Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mongolian Pancakes

Huh? What are those, you might ask! Well, it's more of a concept we've adapted and now it's become tradition (2 times in a row is tradition, right?) every DTS debriefing week. Have you ever been to a Mongolian grill? You get to choose different things to put into your dish and they cook it right before you. We do it with pancakes!

mongolian pancakes

We made regular pancakes, whole wheat pancakes, and gluten-free pancakes (for our friend, Jocelyn) and set out oats, bananas, cinnamon, berries, and pecans! You take your bowl, put your desired amount of batter, add your desired extras, and cook! It's a fun fellowshipping opportunity to make to your liking and cook together.

I was so excited about my pancakes that I forgot to take a photo of the deliciousness!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Going To Hong Kong


After this weekend, it is going to be extremely quiet around here. The students leave tomorrow (sniff, sniff) and Jeremy leaves today for Hong Kong! I don't like it when he has to travel without me (especially when it's a place I've never been!) but he has a great opportunity to go and share what Ten Thousand Homes is doing here in Africa.

One of our good friends works on the planning staff for Call2All. She first pitched the idea of going to attend this event that brings together thousands of Christian leaders in one room. Here's a little about it taken from their website:

Call2All Global Congresses are designed to bring together Christian leaders from across the world to accomplish the following objectives:
  • Network: Form a cohesive global network to work in synergy to complete the Great Commission
  • Train: Help the Body of Christ around the world cross-pollinate and share best methods and practices with each other
  • Focus: To use a common global map to identify the greatest needs and win the least reached
Thousands of Christian leaders from 239 nations have been invited, and guess what? This year one of the 7 themes is a compassion theme. Jeremy and his compadre, David Song, will be going and mixing with these leaders and sharing about how they can get involved and what Ten Thousand Homes is doing to care for orphans and widows.

Please pray for their trip! Events such as these help so much to bring awareness and action and cause churches and individuals to rise up and do what they can to bring hope to these kids.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 6 :: A Day In Entebbe

saying goodbye

We participated in a final community worship session with the YWAMers and our team before saying, "See you in 2 weeks!" We left for Entebbe...and then came back to search for Jeremy's lost phone...and then left again! We arrived at The Vine, a lovely guest house that exists to serve missionaries and those in Christian ministry.

motor bike taxi

We decided to walk to the center of town to check it out. An eager motorcycle taxi offered to take us around. Sure! Why not? Riding through the streets of Entebbe, I thought to myself, "This is crazy! I would never do this in the states! Especially without a helmet!" Praise God for the extended grace during those times! Our $2.50 ride landed us at Gately's.

gately's

If I wrote restaurant reviews, I would give this place 2 thumbs up! A lovely atmosphere and food choices for all palates. Not to mention 5 flavors of freshly squeezed juice! If you're ever in Uganda, be sure to look up The Vine guest house and Gately's!

freshly squeezed pineapple juice

eggplant sandwich

This concludes our adventures in Uganda. Although I shared a lot of photos with you, I took over 400 on our 6 day trip. If you want to see more, you can visit my Uganda Flickr set.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reading (And Watching) :: Slumdog Millionaire


I'm sure most of you have already seen this movie (we get things a little later here). I got a hold of the book before the movie and I have to recommend both! Although the story is very similar, a lot of the details in the book and movie are very different. Watching and reading it brought me back to the sights and sounds I remember from my travels to India. Reading about the children who are harmed so they can bring in money for their pimps, brought back the painful memories of seeing kids on the streets of India with pitchforks through their tongues. It's absolutely heartbreaking to think kids are being used in this way.

The story is about a young boy from the slums who wins a million on a game show only to be accused of cheating. We learn his story of how he knew the answers to every question. It's sad that the caste system is still in place in India, and that's why he was accused of cheating. How could a boy from the slums have the knowledge that he displayed? If you get a chance, be sure to watch, and read, Slumdog Millionaire!

