For about the past two weeks I have been saying, "I need to write a blog"... so, here it goes. The past week has been filled with so many incredible stories. Some are funny, some are just incredible acts and testimonies of our Maker. I will share a few with you...
First and foremost, for those of you who do not know, I AM ENGAGED!!!! I am so excited, and this time is so hard apart from the incredible blessing that I call my fiance. (Jarrett Davis is the man. He came with my family to visit me here in Uganda. We went on a safari in Kenya and got engaged there.... it was AWESOME.) Everyone at RG has been so excited for me. Therefore the topic of marriage has been a conversation that we have been discussing lately. Here is a little cultural 411 from the Ugandans on marriage... The other day we were having a conversation with Godfree, the headmaster of the school, and he made the comment, "so I heard that American women don't like to be called fat..." (This may seem a little strange to you, but here in Uganda calling someone fat is a compliment. It means that you are "wealthy" and "beautiful" to them.) We explained that it was true as we discussed the difference in culture. We then learned from Godfree that in Uganda there are many tribes that purposely try to make their women REALLY fat before marriage. In these tribes, they lock the bride-to-be in a hut or house for 1 to 2 months and feed her HUGE amounts of very luxurious food. They feed her meat, bread, sweets, and all sorts of food to faten her up for her husband. In these tribes they actually hire someone to bathe her to prevent her from having to do anything but lay around and eat. He said they lather the women with oil and lotion to prepare her for the special day.... Oh how different our cultures are.
Now for a funny story. This morning as Mary Beth and I were cooking breakfast, little did we know what was about to occur. You truly never know what to expect in a day in Africa. We were fixing our coffee, when we heard a scurrying on the floor. Within the next moment a HUGE black "thing" was running across the floor. This creature, otherwise known as a rat, quickly ran straight into Mary Beth's foot and then began to run circles around us as we danced and screamed across the room. Within the next moment, MB and I were screaming and standing on top of two chairs with the rat nowhere to be found. You will be happy to know that within about 30 seconds of this occurrence, Ashley, and two of our security guards were at the door ready to protect us. So, if you can picture this incident, it was quite a sight. What a wonderful way to start your morning here in Africa. T.I.A.
Beyond the shocking cultural differences and rat incidents, God is so good. He truly just amazes me. Three days ago MB, Ashley, and I traveled to visit a friend and worker at RG. Her name is Amida. She works in the garden and bricks. We have gotten very close with Amida since the beginning of our time in Uganda. She is an incredible woman. When we first arrived at RG, Amida was one of the women that we connected with the most. This past March we visited her house to pray for her husband, Francis. We have written about Francis before on the blog.... a quick re-cap for those who have forgotten: Francis is Amida's husband who has been very sick with liver failure. When we visited him in March, Francis could not even stand because his bones were so frail. He was so weak that even sitting up to talk with us was very painful. His stomach looked like that of an 8-month pregnant woman, but his legs, face, and arms were skeletal. We prayed fervently with and for Francis's healing, and at the time saw no answer... Amida and Francis moved houses after our second visit in March, and we were not able to visit them until three days ago. When we reached their home, we were escorted into the hut where Francis was resting. I truly cannot even begin to tell you the joy that rushed through my heart as Francis stood up to his feet to greet us at the door. He did not look like the same person. I couldn't believe my eyes. His stomach was at a normal size, his arms were strong, his legs were no longer skeletal, and he actually had a somewhat chubby face. I could think of nothing but how incredible is our God. He hears the prayers of His children. For the past few months, Francis has not had the money to receive the proper medical treatment from a hospital. He has only taken a few small pills, and he has prayed. You have prayed, and we have prayed. WOW... This man was healed of liver failure because of prayer. He was healed because GOD IS SOOOOOOO GOOD. We stayed at their house for a few hours. We talked about life, his family, God's provision in healing him, and we read through Mathew 5 and James 5... We discussed that God hears the prayers of the righteous. He says in James 5 "the prayer of the righteous is POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE." How true is the word of God? How incredible and blessed am I that I am able to see it with my own eyes. So I want to thank you for your prayers for Francis. You have taken inheritance into this man's life. God has heard you. He hears us, He hears Francis, and God says YES!!!
I am overwhelmed by His power, His goodness, His grace, His miraculous hand that reaches down and shows His majesty in countless ways. I am truly blessed. T.I.A.