Missionary Merit Badges

This post is for our fellow missionaries and expats, trying to find humor and victories in the simple, mundane things of everyday life. Just like the Scouts, expatriates and missionaries should start collecting merit badges for the things we have accomplished. Here are a few that my friends and I thought about to get us started…

  • I killed a giant bug in the house without screaming
  • I didn’t cry when dinner was ruined by weevils in the flour
  • I waited patiently 2 hours for food to come after ordering
  • I popped a mango worm out of my kid
  • I was kind to the parking attendant in town
  • I didn’t roll my eyes when the fifth person of the day requested money
  • I made it through a whole day without a ponytail
  • I had a patient attitude when meeting began 2 hours later than scheduled
  • I was able to get money out of the first ATM I tried
  • I didn’t panic when cheese couldn’t be found in town
  • I shopped in the local supermarket without breaking into a sweat
  • I video called family this month
  • I killed a rat by stomping on it
  • I didn’t kill a goat while driving through the village
  • I only had to go to one supermarket to find my groceries
  • My stomach wasn’t messed up today
  • I survived both water & electricity being out for the day
  • I chopped veggies and cut through maggots without vomiting
  • I handled a morning of what seemed like hundreds of interruptions
  • I calmly waited for motorcycles to move so I could get into a parking spot
  • I was finally able to get out the meat stuck between my teeth
  • I swept out ants, gecko poop and cobwebs from a top closet that hasn’t been opened for years

Feel free to comment and add merit badges you or others have earned. Let’s celebrate and laugh about some of the hard and funny things we get to experience.

In the Midst of a Pandemic

Life has changed here in Uganda over the past four weeks. Little by little, and seemingly daily, every aspect of life has changed. Churches, schools, and public transportation have been closed; all stores that aren’t selling food or medicine have been shut; produce markets have been limited; national curfew has been put in place; private vehicles have been banned; even public exercising is not allowed. The government has been making constant adjustments to limit (or hopefully eliminate) the affects that Covid-19 has here, so it has impacted every area of life. Continue reading

Where Roads Don’t Reach…

Earlier in March, the Mission Team set out on a journey to visit some of our most remote churches and leaders. Because of the distance and difficulty getting there, it had been almost 4 years since we had visited this region. The anticipation and expectations were high! The churches in Northern Uganda (Lira, Kitgum, and Lamwo districts) are not only far away from Mbale, but also great distances from one another. But there we went…with a mission and a purpose: to visit, encourage, and love our brothers and sisters. Continue reading

Spiritual Warfare is Real

I must confess: I am a skeptic when it comes to the unseen world and spiritual warfare. I have doubts and cynicism when I hear about about miracles or dreams. Don’t get me wrong: I know the spiritual battle is real. Scripture talks about it, and I have heard amazing experiences from people I know and trust. But my life experiences and “American-Christian Brain” cause me to still find it hard to wrap my mind around. Continue reading

Humbly Serving

I think that all of us struggle with pride and humility. Or at least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself to feel better about it. But I feel the inner pull, the tension to seek after my own benefits and well-being before others. I struggle with it in my family, relationships, ministry, and pretty much everywhere. On most days, I submit to God and “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4). But I confess…I struggle with pride. Continue reading

Hospitality is a Gift

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:34-40

True hospitality, true service, true love…whatever you want to call it. I have enjoyed getting to know my Ugandan friends and how they view hospitality. Some Ugandans are beautiful examples of hosting others in their homes and they see the true meaning of treating people as if Jesus himself is visiting them. The “could be entertaining angels” is a very real perspective here. The true feeling of hospitality is when we don’t groan at daily interruptions of visitors, when we are willing to help someone in need, and when we open our homes and our lives to other people. Continue reading

Women’s Discipleship Update

If I am honest with you, this new year of women’s discipleship has been challenging to me in all aspects: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In January, we celebrated meeting for a year. And while I didn’t verbalize my expectation, deep-down I was anticipating way more spiritual growth and eagerness to be transformed by Jesus than had actually happened.  After a couple meetings in the new year, I was discouraged and frustrated. Continue reading

Daring to Dream for 2019

This is our BIG prayer for 2019!!!

Every year we look back on what we have been a part of and reflect on what God has done (and is doing). We also begin to dream and plan for what the new year will bring, praying that God will continue to exceed our plans and goals with what He will do. After reflecting on what God did in 2018 through NTCC-Mbale (see post HERE), we are now daring to dream about what God might do in 2019: Continue reading

A Rare American Christmas!

We were so blessed to spend Christmas this year in the States. We were able to visit supporters, churches, friends, and family at an incredibly fun time of the year. Plus, we were able to remember COLD! (Gina and Adalyn were less excited about it than I was.) Having spent the past two Christmas’ in Uganda and away from family (for the most part), we truly appreciate the joy of sitting at the same table, sharing the same meal, watching kids open presents, and simply being together.

Continue reading