The Way Home- Backroads Tour Day 2

One of The Way Home’s guest-servants this week, blogs about his second day on the roads to photo journal our granny families with Heather:

OUR SECOND DAY ON THE BACKROADS

 
Fred writes:  We spent another day on the backroads of Uganda visiting with 13 grannies at their homes.  We observed several fine gardens being prepared for planting.  They’re prepping the planting holes now and will plant the seed in another week or two when the next semi-annual rainy season begins.  We also prayed with each one that their garden would produce abundantly.  No all of them have gardens – we’ve met a few who are blind and one today wasn’t able to get up from her mat on the floor – but some of them we’ve seen have been astounding.  While the grand kids are away at school the grannies work on preparing and maintaining their gardens.  The idea is that they will be able to raise enough crop to not only feed their family but also enough extra to sell so they can pay the kids’ school fees.  If you can’t pay, you don’t go to school here.

We’re learning many things about how to best to help people in other cultures work their way out of poverty.  It’s so easy as westerners to want to just put together a team, write a check, and fix the problem.  We can see, though, the dependency problems that creates.  As we ride the bodas  through the little towns along the way we can hear the kids calling out for money from the mzungus.  When we pull into the villages it’s like the circus just pulled into town.  People come from all around the village to see what we have brought for them.  It’s encouraging to see how The Way Home Africa is working to break that cycle with the people they serve.  They’re working hard to fade into the background as they train up more and more Ugandans to do the work on the ground.  They’re also willing to apply tough love in situations where the recipients sit back on their hands expecting the work to be done for them.  
Well tomorrow it’s back to the bush on our trusty bodas and will be joined on our journey for a day by Tim Johnson.  Please continue to pray for us and for the work of The Way Home Africa.
Fred in Nasuti                   Heather and granny Amina
baby in granny village road trip                 sunrise nasuti

Beating Around the Bush

The Way Home’s “Servant’s Retreat” in the discipleship village is filled this week with….well…Servants!  Let us share the blog of one of those servants, Fred Langeland, who has come with one of our two senior advocate’s, Heather Osborn to accomplish a very BIG job…photo journaling our, now 60, Granny Families:
Fred writes:  Today was an adventure unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  We were on dirt  bikes literally beating through the African bush.  When I talk about Africa I normally hesitate to use words like “bush” and “village.”  In one of my classes in Bible college we had a student from Africa and I remember her complaining that Americans all thought everybody in Africa grew up in a grass hut out in the bush.  She was from a modern city and found our presumption both ignorant and arrogant.  Well, we weren’t in the city today!  We visited 17 granny homes, meeting with them, taking photos, and looking at their gardens.  We were really in the African bush.  We went down roads that weren’t even roads – some of them just a path between villages.  If we had lost our leader you never would have seen Heather or me again – there was no way to know where we were or where the next turn would lead.  I’d be building our grass huts as you read this.

My being here is an incredible gift and an experience I don’t want to squander on myself.  I believe God provided the means for me to be here for a reason.  Today in the solitude of my motorcycle helmet I recalled a thought from our devotions last night.  The person who shared it didn’t remember where she got it so I can’t cite credit but it goes like this:  “In Christian life and witness so much is lost because we are indefinite.  The devil is not worried by our pious aspirations.  He is troubled when, in obedience to God, for the glory of Christ and in the power of the Spirit, we make firm practical decisions to do specific things for the Lord.”  Pious aspirations.  Ever have any of those?  To be the best wife or husband your spouse could ever dream of.  To be the dad that yours wasn’t.  To get out of debt.  To save for a secure retirement.  To have deep conversations with your kids so they don’t make the same mistakes you did.  To be a godly man or woman.  I’ve certainly had more than my share of them and many of them have ended in my being indefinite.  My prayer is that through this experience I’ll move beyond pious aspirations about spreading the gospel to the poor in Africa into practical decisions to do specific things.  In obedience to God.  For the glory of Christ.  In the power of the Spirit.

Joy & Purpose giving this Christmas!

FAMILY investing in FAMILY this CHRISTMAS

One Family decided this Christmas their family gift exchange would set a NEW tradition. A tradition of giving that will make a real difference in the lives of FAMILY. Instead of choosing names and dollar limits for a family gift exchange … they decided to pool their family giving dollars and build a house.  Not just any house, but a house for a destitute Widow struggling to raise her own orphaned grandchildren after burying  her own children.

The Way Home identifies these women living in poor conditions, often living in mud huts in remote areas of Uganda.   For just $2,200 you can bless a grandmother this Christmas with a new brick home!  In addition to their new home, they will receiving training and mentoring for sustainable farming through Farming God’s Way Biblical Worldview program.  This farming program will assist the grandmother in increasing her yield up to ten times and, most importantly, Faith in God’s provision.   Each new home purchased also includes a latrine as well as weekly Bible teaching and preventative medicine.

Celebrate the birth of Jesus by making a difference this Christmas, prayerfully consider giving a new home for a widow in place of a family gift exchange, office exchange or just because you want to make an impact this year.

