Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back in the States

We have been back in Illinois for about a month now. Our last few weeks in Uganda were packed with Christmas parties, weekend trips, finishing up projects and debriefing time. It was super difficult to leave the projects that we were working on being that we left mid-project, but we trust that the Lord will significantly use the foundations that we have laid. We are also thankful that John and Paula Sauder, long term eMi missionaries, will be able to finish the work that we had begun. It was also really difficult to leave the many children that we fell in love with. The Ugandan children will probably be our most cherished memory of Uganda, ranging from the village kids, street kids, orphans and Arise Africa staff children. We were blessed to be surrounded by lively little ones.

We want to thank you for your many prayers, financial support and your emails and letters of encouragement. Each one of you means SO much to us!! We are blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people!!!! As much as we were blessed by our time in Uganda, we pray that your lives were blessed through partnering with us. Without your support it would have been impossible to serve the people in Uganda. If you are around Chicago on Sunday, February 8th we will be sharing a short presentation about our time in Africa at Bethany Baptist Church, 6700 Gunnison Ave, Harwood Heights, IL at the 10:00am service. We hope to see you there. If not, we hope to share the same presentation both in Champaign, IL and Plymouth, WI sometime in the near future. We'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for all your love and support!!

We love you dearly!

~Peter and Lindz

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A few more things...

I also forgot to mention that this week is going to be super fun. We are having a Thanksgiving dinner with around 30 people from emi and then 6 of us are going on a Safari. Peter and I are pumped about that because so far we haven't seen any big animals. The biggest animal thus far would be these scary looking cranes and then just little things like snails, spiders, geckos and cockroaches. I think it should be pretty exciting for sure! We'll let you know about it when we get back!

a long awaited update!

So...crazy...but our time here is almost done. It's hard to believe!!! Time has really flown by! We've been busy as usual! This past weekend, we ran a 10k race with other eMi people. It was a lot of fun. We didn't win, but we certainly were not last. (the winner ran it in 29 minutes!! can you believe that? I know that genetically it would be impossible for me to do that!!) There were at least 10,000 people who ran the 10k so we really enjoyed being wrapped up in a sea of people. The fun part was that there were so many Africans that it was easy to pick out Caucasians we knew because we stuck out like sore thumbs.

We also went and saw the new James Bond movie. It was the first time that I forgot I was in Uganda since we have been here. It was a weird feeling for sure!

Outside of having fun with our emi friends, we've been keeping busy by playing with children at 2 different orphanages and continuing to work hard with AAI. The Lord is certainly opening our eyes more and more to just how may children are in great need of some big love. Our family system in the world is even more broken than I had thought. It's really sad, but at the same time, it only increases our desire to adopt in the future. We don't know when, but it would be a blessing if the Lord allows us to do that. The children here are certainly one of the biggest things we are going to miss here!!!

As for work, it's been going great for both of us. The building of the children's center in Bukaleba is continuing the show great progress. Peter and I actually had the opportunity to visit Bukaleba about a week ago. It's actually really exciting! I can't say it enough, but we feel SO blessed to be a part of this process. Currently, I am in the process of writing up the policies of the babies home. It's super crazy to think that what I write up, with the help of Paula, is going to be the foundation of how the home is run. What a privilege!!!!

Well, I bettee get back to work, but I hope that you are all doing well and have enjoyed this brief summary of our life here in Jinja.
With much love

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Psalm 27

Psalm 27 has brought a lot of joy to my life the past few months so I wanted to share it with you all! I hope you find as much comfort and joy in it as I have!!! Enjoy! ~Lindz

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. 4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. 7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. 13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Prayer Requests

Please praise God with us for all that He is doing in us and through us. You can praise God for how He has been at work within our marriage. He is teaching us a lot about each other and about ourselves and drawing us closer together as a couple.

Please continue to pray for Lindsey and the work she is doing here. She has finished visiting orphanages and schools and is now compiling all of the information that she has gathered. Pray that she would be motivated and have wisdom into how to write the manuals and policies for the children's center.