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Last day to enter the giveaway! Comments will close today at 9 PM South African time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tender Treasure :: The Children Of Africa

This is a hard post to write. Even though I've lived here for 2 years now, some things are still shocking and unbelievable to me. But I write this because the children of Africa need your prayers. As we strive to train up children of the Light, there is an enemy at work scheming evil plans for these very kids.

kids in a tree

Through our friends living in the communities, we've heard about the atrocities done to the kids. Murders and rapes happening frequently, going unreported. The sangomas (witch doctors) are casting awful spells on the doorstops of homes, and three days later the people are dead.

hands and smiles

Just two days ago, a young three-year-old girl was found wandering the streets of Kabokweni. Our friend, Elizabeth, found her and took her to the clinic. Upon examination, they discovered she had been raped and abused. Three years old! It makes my stomach hurl and causes emotions to rise up. Upon further questioning, it was discovered that these atrocities were done to her by her uncle and her drunk mother just lets it happen. Thankfully, Elizabeth has taken her in for the time being and is caring for her.

group of kids

This time of year things always seem to get a little bit out of sorts. In August, the circumcision camps start happening, but activity starts stirring right about now. The camps are awful. Young, teenage boys and girls taken, usually against their will, to these camps. Young boys, many of who are already sexually active, being circumcised with the same knife.

handstand

So this post is a plea for your prayers for the kids. Please pray for the young girl walking down the street. Please pray for these warriors of Light to be protected against the enemy. Can you imagine these smiling faces violated in such a way by the enemy?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 5 :: A Ugandan Church Experience

bigembe cathedral

We sat in the Bugembe Cathedral worshiping with fellow believers. What a privilege to meet fellow Christians around the globe and worship our Saviour together! I struggled to understand the service in Lugandan and the Ugandan accented English. Although, I reminded myself that sometimes it's just about being together as believers.

I missed my kids on this Mother's Day, but the kids dancing to the music brought a smile to my face as well as the little ones who had no change for the offering and gave their avocados instead. After church we had the privilege of meeting and talking with David and Eudice, two people that are doing what they can to care for the orphan and the widow.

chatting

David, an orphan himself, definitely has a heart for the children. He longs to create a community where children can have hope and have their spiritual, physical, social, and economic needs met. He is currently based in Jinja, but longs to reach even more communities. Please pray for David and Christ Harvest - Uganda.

chatting with eudice

Eudice's story was amazing. Her parents were missionaries in Tanzania. She eventually married and made it back to Uganda, only to discover she was HIV positive. Her husband eventually died, leaving her with 2 kids to care for. As time passed, she found out she was positive. She decided not to take meds. She has been living with HIV for 20 years now without ever taking ARV's. God has used her in many ways to speak to others about HIV. Please continue to pray for her. Her health is not good. She's already lost one child to HIV and her other one is positive, as well as, some of her grandkids.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Work In Progress

working on the tree house

We had an absolute beautiful weekend here in S. Africa! Springlike weather. Sunny skies. A day to be outside.

joshua in the tree

While us girls went to the store and cooked and baked (getting ready for the team to get back tomorrow!), the boys started a project!

the tree house floor

It's a tree house...in progress! Joshua has wanted a tree house for a long time so the guys gathered scrap wood and started hammering away. They didn't finish but Joshua is excited nonetheless that it's started! What about you? Did you do anything fun on your weekend?

the floor

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Don't forget to enter my Ugandan giveaway before Thursday!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Butternut Soup

butternut soup

In case you haven't noticed, it's soup season in these parts! The cooler weather just beckons soup and homemade bread, doesn't it? Butternut soup has been on my list of things to make and I finally got around to it. It's a South African favorite so I knew I had to try it! The butternut gives it a slightly sweet taste, even though you don't add any extra sweeteners to it. There are lots of recipes out there for this dish but I used the one found here. I loved the curry in it and I added a little bit of milk to give it a slight creamy taste. For my American friends, if you want to try this dish, the closest thing to butternut would be pumpkin. And be warned, butternut is extremely hard to cut. I got out my sharpest, biggest knife I could find!

