Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A few days with the fam...

The last two weeks found me crossing hundreds of miles from Tremont, IL to Chicago, to Atlanta to Salt Lake City, to Idaho, to Eastern Oregon, to Portland, to Medford, to San Francisco, to Vegas, to Memphis, to (hopefully) Louisville, KY (if this plane ever gets here). I have enjoyed a whirlwind vacation visiting many friends and family. In Tremont I was able to spent two quality days with Maria (a dear college friend), walking in the cornfields and enjoying small town life. In Chicago I wandered from favorite coffee shop to favorite restaurant to favorite hang out places with Rachel and Heather (more friends from college). What a nice treat to just walk around Chicago and enjoy it with friends without worrying about homework or getting back to school. In Boise, Idaho I got to see my great grandmother and grandpa who I haven't seen in several years. My family met me there and we embarked on a long roadtrip. After meeting all my dad's cousins and other random family members and seeing all the places my dad remembers from growing up in Meridian/Boise area we headed to the little town of McCall where I got to have breakfast with Ralene..another dear friend from school. There I had the biggest pancake and cinnamon roll I have ever seen in my life. I wanted to spend some of my vacation sitting on a dock by a lake and I got my wish in McCall (for about 40 min). It was nice while it lasted. We headed from McCall to Joseph, Oregon where we have dreamed of backpacking for years. None of us are really in shape to backpack right now but we went on a short hike to get a magnificent view of Wallowa Lake. There we stayed with friends and got to explore the small town where people still leave their doors unlocked and trust each other. From there we headed to Portland briefly and saw several friends.....you know who you are and it was SO GREAT to see you! On the way home we stopped and I got to see Josh (my big little brother) at Camp Tadmore where he is working for the summer. I can't believe they can get him to wake up at 6 every morning and clean toilets until lunch. Unbelievable! On to Medford for 3 days where I caught up with friends and family and enjoyed sharing stories and pictures with my church and all the people who have been so supportive. My wonderful sister woke up at 3:30 this morning to take me to the airport and I have been on three flights and am waiting for the fourth..to get me to Louisville, KY to meet up with my team who I miss so much! I better wrap this up before the internet times out....Ang

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Help Stop the Sex Slave Trade

Dear Friends,
Perhaps you are aware of the horrendous business of the sex slave trade in countries such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Thousand of young girls are being forced into prostitution and sold for their bodies. I have long had a burden for these girs and lifted them up in prayer, but have not had a way to directly be involved. This week I was talking to my dear friend Maria and found out her friend's cousin is doing something about this. She has written beautiful songs and made a cd to help raise money to stop this sex trade. I have purchased this cd and am very moved. I would like to encourage you to check out the website (http://www.canyouhearus.org/), read the stories behind the songs, buy the cd, and most importantly spread the word to your friends, families, and co-workers. This is something we can do to help. 100% of the proceeds from sales of the cd go to organizations like Shared Hope International and International Justice Mission. Please spread the word...we can do something to stop this.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A brief update from Tennessee...

The internet has been sparce lately. My apologies for the lack of posts. So much has happened that I would love to share too! The past few weeks have been a blast. I have fallen even more in love with Tennessee than I was before. We spent three days in Franklin right around the corner from New Hope Academy, where I taught last year. I so enjoyed being able to show the kids were I taught and walking around downtown made me so happy.

We recently took the kids to the Memphis Zoo, which they LOVED...and so did I :) I've been to a lot of zoos in my life, but I really really enjoyed this one. My favorite quote was when Gilbert asked the lady that was working in the reptile are how they feed the giant python. She replied, "We just open the door and throw in the pig." PIG?!! I wish you could have seen Gilbert's face. I was pretty shocked too.

This week my friend Mark, who is teaching up in Canada, did a fundraiser with his class. After hearing about the African Children's Choir all year, one of his 4th graders decided to put together a fundraiser. The kids did a drive in movie and sold snacks at the school. The whole class called me during the fundraiser to say hello and they passed the phone around and talked to 5 of my girls. I haven't heard the final number, but when they called they had raised almost $500 and the principal had said he would match what they raised. All the money is going toward helping to build a school for my kids to go to when they go back home to Uganda. I am so excited to see how far reaching the impact of these kids and this program is. It truly blesses my heart to know that a group of kids in rural Canada loves my kids and is raising money so they can go to school.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support that allow this ministry to go on and change lives, one child at a time. We wouldn't be here without you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A day in the Life

I made a few notes in my journal the other day about my daily activities and I find them quite humerous actually. I thought I would share with you what a somewhat "typical" Saturday looks for me:

8:30am: wake up, get the boys up, work out on the eliptical machine in my host's basement while the boys get ready

9:00 -breakfast, shower, play with the boys
11:00-arrive at church and leave for next destination

11:15- riding on the bus listening to Gilbert sing 'Walkin on Sunshine' on one ear, while Jackson sings 'Old MacDonald' in the other ear. Lydia is writing a letter and asking me how to spell things like pot roast and violet. Hanny is sitting next to me asing how to spell his siblings names. How should I know?! Mo has his face plaster to the window, looking over my left shoulder for FedEx trucks.

11:30-nap on the bus

12:30-Starbucks pit stop for aunties and uncles (where we get our happy juice as the kids say)

12:45-Listen to TobyMac and send up a prayer thanking God for where I'm at and the amazing life He has given me.

1pm-Bathroom stop for the kids (and me!). 10 minutes of sunshine while the kids do flips in the grass and throw paper airplanes.

1:45pm-The children spontaneously break into song-singing Worthy is the Lamb.

2:15-Arrive at church in Nolansville, TN-children play outside, chaperones set up concert, church people volunteer to wash the bus-whistling while they work!

5:30pm-bird poops on my head-luckily I was wearing Patrick's ballcap!

5:45-Pizza with host families

6:30-Dippin Dots and dance party :)

7:30-showers at host home

8:00pm-sing Bless Yaweh and How Great Thou Art and pray with girls before bed.

8:15-chat with hosts

9:00-Watch Slumdog Millionaire

11:30-Bed. zzzz.......
Of course every day is different, but this was a good day :)