 FAMILY GIFT EXCHANGE 

Mom’s running for their lives!

Thank you for counting the ‘cost’ as you run with SO MUCH PURPOSE
for the neediest of the needy, Lisa Maginity and Trisha Ager !!

…YOU are literally RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES!!!
on behalf of our 65 grannies raising their 300+ orphaned grandsssss, we so humbly THANK YOU FOR YOUR SELFLESS SACRIFICE and GOAL to make a difference for the poorest of the poor widows raising orphans…u cannot fully understand the blessing this is and the hope that it gives

www.thewayhomeafrica.com
#2200 miles to The Way Home

michigan runner girl

Fruit Beyond our Understanding…

God sees the finished tapestry of our lives…and sometimes gives us a glimpse of what He’s done in the rear view mirror. In 2002 He reset the course of our lives in a beautiful way. Wayne & Bonnie Sue Walker were a very special couple who unwittingly mentored us in Faith in a way we believe produced large and lasting fruit!

Good Shepherd’s Fold celebrates 20 years & welcomes their founding Patriarch, Wayne Walker this month. As they are celebrating we are reflecting on God’s faithfulness to us and the significant turning point that Wayne and his late wife Bonnie Sue’s testimony of faith sparked in our walk with the Lord, 12 years ago, that began the ripple of their legacy that lasts.

In 2002, We were living in Kampala serving in orphan’s ministry. Being in the same type new ministry we knew of Wayne and Bonnie Sue as this amazing couple (who founded Good Shepherd’s Fold). Our son’s went to the same school and one weekend they came to pick up their son who had stayed with us & our son, Ben overnight a day or two before Easter in 2002. They parked in our driveway. After a little while, Bonnie Sue told Marcia about them planning the adoption of a new born girl. She was disabled and this would be their 6th special needs adoption, now 15!

Neither Bonnie Sue nor Wayne had any idea that the Lord had been prompting us to adopt Joseph (now 14). I was listening to Bonnie Sue and Marcia chat about the Children God was putting in their lives. Bonnie Sue was unknowingly counseling (and convicting) Marcia by her calm and accepting explanation of how God always makes it clear who He is choosing to place in their family…as she and Wayne were sharing some of the challenges of their most recent adoption process for their SIXTH special needs infant to add to their 5 biological children AND us discovering that they were a full 10 years older than us!!!

Oh, I had been reading the Bible about adoption, asking the Lord whether He would really have us adopt Joseph at our age then about 47. The ‘gotcha’ day in 2002 came when Wayne and Bonnie Sue drove up to our house to pick up their son and parked their truck in our driveway and we talked. I realized before then God had given me my answers but I was still holding back.

As Marcia spoke with Bonnie Sue I also spoke with Wayne and I realized how much I was enjoying Wayne and our conversation though I had just met him for the first time. I was wondering though, ‘why he hadn’t gotten out of his truck?’ as we were chatting for such a long time? So I strolled up to the window of Wayne’s truck and saw he had no legs! It struck me profoundly as another sign the Lord was giving me to take Joseph immediately from the babies home into our family. Wayne had 5 biological kids and 6 handicapped adopted kids and God was asking me to allow Him to place just ONE lonely child into our family. I was stunned by the intimate and persuasive way the Lord was working with me! His grace and love abound. No legs. I have both my legs. And we’re 10 years younger!
Bonnie Sue arrived at her heavenly home very recently and undoubtedly knows of her legacy of impact for Jesus heart for orphans…but Wayne has no idea how God used that simple meeting & conversation to impact so many lives going forward from that afternoon. That very day we went to take Joseph and home with us. He was from that day ours! Praise Jesus!

Now I would like Wayne and others to know there is fruit sometimes beyond our understanding from faithfulness. We have since then also adopted our two grandchildren, Dominick (13) and Sam (7) and we are in Uganda with The Way Home ministry working to serve a growing number of Granny-Grandchildren families (57 Granny’s and their 315 orphaned Grandchildren living with their Granny) together in absolute poverty and surviving together the death of their loved ones (her children and their Mom and Dad). One of our daughters & son-in-law have also been called to adopt and are in passionate pursuit of adding the second of two adopted grandchildren to our Family, both treasured children were joined to their family through the family of Good Shepherds Fold!

It is a privilege to know a bit of the impact the living faith of Wayne and Bonnie Sue was for us.
We thank the Lord and the two of them for being our example of Christ who exhorts us to strive to be like Him:
A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widow’s” with His help…Set the lonely in families. (Psalm 68:5-6a)

Publishers Clearing House in Uganda???

You would think so!

I mean that’s what it seriously feels like each year when we interview the ‘neediest of the needy’ widows, left to raise their orphaned grandchildren, deep in the village of one of the most destitute areas of Uganda.

If you can…imagine this?
…they have lost their husband and now, without any time to grieve the death of their own children
…opened their humble leaking thatched roofed, mud hut to their now, orphaned grandchildren
…when they don’t have a clue where their own next meal is coming from!!
would numbers help you imagine? The average number of children our grannies have in their care is 5.5…one of our grannies has 14!

