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To Walk a mile in her shoes…or without shoes at all (Part 1)


To walk half a mile with no shoes…

Yesterday I went with Brianna into town so she could eat lunch with some girls from the states.  They are so sweet and we are so grateful we have had a chance to get to know them. After lunch we took a boda boda to WEND AFRICA, where Brianna and Tyler are currently interning.  I picked up my new backpack made by a woman who was abducted and forced to become a child soldier during the war.  The backpack is as beautiful as she is and as her story of healing is.  I decided to walk home from there…and this is where thisstory begins.

As I turned the corner, there sat an elderly woman, in a rubbage heap (picture to the bottom left), legs stretched out, wearing an black dirt stained, sports coat, and a tattered black skirt, with the stitching unraveling.  Her hair was cut short and she had a choca wrap on her head and atop the wrap was a ring of twisted filth coScreen Shot 2016-09-05 at 1.44.07 PM.pngvered, plastic bags (caviares).  I didn’t know what to think, what to say, which would be nothing since I speak very little of the local language.  I just felt like I was suppose to do something.  I walked on, praying, and asking God what I should be doing, what was his plan.  As I was going to pass the Boda Boda station, I thought of taking the Boda home but realised that I need the time to walk and pray. So I traveled the red dirt road, passing so many Acholi people, smiling, thinking and praying I went.

All I knew is that I felt I should offer to take this beautiful lady to lunch.  So I walked in and  thought about praying again, but I found myself walking into the kitchen to tell Eunice, our house helper, about my thoughts. Then next thing I know we are packing up and heading out the door to see who this woman is, whether or not she is “mad”, as Eunice would put it, and if she was up for lunch.

As we walked up to the lady, I just climbed the front part of the rubbish heap and squatted down.  Eunice proceeded to talk to her and we were able to listen to her story.  She has children that are no longer interested in taking care of her.  She lives in a hut by herself, some distance from the rubbish heap.  She seems in her right mind, mostly.  She only mentions of the idea that she feels like a demon or devil has fallen upon her and it tells her to take care of her children and to pick garbage up and bring it home.  Other than this she held a normal conversation.  The whites of her eyes are stained yellow as I look into them, wishing I could understand her, wishing I knew her story.  We listened and then we offered to take her to dinner.  She accepted.

There are now many people looking on as we continue to talk to her.  There are some housed directly behind us, everyone there has stopped there washing, sweeping and gathering to see wh

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Mama in her house, she is to the left. Love her!

at we were doing.  A group of school kids, in their pink and blue uniforms have gathered around to listen to this strange thing unfold.  People driving by, slow down and stare at this strange sight. I am not sure if they are wondering why we would keep company with such a “mad”, filthy lady sitting in a rubbish heap, or if they were more inquisitive over this “Muzungu” (white person), helping a woman like this. Here, white people are known to have a lot of money.  Everyone knows we live a much more luxurious life style than most any of them could ever dream of. We know it, they know, everyone knows it.  This creates some barriers that are rather difficult to overcome.

Regardless of the audience, that wasn’t my mission, I cradled her right arm and helped her to her feet, after getting approval to leave her treasured finds, layed neatly in a dish drying tray, behind. She, barefoot, straightened her clothes, and brushed them as clean as you can, for not being washed, for what was probably weeks, maybe months.  She walks slowly along side of me.  I have so many thoughts running through my mind, but more than anything i just want to grab her hand, and swing it through the air and just walk with her through life.  I can’t explain the love I felt for her as we walked along.

Just a bit down the road, I knew what I was being called to do, so I stopped the woman, bent down and removed my shoes. I motioned for her to put them on.  She smiled in disbelief, but allowed me to help her dirty, calloused, cut up feet and toes, find their way, into my flip flops. My heart overflowed knowing she was able to find some small rest for her feet as she walked. I don’t think anyone that was watching knew what to think or say. For I didn’t even know myself. I just knew God was moving His love for her through me and my heart overflowed. I just kept wrapping my hands around her back and rubbed a few circles then continued to walk.  I just kept looking at her, smiling, wondering what God was up to.

