Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow and Uganda But Not Together.......

What was the last thing I wrote about?
Oh yes......Pippin is back now and it is like she never left. She only spent 24 hours in Amsterdam. They didn't do any sight seeing because they were dressed for Africa and not upper hemisphere weather. It ended up that the airlines put them all up in a fancy hotel. By the sound of things, with heated floors and automatic everything, it must have been some kind of super deal between the airlines and the hotel industry with a fancy 5 star atmosphere. It was such a blessing for the whole team. Though they wanted to be home, the comforts of the hotel gave them time to begin the unwinding process after their non-stop schedule.

Once here, our schedule was merciless but joyful. Our oldest daughter and her beau came into town the same evening to spend a few days with us. And surprise! Our oldest boy snuck in the house a day later for some unplanned fun. We spent those days celebrating together, shopping together, going to Christmas parties, and doing a bit of ice skating. With the big storm front that has moved into the NW, it ended up that our girls only had one day of school before their Christmas break began.

For the last week we have had snow and ice blow in and around our area in a display that has been beautiful but quite unusual for our neck of the woods. It has come and gone a bit so that errands can be run and the Portland people can get over their initial shock on actually seeing snow on the valley floor. I personally don't remember seeing weather like this since the winter of 1995 when we first moved back here. Then we were staying at my parents house which is another 500 feet up in elevation. I don't think that the city saw this much then either.

The weather has been so crazy that I had to postpone my coveted birthday time with my mom for a later date. We so look forward to spending our day together and it was a bummer to have to hold off. I will share the details that I have planned .....AFTER......we have our date for who knows when she will pop over here for a quick read. (wink wink Mom I love you)

It is currently a nippy 17 degrees outside, 8 o'clock in the evening, and the snow has been coming in force all day long. My poor hubby, who drives an 18 wheel semi-truck, has been working in it all day long and is trying to make his way home now. We are hoping he is able to get all the way here to the comforts of home before too much longer.
Here is a quick snap shot in my driveway from this evening.

Okay, it is a little after 10pm now. Hubby made it home safe and everyone had some tasty soup for dinner to take away the chills.
In between all of the baking and fun of the holiday season, I have grabbed a few frames from Pippin's videos to share with you. I think technology is so cool that I can take a single frame from a digital video stream and make it into a picture.
I am hoping that in this next week I can coax her away from the snow long enough to create a video journal of her time in Uganda.

While in Uganda, Pippin and her team visited 5 different school villages before the conference began. Here you can see the conditions of the school buildings and surrounding area. They administered medication and food, shared the love of God and made many friends. So many amazing things happened.

Unbeknown to them at the time, one of the villages had a grudge against white people. They had said that God did not love them enough to ever have white people bless them with a visit and bring much needed supplies. Our team showed up with supplies and love for the day and shared over and over again that God thinks of them more times than the stars are in the sky. By the end of their visit, 7 of the villagers asked God to live in their hearts and one man whose hand was severely crippled was completely healed in front of every ones eyes.

Here is Pippin with a group of children that followed her around in another village. They mimicked everything she did. They petted her, took turns holding her hands, pointed out her freckles with amazement, and openly shared their hearts and possessions with her. One little girl got down on her knees in honor to give Pippin an ear of corn. A set of twins chattered eagerly with sparkling eyes and sang songs to her as they picked grass seeds off her skirt to keep her clean. In this picture, the little girl to Pippin's left in the white dress was a tearful joy. She was so determined that Pippin was taken care of that she dragged her finger thru her bowl of rice, dividing it in half and making Pippin eat her share. Pippin tried to pretend to eat and not take her food but the little girl was wise to her and would have none of it. In the little that she had, she felt it an honor to be able to bless Pippin. Even now it brings tears to my eyes.

This little girl has a tourniquet on her right leg. As our team had entered the school compound, this girl had just been found wandering in the bush and had gotten a snake bit on her foot. Though the children are told over and over again to stay close, sometimes it is too hard to keep track of everyone. This little girl was trying so hard to be brave and fight back tears. She has seen too much tragedy in her young life to know the consequences. With Africa having the most venomous snakes in the world she knew that bite victims either die or lose the extremity that was bitten because of fast setting gangrene.
Pastor Moses quickly handed money to the school dean and they whisked her away on a moped to the nearest hospital. Praise God for later the team heard that she was in stable condition.

Here Pippin is helping to pass out lunches to the village school children. It typical fashion, this little girl curtsied as she was given her treats. Usually meals consist of ground corn mixed with water to make a paste. But in honor of the team visiting, each child was able to have fried rice with pieces of meat mixed in. They were thrilled.

I found it interesting to learn that each child carries around some sort of back pack. In each back pack they carry a plastic bowl to eat their meals in. They also carry empty containers. The reason for this is because the village water pump is located at the school. At the end of the school day, the children fill the containers that they have and carry water home to their families. They were thrilled when our team would empty a simple water bottle and give it away for that meant something else that they could carry water in.

Over the past few days I have been looking through the video footage in awe. I find myself crying over everything in front of my eyes. We live in such plenty and yet still complain about so much. The people that Pippin met have so little and yet they are filled with joy and happiness.

I find myself hoping that in a few years maybe I can make a trip like this. I want to love on the children, the people, give much needed supplies, ................and learn from them.


  1. It snowed in Portland early on Christmas morning in 198-something when I lived there. Our water pies froze, our hot water heater spung a leak and the oven element wouldn't work. That was a Christmas to remember!

    I found the same thing on my mission trip to Guatemala -- folks had so little, yet they kept trying to give it to us, when we had come to bless them. In such cases, it is hard to tell who is better blessed, giver or receiver.

  2. Jules. yes we live in a Different world.when the power,gas water goes off.we think it's the end of world. when we see people walking miles each day for water.could we do it i don.t know. i thank God i live in the U.K.with all that is wrong with this nation.Jesus tells us that the poor will always be with us.some times it easy as christian's to give money.not saying it's wrong but like Pippin and my family we need to get our hands you said you would like to get out there.may that you all happy Hanukkah and a merry chritmas .He is risen.Amen

  3. Thanks jules...for sharing your daughters story with us. It is so important that we are reminded of the important real things of life!

    Hope you and your family continue to enjoy the snow safely, and have a blessed Christmas


  4. I loved reading about Pippin's trip and like you, someday I would love to go and experience it for myself...meanwhile there's much to be done here...hope you are staying bundled up in all that crazy cold weather you are having...brrr...

    Merry Christmas sweet friend ~

  5. I would imagine the video footage is the most inspiring and at the same time, heartbreaking, you've ever seen.

    Glad Pipping and the rest of the team made it home safely.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

  6. I'm very inspired by your posting. You share your life with others and lighten their burden. Many people are too busy with themselves that they do not look around and see the less fortunates. Thanks for sharing your blog.


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