Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Now?

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:17

Friday, January 30, 2009


I love shopping at Target... I do. You can buy groceries, a new shirt, a movie to watch on Friday nights, a gift for any occasion, flowers, the list goes on...

I love shopping at Target EVEN MORE with my precious Ava...

After greeting EVERY person in the store that came within 10 feet of our cart with a cheerful "Hello" and a big wave... My precious grandbaby informs me, "GiGi... I BUSY!"... Yes, my precious you are "busy" indeed!

I pray this year... that as I go about the business of life... I will be "busy" greeting others and loving them for Jesus' sake.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On Our Way

We have "officially" started the process of adoption...

We have sent paperwork to our adoption agency...

By God's grace, we have seen our children...

Our "home study" is complete...

We are on our way...

Please join us as we pray for God's perfect will to be accomplished.

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Journey

If you have not had the opportunity to read "The Journey" blog... I encourage you to do so!!

You will be so blessed! The author of "The Journey" is a young woman whom God has used in a HUGE way to be a blessing to many children in Uganda. She is a blessing to those that hear her stories of God's faithfulness. She is a living testimony of what following Jesus looks like.

Your heart will be blessed. Your faith will be strengthened. Your hope will be renewed.

Most of all... God Almighty WILL BE praised!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Daniel's Story

I want to share this story with you as a witness to God's faithfulness. He is SO good!

Before we left to visit Uganda, we began praying (and asked you to pray as well:) that the Lord would show us what He wanted us to do while we were there... that His will would be done during our trip. We knew the need there would be overwhelming, but we were trusting God to show us what He wanted to accomplish through us... we just needed to be faithful and willing.

The day after the "New Year's Eve Celebration" (see earlier post), Gary and the girls and I arrived in the dining room to find our table already set up on the patio, waiting for us. Our friend, Andy, had beat us downstairs (again:) and had struck up a conversation with the young man, Daniel, that had served us breakfast the day before.

Daniel had told Andy that he had seen us on the platform (stage) the night before at the celebration. He told us "he was SO blessed that we were there with the Senyonga's and Christian Life Church." Christian Life is his church.

At breakfast, Gary asked him if there was anything we could pray about for him. He was a little surprised, but said yes, and asked if we could meet him to talk after he was finished working.

We were excited about the opportunity to pray with Daniel. We were MORE excited to see what the Lord had planned!

When we met with him later that afternoon we asked him to share about his life... to tell us "his story". We found out that both of his parents were deceased. He was the oldest son, which makes him responsible for his siblings. He told us that he had become a Christian several years ago, he had gotten married a little over a year ago and had a brand new baby boy. He wanted to go back to the University to get his degree, but did not have the funds. This was one of his prayer requests, his other prayer request was for a better housing situation for his family.

Praying with Daniel was one of "those" moments. We were very aware that God had arranged this meeting. He was leading. He was at work. He was present. We could FEEL the Holy Spirit... it was beautiful.

After Daniel left we all sat in silence for a moment... in complete surrender and awe at what had just taken place. We were humbled. We were exhilarated.

It didn't take long for the Lord to confirm to Gary and I that we would sponsor Daniel to go to the University. We found out that we could arrange his sponsorship through Christian Life Church.

When we told him Sunday after the church service... he was so blessed. But honestly... WE were blessed!

The day we were leaving Uganda, we were honored to visit Daniel and his wife at their home. Their home was humble and tidy and so very... poetic. They were truly happy to have us there. As we visited with them and held their baby boy...Daniel shared a story the Lord had given him from the Bible. He then prayed for our family, adding Numbers 6:24-26 to his prayer. During this time we knew... we were witnessing the extraordinary grace of God. It was amazing to behold.

As we walked back to our waiting vehicle, emotions were high. Daniel, with tears in his eyes, wished us all of God's blessings. We hugged him and told him we would miss him. He, too, would miss us.

Now... he and his family are not only our friends... they are a part of our family.

I am so thankful to our loving Father for orchestrating ALL the events that took place in order for us to meet and become friends with Daniel. I thank Him for His FAITHFULNESS.