A short distance later, we could hear the music playing from one of the local shops.  The next thing I know, she begins dancing and so I join her.  My heart was full of laughter.  We walked to a local shop and I bought her a pair of flip flops and once again bent over, as she accepted the gift. I removed my sandals one by one and replaced them with her new red ones.  Her delight melted my heart.  We were now off to lunch.  The sidewalk in front of the store has a for high step off the one side. I gently cradle her arm in mine as I prepare her to step down. What happened next, well lets just say, I got the surprise.  As I thought I was going to be helping her down, she bent her knees, and jumped off the edge, landing sturdily on her feet.  I realized, I momentarily had held my breath and now am relieved to see her firmly back on the ground. I erupted in laughter to see such life come back to this sweet lady.

Down through narrow paths between town buildings we walked, seven school girls in their dressed uniforms, Eunice, This sweet lady and I. We made quite the sight as we walked. So many onlookers but my focus was on this lady, whom God had compelled my to walk along side of this day.  Each time she hears music she dances, she waves and greets people as she strolls along the dirt roads.

These sweet school girls, who showed us the way to a local restaurant, where we sat and ate together, sweet potatoes and beans for me, okra and posh for Eunice and goat and posh for this precious lady.  She ate but nScreen Shot 2016-09-05 at 1.43.49 PM.pngot until Eunice and I were willing to eat along side her. See, Eunice and I had already eaten but she would no eat unless we ate, it just isn’t culturally appropriate. So Eunice and I, obliged, and ordered ourselves some lunch. The diner was quaint, all wood made, with 3 tables. It was so hot, as there were no windows.  I just prayed and asked God to help us to enjoy the meal and to relieve us of the heat. I enjoyed the meal and God did remove my sensing of the heat and we were able to eat and enjoy the company. (Restaurant and staff photo above)

The owner and workers of the shop were surprised to see a Muzungu at their shop, for no white person had ever stopped in there. I ate with my hands like everyone else and after dinner she asked me, “Do you not eat with forks?” I replied, “yes, but we have also lea
rned to eat with our hands, which is much nicer sometimes.” She laughed at my response. I left her a tip and thanked her for her wonderful food and service. I had sat and watched her count the coins, the profit she had made from her lunch session. There couldn’t have been more than four or five dollars to be split between five of them.  That would be less than one dollar for each of them. So I let them keep the change so that they would have a little extra to spread amongst them.

The three of us hopped onto boda bodas and traveled across town and out to a near by market, about 5 minutes from my house. They pulled in front of her hut and we entered in with her. I can’t explain the smell or sight and the feeling that came upon me, accept for my stomach was so tight as I tried to take in the smell and sight before me. She had garbage piled on every wall, and it filled in towards the middle of her hut floor. Plastice bottles, glass liquor bottles, plastic bags, old food containers, two reed mats that she must sleep on at night along with rotten food and dishes with food remaining on them, rotting for, I would guess, months. She rolled out a reed mat and asked us to join her so I sat down.  I entered with out my shoes, as is custom here, you never wear your shoes inside any house. But after seeing the condition of the home, I went out and retrieved my flip flops and then sat down to join in the conversation. I have never felt so much joy sitting in the midst of rubbish talking to such a beautiful person, even though all I could do is look into her eyes and wonder of her story. Oh how I wish I could speak the language, but I know God can and what He is speaking to her will far out weigh any words I could ever speak.

After she shared some of her story we made plans to return on Monday to help clean up her hut and to see if there would be some way we could help her out.  We bid her goodbye and I gave her a hug. I prayed for Gods healing over her mind through out the day and trust that God will rid her of any evil that has been attaching itself to her.  We will see her free and restored to a sound mind, for Gods glory.

What a beautiful journey this will be! When God is up to something, you know it will be life changing! I am so excited to see what lies ahead. Can’t wait Monday.

Such a blessing to be the hands and feet of Jesus!





Woven 2 Gether…


This past month has been a pretty crazy one but has good.   We have enjoyed being here more everyday even thought there have been some hard times woven together with the good times. I am learning so much about myself, our family, our kids are learning about themselves and life.  We are all growing so much.  We have learned here more than any other place that in the midst of the joys of life there are sorrows and hardships.  Today though, I don’t fear the hardships because each one brings beautiful lessons and growth that shape and mild you to being a person that God has created you to be.