Please pray for safety for me (Peter) as I inspect the trusses in the pastor's training center. There are potential dangers that come along with this work, so please pray that God would protect me.

Also, tomorrow I will be traveling to the stone quarry. It is about 7 hours total of public transportation. Pray that God would protect me as I travel.

Please also pray for Arise Africa International, the ministry that we are partnering with here in Jinja. The president of the ministry is currently in the States traveling around and raising money for the different ministries. Pray that the Lord would provide the necessary resources to do what He wants to accomplish here in Africa through Arise Africa. Also pray for safety for Godfrey and his wife Joy as they travel. Also pray for their children as mom and dad are away from them for roughly 5 weeks.

Please pray for safety here at the office. Last week the office property was broken into at night. Nothing valuable was taken and no one was hurt. Please pray that the Lord would continue to protect us and those we work with.

Please pray for the other couple on our team here in Jinja. They have a lot of big life-changing things happening in their life right now that need prayer. Pray that Gabe would be able to find a job. He has submitted a couple of applications and he is waiting to hear back. Anna is considering leaving here 2 weeks early to prepare for some of these life-changing things, which we were asked to not share at this moment. We will keep you posted on these things.

Please pray for wisdom as Lindsey is trying to decide what she would like to do when we return to the U.S. She has a couple of ideas. Please pray that the Lord would give her excitement and direction in what to pursue.

Please pray for a couple of friends that we have made here in Uganda. Aliseous is a friend I met who has shown interest in becoming born again. The challenge is that he lives in Kampala and I live in Jinja. Last time we were in Kampala he was not. Please pray that we would be able to connect next time we go to Kampala. Also pray that we would be able to connect him with the local church there in Kampala. Roman is another friend that we made here in Jinja. He showed an interest in reading the Bible, but said that he did not have one. Lindsey and I went and bought him a Bible and he was very grateful. Last time I saw him he said that he was reading it. Pray that he would continue to read the Bible and that I would pursue him and have the opportunity to share the love of Christ with him.

Please pray for God’s healing for the children at Amani Baby Cottage, where we have been volunteering. One little boy, Micah, recently got malaria. Pray that he would heal quickly. Also, Zahara (The baby in the picture with me) is HIV positive and has been very sick recently. She was admitted into the hospital this past week and taken out due to poor quality of care. I am told that she is doing better. Pray that God would continue to heal her little body.

Our friend Michael is traveling back to Chicago this week for a wedding. Pray for safety as he travels. Also pray for our friends Josh and Julie, the bride and groom. Their wedding is on November 15.

Please pray for Lindsey’s health. She has been battling flu-like symptoms for about 4 or 5 days. Pray that her health would be renewed.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Hello all,

I guess I will start with what the Lord has been doing in my life. My time in Africa has truly been a blessing. The pace of life here in Africa is much slower. Everything takes more time. People are not in any hurry. Ugandans always put relationships ahead of task. While sometimes at work it can be very frustrating, it is a great lesson for me to learn, especially in my walk with the Lord and in my relationships with other people. I need to keep my relationship with the Lord primary and everything else secondary.

The Sunday before we left for Africa we went to a church in Colorado Springs and the pastor spoke on Revelation 2. In this chapter John writes to the church at Ephesus and commends them for their deeds and their toil and their perseverance, but John had this against them “you have left your first love”. Lindsey and I were convinced that the Lord was reminding us that as we go to Africa to serve, not to abandon our first love, not to let what we do for God get in the way of our pursuit of God. You see, it is the love of Jesus that we are bringing to the people of Africa. If we try to love the people here in our own strength, they will be sorely disappointed and our trip will only be a nice little adventure that Peter and Lindsey went on to do some good, however, if we love with the love that we ourselves have received from the Lord, it is then that we are doing the work that we have been called here in Africa to do. At that point, when we rely on the Lord for strength and love and perseverance and joy and hope and security and in faith proclaim that it is Jesus who strengthens and for Jesus name that we even come to Africa, it is then that Jesus is seen as beautiful and God is seen as glorious.