I want to encourage you... to keep praying, to keep trusting, to keep believing in the One that created you. Our Father in heaven really does care about YOU. He knows your needs, your concerns, your struggles, your dreams... He KNOWS.

The same God that ordained our family to travel half way around the world to Uganda, the same God of the universe that introduced us to Daniel, our Father who knows Daniel's dreams and needs, our Father who has a plan for Daniel's life, a plan that will bring HIM glory... He knows you and loves YOU too.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sights in Kampala

Here are more pictures of things we saw while out and about in Kampala...

Shops that lined the streets...

Children everywhere...

Brick ovens...

Women wearing traditional African dresses...

An abundance of fruit stands... notice the kitchen supplies for sale as well.
Hard working African women... this takes some serious skill!
"Boda-Boda's" (motorcycles) were everywhere for hire...

The other side of the city...

A beautiful resort hotel...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prayer Request

I ask you as brothers and sisters in Christ... to pray for this precious child, Abby, as if she were YOUR own... as if she were YOUR daughter or YOUR sister, or YOUR little girl... because in Christ... she IS.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose." Philippians 2:1-2

Monday, January 12, 2009


These past few weeks in Uganda have been a life changing experience. I have seen God move in powerful, personal ways. I have felt His presence... I have heard His voice... I have been consumed by His love. I want MORE...

I don't EVER want to be the same as I was before...

As I try to get back into the routine of daily life... I struggle. I know it's important to take care of my family... I know it's important to do the laundry, to go to the grocery store, to cook dinner and do the dishes, to drive the children to school and dance and music lessons... I know...

But... my heart longs to return to Uganda... to love on the children we have sponsored and tell them they are special and important. My heart longs to return... to tell those two precious children that God so clearly spoke to our hearts about... that we want them, that we love them, that they haven't been forgotten... that we will care for them.

My heart aches... for the children and the families that wait, and wait, and wait to be together. My heart aches even more... for those that are still on the streets... in the quarries... without family, without food... carrying burdens far greater than they should have to... struggling... to simply survive.

My heart yearns... to do M O R E... more for the children... more for Jesus.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Before we left for Uganda, through a series of God ordained events, we learned about children who are living in a rock quarry in Kampala. Their stories are heartbreaking. God spoke to my heart about these children. I began asking Him to reveal our children to us while we were there. We still felt certain we would adopt a boy and a girl.

As we visited an orphan home we were blessed as the children greeted us with song and dance... it was absolutely beautiful! We were able to take pictures and spend time with some very special children. Among these children were a group of "rock quarry" children.

During our time at this home, as the children were singing songs, the Lord spoke to each of our hearts (all 4 of us!) about a particular boy. As I watched him sing and later interact with the others, I had an overwhelming sense... he is my son.

We were each drawn to different girls while we there. But we felt certain our daughter was among them. After we left we could not stop talking about the children! We were debating the reasons "our girl" was the right one. The absolute unity and peace we felt for the boy... was not present for the girl.

The following day Gary, Andy, and the girls decided to take a trip to the mall. For whatever reason... I chose to stay at the hotel. While it was quiet I spent some time praying. That was when the Lord spoke to my heart about a little girl that was among the rock quarry children. A little girl none of us had talked about or noticed particularly while we were visiting the home. I got out my camara and started looking through pictures. My heart just melted... and tears slowly slid down my cheeks. There she was... my little girl.

I was so upset with myself for not taking more pictures of her, for not noticing her while we were there. She had actually come up to me and held my hand! I had so many pictures of her... in the background. She was a friend of the "beautiful girls" and she hung around "our boy" quite a bit too. It FINALLY hit me... of course!... "rock quarry" children!

When my family returned, I shared my heart with them and asked them to pray about her. And then... there was unity and peace in our hearts. We knew. God had shown us our children. He is SO good!

Please pray for us... that we will be faithful, that we will not falter, that we WILL accomplish our Father's will.

Friday, January 9, 2009


We have arrived home. We are happy to be home and to see our children... but we have each left large portions of our hearts in Uganda.

