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!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

So it Begins

Construction has begun on the house!!  I have wired Alex the majority of the money for the house so they could get started.  The rainy season is coming and can make building difficult, so we're trying to get the house up before then.  Well, that and I don't want to have to live without a bathroom for too long.  ;)

Very different process, so I'm fascinated to see how this goes.  Hopefully Alex will be able to upload more pictures as we go so I can see.  I will share as I am able.  

Pretty good sized footprint it looks like.  Gonna be awesome!!  I will bring another $2K with me when I go to finish out the process.  Alex and I will be painting the house ourselves to save on labor costs.  It's gonna be fun!

Please pray for me as I come to mind.  This is a pretty big thing I'm doing (in my mind) Pray for my safety and provision and that God will make my path clear as I seek out connections in the village.  I will be stepping outside my comfort zone in a major way, so pray for courage.  :)  Thanks friends!

And another new picture of another day....