I have sat in the Hospital for hours upon hours this past month, with my children and Ugandan children.  Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming but God brings peace to each circumstance if I focus on Him and not on whats happening.  Tyler at one this morning, was needing to be taken to the hospital, as he was having a terrible allergic reaction to something he ate, so we think.  His body from the knees up was covered in hives. So off to the hospital we go. A shot of steroids, cures all. Two thirty in the morning, finally back to sleep. Smile as I know all my kids are well and sleeping sound.  Just a few weeks ago Tyler wasn’t feeling well, had a fever, swollen glands that were very sore, and so in we went. You can’t mess with fevers here, you get one, you have to go in, period.  Diagnosed with a bacterial infection, given meds, and sent home. Thankful results are okay this time.

Benaniah, a sick 6 month old little boy, still in the hospital after five days, meant many hours sitting by his mamma’s side while she attends her son.  Staff from Tutuapona, they are our friends and family.

Oloya, a little boy, of seven, that stepped on a stick, had some remain in his foot had to be taken to the emergency room for surgery.  I sat next to this smiley boy as he lay on the bed fearing what was ahead. I rubbed his back and sat with him until it was over.  The nurses saying, “you love him very much”.  All I could say was yes, yes I do. He has become family to us.”

A seventeen year old girl, Nancy, a sister to the little boy I was just speaking of above, has a terrible infection in her foot.  Her brothers running to get me as I return from church, yelling as they approach our car, “Mama Isaac, Mama Isaac, Mama Isaac, our sister is paining and needs your help. You must come!”

Then there is Pinto, he pretty much lives here during the week, so there are many boo boo’s to fix on this active, almost two year old. This time he has ripped his pinky toe nail completely off. So outcomes the Neosporin and bandages.  He limps around, as we laugh at his attempts to walk without putting his foot down. He can sure bring joy to our home.

Then there are some straight out blessings. Brianna has a girl from the states that has just arrived in Gulu.  She has the same interests as Brianna so they have become quick friends. It is such a blessing for her.  The boys are excited, as she has a brother they get to hang out with too.  Its been a great surprise from God. Innocent, a young man, has taken Tyler under his wings and has become a good friend to him.  He has been encouraging to Ty through his ups and downs.

We have walked many good and hard roads with our kids over this past six months. God is bringing our family closer together everyday. We don’t just live with our kids, we are also getting to know them on such a different level, as we have more time with them then we have had in the past.  Same with Todd and I. Serving the Lord together is amazing. I have larded so much about Todd that I didn’t know. I get to see Todd, outside of his roles as father and husband and it has been amazing to see him serve the lord here.  So thankful for this opportunity. We have made 17 years of marriage this August and I am excited to be celebrating it here in Uganda with him.

He is weaving our family together, our kids closer together, Todds and mine hearts closer together, all of our hearts closer to His.  He is also  weaving His purpose for us slowly into the picture.  What a beautiful thing He is doing.

We serve a God who has asked us to give up all things for Him, like He asked so many in the bible. We could have walked away sad like the rich man, but we chose to follow him like Peter instead.  He gives us the promise in Luke 18:29-30, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left his house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” We have put our faith in His promise and will continue to serve Him here and for the rest of our lives. I think Paul says it best when he states, “Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in the view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish  (dung on the bottom of my shoe) so that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him.”

We have suffered the loss of many things as we have chosen to follow him but in the light of all the He is these things we have sacrificed are no where near as amazing as He is.  So he has kept us, steadied us, loved us, encouraged us, held us while we have suffered the losses, and He restores us, forgives us and grants us true joy.  For this is what keeps us going, serving, loving and honouring Him. His love is greater than all things. I am thankful for the weaving of the good times and the hard times for it makes a beautiful song.   Woven together.

God Bless,

The Herricks Family



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.




