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Goats, the Gospel, and Gorillas

26 Jan

A couple of weeks ago (yes, I am that slow in posting updates) we had a visiting team here.  We have worked with Mary (a vet) a number of times and on this trip she brought with her 2 vet students and also her son.  We spent a week with them going down to the far SW of the country.  We did a goat training and loan distribution in a very remote mountain community of the Batwa.  It was a new community that I had not worked in before, so it was nice to see a new place.  The community built a raised goat house and we distributed 10 goats for them.  Once they reproduce, they will give 10 young goats to a new community to share their blessing with others.

Sometimes for these long trips, Rachel and Nathan stay home.  Since Nathan was on a school break, we all got to go together on this trip which was very fun!

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We also took with us 2 guys that have gone through our School of Ministry.  Michael (red shirt) was in our first class in 2017 and Mike (white shirt) was a 2018 student.  They are both from that region of the country and Mike is praying about starting a Batwa ministry in that area.  It was fun to see our former students in action as they taught and translated our lessons.

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After our goat training, Michael and Mary invited the community to come and hear the story of Jesus as they used an ‘evangi-cube’ to show how Jesus’ death and resurrection offers a means of reconciliation between us and God.

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These Batwa communities border the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  We have been in that area at least 15 times in the last 6 years, but we have never gone to see the mountain gorillas.  This time we did it!

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It was a really great experience and now we would recommend it for anyone coming to visit Uganda.  It was so much fun to be able to just hike through the forest with a family of gorillas as they walked around us and climbed trees over our heads.

Goodbye Grahams

20 Jul


Turkeys making a difference

5 Apr


A report came into my inbox this morning from a student that graduated from our School of Ministry program and is now serving with me at the church as our missions intern.  Ken wrote to me about the story of faith in someone’s life that began with a turkey loan we gave out in June 2017.  In his own words, Ken writes:

“The Lord led us to a home where we met Mzee (elderly Man) Olaboro Clement and his wife Akayo Helen Grace, The former is 67yrs and the latter in her 50th. Both were very sad or looked sad at first glance, but thanks be to God they welcomed us to share with them the message of hope. In our first encounter, Mzee Olaboro and wife were inactive members of different churches; Mzee Olaboro belonged to the Anglican church of Uganda while the wife was a member of the Catholic Church; Mzee was not willing to surrender his life to Jesus Christ.

I praise the Lord for the Turkey revolving loan project which was an act of love and hope. It opened a door for us to continue ministering to the lives of the poor in our community. I being one of the students’ school of ministry, we were given opportunity to choose a Turkey loan family to benefit from the project and be able to continue discipling; God guided me to pick Mzee Olaboro Clement.

At the time I met Mzee Olaboro Clement, he was a hopeless drunkard and could not take responsibility of anything, so I had to consider his wife as the beneficiary of the Turkeys. Therefore, I continued following up with him and invited him to attend our Sunday fellowships and by the grace of God, one Sunday in September 2017, I led Mzee Olaboro through a confession prayer and he declared Jesus Christ His Lord and personal savior. Through the revolving loans’ project, I have seen and had many testimonies of how God has opened doors for sharing the gospel and through discipleship many lives have been changed and developed spiritually.

After a year’s training in school of ministry, I have learnt to develop action plans, therefore part of my action plan this year is to continue visiting our church community and disciple new believers particularly the illiterates who are less privileged to learn on their own through reading the bible. Therefore, in February I started the local language (Ateso) Bible study fellowships that meets once weekly together in the homes of the turkey families rotating regularly and after a while, Mrs. Akayo Hellen invited the fellowship to be permanently conducted in her home which is a central place for all members.

Recently as we were studying biblical foundations and were discussing repentance and baptism, all members of the discipleship who weren’t baptized, requested to be baptized and all together we baptized twelve believers including Mr. Olaboro, His wife and Daughter on 25th march 2018. We Praise God for the provision of the Turkey Project because it’s an act of Love to the communities that improves nutrition, livelihood of the People and above all, it’s opening doors for the gospel to reach the unreached. May God bless the donors and increase you greatly because we have achieved this together for the Kingdom of God.”

I love being a part of this work.  I love how God has used veterinary projects to open doors for the gospel.  I love to see my students putting into practice what they have learned in the classroom.  I love to see people being baptized and living a new life in Christ.

Christmas Update from the Grahams

29 Nov

Hello Friends!  We wanted to send a special Christmas greeting to you!  So, here’s an update from sunny Soroti.

When (tiny) Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth

26 Aug

Day 10…

You probably did not know that we have dinosaurs in Soroti.  They are small, boot-wearing, candy-eaters who can leave a surprising amount of destruction in their tiny paths.  But aren’t they cute?

