What’s on the Horizon

If you feel led to partner with our family through giving financially, you can do so in two ways:

1. Checks should be made payable to Grace International Children’s Foundation, and please be sure to write “Miss. Med.” in the memo line (stands for Missionary Support – Medical Officer).  These donations are tax-deductible in the USA, and tax receipt letters are issued annually.  Checks should please be mailed to:

Grace International Children’s Foundation
5121 FM 359
Richmond, Texas 77406

2. You may also provide financial support using your credit card online, it’s easy and safe. You have the choice to make a one time donation or set up a recurring payment. You can set this up on Grace International Children’s Foundation web page for our family HERE.  Please select “Missionary Support: Kelley” in the pull down Designation menu. Tax receipts are issued by email immediately after donating.


 “Malembe” is a popular greeting in Uganda. For example, if we are greeting a woman, we may say “Malembe, Mama!”even though she is not our mom. Or, “Malembe, Papa!” for a man. So, “Malembe” to you all!

We apologize for not providing an update for some time. It has been such a busy season. As most of you have experienced a fall, and seemingly a sudden and early winter for many across the states, we have been thinking about seasons a lot lately. We are nearing the end of the second rainy season of the year here, and we will soon move into the big, long, and hot dry season. There may only be rain a couple/few times across at least 2, and up to 4 months.

The literal seasons have prompted some Biblical study of life seasons as well. A couple of take-aways and thoughts we are leaning into are to continually seek what we can learn from the current season we are in. Another is that in season and out of season, from one to another, is that we are to be consistent and continue to faithfully do the work that is required in that current season. It has also been a neat time to reflect on past seasons, think about and remember what God was teaching us in those seasons, and how He used those seasons to prepare us for current ones. And, it’s then fun to wonder what future seasons might look like, and what we are learning now that better prepares us for them. Of course it is only the Lord who establishes our steps, so for now, we strive to focus and work at what He has called us to do in this season, seek to know what He is teaching us now, and enjoy and have grateful hearts for the special place He has us in, working with a special group of children and staff.  We are thankful.

 Since arriving in Uganda again this fall, there has been much going on:

The 5th  and 6th  houses are complete, and we are just waiting on furniture for the next two families to move in (a house mom, 5 girls, and 5 boys in each house)! There will only be two more houses built after this, and then all of the children who live at Lulwanda full-time will be living in a house with a smaller family, instead of a dorm-style situation where 30-40 kids are in one dorm along with 1-2 house moms. The only children who don’t live there full-time are those who are either 18 years or older now, or those who attend secondary schools for the majority of the year. Secondary Schools are boarding schools and are the norm in Uganda for children who are high-school aged. More news on that subject in coming months 🙂

 We are thrilled that we have found a strong, Christian counselor and psychologist in Mbale. They work at one of the hospitals in town, and are paid by another ministry here, called Jenga. A handful of our kids visit them weekly, but they recently did a few days of training for all of our house moms and social workers at Lulwanda. We are grateful for the tools, additional understanding, and Biblical truths that were poured into the staff, so that they are better equipped to love, guide, and disciple the children at Lulwanda.

We said goodbye to Hillary Jackson. She originally came to Mbale to teach at the missionary school that our children attend. Because of her passions, and all of her energy, she took on the responsibility during her second year in Uganda to also help at the Lulwanda Primary School (equivalent to grades 1-7 in the states). She was a great help to the teachers and students. She grew up on a dairy farm outside of Columbus, Ohio, so she also had much knowledge to assist the Lulwanda farmers, especially in regards to our dairy cows. The children (both the four Kelley kids and the Lulwanda children) always had so much fun with her, as she was always up for having fun, getting dirty, and putting together fun and creative projects!.

The children who attended Vacation Bible School this summer at Sharon Baptist Church in McDonough, GA raised money for us to purchase instruments for Lulwanda. With all that was raised, we were able to purchase an acoustic guitar, a bass guitar, a set of (5) traditional African drums, microphones, and a great sound/speaker system. We are excited that the children will have the opportunity to learn more about music with these instruments and equipment! Thank you, children of Sharon Baptist!

Thank you for your prayers and love, Ryan and Megan


It’s fall, y’all

We wanted to start-off by saying “thank you!” to many of you who encouraged us this summer, and who have continued to stay in touch.  We have received notes from many of you, through email, facebook, texting, that have let us know that you are thinking of us, and it really means so much.  A couple of you have even sent youtube links to your current favorite worship songs, which has been a big treat! Praise and worship in Uganda is much different than what we experience in our churches in the U.S.  It is really a gift to see and experience a whole new way of worshiping our Father, but it is also nice to experience and hear the songs that God is using in the American churches to draw His believers close to Him in worship as well.