Micah 6:8 says: He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to DO JUSTICE and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God? Just before this verse the author is trying to figure out what the God of the universe desires of him. He questions whether he should sacrifice animals or give up his first-born. He seems sure that God must desire to strip him of something. Then in verse 8 the author says that the Lord has shown man what He (God) desires of man, to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. As we are here in Africa, we are trying to rely on the Lord’s strength to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him.

It has been such a blessing to work with EMI. These things that I am learning fit in so well with what they are trying to do as an organization here in Africa. It has been a pleasure to partner with Arise Africa International and work alongside Ugandans. One of my highlights at work is to work with my new dear friend Sam. He has an amazing heart for the Lord and an amazing work ethic. Another highlight of my time here has been the children. Every day around lunchtime the Arise Africa staff children come to the office from school and some of them stay around for the afternoon. While it may hurt my productivity, it sure is fun to have kids around the office. Lindsey and I have also had the privilege to frequent Amani Baby Cottage where we get to play with over 40 orphans. One Saturday a group of about 7 adults took about 10 of the older kids on a boat ride on the Nile River.

EMI stuff is going great. Progress is being made. As you can see by the pictures the scaffolding is completed and waiting for me. It was a lot of fun to build the scaffolding by hand. It was quite a process. We first went to the lumberyard where we had to bargain them down to an appropriate price and then hire a truck to transport the Eucalyptis back to the office. We then went to the local market to buy nails and threaded rod, which we proceeded to cut with a hack saw to size. We then had to remove the bark from all the Eucalyptis and cut the members to size. We then assembled the scaffolding and nailed together a eucalyptis ladder. I am fairly confident that it is the most structurally sound scaffolding I have seen here in Africa.

A couple of weeks ago a team of potential emi construction managers came to Uganda for a vision trip to see if the Lord was calling them here long term. I joined them for a couple of days out at Bukaleba where made a lot of progress on the children’s center. Gabe, John and myself went out to Bukaleba a couple of days early to prepare for the team’s arrival. We spent 2 days with the team doing manual labor including digging trenches, mixing concrete and bending rebar. The week was a huge success and we managed to finish digging one of the building’s foundations. We also poured 75% of the foundation for that building. Gabe continues to spend 4 days a week out at Bukaleba and I hope to head out there again sometime next week. Gabe said that they have dug another building’s trenches and are now in the middle of pouring its foundation. The walls of the children’s center are a quarried stone from a plot of land that Arise Africa purchased. I have also been taking trips about every other week to the quarry, it takes me about 7 hours on public transportation to and from the quarry. I have found that taking public transportation around Africa is always exciting. A taxi (large van) is suppose to hold 14 passengers, and on one of my journeys they somehow fit 22 people and 2 chickens into the taxi. It was a cozy trip.

I recently finished the structural portion of the construction documents for the orphanage. If you are keeping track, yes construction has already started and yes the drawings have not been approved by the city. Only in Africa.

I am now working on a set of construction documents for the pastor's training center. They are renovating an 80-year-old movie theatre into a lecture hall/prayer room to be apart of the pastor’s training center that is already in session. The building is in rough shape. One of the end walls is sitting on no foundation with cracks all over the place, so we are going to bring that wall down and rebuild it. We were suppose to do that while I am here in Africa, but due to the lack of adequate funding that is going to be put on hold until a later date. There are also issues with the building’s trusses, so I will be spending some time up in the trusses next week to see what needs to be repaired. I will finally get a chance to use the scaffolding that I built. So you all can be praying for safety as I climb around on the scaffolding and in the trusses.

As you can see, the Lord has been moving here in Uganda and we are very thankful to be apart of that work. Thank you for all your prayers.

