Sunday, 29 December 2013

Storms come but they also go...PTL!

Phew it has been quite the ride the last couple of weeks.  Simon returned home from Switzerland on the early hours of Christmas Eve after spending a week with his family.  It was good for him to spend time with his Mum, Dad, sisters and other family members.  His Mum has continued to go downhill healthwise and is now no longer reponsive.  Her time left on this earth is very short but she had communicated in these last days that she was ready to see Jesus.  Oh what a glorious day that will be for her.

Please continue to pray for the family as they care for her at home that God will give them all that they need.  Simon will return for the funeral when the time comes.  Pray that they would all sense God's comfort.

While Simon was gone the challenges continued.  Our dog, Chewy, was very sick one night to the point of being paralysed on one side.  Thankfully, she survived the night and I was able to get a vet out to help her.  He gave her medicine for tick fever and a couple of other injections.  She has recovered well and so we are thankful for that.  You don't realise how much a part of the family she is until we thought we were going to lose her.

One of the other MAF families had an attemped break-in on Christmas Day whilst they were celebrating Christmas with friends next door.  Thankfully the thieves were disturbed and didn't get in the house.  Please continue to pray for safety in this area.

Christmas Day came and we enjoyed celebrating this special time of year with friends.  However, the day after my Mum became very sick.  To cut a long story we discovered she was suffereing from dysentery.  She spent the good part of  the day at a small hospital and has been recovering at home since.  Pleae pray for a full recovery for her and that she can enjoy the rest of her holiday with us here in Uganda.

Looking forward to 2014 and a year of better health for all  :)

Romans 12:12

Monday, 16 December 2013

Prayers needed

Due to the deterioration in Simon's Mums health we made the decision this morning for Simon to fly home to Switzerland to be with her.  He will fly out tonight and arrive tomorrow lunch time.  It is also difficult to know when the time is right but after praying about it Simon felt it was right to go now.  Please pray for him as he travels that all would go smoothly.  Pray for Simon's Mum in these days as the pain is great.  Pray for her to sense God's presence.  Pray also for the rest of the family as they go through this time with her.   Will keep you updated as and when we know more.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sad news about baby Christine

I posted last week about the medevac that Simon did for Baby Christine who had inhaled a stone and was flown to Kampala for treatment.  Sadly, Christine died on arrival at the hospital.  They tried to resuscitate her but were unsuccessful.  The parents returned to their home upcountry with her body for burial.  Please pray for this family in the loss of their child.

Monday, 9 December 2013


This weekend we had the unpleasant experience of being broken into.  We had left Saturday morning to go and spend some time with friends who were leaving to return to Germany.  When we arrived back at the house after a few hours we found the door lock had been broken off and some of our items taken.  It was a bit of an eerie feeling knowing that somebody or people had gone through your things and helped themselves to computers, kindles, nintendos etc.   However, we are grateful that they didn't come when we were at home and that none of us were harmed in the incident.  Simon spent some time at the Police station and driving the Police up to our house so they could do an "investigation". 

Joshua and Zara were very upset to find some of their things taken but are doing well now.  They haven't had trouble sleeping since it happened so we are thankful for that.  We assured them that they were just "things", even although they were precious to them, but can be replaced in time.   Zara ran straight into her room to make sure Dolly was still there.  She was very relieved that they hadn't taken Emily :)

Simon happens to be on leave this week which is good timing as we will need to review our security at the house.  I am also thankful that he is home and has no overnights this week.  Last week he was overnighting in Sudan so I am grateful its not this week.  God is still in charge and is a God of perfect timing.

A couple of friends sent Psalm 91 to us this weekend.  Great words for such a time as this.  Thanks to all of you who contacted us this weekend.  We are doing fine and taking one day at a time.

Friday, 6 December 2013

A night to remember in South Sudan

Simon flew up to a place called Malualkon, South Sudan on Wednesday with a bag of vegetables, fruit and sweets.  Malualkon is located just south of Darfur and not exactly a metropolis as you can see from the photos below hence the food items that went up for the family living there.

That night a puff adder happened to pass the front door of the house they were staying at.  A puff adder's venom can kill you within an hour of being bitten.  One child in the region had been killed recently by a spitting cobra so its not a place for the faint hearted.

Simon and another MAF Pilot, Greg Vine flew up solar radios for the FM station that has been set up by the mission there, Every Village.  It operates like a radio station with Christian content being broadcast in the local language.  You can check out Every Village's website at for further information on what ministries they are involved in.

