Friday, September 12, 2008

Faith, the beach, and a new home

Kurt and I are now in the beautiful city of Raleigh, NC. this summer a good opportunity presented itself, and we took it. We love it here so far. The weather is warm, the terrain is beautiful, and we already have a wonderful church family here. - We even survived our first 'tropical storm'. It is amazing out comfortable you get in one place, plant roots, and think that moving is a scary thing. Even though it seems I have moved my whole life, it is still difficult to decide to up and change everything. But, once on the other side of the move, it seems so right, so easy. It is amazing how God shows is love, protection, and faithfulness in times that we feel so uncertain. I know we had a lot of people praying for us, and I saw how powerful that is. Thank you God for your guidance and comfort.

We have done so much since we have been here. I highly recommend a vacation to North Carolina. We have explored the southern beaches, the Outer Banks and their lighthouses, been backpacking in the mountains, and visited the Biltmore estate. We are now looking for a house. I asked Kurt if I could have one like the Biltmore. He said he would think about it.
In the meantime we live in a great apartment, nice pool, and no maintenance! I'm in no hurry for a house. :)

Monday, April 7, 2008


While across the globe we were able to see the majesty of God's creation. Uganda is a beautiful country. We traveled west to Queen Elizabeth Game Park. On the way we stopped in Fort Portal. We met the missionary families there: Jeff and Cheryl Cash, and another couple that just arrived. We visited the site where the teens of Uganda have church camp. It is an amazingly beautiful place. Of the 5 people on our mission team, 3 of us are mechanical engineers. So, we looked at what might be a possible way to provide clean water to the camp. We hope to continue to work with them on this project.
That night was my rough night of the trip. I was up all night sick. Finally the doctor on the trip, Ellen, gave me a shot to allow me to sleep it off. I guess you have to have one trying night, or it would not be a complete trip to Africa. Thankfully, that was a bad as it got. Tuesday we made our way to the park. It was different than I expected. When driving down the road to the park, I thought we would go check in at the lodge and then go look for animals. Little did I know, we were already in the park, when we started seeing the cape buffalo and the warthogs (Pumbas). It was amazing. We checked into our accommodations. Half the group stayed in the nice lodge. Kurt and I and Mark and Jamie stayed in the less expensive hostel. It is less expensive for a reason, but made for an interesting adventure. Both newlywed couple found themselves in rooms with twin beds with individual mosquito nets. That afternoon we took a boat ride down the canal. We were able to get so close to lots of hippos, saw elephants, cape buffalo, crocodiles, and lots of birds. I think the boat ride was my favorite part. That evening we all had dinner at the lodge. While enjoying our dinner on the patio, we watched as a hippo made his way to within 10 feet of the patio to graze. It was then we experienced what it meant to be in a park with out fences. I thought it was so cool that I wanted my picture with the hippo. As I proceeded off the porch so that Kurt could take my picture with the hippo, I was emphatically called back to the porch by other visitors. Hippos kill more humans than any other animal in Africa. They become very vicious when threatened. I guess I got a little too close... but he looked so cute and harmless just eating the grass. At least the warthog let me get a little closer. (but I definitely kept an eye on those tusks!) The next day we enjoyed our game rides. We saw water buck, Ugandan kob, 2 lionesses and 2 lion cubs. The lions were cool, but I did not have the same courage I had the day before with the hippo. I think the lioness naturally demands respect. I scared myself when the lioness turned her head towards me, forgetting I was looking through binoculars. We enjoyed our time there at the park. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime. I would like to go again to see giraffes and monkeys though. Maybe next time...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We are in Africa

We have made it to Kampala Uganda, safely and with all our luggage. Alleluia. We arrived Friday night and stayed at a hotel in Entebbe. The picture is of our room, complete with a mosquito net. It is unsafe to travel between Entebbe and Kampala after dark. The missionaries Jamie, Mark and Ellen picked us up Saturday morning. We made the short trip to Kampala. Kurt and I and the Wilkins are staying with the newlyweds Mark and Jamie Long. Nancy is in the picture on the steps of their house. The have a nice house surrounded by a wall with barbed wire on the top, and a night guard at the gate. So, I feel very safe staying here. Saturday we got busy exchanging money. It is about 1700 shillings to the dollar. So it feels like play money. It is diffucult to fully understand how much you are spending. Dangerous for us, good for them. Saturday afternoon Nancy Jan and I spent time with the women doing a craft and sharing what God has done in our lives. The faith of the women here is amazing. They truely know what it means to rely on God. Many of the women are refugees from other countries. On the other hand, there are also women studying at the university or have graduated. One is an accountant. We enjoyed painting ornaments with them. The children also enjoyed getting their body painted. Then we also spent time with the youth. They are so talented. Some of the boys are rappers that even have their own CDs. And their material is their understanding of the Scripture. I was blown away. Sunday we worshiped with the church. The Ugandans lead all aspects of the service. Peter is the worship leader. They have an amazing praise team. We had a guest speaker today from Tanzania. He is actually the brother of the minister Kurt worked with in Moshi, Tanzania 4 years ago. It is always amazing how God brings together those in the church. Kurt was able to follow up on some of the people he and his group had studied with. This afternoon we taught the American tradition of the Easter egg hunt. It was a hit. First we hid the eggs for the children. Then, the children hid the eggs for their parents. All very much enjoyed it. As Easter tradition is, it has rained all day. So, we had to do everything indoors, but all worked out well. I just feel sorry for the parents that took home their children with an extreme sugar high. Well, we leave for Fort Portal in the morning to go to the camp and evaluate a needed water project for the camp. Hopefully with 3 mechanical engineers on the trip, we can help in some way. Then we will be off for a 2 day safari. I will try to post again when we get back. Please keep us in your prayers. We can feel all the prayers that have already been lifted up.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Out on the Town

Kurt and I just spent a wonderful weekend in my favorite town - Chicago - just the two of us. Kurt booked a beautiful hotel right on the Chicago river. (go Priceline!) We decided to each pick a couple things we wanted to do. Kurt chose hockey and ice skating. I chose art and pizza. We wore our legs out walking around the Art Institute of Chicago. We enjoyed Picasso, Van Gough, Monet, and my favorite painting by Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It is so amazing to see those painting that you studied in school, in large and in person.

We then enjoyed our gourmet meal at Giordano's - the best pizza in the world. Doesn't it look good? I could almost eat the picture. :) Sunday we found a downtown church. Let's just say we immediately noticed and greeted as visitors. I always enjoy worshiping with a new group of people. We at lunch at the United Center as we watched the Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canuks.

After watching a bunch of professional skaters, we made our own attempt ice skating - in downtown Chicago. We skated surrounded by the tall sky-scrapers and the reflection of them on the "big bean". Millineum Park has this cool bean shaped mirror. It's amazing how it reflects the skyline. I wish it could reflect how great I felt this weekend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Our new life

Kurt and I have now been married 4 1/2 months. Wow! Married life is great. (Yes, we are probably still in the honeymoon phase). Kurt and I joke that if we knew married life was this good, we'd have tied the knot a long time ago. Ah, but there are advantages to waiting 4 years... I guess they were right, rain on your wedding day is good luck. :)