Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Note About Jehovah's Witnesses

   The other day without any notice Steven and I received a very heartfelt note from a young man Steven has been studying the Bible with. His name is Santino and he just turned 14. Santino is a Sudanese refugee. When he was a little boy his father died in the war, then later he was abandoned by his mother, whom he hasn't seen since 2006. He now lives with an aunt here in Mbarara. You can find him faithfully attending every meeting on his own, and constantly asking for new books to read. He finishes reading anything you give him about the Bible in about 3 days! There aren't enough books in the library! If he has a day off school he request to study twice in a week. Before we came he studied with a brother from Japan. Our very first meeting here Santino sat in our row, and now he's with us ever since. He is one of the sweetest kids, and he has our hearts especially after this note....


My names is Santino. I live in Mbarara where there are Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's Witnesses are the best people I ever had. They are the only people who make me happy. Because of my Bible study, I think I am the happiest person in the world. And I have a lot of brothers and sisters who care about me such as Niki, Barrak, Alex, John and my Bible teacher Steven. I think he is the best teacher ever. I came without a father, but now Jehovah is my father. He is the best dad ever. I would not have all these things but through Jehovah's Witnesses. Thanks to them. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Feels Like Home- By Niki

We now feel sorta like Africans. It's taken 8 weeks, but we really feel comfortable and adjusted now. Having our own home has greatly improved our level of contentment. Also being out in the ministry so much has been the perfect way for us learn how to get around. I taught Steven one of my short cuts the other day and I felt so proud :) We mostly get around on foot because the roads can be difficult to drive on. Definitely getting a lot exercise which justifies our eating whatever we want... Ha! Not that there is much bad food to eat, if we want it I usually have to make it, which is not nearly as fun. There are some good restaurants around though. They serve more than just local food, and two places in my opinion have mastered the French fry, which Africans call chips.

Example: Steven was loving this T-bone steak w/ lots of mash potatoes for $6 US!

Mostly we cook at home. The quality and price of fresh organic produce is amazing. 3 avocados for about .30 cents, or 10 tomatoes for the same price. A big juicy pineapple is about .60 cents. So it's easy to eat good. We make avocado salad with tomatoes and onions regularly, very refreshing and nutritious. Steven actually does all of the shopping! He's not easily intimidated, so he can really get a bargain. He also has established friendships in the market. He puts on the charm, calling everyone "my friend". So we get local prices not foreigner price which is maybe 3x more. He even has some Bible studies at the market. You can talk to everyone about the Bible. One day I went with him to the larger grocery store where we buy like cereal and other boxed food. I heard one of the police security guards shout to him "hey Jehovah!" Ha ha! Steven is well known, for who he represents. So if you were wondering why I send him to shop, now you know. Life is simple, but everything takes a long time. For instance once Steven gets home with all the produce, it's my turn to clean it all. It literally comes right out of the ground to market so it's quite dirty. Plus organic here means bugs and parasites us foreigners will get very sick from. So we have to scrub it, soak in a solution and then rinse it with boiled or filtered water. Same goes for the eggs. Very time consuming, but necessary.

We feel very grateful to be here. It's a blessing to have our home finally complete, so we have a place to rest and enjoy. It was a very difficult task, given the very limited options. Can't just run up to home depot to get supplies. We are happy with how it all turned out though, and well we only pay a little over $100 a month for a pretty big place! Here are so pictures of the results.

Office/soon to be guest room. Now and before.

Bathroom. Now and before. Everything was replaced. Tile, toilet, sink, shower- for good reason!

Kitchen. Now and before. Some huge improvements here. It didn't even have a hook up for the oven, fridge, or washer. Like not even wires in the wall, so we had to run a wire through the kitchen all the way down the hallway. 

Sitting room. Now and before. We did it all ourselves. The locals were very surprised when they saw us painting and working, especially me. Women do not do that type of work here. Thankfully I thought ahead of time to bring some curtains and the light fixture lantern. Love our happy blue.

And our bedroom. Now and Before. 

Visitors are welcomed!!! We would love to have some come and enjoy the wonderful life in Uganda. We will give you a comfy place to stay, and show you a fun time! It's also very cheap to live here, if anyone is interested in coming to preach for an extended period of time. We can try to answer any questions you have, and help get you set up. We REALLY NEED the help here. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trip to Kabale- By Niki

Last Sunday Steven and I journeyed down bumpy rocky roads to Kabale Uganda which is near the boarder of Uganda and Rwanda. It's almost 3 hours away. At first it was so bumpy I was praying to survive! The trip was so worth the tiring journey though. 

We visited a tiny congregation of Jehovah's witnesses so Steven could deliver the Bible discourse. They have 14 members and have about 30 in attendance each Sunday. The microphone handler is 9 years old! 

They don't get too many visitors so it was nice to have interchange of encouragement. Romans 1:12
After the meeting we made a short drive to the extraordinary Lake Bunyonyi. 

Cloudy day, but still lovely. About 57 degrees (F)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

6 Week Update- By the less busy one- Niki

It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 weeks since we uprooted our lives and moved to Uganda. It’s overwhelming to stop and think about the gravity of the decision. Up till now it didn’t feel real. Still it feels like a dream in some way, but it’s finally starting to sink in. The moment it hit me was a surprise. I was talking about my family with my friend, specifically one of my brothers. I looked up a video of him singing to show her and suddenly watching I began to cry. Not sob, but still uncontrolled tears. It all came rushing in like the African dust. We are thousands of miles away from everything and everyone we knew. I spent my whole life in the same state, always within an hour or 2 of family. Now it all has changed suddenly. I knew all along that would be my greatest challenge; leaving those I love...Our family and friends.I am really starting to miss them. Ah! I just focus on now, what we can do here in Uganda, and the wonderful friends we have made. Gladly my family and I share the belief that one day we’ll have forever on a paradise earth together. (Psalms 37:10,11,29 Proverbs 2:21 *) That thought gets me through when I’m really missing them, and hopefully it’s the same for them. I realize though this world is spiraling into greater chaos each day, and now more than ever people need hope. That’s our mission, to give hope of something better, and practical help till then. Seeing how the Bible changes lives is a blessing unlike any other, and makes everything and everyone we are missing worth it. I have never doubted for a second that it was the right choice to move to Uganda, I only doubted if I really can do it. Still I doubt if I can make it, and honestly sometimes, if I ever want to. BUT when I focus on the big picture I remember the why, and most of all the how- Jehovah.

In AWESOME news… We went on a safari last week! INCREDIBLE experience to say the least. We saw so many animals and took so many photos. We can't post them all, but here are some pictures of some of the amazing creation we saw… So please look at the art and think of the artist.

Seeing lions on a safari is actually uncommon.  We saw them 3 times! 14 lions total! We were singing "Lion King" songs a lot. 

And lots of elephants!  40 or more across 2 days. 

Water buffalo

2 Baboons... Kidding 

The view from our lodge.

With our missionary friends Jennifer and Derek. 

Together is the best place to be.

* For more about what the Bible teaches regarding a paradise earth see

JW.ORG the best reference to find out what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and get other Bible questions answered.