The following photos tell the story of Simon's night in Malualkon.  The photos of the snake aren't too clear due to everything being done by torch light.

It is not easy to purchase fresh vegetables and fruit in this area so we flew some up along with some sweets for the family's wee boys. :)

Simon flying over the Malualkon area - no Walmart, Tesco's, or Migro to be seen!

The puff adder that had its final night.  You can see its lost it head at this point.  Simon said as they gutted the insides it still continued to move. 

The snake was over a metre long!!!

Gutting the snake so they could keep the skin.....this is what happens when the "usual" forms of entertainment are lacking in certain parts of the create your own.  :)

The underside of the snake skin was rubbed in salt to preserve it.  It was then rolled and left to dry.

Definitely not something you really want to meet on a dark night in Sudan!  Look at those deadly fangs!

One of the missionaries houses.  He teaches at the local school and is a missionary with Cush for Christ.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Baby Christine

Medical Evacuation  from Matany - Report from Simon

"I landed in Matany for a scheduled pick-up of a doctor who’d been visiting for one week. On arrival I was asked if I could take a baby and her mother back to Kampala as a medevac. The baby must have been chewing on a stone and accidentally “inhaled” it. The stone got lodged in the wind pipe and so she was struggling to breathe. We rigged up an oxygen bottle and then loaded up the baby’s mum along with the baby. The doctor manually pumped oxygen along with the bottled oxygen the entire trip down (1.2 hours). In Kajjansi we moved the whole contraption into the taxi and off they went to Mulago Hospital where they had surgery scheduled this afternoon to remove the stone. Pray all goes well. (picture taken at 10500 ft cruising altitude!)"

Give thanks that God provided that Dr. to be on the same flight as baby Christine.  Hopefully we will hear soon how she is.  Once I know I will be sure to post an update.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

More news from Kodike

Fred (MAF's Flight Follower) and his wife Jocelyn made another trip by car to Kodike to deliver more food stuffs and clothing.  Below are some photos that Fred took of his time there.
Fred, and others, will be travelling up this weekend again to minister to the people of this area.  Please pray for them as they do this that many will be encouraged, needs will be met and that God will protect this team in their service to the people of Kodike.
The roads were passable but not without difficulty.  Fred said that if they had come a day earlier it would have been a challenge to get the 1708kg of seeds up to Kodike.


Bags of maize, flour, beans, sorghum offloaded and waiting for distribution

Jocelyn (Fred's wife) helping with the distribution of the food supplies and Fred helping also (sitting on the seat in the picture below)

Above and below people walking home with the seeds that they have been given

Jocelyn handing out clothes to young mothers

Fred included a photo he had taken of some land that had been donated.  This land is going to be used to build a church.  They will be gathering wooden poles to put a structure in place.  Often people have to walk a long way to get to church.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Prayer Chains

MAF Uganda has been busy putting the prayer chains together that have been sent over from the UK.  These are strips of paper that people have written prayers on for MAF and for two other organisations that operate in Uganda.

Last Friday we had a fellowship day where all the staff, National and International, got together for a time of worship and teaching led by Tony Horsfall (MAF's Pastoral Care Worker, who works for Charis Training in the UK).  During that time we also put the prayer chains together.  As we did we read some of the prayers that people had written.  Thanks to all of you who contributed to this and for your prayers...they work!!

Our Information Co-ordinator, Jill Vine, explains it well in the following....

o      We’ve kick started the “Paper Plane Chain” venture with the National Staff helping to assemble and read the encouraging messages sent to the program…the office is now looking very festive.  The International Staff have made a dint in the next batch of chain mail, soon to be followed by the entire team helping to finish off the rest of the chains designated for MAF staff on Friday at our fellowship day at the hangar.    (soon to be also laced with paper planes)  After this, the flight on the 13th to both Pader and Soroti (Northern Uganda) will take place with 8 national & international passengers delivering the rest of the messages/paper planes that have been written and sent in for the IMA clinic and ALARM.  

The messages that we’ve so far read together have been quite amazing and have given us an awareness of the world of supporters praying for us as a team at large….Please pray that on the 13th that our partners in Pader and Soroti will also feel the effect of these reassuring messages and that it will encourage them to keep persevering in their ministries and to also know they’re covered by MAF, not just by flights, but also in prayer.

The prayer chains being draped over the two Cessna 208's (caravans).  Those prayer chains are now decorating the hangar inside for Christmas and there are a bunch more to be made up.