I pray we will NEVER be the same again. I pray we will not slip back into our comfortable lives and become dull to what we have experienced. I pray that as I share our stories you will see God's faithfulness and be blessed... that God Almighty will be praised! For it is He that causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love Him!

I thank you for praying for us as we journeyed to Uganda. We have seen God's hand in our journey over and over again. He has heard your prayers!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Making a Home... Becoming Family... and A Birthday

God has blessed us abundantly!! This week has changed our lives.

I thank God for using our family to touch these beautiful children's lives. They have touched our hearts and blessed us beyond measure. We will never be the same... I thank God for that to.

We were blessed today to help make the house our children live in a "home". We purchased a table and chairs, a couch and chairs, shelves for the children's rooms, drawers for the Mama, and a cupboard to store their few dishes. They were SO excited!!

They will not have to eat or do their homework on the floor any longer. Praise God!

We were able to spend a large part of the day at the village. We were able to see their furniture arrive and help hang their curtains. Our girls and Mama appreciated this SO much!

They call each other "sister" now. True bonding happened between these girls and Katherine.

"Sisters" in their hearts. Elizabeth enjoyed spending time with her sisters, she did NOT want to leave them.

My little one wanted me, "Mama Cheryl", to hold her... I was happy to!

Our boys were excited about their furniture... but enjoyed making faces at the camara a little more! :)

Andy had a pretty good time too! He was surrounded by boys most ALL day!

Today is also my darling husband's birthday. What a way to celebrate your birthday!
"Daddy Gary" was in heaven!

I think it's only fair that since he got to celebrate his birthday in Uganda... I should be able to celebrate MY birthday in Uganda. Right?? Fair is fair after all!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beautiful Girls

We were blessed to spend the day with some very special children.

They sang songs and danced...
Showed us their precious faces...
Melted our hearts...

And enjoyed a special treat...

What a wonderful way to spend the day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Faces I Miss

My handsome, funny man...

My beautiful, baby girl...
My all grown up, fine young woman...
My precious little punkin'...
My gorgeous girl...

I miss you all! I love you so much and can't wait to be with you again! Kisses and Hugs!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sights in Kampala

A street view...
Children practicing their soccer skills...
Shops lining the streets...
Beautiful children...
A furniture maker...
A determined face...

My heart melting...
I thank God for taking us on this journey. I thank Him for Pastor Jackson and Eve Senyonga. I thank Him for allowing us to see their ministry. I praise Him for allowing us to spend time with our beautiful children. Uganda is an amazing place! Glory to God!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The best Field Trip EVER!!

Today we were blessed to take our children to the zoo in Entebbe. They were very excited! On the way to the zoo they sang many songs. It was beautiful!

Gary and Enoch are excited about entering the zoo.

Andy enjoyed hanging out with Wilson and Kenneth. They would NOT leave his side!

After seeing the animals, the children LOVED it when Elizabeth pushed them on the merry-go-round!
These are a few of my beauties... they loved holding my hand. It blessed my heart!

Katherine and Vanessa spent a lot of time together. She is our youngest.
Words cannot describe what a blessing these children are to our family.
We decided to skip going to Jinja next Wednesday so that we can spend the day at the village with our children. It will be Gary's birthday. What a beautiful way to spend a birthday!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome to Adventure Village!

This is an amazing place! Christian Life Ministries has served the Lord faithfully with all they have done for the children here. We are so blessed to be a part of this wonderful ministry.

These are our girls!

These are our boys!

Andy enjoyed playing soccer with the older children. The boys have their hands tied behind their backs to make it more even since they are playing against girls! Andy did great!

Whenever we took their picture they ALL wanted to see it. Katherine loved showing them!
Elizabeth was surrounded by children as we were entertained with dancing and singing.

Katherine and Elizabeth taught the older girls a lyrical dance. Andy played the music. The dance was beautiful! Their dance teachers would be very proud of them.

One of the boys we sponsor, Clinton, giving us thumbs up. He knows we will be back tomorrow to take them to the zoo! :)