Monthly Archives: June 2016

I Have Your Back Dad!


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“Our enemies said, “They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, “They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,” then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the the wall, in the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, and spears and bows.  When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of the them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” When our Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.30.18 PMenemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.” Nehemiah 4:11-15

As I poured over this verse, I realised that this is Gods true battle plan both in the biblical physical war and the spiritual war. I was so moved at Gods plan for the family to fight together and the importance of fighting as a family.  As I imagined my husband, being stationed in the open places in the wall, my heart swelled.  He is our first line of defense in spiritual warfare. I imagine him saying, if you are going to try to get to my family, you will have to come through me first.  That heart to protect us and guard the gap for us.  It made me so appreciate Gods call for them and how important their role is in our families.  God gave them a fighters heart for a reason.  When someone challenges their children, or wives they have a natural instinct to protect them.  I love that in my husband is a heart to stand in the gap for our family.  To be our first line of defense.  I am so honored to have him standing in the gap on our behalf.

“I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap…”  Ezekiel 22:30

The picture just gets more beautiful as you read.  “I stationed them in families with their swords, spears and bows.” Nehemiah 4;13b.  I have this image of a wall around our family that has gaps or holes in it, from different choices we have made, or others have made that have affected us, that have opened ways in which the devil can attack us. In those places stands my husband  warring on our behalf.  Stationed behind him is our family with our swords, spears and bows.  As he is facing outwards, watching for the enemy, standing guard, we are standing behind him, protecting his back.  I understand with the image in my mind how important it is that the family fights together against the true enemy and how damaging it can be if they get caught up fighting each other.

Never has the bible verse found in Ephesians 6:12 been so meaningful.  It says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  One of the best tactics the enemy could use, would be to turn the family on each other so they cannot fight effectively against him.  So easy and so effective.  I pictured the times that we get wrapped up fighting against each other. My husband standing in the gap, we are supposed to be standing behind him to help defend against the enemy and instead our backs are turned to him as we begin fighting amongst ourselves.  Who is going to have my husbands back?  Are those things we are fighting about worth it, when we see what our husbands and fathers of our children our fighting for on our behalf.

It is such a sad picture that I see in my mind.  I no longer feel any argument against someone else in our family is worth it.  When I am distracted by these things and our kids are distracted by these things, we cannot fight effectively and we become very vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.

It is so important to teach our kids no matter how young they are that they are apart of the battle.  They are important to our family having safety from the enemy.  They are never to young to learn to fight the spiritual war.  To teach them the iportance of staying focused against our real enemy, so that we cannot be attacked.  We fight as a family!

A question came to my mind that drove me to this next point.  If you were called to lead a platoon of men and women into battle but you knew some of them were working for the enemy, would you still be confident to bring them into battle?  I worked this out in my mind and it really made my spirit sad.  If you are working to stop the enemy from penetrating your home, your family, and you are fighting with everything you have, yet some in your home, who are sided with the enemy continue to give him opportunities to come and attack. I imagine my husband standing at the front door of our house, defending our home, standing guard day and night, but people who should be fighting with us are fighting against us and go around the house opening the back door, windows or any other way that the enemy could get in .  This is the sad reality of families who have unsaved children or spouses.

God has shown me how important it is to teach our kids what it really means when they decide to continue to remain in the grasps of the hands of the enemy. When they choose to reject Gods call to be their Father and choose to remain in the enemies family it has detrimental effects on the family as a whole.  To teach them they are either for us or against us.  They either have their dads back, or they are giving up his position, weakening the wall of defense.  When you speak this truth, it is the hope that the Lord will convict them of truth and they will turn to be a protector of the family.

Over the past several weeks, we have mulled over these verses an what they mean for us as a family as a whole.  We have taught our children the importance not only of their fathers position but the importance of their position as well. I pray that God will speak into  their hearts His truths.  I am called to share the truth with them but I must leave the conviction to the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes as a parent that is the hardest thing to do, but we have to have faith that if we do our part, God will do H

This past week we have had a sweet gift from God.  Isaac our last born, decided that he wanted to be apart of Gods family, that he wanted God to be His Father.  He said, ” I want to switch teams mom.  Will you help me?” What a precious moment as a parent to see your child choose Christ.  They say its not about accepting Christ but believing that He has accepted you.  So God has rescued my son.  We called Todd into the bedroom to share the news with him.  He walks in and see Isaac crying and asks him what is wrong. “I am happy”, Isaac replies quietly.  Looking into his daddy’s eyes he says, “I am a part of Gods family, I am in the same family as you now.” Todd smiled with that heart smile only a daddy could give back. His heart overwhelmed with thankfulness.  He bends down to give Isaac a hug and Isaac, with so much love, embraced his daddy so tenderly, and says, “I have your back now dad.” Instantly Todd’s heart burst, and the tears streamed down.  I just watch this beautiful moment between father and son.