A photo of our MAF Pilots and Engineers beside the new Cessna 208 that just flew in that morning.  This is the newest aircraft in our fleet and so there are a few people who are excited to be flying and working on it very soon once the registration and necessary paperwork is complete. 
 "Boys and their toys" :)

As promised....


A few weeks ago Simon was asked to make a coffin for a baby girl who died, Selah Shalom McPhee.  Simon has made many things with wood but this was a first and not an easy one.

With permission from the parents I have included a photo of the coffin.  Please pray for the McPhee family as they go through the grieving process of losing their baby girl.  They have posted on their facebook page some photos of the moments of when they buried baby Selah.  It sure brings tears to your eyes.  You can see the photos on Facebook at Dave and Janna McPhee.  I am sure this will encourage you to pray for this family as they work through their journey of grief.

Whilst Simon was making the coffin Zara came in to have a look.  In a matter of fact voice she asked if Simon would make one for her if she died as a child. Simon told her he would but prayed he would never have to.  I was glad I didn't have to answer her.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Catch up time

This past month has been a busy flying month for the pilots due to some away on training or giving training.  This means for the ones remaining in the programme they have their fair share of flying to do.  We also saw our Operations Manager leave for furlough which leaves a hole that needs to filled by different people.  So all in all there is no room to be bored :)  Pray for those in leadership to make good decisions.

Joshua and Zara are doing well.  They had their report cards last week from school and all is good in that department.  Joshua is in his last year of primary which is difficult to believe and Zara has two more years after this one.  They sure grow fast!  They are planning to be in the next swimming gala at school so Joshua is planning to practice every day this week as long as the rain stays away.  Thankfully, for the most part, its warm rain :)

Simon is busy with his flying schedule as well as in his MAF Safety Manager role.  When he gets time you will find him in our garage working on some wood project. Last month he made a table for a new family that arrived in the programme and this month it is shelving.  You never know what is going to come out of the garage next.

I have been busy with three Bible studies and some meetings regarding Member Care.  I have also completed a debrief with someone who went through a significant trauma as well as some unofficial debriefs - giving people the chance to unload a bit on some pressing matters.

Tomorrow I fly to Kenya for the annual Member Care Advisory Board meetings.  It is a bigger team that is meeting this year so will be great to see what comes out of our time together.  We will be looking at Member Care in terms of Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya.  For those who have not come across the Mobile Member Care Team before here is a description of what it is all about.

"The Mobile Member Care Team (MMCT) is a  multidisciplinary, inter-mission team whose name says it all:  We provide a range of MEMBER CARE services like training workshops, consultations, brief counseling, psychological assessents and crisis response for missionaries.  And we're MOBILE, providing these services right where misionaries live and work. 
Proactive, compassionate member care like the kind provided by MMCT can build resilence among missionaries, prevent burnout and promote the resolution of team, interpersonal and marriage conflicts.  MMCT's services can also help missionaries remain in effective service when they pass through crises like civil war, kidnappings, car jackings, armed robberies, assault and other traumatic events.
Our staff, all missionaries themselves, have backgrounds in personnel development, counseling, pastoral care, training and leadership in cross-cultural settings.  Strengthening the missionary community for healthy, loving service in the midst of challenge, change and crisis is our passion."

Please pray for this time that God would direct and lead our discussions and guide us for the next year to come.

Please pray for Simon, Joshua and Zara at home that God will protect them and that they have fun together. :)


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Nasir Trip in photos

Two planes went up to Nasir, South Sudan.  One with all the team members and the other one with the supplies.  Part of the supplies was a motorbike and a wee dog....I wonder what he thinks of it all :)

There are no places to buy supplies up in Nasir so everything had to be carefully planned. These supplies will, hopefully, keep them going until Christmas when they will come out for a break.

Now the fun begins...all the unloading.  All these supplies were loaded onto the back of a donkey cart.  (You can see that in one of the photos below) I think it took 4 trips to get all the stuff to the compound.   Walking one way takes 45 minutes.  It was quite the operation.

This strip is notorious for being a hazard when wet.  Thankfully the rains let off enough so there was a period of dry weather.  It is not often you see green grass either. :)

The white patch on this part of the airstrip is crushed concrete.  I guess someone thought it was a good idea to fill the holes and ruts with their left over concrete.  :)  Not ideal but could be worse!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Planes, NO TRAINS, NO AUTOMOBILES but Donkey Carts

Simon and another MAF pilot flew a team from Every Village up into South Sudan last week.  This team will be spending time learning the local language, evangelism, ensuring the Chr*stian radio station continues to broadcast,  community health projects amongst other community service ministries.   I had written a report up about it but just found out that Kerry Henderson, Every Village Director who flew with Simon had produced an account of his journey there so here it is.....

