is the view out my bedroom window at sunset .  Uganda does have beautiful sunrises / sunsets.  :) 

Friday, April 22, 2016

25 Days to Go

Less than a month now.  I think I've got most of the details taken care of now.  I'm waiting on God still to take care of a few things.  I would very much appreciate people willing to pray for me while I'm away.  This is an intimidating task, to head off to Uganda, just me, hanging out with the local people, only mzungu in sight.  lol  -- It's a different world and I don't yet know all the rules.  I know i'm going to get a rude awakening as to how much work life takes there.  Life is so easy here, we're so spoiled with all our appliances and comforts.  I look forward to learning, but I know it will be difficult for this old fat body of mine.  ;)  I will be smaller when I get back I'm sure.  :)

Pray for safety, provision, and that I would see what I need to see to strategize for the future.  Pray that I meet awesome people that will join me in my mission as we move forward.

Thank y'all.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to message me.  Make sure to bookmark this blog so you don't miss any posts as I'm away.  I will update as much as I'm able.  Not sure if pictures will be doable, but I'll try.  :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

More House

Just a little over a month to go....  The house will have the basic structure up very soon, the walls are quick!!  I have just found that we will need solar power, an added expense I was not figuring into my budget.  Alex tells me that the regular electricity will be very expensive as the house is a bit outside the bulk of town, they would charge us for the power poles to get out to our house.  He tells me solar panels are $580 each and we need at least 2 of them.  If anyone feels led to help us out with this part of the project it would be a huge deal!

It's happening!!  This is for real!!  I can't even get my mind around this.  If you've ever been to another country, you might know that it is a different world, so much so that it seems unreal from here.  I am in a weird emotional state about this trip.  I can't quite think it's actually real.  I am looking forward to so many things about this visit.  I will get to see old friend I haven't seen in 6 yrs, meet my newest nephew, see again the other one...  Hanging out in the country I love for almost 3 months!!  I know God has great things planned for me, so I'm just leaving myself open to whatever He has in mind.  All is well.  Uganda, here I come!!