Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Typical Week in our Life

On one of our major road trips
Last week our home church in the States asked us to do a week of daily postings on Facebook sharing what a week in our life is like here in Northern Uganda. It was so much fun to take pictures throughout the day that people might be interested to see and document what we did in a week. So I thought it would be fun to share the same photos and stories here on our blog.
The first photo shows that traveling has become a big part of our lives as this is Isaac's first year at Rift Valley Academy, a school for missionary kids in Kenya. Every 6 weeks we drive to the capital city to either pick Isaac up for his month long break at home, or for his mid term break which is 6 weeks into his 3 month term. We're so thankful that we now live somewhere close enough to see Isaac this often!!! It is worth all the miles we trek in our car!

Hauling water for laundry
Until today, this is how I've been doing laundry. City water doesn't come very often so we depend on our rain barrel a lot. We have a washing machine that runs off our solar power but I try to use as much rain water as possible to save what's in the main tank for the taps, showers, and toilets inside.
I said until today, because Eli figured out a way to install a pump to pump water from the rain barrel up to our main tank so we should be good for water now. Yay!

Studious 5th & 7th grader
This is what I spend most of my week doing: home schooling these two amazing boys.  We have tried to get on Isaac's school schedule so that we can take off of school when Isaac's home and work hard when he's working hard at school too. 

Carson joins in for some of the subjects

Eli working hard in his office
Although Eli's favorite thing to do is teach, since he is running the ministries alone (without teammates), he also has a lot of admin - budget, emails, phone calls, ordering books, grading papers, etc.) He usually spends the mornings in his office and then goes out to the refugee camps or has meetings in the afternoon.
Eli meeting with our church leaders under our mango trees.
Eli also really enjoys conversations with pastors and church leaders sitting under our mango tree.

Evan's new project
One of Evan's 13 "Tasks of Manhood" that we gave him on his birthday in March was to completely take a part and put back together a motorcycle. Eli found an old, cheap moped and Evan and his friends have been loving taking it apart and learning mechanics as they go. When Evan gets stuck, Eli jumps in to help.

Carson loves being outside visiting with neighbors
After a full morning of school, the boys and I all take off out of the compound. They go off and play with their friends and I do the same thing. :) Most women do their hard work in the mornings like working in the garden, washing laundry and cooking. Then they just kind of hang out in the afternoons. When Carson wakes up from his afternoon nap, he and I head out to greet and visit different neighbor friends. Sometimes we stay close to home, other times we might go to visit a friend who just had a new baby or we try to go meet someone new.

My friend Justin getting her hair braided.

Everyone loves Carson!
Carson is quite popular in our village. He doesn't always love being held by everyone but they all sure love him. His name is hard to pronounce so he goes by John which is his middle name. I've even been in town and people know his name!

At "De-de's" house

De-de means Grandma in Maadi language. This is De-de Grace and she is our village grandmother.

A trombone lesson with Dad
We don't want Evan to lose what he worked so hard to learn last year with the trombone so we do music class twice a week. Eli played the trombone in high school and college so he is helping Evan learn some new songs (another one of Evan's 13 tasks.)

Joshua coloring on our porch with his friend Amani

Some of Eli's Bible students
Eli is running 4 different TEE (Theological Education by Extension) programs in and around Adjumani and in refugee camps. The way the program works is that the students read their books on their own during the week (around their regular jobs) and then they meet on Saturdays with a facilitator/teacher to review and discuss the material. They also have to write papers and take tests as part of the program.

So glad to have a few women in the program!

The church where they meet

I'm so excited that the rainy season has finally begun!
Though it's still very hot and muggy and the rains haven't picked up like they should in this season, everyone is planting, including me! I've planted a vegetable garden, an herb and lettuce patch and lots of flowers! Hopefully we'll even get some grass growing here pretty soon!

Isaac at school
An update on Isaac: for those who don't know, at the beginning of May Isaac broke his arm up near his shoulder while playing rugby at school. He has to keep it immobile and in a sling for 6 weeks. Eli and Evan took a 2 day journey to visit him at school and make sure he was doing alright learning how to do everything one handed. He has been so brave and had such a good attitude through all of this. We are so thankful to the Lord for giving Isaac this special strength and stamina, especially with us being so far away. We also thank God for Isaac's dorm parents and friends who have taken such good care of him. This picture was taken by a close friend whose son also goes to school there (seated in blue next to Isaac). She just went for the weekend and took some treats and love to our boy and sent us lots of good photos and videos of how Isaac is doing. The day after Isaac was injured another friend/guardian of Isaac while he's at school drove from Nairobi to spend a few hours with Isaac and then another friend just sent him a little care package. So Isaac's getting an outpouring of love and that's been a very big help - not only for Isaac but for us too.

Treats brought from Auntie Emily :)

Thursday, May 09, 2019

The days are full and flying...

Fader family at the beach
April passed by in a blur. We began the month with a week of paradise at the coast with a bunch of Eli's family. The cousins played, we ate lots of good seafood and spent most of our time in the water.

Camel walks on the beach

A typical sight at our house - Eli hanging out with a group of pastors

Carson's biggest news: He's walking!
 Isaac was home from school for the month of April and we so enjoyed being a complete family. Thanks to video chats every Sunday, Carson always remembers Isaac when we see him.
Teething and interrupted sleep isn't easy
 Carson has been teething the last few months and coupled with all our traveling, he has not been sleeping as well. That has made life a little harder but I'm learning to gear down and, like the photo, nap when possible!
Getting set up for the Jesus Film on Good Friday
Easter season was really special for us this year as it was our first Easter in Adjumani. We invited all our surrounding neighbors to come watch the Jesus Film in maadi, their tribal language, on Good Friday night. We had a great turn out and were so thankful for the opportunity to share the story of Jesus but also a clear gospel presentation to all those we love.

Poor Isaac
 Sadly, just a few days after Isaac returned to school in May, Isaac injured himself in a rugby game. He ended up fracturing his arm up near his shoulder so he's got it in a sling and partial cast and is having to keep it immobile for 6 weeks. He's learning to do everything one handed and his teachers have lent him a mini computer to type all his assignments since that's easier than trying to write left handed.

We're so thankful that Eli and Evan could get on a bus and go check on Isaac and take him some treats from the rest of us. Isaac's dorm parents, his friends and other school staff were amazing and took such great care of Isaac and continue to do so. It sure gives us a lot of peace of mind to know he is so well taken care of while we are so far away.

Nan and I in our kitchen where we spent most of our time!

 It still feels like a beautiful dream that my friend Nan got to come spend more than a week with us here in Uganda! We took her on a 2 day safari since it was her first trip to Africa and then she came and experienced our life here in Adjumani. She served and loved us so well - washing dishes, helping with Carson, and showering us with so many gifts from America. I hadn't realized how much I've missed having a friend right here in Adjumani. It was so special to spend chunks of time with her sharing from our hearts and encouraging each other in our unique seasons of life.

A typical afternoon for Carson and I
Eli and Evan will arrive home tomorrow from their long trip to Kenya to see Isaac and then we're looking forward to a little more "normal" around here. We are still waiting on the rains to come but I've already prepared a little garden to plant some veggies and melons. Otherwise Eli continues with his Bible training and the boys and I are buckling down to try to finish the school year by Isaac's next break in July. The above picture shows what most afternoons entail for us. The bigger boys head out to play with their friends once school work is done and Carson and I visit with neighbors. We love our people here.