 Dear MAF Partners,

 Nasir Team on the Ground!!!

 First of all we want to thank MAF for all your hard work to get these missionaries to South Sudan!  It was a group effort from all of you to make this happen, from Ops, to Pilots, to mechanics, to finance, to Kajj help, prayers from all of you, and we appreciate all the extra time you all took to make this happen, you all are such a blessing to us and all missionaries working here in Uganda, Congo and South Sudan!!

We were able to leave the ground in KAJJ early Friday morning to head to Nasir.  We received a favorable weather report from Nasir (the plane can't land or take off if the airstrip is wet due to the sticky cotton soil)  and the team cheered with excitement to be headed to their new home!  Simon and I went on the cargo plane and left first and then the team left shortly after us.  After a stop in Juba Simon and I landed in Nasir which was dry on the runway with a covering of grass but the rest of the area was still covered with scattered puddles.  We began unloading the plane while we waited on the team to get there.  I was able to organize three donkey carts to carry all the supplies which would eventually take them two loads each to get it to our compound.

Once the Team arrived, it was a celebration for me and them as we knew they had finally arrived.  After over a year of fundraising and training they were finally on the ground where God had called them.  Although they were very excited there was still floods of emotions, anxiety, uncertainty, but they still had a peace that God had called them and He would work through all the emotions and struggles to get them up and running.

We loaded the donkey carts while Dallas and Simon stayed with the rest of the luggage and planes and we started our trek to the compound.  It took about 45 minutes to get to the compound as we had to walk a zig zag course dodging the puddles  and lake Nasir on the way!  We finally reached the compound and they were able to see their homes for the first time.  I know they were excited but also stressed that it would take a lot of work to make them into homes, but again they were encouraged by God’s calling on them.  I was able to stay for a little while and look through all the houses and all the supplies that you all had hauled up for us over the past months.  It looked like everything was there so I gave them hugs and headed back to the planes and we headed back home.

Saturday after I arrived home I was able to communicate with them and they said that they were doing good but it was just a struggle to get everything done.  Jared said it took some time to get their phones up and running and to get the motorbike back to the compound so they didn’t get beds made until 11pm Friday night.  He said they had all prayed together that morning and they all were encouraged that every day would get better and better. 

I talked with them again on Sunday and they felt much better!  They had gotten a lot of things sorted out and were working to get the solar up and running as we spoke.  They had been able to worship together as a team that morning and everyone was in good spirits.  He continues to say that as each day comes it will only get better and better!!

So thank you MAF for all you have done for this Team!!  Please continue to pray for them.

-Pray they will continue to settle in well
-Pray they have all their supplies and if not we can get them up quickly
-Pray for language studies
-Pray for relationships to form
-Most of all for them to feel the Peace of Jesus resting on them all, knowing they are exactly where God wants them to be!

Thanks again and blessings to all of you!!!

Kerry Henderson

Country Director
Every Village

You never know what a day brings....

Over two years ago a MAF worker's wife had complications in her pregnancy which resulted in the baby dying in the womb.  Another MAF colleague and I visited the wife in hospital during that time.  Once the baby was delivered arrangements were made for the baby to be buried.  Due to the family being from C*ng* they did not have land where they could bury him.  However, after making a few phone calls land was found and a hole was dug.  A friend and I, in our car, along with whoever could fit in it drove with baby David to the burial site.  He had been placed in a card board box.  Due to us being white we couldn't go to the "funeral" as the land that had been arranged and paid for would have gone up in price.  We waited in a dimly lit room whilst the funeral service took place.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of visiting the family again as they had another baby boy since that tragic time and have named him David also.  I have seen a photo of him and he is a cutie.

However, this week another baby died in yet another tragic story.  This family work up in Northern Uganda and are friends of some MAF colleagues.  The month old baby girl developed a bacterial infection which resulted in many tests and the discovery that she had two holes in her heart.  After a brave fight she died and went home to be with Jesus last week.  At the weekend we met the midwife who had delivered the baby and who had helped to look after her during the time in hospital.  These are not easy days for all those involved especially the family. 