It’s hard to believe we’ve only all been back in Uganda for almost three months again now since summer break (thank you for being patient on an update!) but we are settling in well again.  It really felt nice to be back in Uganda.  It was funny to think about how strange and new everything felt the first time we came to visit Uganda, and all of the new experiences, smells, sights, accents, etc. that we have gotten used to “slowly by slowly” (as Ugandans would say) over the last couple of years.  This time around, it all felt pretty “normal” to us all, even, or maybe especially, the kids.  They really seemed to just fall back into life here, have been happy, settled, and just seem at home.  We are so grateful for this.

Since coming back, the kids have now been busy in school.  Audrey is in 4thgrade, Simon is in 1st, and Lucy and Norah are in preschool.  They are all really enjoying being back in school with their teachers and friends. Lucy and Norah have loved being “big girls” and going to school everyday.  At the beginning of the year, on Saturdays even, Lucy was quite upset for a bit that she could not go to school that day.  We wonder if she’ll feel the same once she’s a high school student? 😉

Ryan has been quite busy at Lulwanda since returning.  There is much work to be done as he oversees the medical care of the kids and staff, as well as overseeing discipleship.  He is also adjusting to taking care of our Tendo campus and University kids, along with various other tasks and administrative assistance.  He has been quite encouraged by some of the things going on at Lulwanda currently though!  One very exciting bit of news is that two more houses have begun to be built at Lulwanda!  This means that about 20 more children will have the opportunity to move into a house in which they will have about 9 brothers and sisters and one house mom. Their home life will offer them a childhood much more in line with a traditional home structure than what is common in orphanages/children’s homes.  This will only benefit them in the long run, both because they will have more attention from their house mom, there will be more opportunities for the moms to have regular Bible study with their children, and they will also more naturally learn skills that will help them lead their own homes and families one day.

Another way in which we have been encouraged is by Martin, a youth pastor that Lulwanda has hired. He and his wife live at Lulwanda, and having him on the compound has been really beneficial for the children and staff.  He leads weekly Bible studies for the staff, and also does regular Bible study with the children.  Having another Ugandan, Christian, male living at Lulwanda to be a role model for the boys and girls has been great.  He is willing to disciple and talk to the children when they have questions, need re-direction, and when they simply need or want someone to talk to.

Megan is adjusting to having no children with her in the mornings! Two mornings each week, she is helping out at the small missionary school. Other mornings are spent at Lulwanda, running errands in town, and taking care of things at home.  Shortly after we returned, she had the opportunity to teach at a Women’s Conference in Mbale that was intended for women who are in ministry in some capacity themselves, whether they serve in their churches directly or they support their husbands who are serving as pastors or have other roles in the churches in Uganda and Kenya.  It was an encouraging time to worship with and teach and learn along with so many Ugandan and Kenyan women who love the Lord and seek to serve Him and love others.

Our most exciting news since returning is that 7 new children have made Lulwanda their home!  We are incredibly thankful that God has entrusted us all with them.  We are thankful for Him rescuing them from vulnerability and has provided for them a home in which they are loved and cared for. We will work on a special update to send out that shares a couple of their stories soon.  We love you, and thank you for your prayers!  ~Ryan and Megan


Psalm 68:19 “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

The past month has been wonderful, exciting, and often incredibly challenging. Each day we have had to pray for renewed strength to navigate the challenges of life in a foreign land, but God has been incredibly faithful and has taught, encouraged, comforted, and challenged us both. Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19)

In late January/early February, we welcomed eight new children to Lulwanda. Daisy, Max, Adrian, Emma, Allen, Bridgette, Peace, and Mary were all rescued from homes where both mother and father were either deceased, missing/abandoned, and/or too sick to care for them. All children were taken to court for care orders and tested for all illness common in East Africa. No chronic health issues were found; praise the Lord! Each child has been adjusting throughout the first month a Lulwanda and all are doing well. Medically, there were jiggers that had to be removed from their toes, along with a few wounds they had that were infected from the village, but all are happy and healthy now.

Construction has also started at Lulwanda to begin building new homes for the children. Our desire is to move from a dormitory setting for children to a small home setting. Each house will have a house “mom” and be assigned 10 children until they reach the age of puberty. They will all have their own small area for farming, cooking, etc. This will be much more like a Ugandan home setting, and we are excited to see it come to fruition. Children in Secondary School (High School) will graduate back to the boys’ dorm and girls’ dorm once they reach that age.

