Monday, June 29, 2009

Grasshoppers Aren't Just for Hoppin'

This is one of the delectable delicacies we got to experience in Uganda...grasshoppers! You first pull off the legs and wings, then season and fry 'em up and have yourself a tasty treat. As we popped them into our mouths their eyeballs stared us down. The texture was what I had a hard time with, they were very... crunchy. Gabe described them as tasting like buttered popcorn, but not as good. I think they tasted like fried rice paper with nutty, earthy undertones. They would go well with a light Pinot Grigio :-) Our Wells of Hope friends kept telling us that they are considered a delicacy and are very expensive but... when we got to Kenya we told them we ate grasshoppers and they asked, "Why would you eat a bug?" Good question.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Rainbow

Here is our friend Jared spreading the love in Uganda. While we were at the grandmother's house a crowd of neighbors gathered to see what was going on. WHile we were there, we put on a play about Jesus walking on water, told some stories, and did some face painting. Well, the guy in the picture wanted his chest painted. I think he was looking for a female artist, but Jolena volunteered the closest male available and it just happened to be Jared! Being the willing volunteer, Jared stepped up to the plate and asked what he wanted on his chest. His request: a giant rainbow. As you can see Jared took the job very seriously, and his hard work paid off, it was the most beautiful giant chest rainbow I've ever seen! Good job Jared!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This One's for You Dad!

My dad's favorite type of jokes are plays on words, so because these jokes have been engrained in my DNA, I just couldn't help myself when we were in Uganda and we drove by the source of the Nile. I just couldn't stop it from coming out of my mouth "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." A few snickers from our team, Wells of Hope team... silence. I should have stopped there, but Emma our Ugandan friend asked, "Does anyone know where the Nile (de-nial) comes from?" And I said, "It comes from not accepting the truth." Emma said, "No, I accept the truth." I started to try and explain that I know he accepts the truth, and as I envisioned the rest of the conversation in my head, I just ended with "nevermind." So lesson learned: Play on word jokes do not work when English is the 2nd language. (Dad, take note as we will be traveling to Mexico in July. You may need to start coming up with some new material)

Gabe with Emma, our Ugandan friend who accepts the truth!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wells of Hope

Wells of Hope is the 1st organization that we worked with. Francis Ssuubi founded this organization after he was unjustly imprisoned.  While in prison, he felt called to fight for those who are often forgotten and dismissed by society.  Francis met us at the airport when we arrived in Africa. He didn't actually believe we were coming until saw us at the airport.  In fact, when Jolena sent him money in advance to pay for our hotel and ministry items, he went to the bank, got the money, and then he thought it was a trick so he ran from the bank with the money. I think he was quite relieved when he saw us get off that plane.  Pictured: Me with Prossy and Emma, Wells of Hope Volunteers

Often families of prisoner's are outcasted from their communities which can be very devastating to the family.  Sometimes the children are left to wander the streets.  Wells of Hope does the research to find families of the prisoner's and then they offer their support.  Sometimes their help is rejected because the family is so ashamed of the person in prison, but if help is accepted then they provide school fees and basic needs for the children.  They assist families of prisoners to start up income generating businesses. They also conduct programs to educate people about AIDS and provide prisoners with hygiene items, bibles, food, and counsel.  Check out their website to see all they do: 

They do this all on a voluntary basis and I think Gabe said it best, "They have shown us what it is really like to follow Christ."  Not everyone understands the mission of Wells of Hope mission, but God does and their reward awaits them in heaven.  This is the verse on the Wells of Hope business cards: "The Spirit of God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners" Isaiah 61:1

Wells of Hope Offices

While we were with Wells of Hope we were able to visit families of prisoners and hear their stories, speak at 3 different prisons, and spend a day in worship and encouragement with the Wells of Hope team.  Here are some highlights:
  • Seeing the prisoners worship. They worship with everything they have!
  • When going to the prisons we split into 3 groups: Men, Condemned, and Women's.  I was with the woman's group and we witnessed 4 women become "born again" in Christ!
  • Visiting the homes of prisoner's families.   One woman decided to accept Christ while we were there! (Pictured with her family below) 
  • Visiting a grandmother's house who takes care of many children.  We put on a play for the family and neighbors who stopped by to see why all the white people showed up.  I was in charge coming up with a way to minister to the grandmother and before I left for the trip I read about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and I thought, "that is what I want to do."  So I did, and it was one of the highlights of the trip for me. She was speaking to the translator and kept saying things like, "I can't believe this is happening to me." and "I've never seen God work in the flesh, but this is showing more about who God is."  Wow!  I don't often have the chance to serve someone like that and I can see why Jesus said now go do this for others.   There is such joy found in serving others, and it truly reflects Christ's love for us. 
Above: The grandmother with some of the kids she takes care of.  They are all looking up at Gabe in this picture.  He is one tall mizungu (white person)!
  • Meeting the Wells of Hope team and seeing what it means to not conform to the patterns of this world.  Gabe was so inspired by the ministry that we have agreed to be their US representatives... we are not really sure what this means, but we are excited about the possibilities.  I'm sure there will be more on this later...
After we said goodbye to Wells of Hope, we got in our vans and headed off to Kenya... to be continued...

New Title

Trying out a new blog title.  Thanks Diana for the idea!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We're Back!

We are back in Amarillo and I am planning on updating the blog with stories from our trip soon. There has been a slight hiccup because my journal is in the hands of a thief along with my passport and a few other belongings. On the 2nd to last day of our trip our vehicle was broken into and 6 bags were stolen. 3 of us left our passports in our bags so we ended up getting to stay in Africa for another day where we got a wonderful tour of the US Embassy in Kenya. The devil was trying to steal our joy, but it ain't gunna happen. The trip was still amazing and I will be posting stories soon!

Also, thank you so much to all of you who were praying for us! We all are back home safe and sound with memories that will last a lifetime. Many seeds were planted, and many have found a new hope in Christ!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


So internet access has been pretty limited. I have been journaling so I can update when I get home, but just wanted to let you know that the trip has been amazing and everything has been going great! Thank you so much for all of your prayers. We feel protected and have had peace and guidance in all we have done. We are in Kenya and will be dedicating the water well today. Be praying that we strike water!! It will be a great day of celebration! We will see you all in a week! Love, Brooke