Peter & Lindz

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life In Jinja

Wow, is all we can say! It has been a very busy past few weeks. Our intention with the blog was to write a new entry at least once a week, but as you can see it hasn’t truly happened that way. What we can say though is that we praise God immensely that we are able to be here in Jinja, Uganda. It is still surreal even though we have been here for a whole month. It’s just incredible how easy the transition has been for us, which makes me wonder if our transition back is going to be difficult.

Let us fill you in on life:

Well, Peter has been filling a lot of his time with building and designing eucalyptus scaffolding (look for the pictures). He is now ready to start investigating some trusses and other parts in a building, which AAI is in the process of renovating into a pastor’s training facilities. He just needs to buy some rope for his harness for extra safety precautions. It has been awesome to work side-by-side Gabe, another intern, and as we call him ‘Engineering Sam’. We all LOVE Sam. There really isn’t much that Sam can’t do. His humility and hard work ethic have blessed all of us, especially Peter.

Outside of not having the rope yet, Peter’s investigation was interrupted by almost a full week of sickness. He was down and out pretty significantly for about 2-3 days and needed at least that to fully get back on his feet again. The doctor said it was some sort of bacterial infection, so she put him on an antibiotic and we are thankful for a rather speedy recovery. Thank you SO much for your prayers!!! The Lord truly protected him!!!

Then this past week, Peter has been in Bukaleba prepping for and working with an eMi construction management team. During this week they focused on laying the foundation for the children’s center. At this moment I have not heard how things went because he is not back quite yet. I’m really excited to hear how the week went! It’s such a blessing to use your hands and your heart for God’s glory and be able to see fruit.

So speaking of the Children’s center, that is pretty much what my life has revolved around. I’m so thrilled that they are beginning to build. As I’ve written in an earlier entry, I have been doing research for the center. I’ve gone to about 6 different schools and/or orphanages. They have all been within about a two hour radius. It’s been really eye opening to learn in detail how these places are run and what all goes into meeting basic needs of children, especially orphans. My eyes have been opened to the sacrifices that many have given simply to love a child that is not their own. The information I’ve gathered is an overwhelming amount, but I know that the Lord is going to use the information and insight that I have been given to only better our program out in Bukaleba. It is a blessing to be able to learn from other people’s mistakes and hopefully prevent ones from happening in Bukaleba. Next week, I will finally get to present all my research including adorable pictures and videos to the other eMi and AAI staff. I am very excited, but if you think of it pray for me too! J

Outside of the fun we have at work, we have been blessed to have event filled weekends. We’ve gone to Kampala a few times to hang out with friends. Our friends Jackson and Holly came to Jinja to hang out. That weekend we went to the source of the Nile River. It was pretty sweet! It is cool to think that we were right where one of the biggest rivers in the world begins. And speaking of the Nile, we actually got to go white-water rafting on the river. It was AWESOME!!! It beats Colorado 100%. The largest rapids were class 5. It was so fun!!! If money grew on trees, I would totally do it again. Not only was it a massive amount of physical work, it was absolutely beautiful! We went through 12 rapids and our raft flipped 3 times. We told our guide that we were up for the adventure. She kept us very safe, but allowed us to hit the biggest wave in each of the rapids. I must say that at times it could be scary because the water’s current just did whatever it wanted to with you. If anyone comes to Uganda, I know I can speak for the both of us, you HAVE to raft the Nile!!!

On top of the adventures we had on the weekends, we had a little adventure of our own right in our own room. The phrase “Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” has taken on a whole new meaning. After a few nights of waking up with MANY bug bits on our legs and arms, we discovered that we had a case of Bed Bugs. They definitely like me more than Peter for sure. Thankfully though, we are all in the clear now. After I had the privilege of spraying down our room and cleaning things up, we were able to move back into our room only a few days later. I just pray that they don’t come back for a visit! It was quite uncomfortable.

Well I better stop now. I hope you have enjoyed this so far. Stay tuned for more stories!!
Love ya!!

(Pictures will come soon. We are having trouble uploading them.)