I tell you this story because Simon had a phone call on Saturday asking if he would be able to put his woodwork skills to use by building a coffin for the baby.  This is a first for Simon but as I type he is hard at work putting it together.  I will be sure to post a photo of it once its complete.

Please be in prayer for this family as they work through the grieving process and come to terms with the loss of their baby.  Also for those nearest and dearest to them as they endure grief and also work out how to support this family the best way possible.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Quick Update

First of all thanks to all of you who have responded to my previous post on Kodike Village whether it be with prayer support or through finances.  Simon was able to fly up some supplies yesterday to the area that had been collected in our MAF office.  There is still more to go up but there wasn't room on the plane.  Our Information Co-Ordinator and another colleague also flew up so I am sure a story will be produced soon as well as photos.

It was good to see many of you whilst I was home in Scotland for a week at a close friend's wedding.  It was a bit of a whirlwind trip but glad for the opportunity to catch up with so many both at the wedding and on other days.  I was also blessed with a quick overnight in Holland on the way back to visit a close friend who has just returned to Holland from the MAF Uganda programme.  It was SO good to catch up with her and see the family.  As always with friends the time is too short but enjoyable nevertheless.

I had a wonderful welcome when I arrived home in Uganda.  You would think I had been gone for a year although I have to say I missed them very much too.  Simon did a great job juggling everything and the kids were flexible also which was a blessing.  Thanks to the MAF team for helping out when things didn't quite go according to plan  e.g Simon getting stuck up country with a dead battery and couldn't get home till late. 

Simon, Joshua and Zara have been battling colds and other ailments whilst I was away.  They are all recovering to one degree or another.  I told them it was because they missed me too much and needed their nurse back :)

I arrived at midnight on Thursday morning and hit the ground running.  However, its so good to be back into studying again for Bible study (missed that) and getting organised for the three Bible studies this coming week.  I am also going to be involved in Scripture Union at Joshua and Zara's school again so that will keep me going.

On Thursday afternoon we had some friends arrive to stay.  George and Luan have been in Uganda for 7 years and have been doing various ministries during that time.  God has called them out of Uganda and so they will be moving onto a new ministry in South Africa.  They will head back to the States for some support raising as well as catching up with family.  It will be another sad goodbye tonight but thankful for modern technology that enables us to stay in touch.

Thanks again to all of you who continue to support us in prayer and with finances.  It is so encouraging to talk to some of you over this past summer on our travels of your faithfulness in this regard.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Kodike (Moroto), Karamoja, NE Uganda

Due to a very long dry season there is a lack of food in the Northeastern part of Uganda called Karamoja.  The planting season has also passed and many people are without food and are in danger of sickness and starvation.  The following is a letter from our MAF Programme Manager asking for us to help out.  I have posted this on our blog in case any readers out there would like to help too.  I do have an email with photos of a trip that a MAF colleague made to the area.  If you are interested in receiving this then please let me know.  You can contact me at

Dear friends,

 Would you like to join me in showing some love and care to the villagers of Kodike?

One of our customers, Fassy Israel, works for the Anglican Diocese as a Health Coordinator and has set up a local NGO called Mustard Seed. He wrote me a report on some of his work in the form of a very moving testimony from one of the older villagers.  Fred Lokana (MAF Employee) recently visited him and the village and has also made a report which I have attached. Fred reports that there is a severe food shortage in the area and there is a need for clothes for many of the people there.

It would be wonderful if as a team we can raise enough money to send out some maize flour and beans for the most needy in the village. If we could raise 1.5M Ush this would buy us 20 sacks of maize flour (1000kg) that we could take over. 

If you have any clothes that you no longer wear would you be willing to donate them to the community?

Admittedly what we would be able to offer is a drop in the ocean in terms of feeding and clothing people but I hope that it would send a blessing and a message that they are cared.  Fred will go out with the gifts and work with Fassy in ensuring that they end up with the most needy folk.

If you would like to make a financial donation please do so this week.  Margaret has kindly agreed to coordinate the financial contributions. Please feel free to pass them on to her or send her an email request for a payment transfer from your account.  If you have any clothes you would like to give away please bag them and bring them into the old lunch room. It would perhaps be helpful if you could segregate them into ladies, men’s or children’s and label the bags.

Thank you for being a blessing!