1.5kg butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
50 g butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
1 tsp curry powder
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres vegetable or chicken stock
a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1. Butternuts are one of the hardest vegetables to cut. Always use a large sharp knife. The easiest way is to top and tail the butternut, then cut it across into two.

2. Stand each half on one end and cut away the skin from top to bottom. Halve each piece lengthways and remove the seeds. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan, add the onions and garlic and gently saute.

3. While the onions and garlic are sauteing, chop the butternut flesh, then add it to the onions and mix well. Stir in the curry powder and seasoning. Pour in the stock, stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer for 35 minutes until the butternut is soft.

4. Blend the soup with a hand-held blender (a worthwhile purchase, by the way, if you don't have one already). Serve topped with plenty of parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

End Of Swimming Season...Evaluation Day

The kids had their end of the season swimming evaluation on Thursday. It has been a long season...two days a week since September...so I was happy that the season was ending.

You might have followed their progress if you've been reading my blog for a while. I love evaluation day because we get to see their progress and the teachers make a plan for what the swimmers need to work on in the next season.

diving in

Emma Grace has had trouble being lazy with her kicks, not wanting to blow bubbles in the water, and after a year, of lessons, hasn't gotten water safe. BUT she has had so much progress just in the last few weeks and I saw a taste of it on Thursday. The teachers finally just had to push her beyond where she wanted to go. (Maybe that's why she locked herself in the bathroom that crazy day before leaving for Uganda.) Although she is still not officially water safe, she is able to blow bubbles and do the starfish for a whole 10 seconds. I am very proud of my baby girl!

starfish

water safety - good progress

little guppie

Joshua is definitely officially water safe. He has excelled so much in the past year. He definitely tries really hard and wants to do his best. He received 2 certificates for beginner backstroke and beginner freestyle!

the backstroke

beginner freestyle and backstroke

All the progress and the fact that it was the end of the season was a cause for celebration. So off to Wimpy's for ice cream it was!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, my little artisan and I did finish the scarf. Taking that time to teach was definitely worth it when I saw the smile on her face when she put it on!

my little artisan

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 4 :: The Source Of The Nile

source of the nile

source of the nile
The actual source where The Nile and Lake Victoria meet.

While in Jinja, we went to the source of the Nile! We took a leisurely boat ride on this 4,000 mile long body of water extending from Jinja to Egypt. It takes 3 months for something to float from one end to another! It was so awesome to actually see with my own eyes what I've only read about. A body of water so rich in history. Remembering Moses and all the stories in the Bible where the Nile is mentioned. Now I have a picture to go with those words...

the nile

the nile

all of us in the boat

After the boat ride, we went to a fantastic dinner at 2 Friends. We had a really fun day just hanging out with everyone. It was so fun going to Uganda and being a part of the ministry but our focus was definitely the team and to be a refreshment to them. It can be exhausting constantly giving of yourself, living out of a suitcase, and living in outreach conditions...for 8 weeks. Sometimes, we just need a breath of fresh air from the Lord to keep trucking along.

price's on the boat

price's

the team

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Giveaway From The Streets Of Uganda

While traipsing down the streets of Jinja, I found the perfect items for my next giveaway! I love handmade items, especially when it supports local people. In Uganda (and other parts of Africa, I'm sure), the ladies make these beautiful necklaces...out of magazine paper and beads! Isn't that cool? I watched the lady make them, carefully rolling each paper and so quick!

rolling paper for necklaces

making necklaces

paper beads

I also spotted some beautiful, colorful material that can be used as a versatile frill to your wardrobe. Perfect for a shawl, scarf, or a wrap over jeans! So...I have one paper necklace and one wrap that is up for the giveaway!

paper necklace

wrap from uganda

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. I will close the comments in one week on Thursday, May 28th at 9 PM South African time and announce the winner here on this post on Friday. The winner will receive both items. I will ship anywhere so everyone can enter! Best of luck!

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Congratulations to the winner!

Well, I am entering in for the givaway!! I love reading up on what you guys are doing. Just great work! Thanks! Rachell Grounds

Thanks to everyone who participated!

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