There is nothing more humbling

It is obvious throughout scripture…that God cares for widows & orphans…and because He does…we do/can too!

but to actually SEE it happen before our very eyes..

AND to be the one’s called by God to deliver that news to them is a privilege that there are no words for…

but a picture is worth a thousand of them right??

What happens when a destitute widow raising her orphaned grandchildren hears that her prayers for provision have been heard and answered?
#HOPE!!!!

Sharing that picture of HOPE with you from deep in the village of the “Pearl of Africa”

P.S. wish you were here 🙂

remembering to UN-WRAP Christmas this Year?

Pondering God WITH us…

When we brought our Joseph home for good at the age of 2 and a half, he had never known what it was like to receive a wrapped present until the day we celebrated his “3rd/1st” birthday…really ! I will never forget that moment when all of our friends gathered and watched him as his very first present was handed to him all wrapped up in fun paper with stickers. He was so thrilled with receiving the package that he had absolutely no desire to unwrap it! Can you imagine?

In our busy house full of young boys,  home school, and all encompassing ministry this Christmas I, once again,  find myself having to purposely choose to stop and contemplate whether I have opened the extraordinary gifts that the Christ Child brought from heaven to give us…LIFE…LOVE…FORGIVENESS…JOY and PEACE…HEAVENLY peace that is 🙂 not as the world gives…

Precious life-giving Heavenly packages given to each of us to Why, on earth(!), would we … would I?…even consider leaving them un-applied? …un-tapped?…un-leashed?…un-used?…UNWRAPPED!!!! Can you imagine??

THE GIFT TAG:

UN-TO: US!

WITH (unconditional!)LOVE-FROM: 

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace !

Just sayin’ …

 

 

 

Out of the hearts of babes!

We’ve never even met Cassandra in person…

but already her reputation precedes her…at 10 years old!

We are always amazed and often amused at the ways God builds a team to take seriously His command to look after orphans & widows in their distress…

but when we came home one day to find this oatmeal container of cash donations from a lemonade stand for orphans…collected by the same young lady that celebrated her 9th birthday by requesting that people would please bring a donation for widows & orphans of THE WAY HOME instead of a present for her…we knew where the heart of her motivation came from 🙂

Praise God for His work in the hearts of Children for His Glory !

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31

OUTSTANDING in their field!!!

 

…And we do mean that both literally and figuratively!!

As you look through this pre-harvest window deep into the villages of Luuka and Namatumba, ENJOY the fruit of these courageous and hard working Granny’s  labor, with us.

They are proud..we are prouder…and surely God is most proud as these granny-families have begun to thrive by applying the principles of Farming God’s Way to their lives and their farms. They AND their gardens are visible, living testimonies of God’s abundant provision.

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow….

IMG_3043

IMG_3041

IMG_3002

IMG_3019

 

feature photo

ADOPTION for KEEPS!

 

A permanent commitment of LOVE…

no matter where the road may lead…

Have you ever thought about how much peace & security you have in knowing that God’s adoption of YOU into His family, is permanent? 

“Adoption” is one of God’s most powerful words…it describes God’s love for mankind.

Jesus offer’s God’s love to us in a form we could understand…adoption.

Galatians 4:4-5 tells us that God’s primary purpose for sending Jesus into the world was to arrange for our adoption.“…God sent forth His Son…that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

and in John 1:12 ”But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name.”  

Jesus Himself said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18

He also said, “I go to prepare a place for you …and I will come again to receive you to myself; ( ‘to adopt you’ Rom 8:23) “that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3

A word we love to think of that’s a partial explanation of ‘Adoption’ is the word “permanency”. Christ will come to us, He will come again and He will receive us to Himself. A forever commitment.

We adopted our three boy’s Joseph, Dominick, and Samson with the concept of ‘permanency’ firmly in mind. When confronted with trials parent’s face raising children in this age, we reflect on the commitment of ‘permanency’. To each of His believer’s (us), Jesus makes the commitment of ‘permanency’. We constantly admire our Granny’s so much as we see their infinitely more serious trials they face than we, in raising their orphaned grand kids.We think of the thoughts must enter the minds of children whose biological parents are erased from their lives for whatever reason. “Who will take care of me”? “Does anyone love me”? “Where will I sleep, what will I eat, will I be safe”? what will happen to my sisters & brothers?

… Isn’t this the spiritual condition we face leading up to the moment of decision in choosing Christ as Savior?

Notice an amazing parallel of Christs’ saying He will permanently adopt and care for us, and someone stepping forward and saying “where I am, there you may be also” in answer to these most urgent questions of an orphaned child. Our Granny’s grandchildren can feel comfort and love, knowing that a future was planned for them that’s in their best interest. Their Granny’s love commitment is concrete evidence to them of God’s love and sovereignty in their lives. Our commitment to strengthen the Granny Families and show them the Way Home, is in honor of ‘family’ and of Christ, the true and permanent HOME & Father to every believer.

What an amazing God and FATHER we serve!