God has now stationed our son, behind his father with his sword, spear and bow. Today we are stronger in our fight against the enemy because God has added another warrior to our family.  It remScreen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.41.03 PMinds me of the verse in John 6:44 that says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”  I am so grateful that the spirit of God drew him in.  He is not just our son, now he is our brother in Christ. God is good all time.

” When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.” This is the hope we have in standing in the correct battle formation and fighting the fight together.  That our enemy will see that we have caught on to His plan to disrupt and destroy our family.  Once the devil  knows we have caught on, it is like a lion knowing that thScreen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.35.00 PMeir pray has sighted him, they are no longer going to be able to be successful in their attack so they leave waiting for a better time.  Then we can go back to to the work that God has called us to do.  We fight hard, and serve with everything we have.

Remember that they lion hunts those who are wounded, weak, or alone. Same for the family. If our family is wounded, weak or if some of our members are walking alone, our family will be an easy target for the enemy. So stay together, stay for one another, build one another up, encourage one another, stay united, stay grounded in Christ and the enemy will not be able to find a foothold. He will be defeated.

Jesus is our defender, He stood in the gap for us. As parents we are called to be the defender of our children and to stand in the gap on their behalf.  Just as we are called to fight along side Christ our children are called to fight along side us.  Such an amazing picture of what the true call of a family is.  Choose to be Nehemiah family. You will be blessed.

Hope, Believe and Be Thankful


We sat at a restaurant last night celebrating Fathers Day for Todd.  We had our six beautiful  children with us but we also had another thirteen year old boy and a 24 year old young man join us.  I sat talking with this young man, as he asked if today was Fathers Day.  I responded with a yes. He just looked off into the distance. I asked him if he had talked to his dad today and he said no.  As he shared his story of constant rejection from his father as he gScreen Shot 2016-06-20 at 11.39.42 PMew up and how that has led to his not talking to his father for the past three months.  His father has many wives and more children then one could count so to speak.  He has many brothers and sisters that are half siblings.  His father another acholi man wrapped up in alcoh
olism, beating his mom, and leaving them with nothing most of the time.  He shared a story of being sent home from school because there are no school fees for him to continue. He asks his father for the fees only to be told there isn’t any money.  Then a little while later one of his step brothers comes in an asks the same thing and his father retreats to his room and returns with the money needed for that child to continue to go to school.  He shares that sitting with our family makes him sad because he longs to have a father that will love him and take care of him…twenty four and longing for a father.  His heart is breaking as he sits with our family and he reminds himself that he is okay because he doesn’t need anyone anyway, he can do it by himself.  I gently remind him someday he will be the dad that he wanted to have and that he can choose to be there for his children and to love just one wife.  He can make the change. He can start a new generation of hope, free for polygamy and alcoholism.

Then I listen to the laughter coming from Ronan, the young boy who we are currently housing while he heals from surgery.  Just an hour before, as we drove down the road, his father passes us on his bike.  He has been here once to see his son.  Ronan pressed up against the back of the seat, hiding behind the tinted glass window, hoping his father doesn’t see him,he has been drinking again. His father may not have seen him, as they didn’t share a word nor a glance. I didn’t know what to say so I didn’t say anything.  Here he sits an hour l ater, laughing, telling jokes and being a kid.  Seeing a different kind of family, not necessarily better but different. On the way home he laughs and walks in the door, crawls into bed, and is soon snoring in dreamland.

Then there is Brian, a young manx with a girlfriend and 7 month old baby girl. He sits on my couch watching our family do life together. He watches us laught together and struggle together as he is here quiet often.  One day he is sitting on the couch an says, “I wish I could have grown up in a home like this. I wish you could have been my mom.” It isn’t our home and me that he wanted, it was the “home” we built as a family that he longed for.