Tereza Needs Our Support


We are workinScreen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.00.54 PMg with this beautiful Acholi mom to help her start her own business so she can take care of the children that are in her home. Her name is Tereza, she is 32 years old, a mom of 7. In the photo she is in white. She has two biological children John (16) in blue, Mercy in pink (9). She is also raising five children, Julianne (16), Rubonga (12), Pamela (10), Rufina (4), Pinto (1). These 5 children have been abandoned by their mothers, whom are wives of her former husband. Tereza works hard to provide, but she no longer has means of steady income. In therecent past she ran a clothing business but sold it to pay for her
son Jons school fees last year, which left her with no consistent income.

Tereza was a victim of the civil war that devastated northern Uganda for 25 years. She was in 3rd grade when the war made it unsafe for the Acholi children to continue their education. She worked at home during this time helping her parents out. She was able to go back to school for a short time for 4th and part of 5th grade. The war brought great poverty to Northern Uganda, and her family was also affected. Her parents could not continue to pay her school fees so 4th grade was the last year she attended school up to now. When she was 15, she saw marriage as the only way she could be provided for, so she married a man of 18 years. She gave birth to her first child when she was 16. Her husband and her were separated in 2001. He remains in south sudan to this day with his 3 other wives, while Tereza lives in Gulu with all his children.

She is hardworking and loves these children so much. She cannot afford to raise these children well, and says often that she is a bad mom because she cannot take good care of her them. We recently found out that there are many days where the children and her have nothing to eat. Yet they do not complain. She spends her nights crying when she has been unable to provide even one meal for her children, which consists of rice and beans. The cost of this one daily meal is 9000 shillings or $2.50. Some of her children cannot attend school for lack of money for school fees and this is very hard for Tereza as she understand the importance of education. There are times she doesn’t have the money to pay the fees but she sends the children anyways. The kids will get caned by the teacher for not having payments and are then sent home. Somedays, however the teacher will allow them to stay, this is why she continues to send them. Each day they can be taught is so important to Tereza.

Tereza is very talented in many areas of crafting. She can do needle work, plate hair, basket weaving, beading, sewing, glass bead work and now friendship bracelet making. God has given her so much talent and she will use these talents in her own business. We are so exited to see Tereza independent and successful and all her children in school again.

We don’t believe in disabling her by doing the work for her. She needs to know that she is a good mom, who can provide for her family. She wants to work for it and be proud of what she has done. This is how we decided to make bracelets and sell them. She works hard on these brackets and they are made with her own two hands. They are broken in places just like she is, beautifully flawed. As she gets better at making the bracelets her heart gets better also because she knows she is one day closer to starting her business.

She currently earns money by plating hair at her home. One person takes 8 hours and she receives 8000 shillings, (2.3 dollars) per day, enough to buy food for one meal. Sometimes if she doesn’t have a client she and her children do not eat the next day. She desperately needs our love and support.

We are also discipling her in Gods word. She is so excited to have someone teaching her how to read the bible and understand it. She is gaining so much wisdom and wants her children to also be taught so she passes on to them what we are teaching her.

There are several ways you can help support Tereza. You can purchase a bracelet yourself by contacting Tracy McKim or Gloria Widiker. You can also sell bracelets for Tereza to your friends and family. We are also looking for donations to help cover the cost of shipping the brackets back to the Unites States, and material costs, and money transfer fees. Right now Tereza is responsible to pay these fees and each dollar that is covered by donations is one she can save to start her business. Bracelet costs are whatever you feel led in your heart to give. Tereza will be grateful for any amount you can donate.

Your donations will go towards her initial start up costs. Her greatest expense is the purchasing of a building to sell her items out of. The cost to have one made is 1.4 million shillings ($425.00). We are looking at her purchasing a container instead of renting so she will not have the monthly rental expense. She will also have products and supplies that she will need to purchase for the salon and craft goods she will sell. With all expenses we are looking to sell enough bracelets to cover 2 million in start up costs ($606 U.S. dollars). The hope is to have her business up and running, and have her self sustaining by the end of September.

Thank you for prayerful considering supporting this loving, strong, beautiful Acholi mom. Please pray that she continues to grow in the Lord and that God would provide for all her needs. For the Lord knows the plans He has for her,plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

You can message me if you are interested in supporting her through buying or selling of her bracelets to help raise money for her business.

Thank you and God Bless