Tuesday, 27 August 2013

We are back in Uganda

Well the last 6 weeks have come and gone.  It doesn't seem that long ago that we were preparing for furlough and some holidays and now its gone.  We have hit the ground running in Uganda.  We arrived on Sunday and Simon was already doing preparation for a flight the day after.  Nothing stands still for long :)

We had an interesting time on furlough with Joshua and his toe infection.  Thankfully he has recovered well and the wound has completely closed and is looking great now.  We are thankful for all the medical attention he was given and that God's timing was perfect again in that it took place in Switzerland.

We managed to see quite a few people whilst in Switzerland although our time with Joshua in hospital changed plans a bit but we managed to meet all the commitments that were made and enjoy some time with some of Simon's family up in the mountains although a bit shorter than planned.

We spent some time in Dubai with a friend en route back to Uganda.  We had an amazing time in the desert, visited a water park and enjoyed different sights in downtown Dubai.  We also were able to help our friend move house (his wife and children were in the States visiting family) which meant we ended up staying with him the whole time rather than moving to a guesthouse.  It was a win win situation for all :)  I will upload some photos at another time.

Simon is back into flying again.  He did a base check for one of the pilots today and is off to Congo tomorrow.  I guess we are really back into the swing of "normal" life again.  Joshua and Zara start school on Thursday so need to get them ready for that.

As ever there are always things to be done.   Our washing machine sounds like an airplane taking off at full speed and so we have decided not to fix it again.  It was fixed not long before we left for furlough but the same problem has come back.  I guess getting 10 years of life out of it hasn't been a bad deal.  So time for a new one.  I could hardly hear myself think a few minutes ago due to the noise of it.  This is for all you ladies out there who can't live without a washing machine.  :)

Today Joshua and Zara met up with some of their friends and had a great time of fun and laughter.  So much so that all the kids begged that we do a repeat tomorrow :)

This morning Zara and I did some gardening.  We pulled out bushes and made some more space for our strawberry patch.  She is a great wee worker and did a wonderful job helping.

This week I am planning for Bible studies and making sure they all start off well.  This is because I will be heading to Scotland next week for a close friends wedding.  Need to make sure everything runs smoothly before I head off again.  Looking forward to catching up with people and seeing family.

Please pray for Simon, Joshua and Zara as they remain in Uganda.

Please pray also for Simon's Mum.  Her test results after the last set of chemo were not very encouraging and so she needs to decide whether to start more chemo or not.  Pray for the pain to subside in her stomach and back and also for the right decisions to be made with regards to further treatment. 

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and encouragement whilst we were on furlough.  We know God looked after us during that time.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


The doctor gave the all clear yesterday for Joshua to fly on Saturday.  We are thankful for answered prayers that Joshua is doing much better.  It will take a while for the wound to heal completely but we are grateful that the infection is gone.  He will have a small procedure tomorrow to remove some dead skin.  Pray that the local anaethestic works.  He is not good with pain :(.  It has been a learning process for him for sure.

We are grateful to the hospital staff and insurance company for being so efficient and taking care of the situation.  We were glad it happened in Switzerland and we didn't have to make another trip to Nairobi if it had taken place in Uganda.

Thankful also for Simon's parents who have helped out immensely too.  Also for the visits we have had with people here in Switzerland.  It has been good to catch up with those that partner with us and enable us to continue our work on the field.

We leave on Saturday for Dubai where we will stay with friends and have a holiday together as a family before heading back to Uganda.  We will be ready, when the time comes, to get back into a work/school routine.  We will keep you updated as and when we can.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Update on Joshua

Sorry for the delay with an update on Joshua but we did not have access to the Internet this week.  Joshua was discharged from hospital on Monday and is now an outpatient and goes to the hospital every second day to be seen by a wound specialist.  We headed up to the mountains on Monday as it was supposed to be our time away with Simon`s parents and his sister and her husband.  It was a beautiful setting and we enjoyed good weather.  Simon took him back to the hospital on Wednesday for his appointment (about 1 1/2 hours away).  He is progressing in the right direction and we are truly thankful for that.  He has been seeing a wound specialist the last two visits.  We are praying it heals well from the inside to the outside well.  He has done well overall now that the pain has subsided.

We were able to obtain a wheelchair for Joshua which meant we could take him out and let him see something of Switzerland.  Joshua and I went up on a gondola together yesterday while everyone else went walking.  We felt like we were on top of the world as everywhere we looked all we could see was mountaintops.  Quite amazing.  We also went in a pedalo boat in the afternoon which he steered around the lake while I pedaled :)  Simon and Zara headed our way after they scootered down part of the mountain so jumped in the boat halfway through our time.  It was a lovely day.  There are more stories to tell as you can imagine but they will be better told with photos at some point.