The school board and staff at Audrey and Simon’s school are in the midst of planning for next school year. If you, or someone you might know, would be interested in teaching children of missionaries and aid workers here in Mbale, please let us know! We will be happy to share more information with you/them about what life here looks like, what the school is like, teacher benefits, teacher requirements, etc. Please feel free to pass along our email or other contact information to people who you feel led to share with. with

love, Ryan and Megan

O Come, Let Us Adore Him

The younger Lulwanda children acted out the Christmas Nativity for the Lulwanda Christmas party this year!  They enjoyed dressing up, acting, singing, and learning more about our Savior’s birth!



A young woman, Mary, was engaged to a man named Joseph. Mary loved God very much.



God sent an angel to speak to Mary. He told Mary that she was going to have a special baby. This baby would be God’s son, and His name would be called Jesus.



Then the angel went to talk to Joseph. The angel explained to Joseph that Mary was going to have the Son of God, and that it was ok for Joseph to take Mary to be his wife and to take care of her and the baby, who was to be named Jesus.



Shortly afterwards, Mary and Joseph traveled to a town called Bethlehem. They tried to find a room for the night but there was no room in the inn. They finally rested in a stable.



There, Mary had the baby, Jesus, and laid Him in the manger.



Shepherds came and worshipped Him.



Wise men also came to worship Jesus. And, they brought their gifts.



The wise men went and found the baby Jesus by following His star and when they found Him, they worshipped Him.



Angels sang a song of joy about Jesus’ birth.


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We still sing about His birth today! “Baby Jesus, baby Jesus, I love you, I love you! You are my Savior, every day!”

Back in Mbale

Thank you for being patient for an update as we have been settling back in to life in Mbale over the past month and a half. We had a wonderful time in the states this summer. We spent lots of time with family, were able to catch up with some friends, and were grateful for opportunities to share updates with the churches that support our family in so many ways. We were greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest that many of you all had in what our first year in Uganda had been like, how things were going at Lulwanda, and how you could even help in some way at Lulwanda. Thank you!

Once we were all back in Uganda at the end of August, we had about a week before Audrey and Simon began school again. After that first week, things picked up pretty quickly. The big kids were back into the routine of school, Ryan was busy at Lulwanda in the clinic, and preparing for kids’ discipleship and Bible study, and Megan and the twins found our place and routine again, balancing between home, community, and Lulwanda. The Lulwanda children were all at home when we returned in August for one of their holidays from school. We really enjoyed being able to spend quality time with them right off the bat. We had missed them this summer, so we were thankful to have time to play games, study God’s Word together, hang out, do crafts, play sports (specifically, basketball), and more. There were special gatherings twice a week for prayer and music, in which children took turns leading worship. One of the favorite studies during this holiday break was one in which we were reminded in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” By looking at the lives of Jeremiah, Josiah, David, and others in the Bible, the children learned and discussed how they are never too young to be a Godly example to those they know.

Lulwanda’s first group of children began University since we’ve been back in Uganda as well! They are all doing well and are taking on the responsibilities of a college student. One of our girls, Mercy, was even elected as class representative at her university!

Thank you for your prayers, support, and thoughts of our family, Lulwanda, and the ministries here in Uganda. We are greatly encouraged knowing our family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ think about us, reach out through email, text, postcards, or messages, and especially pray.

With love,

Ryan and Megan

hello, summer!

Well, we have quickly realized that no matter what side of the world we live on, “springtime” is a super busy time of year. The last couple of months have been full of fun and unique activities, both at Lulwanda and at home. We enjoyed time with Grandpa and Grandma King, visiting the Entebbe Zoo, hiking at Sipi Falls, a variety show at Audrey and Simon’s school, lots of time with the Lulwanda kids since they were out of school for holiday, Bible study with all ages at Lulwanda, and more!

We enjoyed having all of the students out of school at Lulwanda, and our Secondary students home from school, through the month of May for their school holiday. There were fun activities and classes for the kids, ranging from making popcorn, making mandazi (think donuts, yumm!), bubble blowing, and more. We were also able to coordinate Bible studies twice a week with all of the Lulwanda kids. We were thankful that so many of the Lulwanda Staff were more than willing to help lead small groups! It was neat to hear the staff teaching the children, sharing what they were thankful for, singing with them, and seeing them praying together. Our focus throughout the holiday Bible study was friendships/relationships. We looked closely at different pairs of people throughout the Bible and what was unique about how God placed these people together to work together, love, support, encourage, and assist each other to bring glory to God: Jonathan and David, Naomi and Ruth, Moses and Aaron, Elisha and Elijah, Christ and Man, and more. It was a good time of discussing how we can be good friends to others who can help draw our friends closer to Christ.  And, what kinds of characteristics we should seek for in friends, so that we can seek to honor Christ in our relationships.