This is Nathan with his friend Walter.  Walter and his Belgian parents were staying in out guesthouse for a couple weeks while they were waiting for their court date so that they could get guardianship of Walter and his brother, baby Thomas.  This is the second couple who have stayed with us while waiting to adopt.  It is a highly emotional time for people (as we know!), as they are meeting their children in-person for the first time, hoping for a positive ruling from the judge, communicating with eager friends and family in their home country and all this while navigating a new culture.  Hospitality has always been very important to us and we love that this has become a small part of our ministry here as we offer a comfortable place to call home and insight into the culture…some calm in the chaos.

We also eagerly anticipate our upcoming court date for guardianship of Nathan, September 14th, 2015.  Keep us in your prayers!

Sometimes Missionaries Wear Puffy Sleeves

24 Aug

Day 8…

Lest you think that Daniel gets to have all the fun with his goat distributions, trainings and beach trips to Kenya…I have also been keeping myself busy.  This picture is at the Introduction (traditional marriage) of my friend, Rose.  Rose and I have been meeting together for the past year for prayer and discipleship.  Seriously, of all the things that I get to do here, I feel like the time I spend with her each week is some of my favorite.IMG_8474

For this special occasion, I had a Gomesi made, it’s a traditional dress that is worn for weddings and funerals.  It always fun to wear the traditional clothing because then it feels like you can “blend in” just a tiny bit and it’s honoring to your friends when you want to dress like them.  It does take some getting used to as most of the dress is just wrapped and draped and then tied AND they are designed so that you can still nurse your child without disrobing so I always felt like I was preparing for someone to point out a wardrobe malfunction.  Also, just in case you missed them, those sleeves really take puffy sleeves to a whole ‘notha level.


Lomoruchubae from Above

8 Mar
The view from above

The view from above

Just wanted to share this picture with you.  A friend took a picture of the village where we live from the hill behind us.  It’s like village “Where’s Waldo?”

David and the (giant) Latrine

7 Mar

WARNING.  This post is super gross,  it does have the word “latrine” in the title so I bet you can tell where I am going.

Have you ever wondered how to retrieve a cell phone from a pit latrine?  Well, wonder no longer my friends.

It is VERY common to bring your phone into the latrine with you because most Ugandan cell phones come equipped with a torch light (flashlight).  I have perfected a latrine-using-phone-holding technique myself but I’ll spare you the details.

We just spent a week in the village and we had a couple translators along with us and one of the guys dropped his phone down into the terrifying abyss of the latrine (seriously, don’t look down those things).  We laughed about him retrieving it before lunch only to realize after lunch that he FULLY intended on retrieving the phone…he needed his sim cards.

So, we rallied and thus began operation “pooper scooper”.  We gathered a long stick, a water bottle, a bandanna and gloves.  The stick and water bottle were crafted into a capture device and the bandanna and gloves became the (sort of) hazmat suit.  I think the pictures tell the rest of the story.  As you can tell, the operation “pooper scooper” was successful, but I guess that also depends on how you define “success” in this scenario.

All I can say is GROSS.  Seriously.

I also thought this was a good opportunity to show you the inside of a local latrine.  This isn’t your construction site “Honey Bucket”, people.  The local latrines are made without cement so they end up being more of a small hill that you stand on.  The pictures also reveal that what appears to be a “moon roof” has developed in this latrine.  So helpful.


We shared at a church in the US this weekend!

29 Oct

We shared at a church in the US this weekend!

This past weekend we were able to share (in the form of a quick video update) during the services at one of our supporting churches (and my (Rachel’s) home church for 20 years!).  It was a great sermon from the series “Not a Fan”.  Click the link, enjoy the sermon and watch for our little update at the end.


The Lolly Pups Are Here!

25 Oct

The Lolly Pups Are Here!

About a year ago we brought home the cutest little fluff-ball of a dog. Daniel had picked her out while doing a rotation at a veterinary clinic in Kampala with students from the vet school. He’d managed to save her little leg (she’d had some kind of run-in with another pup at the house), but he did lose two toes so the breeder didn’t want to keep her.

Enter Lolly Two-Toes.

She’s a great little pup but she’s very confusing to the people here in Soroti, most of whom have not seen a dog quite like Lolly, except on TV. She lives outside with Chumlee but sometimes while Daniel is gone I let her sneak onto the couch with me. She’s just too cute.

We’ve had requests for Lolly Pups since we brought her home so I was excited when we decided to breed her (although that process what a bit traumatic…have you guys SEEN that?!). Dogs’ gestation is only 60 days so about 12 days ago little Lolly had her pups.

We did start with 4 (there was another brown one) but that one didn’t make it. RIP little pupper (which, here, unfortunately means Rest in Pit-Latrine).

They are cute little things but I can’t wait till their eyes open and they start running around. If they are even half as cute at Lolly was we have OVERWHELMING levels of cuteness headed our way.

We won’t be keeping any of these pups because I need a puppy around here like I need a hole in my head BUT we’ll keep one from the next litter.