Ronan, three to four years ago stepped on a pi
ece of glass.  No one did anything about it.  We noticed his foot swelling up an that he was really struggling to walk on it.  We knew he had some kind of infection so we wanted him to go to the hospital.  We tried to find his dad, he has been no where to be found. He hasn’t been around for days.  His siblings were gone to school. So we waited til evening and asked his older sister if we could take him in.  She told us we could so off we went to the hospital.  This kid was so scared as to what would happen to him.  An x-ray revealed that he had a piece of something in his foot which we later found to be glass. It had worked its way through all the tissue in his foot and had now hit the bone in his heel where it was trying toScreen Shot 2016-06-20 at 3.04.12 PM dig in.  Surgery would be next for this sweet kid.  He cried and buried his head in my arms as they gave him the local numbing medicine. All I could do was tell him how proud of him I was for how brave he was being as I rubbed the top of his head, tears rolling down my cheeks.  In this culture they are programmed to not cry, but around us we always tell them it is okay. So cry he did.  He was soon asleep as they started working on removing the glass.  I sat there axing myself why I am sitting next to this amazing young boy instead of his father.  I am still a relative stranger to this boy but here he sits next to me on a hospital bed.  I cry. For him, for his father, for the brokeness, for the chance to be here. I am overwhelmed.  As he wakes up he is volatile as he comes out of the meds, Todd takes one side, I take the other as we try to keep him safe as he wakes up.  Each day we change his bandages, give him his medicine and love on him. He has absolutely blossomed.  He is more confident and trusting, fun and loving.  It goes to show what a little love can do. It is good to be the hands and feet of Jesus, even if you have to make sacrifices to do it.

Then there is Tereza, who has allowed a daughter of her husbands other wife to stay with her for the past few weeks. She has loveScreen Shot 2016-06-20 at 11.48.41 PMd on her, fed her, she raises her little boy for her.  She holds no grudge, harbours no bitterness.  She loves, simply and beautifully.  She calls her husband after church a few weeks ago to share the sermon with him.  He has many wives, all have abandoned him because of struggles that he has with his health, lack of money and drinking.  She is still praying for him, helping him and hoping for him. She loves and she has peace because she loves, she is free because she loves.  She has so little , yet when someone asks for something she gives them out of the little she has. I ask her how she can give away the little she has. She replies with the most humbling answer..”How can I tell them I have nothing to give them, when I have some right here to give.” So many beautiful lessons learned from this woman of God.

The sun rises and sets at the same time every day here in Uganda.  It is really one of the only things that you can count on to be consistent each and every day.  We have learned here what it is to love, to share, to belong, to give.  The greatest lesson I think I have learned is to be grateful for what you have instead of upset for what you don’t have.  I am thankful when we have power, so many here have none at all. I could get upset because it is off more than its on but I chose to be excited when it is on because light is good and most don’t have light after the sunsets at 7pm. The food gets spoiled in the fridge when the power is out..but I am thankful we have a fridge that allows us to eat foods and drink milk that we couldn’t otherwise drink. There are very few local people in this town of 1 million that have  refrigerators.   We are blessed.  When we are sick and we have to go to a local hospital, I am grateful for the hospital and that we can afford to go. In American most of the hospitals here wouldn’t be legal to operate, but here it is a blessing that they exist at all. It takes more faith in God as our healer to be here in Uganda because you realise that if something ever went really wrong the outcome would be much more devastating here. No 911, no ambulances, police if your lucky when you need them.  I have realised that America too has it’s problems just like anywhere else, but we really don’t understand how blessed we are, how rich we are.  We have indoor plumbing, toilets, running showers, food in our house to feed us for days and weeks, electricity, running water, jobs, housing, medical care, cars, good roads, and free schools.

I have HOPE iScreen Shot 2016-06-21 at 12.05.30 AMn an amazing eternity with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. A hope that rests on
the bible verse Revelation 7:16, “Never again will they hunger, and never will they thirst; nor will the sun beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.  For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to fountains of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” I am excited to share this hope with those who are hurting and needy here in Uganda and any where else the Lord takes us.

I BELIEVE that even though we will have many troubles in this world we will fear not because Jesus has over come the world.  I BELIEVE that God will use all things to the good of thoScreen Shot 2016-06-21 at 12.10.08 AMse who love Him.  That He loves His children and seeks after those who are lost, and
nothing will separate us form the love we have in Christ Jesus.  Even though I may see pain and suffering on the surface every where here God is using this for a tool to draw people unto Himself. I can be an encouragement to others by sharing what I know to be true about a God who has conquered all things that are evil and promises them a life of blessing in the world to come.

I am THANKFUL for the blessings that I have physically and spiritually.  I have learned to not take for granted the physical blessings God has provided for me an my family.  I have Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 12.22.13 AMlearned that physically rich doesn’t mean spiritually rich and that you and that you can be spiritual rich and have next to nothing physically. Thank you for showing us the depth of the riches that the people have hear who have believed on you as Lord and Saviour.  That was we first came we only saw their poverty but now we have seen the riches of what they truly posses.

We pray for our nation and for those who have believed in their physical riches and talents over the riches of spiritual life that we have in Jesus.  For though they believe they are rich they are poor.  And those even though they may have nothing and live in physically poverty, they are rich beyond measure as children of God. Help us long for the true riches of the Kingdom of God over the physical riches that will one day lie in waste.

Poor but Rich, Dirty but Beautiful.