At the end of May, we welcomed two new girls to Lulwanda! Their names are Patricia and Sophia. We first met Sophia when we visited her and her grandmother. They lived in a small mud hut on a plot of land that was about 20 feet by 20 feet, which did not allow any room to grow food. Sophia’s mother passed away, and her father is unknown. Her grandmother was her guardian, but is quite old, not well, and is going blind. Both girls have only been at Lulwanda for two weeks now, but are doing amazingly well! They are both so full of joy and life! There are several pictures of Sophia and Patrica below.  A couple of the pictures show Sophia the day we met her, along with she and her grandmother standing in the doorway of their hut.  The girls are happy, love to play, give great, big hugs, and are simply enjoying their new life at Lulwanda. Please pray with us that they will continue to adjust to their new home, that the other children will continue to be welcoming to them, and that they will come to accept and know Christ as their Savior. How thankful we are to be at a place that provides care and love for orphaned and vulnerable children, for we know that God loves them so much and wants to provide for them even more than He does the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

We have also been enjoying some visitors recently. Amelia Claire, a friend from McDonough, is currently visiting us for a couple of weeks. We, and our kiddos, are enjoying having her at our guest house! She is pretty much doing life with us here in Mbale: going to church, spending time at Lulwanda, helping cook weekly meals for the Tendo kids at our house, playing with our kids, even helping with chores around the house! What a treat it is to have a friendly face from home here with us for a bit!   We also had Eddie, Lucas, and Leah Kim with us for a week recently, and we had a nice time with them. Ryan used to work for Eddie’s brother, Dr. Kim, at Clayton Eye Center. Lucas just graduated from UGA and is looking forward to beginning medical school soon. Lucas and his father, Eddie, who is also a doctor in the states, had several opportunities to see what the medical world is like here in Mbale, by visiting places such as the maternity ward at the Main Hospital, helping out at Joy Hospice (a clinic in town, not a hospice in the sense that we know in the states), and at CURE Hospital, a hospital that specializes in Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. They even got to watch a surgery for an 11-day old baby! Leah is a high school student who thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the children at Lulwanda. Before coming, she made necklaces for each of the kids, and they were so excited to receive them. It is really neat to see Uganda through our visitors’ eyes, and as a friend recently said, it gives us a fresh and renewed appreciation for where we live and serve!

We are making plans for our furlough this summer, and we hope to have the opportunity see many of you, catch up on what you have been up to over the last year, and to give…and receive…many missed hugs!  Thank you always for your prayers, encouragement, support, and for thinking about us.


Chickfila, Mickey D’s, and yo quiero Taco Bell

Good Afternoon!
We pray you are all doing well! As we are now in our 7th month of living in Uganda, we have moments of feeling like this is really becoming home, but also moments of missing our family, friends, and even random things about “home.” For example, at dinner recently with some friends, we played a game of “if you could eat any fast food item right now, what would it be?” Answers ranged from Chick-fil-a spicy sandwiches, McDonald’s big macs, Taco Bell beefy cheesy burritos, Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffees, to name a few. It was fun to think about these yummy things and the memories that come along with them…kids playing with cousins in the playgrounds, quick runs to get a coffee with family (and maybe a donut hole or two!), and more. We feel like we say it so many times on a weekly basis, but we are so thankful for the community of missionaries that God has placed us with here in Mbale. We are blessed with wonderful friends who we can regularly have a good time with, have fun conversations, share stressful situations, ask for advice from those with more experience, pray together with and for, etc.

We have also been so sweetly encouraged lately by many of you who have sent cards, notes of encouragement, or emails to let us know you’re thinking of us and praying for us. It seems God orchestrates your messages perfectly, for days or moments when He knows we need the support, hope, and comfort that your messages bring.