Joshua just walked in the door from the hospital.  The surgeon would like to see him again on Tuesday and then he will say whether we have a green light to travel or not the following Saturday or whether we need to stay longer in Switzerland.  The care we have received for Joshua has been amazing and we are grateful to all those involved.  Thanks also to all of you who have been praying.  We have really appreciated it.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Joshua in hospital

We are now in Switzerland on furlough.  Unfortunately two weeks into our furlough Joshua was in a lot of pain in his big toe.  We had been treating  his sore toe but it wasn`t getting any better.  Late last Thursday night Simon took him to A&E whereby he was admitted for an infection.  He has been on IV antibiotics since.  Yesterday a decision was made to operate on his toe and remove some of the infected part.  Joshua doesn`t do well with needles and anything associated with pain.  They had hoped to do the procedure by local anaesesthetic but Joshua really struggled so a decision was made to do it under general anaesethetic.  He went down to the Operation theatre at 1415 and was back up in his room by 1520.  He was a bit groggy for a while but soon recovered and was so happy not to feel any pain in his foot.  Simon and I have been taking turns at the hospital to be with him.  We are awaiting a decision from the Doctor today to see what the way forward is.  We were supposed to be going away for a week with some of Simon`s family but we hope to maybe join them later in the week if possible.

Please pray for Joshua during this time.  It is not easy for him although does well when he is not in pain.  We are playing lots of games, reading  and watching episodes of Flying Alaska (all about flying in the remote parts of Alaska).

Please pray for complete healing for Joshua.  We have two weeks left in Switzerland and so we need to make good decisions regarding the way forward. 

Proverbs 16:9 (Not what we planned for our furlough but God has our time in His Hands)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Vacation Bible School

This week Joshua and Zara were able to join a Vacation Bible School at a nearby Christian School.  The theme was the Armour of God.  They had a great time and learned a lot.  The team from Alabama did a wonderful job with the kids and all the resources they brought with them were truly a blessing.  Below was their presentation of the things they learned.

The quality of the photos is not the best but enjoy anyway! :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Furlough is fast approaching

In less that two weeks we will be heading to Switzerland for our furlough.  We will be in Switzerland for one month and then return to Uganda.  Be in prayer as we wrap things up here in Uganda before heading out.  There always seems like there is quite a bit to do before you sit down on the plane and breathe a huge sigh of relief that you made it.

This coming weekend we have a former pilot from MAF Uganda returning to help out over the summer months.  He will be staying in our house while we are gone.  We look forward to having Samuel back with us although we will miss having his family join him.  The week before we leave we will be having George and Luan Fellman stay with us before they head back to the States.  There have been too many goodbyes recently.  We look forward to more hellos in the near future :)

Please pray for our furlough that it would be a good time of reconnecting with family, friends and supporters.  Pray that Joshua and Zara would enjoy the new "schedule" (no schedule really) and adjust well to the sea of faces they will encounter in that month.  Pray we use our time wisely.

Please continue to pray for Simon's Mum as she undergoes treatment for cancer.  She still has some chemo appointments left to do.  Pray for God to sustain her during this time.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

School is finished - Yipppeee

Thursday was the last day of school for Joshua and Zara.  They were so ready for it as were many of their friends.  It feels good to have a couple of days to enjoy a less hectic schedule.  However, our furlough to Switzerland starts in two weeks and there is still much to do.  Hoping we will get everything done before we leave. 

We have had a few "goodbyes" recently and they are not fun especially when its saying goodbye to best friends.  We had a few tears the other night when we had to say goodbye to our best friends here in Uganda.  Enjoy the photos below.

Joshua having his last sleepover with his best friend, Joel, they love to invent things together. 

Zara's last sleepover with Ruben.  They have been best friends since Ruben arrived from Tanzania almost 4 years ago.

At the farewell party...not easy!

Hello's and the in between part is a lot of fun but the goodbyes are painful.

Memorable times together.

Zara achieved her Wow award badge for music (the star shaped one) and her wise owl for reaching 200 house points!  She was very proud!  Joshua also received a silver merit badge.  Proud of my wee bairns!!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Simon enjoying his "office" in the sky

Simon is enjoying being back flying again.  Here are some recent photos of him flying Sam Tsapwe and Jill Vine (MAF colleague) to one of the islands in Lake Victoria where he was going to be doing some ministry.  Thanks to Jill Vine for the photos :)

Simon's view from his "office" and every day it is a different view.....doesn't get much better.  So grateful to the Lord for enabling Simon to do what he loves and for the healing he has experienced with his back.