Things have continued to be busy for Ryan at Lulwanda. There are typically at least a handful of children a week who contract malaria, but if caught early, with treatment, they feel much better normally within even a day. His days are also filled with taking children to the dentist, checking on students at the Secondary Schools (there are Lulwanda children at about 5 different Secondary Schools, some are in town, others are about 45 minutes-2 hours away), keeping the clinic stocked with supplies and medicine, etc. He is continuing to build relationships with the kids and staff through caring for them. He has been given really neat opportunities to be able to get to know them better, since when they have the need to come to him, he often is able to spend a good bit of time with them, talking with them, learning more about them, praying with them, and sharing Bible studies with them. Ryan is also working with the Lulwanda Primary School staff to find a time each week that we can better delve into studying God’s Word with the children. We are excited about this, and pray that the children will begin to have a hunger for learning more about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit and how they can have a personal relationship with Him that affects their daily lives.

We also have a wonderful praise to share: there was a Muslim man, Kaseem, who had been doing some carpentry work at our home. Through several conversations, Ryan had been sharing with him about Jesus, what He did for us, what His sacrifice means, and more. At one point, the carpenter really did an awful job on a particular project. Initially, we were going to find someone else to fix it. However, we felt we should give him a second chance, and also use it as an opportunity to continue talking to him about God’s grace and His gift of salvation. Over time, he began to ask questions and eventually wanted to come to church with us. On the Sunday that he came, a guest speaker who we have not seen before was giving the message. He was a former Muslim, and was teaching from the book of James. During the sermon, Kaseem had many questions and explored more of God’s Word. Afterwards, Ryan introduced him to the speaker and they spoke for a while. Ryan could see after a while that they were praying. Once Kaseem and the pastor were finished praying, he came over to Ryan and with tears in his eyes, said that his name was now, “James.” He accepted Christ as his Savior! We mentioned him a couple of months or so ago in our prayers requests, so thank you for those who have been praying for him. Please continue praying for him as he begins to grow in his walk with the Lord and that his personal relationship with Him grows and becomes more and more intimate and meaningful. What a gift it has been to see God working in James’ life! It is humbling to watch God’s hand in so many different areas. While our focus is most often on the children of Lulwanda, we were able to see how God was also working in a carpenter’s life that He placed in our home. It has helped remind us that God is always at work, and perfectly orchestrating things in His amazing timing. It has urged us to pray that we all will not be too distracted by our own agendas, to-do lists, worries, stresses, etc., but to keep our eyes and hearts open to seeing where, how, or who God wants us to spend time with, talk to, share Scripture and experiences, and pray for/with. We want to live Psalm 16:8 which says, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord” (another translation, “I have set the Lord continually before me.”) This is the same, whether we are in Uganda or in the U.S., and we seem to see more and more that although life here can sometimes feel so different than what we were used to, there are also so many similarities and lessons to be learned in terms of working out our Salvation, obeying God, and loving Him and others (just without the Chick-fil-a, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc., haha!).


Go Falcons

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family; we are often humbled to know that we have friends and family who think of us and pray for us regularly. It is a great encouragement to us.

Over the last month, we have been quite busy with many things going on at Lulwanda. The New Year started off with a visiting team from Texas. There were three different teams of people total visiting Lulwanda during December and January, two from Texas and one from Korea. The visiting teams were such a blessing to our family, and especially to the children and staff at Lulwanda. Just like most of us, when our children are on a break/holiday from school, we try to plan fun and different activities. It was so nice to have the teams here to help provide the same for the Lulwanda children! During the months of December and January, Ugandan children are out of school for their biggest break, like our typical summer break. So during this time, the Lulwanda children had the opportunity to do different Bible studies, make some fun Christmas and other crafts, play fun and silly games, learn new sports (like ultimate Frisbee), learn about different cultures (India and Korea), learn new dance styles, learn to juggle, and more! It was neat to watch our own children as well enjoy some of these activities alongside the Lulwanda kids. The holiday time/break was a time that we were able to see our own kids begin to play more and jump into activities on their own more than before. For example, they would just go and sit down and start doing crafts with the kids, jump into a circle of children dancing and singing, grab a ping pong paddle and play (or try to play), etc. Audrey and Simon have typically been in school during the time that Megan is at Lulwanda with the twins, so they have been a little slower in warming up. It was nice to have the additional time at Lulwanda, activities to help facilitate, and visiting teammates that really cared for our children as well encourage and make things fun for them to enjoy their time over holiday as well. It really was a great couple of months.

Around the middle of January, the majority of the Lulwanda children got to visit and stay with relatives they might have for about a week (some a little longer, some a little shorter, depending on circumstances). This is a requirement of the government, but also something we see as important. One day, the children will grow up and will need to have connections with the village and family they come from. Having them visit at least once a year helps them keep these connections. Overall, the children seemed to really enjoy their time with their families. Some wish they could have stayed longer and others were ready to be back at Lulwanda. Ryan has also been busy over this holiday time running children to dentist appointments, eye check-ups, and getting caught up on vaccinations, also things we typically seem to try to take care of for our children when they are out of school.

I think that is one thing that we are learning here…many of the things we do here are really the same things we’d do if we were still in the states, maybe just in a little different way, different climate, etc. Some days, things feel so normal and not much different than our life was in the U.S.: Ryan goes to work, Megan takes care of the kids, the big kids go to school, we plan out suppers for the week, make kids’ lunches for school, exercise here and there, pay phone and water bills, etc. However, we are grateful that the Lord is allowing us to do those seemingly mundane things here in Uganda, where He has placed us with 120 kids. As we take them to and from appointments, hang out with them after they get out of school, spend time with them on Sunday afternoons, sit in the clinic while waiting for malaria test results, etc., we get to show and tell them that we love them, talk to them about how Jesus loves them, dig into Scripture with them, answer questions they have about life, God, their circumstances, and more. We all have these same types of opportunities wherever we live: we can show anyone we work with, go to school with, or do life with that we love them, that Jesus loves them, explore God’s Word with them, and share our testimony and experiences with them. God can use each of us to share His love and truths with others as we go through our everyday life, and we should pray that we will not be distracted by the things of this world that are fleeting, but stand firm and focus on what the things that are eternal. He has placed each one of us right where we are to serve Him and grow His kingdom, whether that be in Uganda, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, Hawaii, Nevada, etc. He has also gifted us with the Holy Spirit who will provide us all we need to serve and share Him with others, no matter how prepared, knowledgeable, or gifted we may feel. When we rest and rely on Him, He will guide and direct our conversations, actions, thoughts, and more, so that His will will be done and His name will be glorified.


Christmas in Uganda

Now that the 2017 is upon us we are taking time to reflect and update all those we love (ie. YOU) with how our family is doing, and how Christmas in Africa went down.  We have also been helping with two teams that are visiting Uganda, one of which has returned to Texas, and the other which is returning later this week.  It has been a joy to see how blessed the children have been by having their mzungu visitors bring crafts, games, water balloons, Christmas gifts, and a lot of love.  It has also been neat to see visitors who have never been to Lulwanda and how much their hearts are touched and impacted by these beautiful children.  We have so much in America, but sometimes have to fly across the world to see what we need most and what we were created for; sharing the love of Christ with each other.  Praise God, the creator of Heaven and earth, we are alive in You.

Christmas Day was far from anything we had experienced in the past.  The temperature was pushing the upper 90s, there were no feasts with both sides of our family, and no Christmas lights to see.  The day started with us waking up too early, reading the Christmas story, and the kids opening their gifts.  Megan had prepared an amazing cinnamon breakfast thingy that went well with coffee, and then we departed for Lulwanda around 10:30am.  Upon arrival we greeted everyone and made our way to the small church nestled behind Lulwanda.  Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best and praised God, then listened to the message.  After church we went back to Lulwanda and enjoyed an African feast with our African Family.  Everyone was happy and smiling and rejoicing in what God has done.  The Global Journey team then presented gifts to all the children in the form of some pretty cool backpacks.  My favorite moment was when the new children who were just brought to Lulwanda couldn’t contain their excitement or stay in their seats once they realized they were getting Christmas gifts.  After Lulwanda we returned to John and Bobbi’s and had dinner with the Global Journey team, which consisted of five college age young adults from Texas.  Once we returned home the day felt like a whirlwind, unlike any Christmas that we’d ever experienced.  While we of course wish we could have seen family and celebrated with them, we rejoiced, for over two thousand years ago a Savior was born in the city of David, the Messiah – Christ the Lord.

New Years at Lulwanda was awesome.  Myself, John, and another missionary friend from the community went out to Lulwanda and shot off fireworks for the children and staff (provided by Cathy Marshall and her team), a first for many of them.  When the first round went off they went screaming and running which was hilarious, but they soon weren’t afraid and were cheering.  We then returned to town and watched football, enjoyed watching fireworks from a couple of nearby hotels, and the kids had fun with friends shooting off fireworks and playing with sparklers.

Overall the season has been a joy.  A new experience for our family as traditions are having to be forged anew, and family was missed dearly.  Despite the distance and change in temperature however we are thankful, for God is with us, this life is not ours, but His.  Thank you for all your support and prayers, we genuinely love you all.