Simon unloading the C206 with all the supplies needed for Sam's trip which will include the necessary equipment to show the Jesus Film

The Fishing village

Birthday Fun

In May Joshua turned 10 and Zara turned 8.  Here are some photos of them at the "diving board" place in Entebbe where they wanted to go for their birthdays. 

The 4 MAF kids with birthdays in May

All the kids that came out to join in the birthday fun!

Sorry you will need to turn your head for these videos not sure what happened :(

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Bits and pieces update

I am not sure where the time is going but I just said to some friends that it sometimes feel like I am on a continual rollercoaster.  Think I got off it this week though for a bit :)  I was encouraged by Matthew 11:30 and 1 John 5:3.  When God calls us to do something it is not burdensome.  We sometimes make our lives burdensome but that is not what God calls us to.  Good reminder when life gets hectic!!

So the beginning of May saw Joshua turn 10.  We celebrated at a swimming pool, with friends, in Entebbe.  We had a great time and it is difficult to believe my wee lad is that old.  Zara turned 8 last week.  My wee princess is growing up fast and they are both a joy to our hearts.  I hope to post some photos at some point.

We had some sickness this month with Joshua having gastroenteritis.  He was on a course of antibiotics for 5 days as well as some other medicine.  He is now back to normal and so we give thanks for that.  Zara was unwell the day before her birthday but is now back to normal....hallelujah.

We have some changes in our programme with some families leaving or left and others joining. It is fun to have new people come but not so easy to let people go.  Goodbyes are all part of an ex-pats life but they don't get any easier.  Close friends of ours leave in 4 weeks time and we are not looking forward to it at all :(

Simon has been busy with flying and other work commitments.  We are also in the midst of planning furlough (Simon more than me).  We head to Switzerland around the second week of July but there is much to do before then.  Pray that we get to see everyone we need to see in the 4 weeks we are there but that we can balance the time well.

In amongst everything we have hospitality and people stay with us at different times.  In a weeks time we have a MAF colleague from another programme come and stay with us for a week.  The guest bed doesn't stay cold for long :) 

Bible studies are going well.  The International Bible study on a Wednesday is wrapping up their time in Acts.  It has been a great study and it has been a fruitful time.  We will start a new study in September in the book of 1 Corinthians.  Pray that God would prepare our hearts for this future study in God's Word.  God has provided new people to join us in this Bible study which is great but we have also had to say goodbye to others who are returning to their home countries after years of service on the field.  Feels like we are in transition a lot these days.

The Thursday morning Bible study with nationals has finished a short study in Bible study methods and we are now in study called Speaking Wisely: Exploring the power of words.  We are also doing this one in the MAF office with the ladies there.  It has been a powerful study and makes us think a lot about how we use our words and the impact they have on people.  Just read James 3, Ephesians 4:22-5:5 and Colossians 3 to get an idea :)  The big question is who rules within us?  Do we choose the flesh or the spirit?  Ok wee sermon over.

We trust this post finds you well and we give thanks to all of you who continue to support and encourage us in our ministry here in Uganda. We appreciate you.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Simon on a mission to South Sudan

Last week Simon flew 10 hours in the plane below to pick up a sick worker from an organization called Every Village that works in South Sudan.  The patient had been sick for a while and was not responding to medication/treatment that he had been given.  Simon went up to Juba where he overnighted and then travelled onto where the man was located in the bush in South Sudan.  Simon said he looked pretty sick when he picked him up.  However, yesterday I talked with one of his colleagues here in Kampala and he said he is doing a lot better now and will be travelling back up to South Sudan on Monday.  In some situations MAF is definitely a life line to many people especially those living in the remote areas of the world.

Zara - our wee Evangelist!

Yesterday I was teaching a Bible study on how to study God's Word for yourself.  During our time one of the ladies in the group, whom we have known for a long time told us a conversation that she had with Zara in the garden.  This lady uses part of our garden to plant maize.  Zara loves going out and gardening together with *S*.  Anyway while they were both preparing the soil together to plant the seeds Zara started telling *S* the parable of the sower.  She also asked *S* if she knew if this maize was going to fall on rocky soil or good soil.  *S* said well we will know in 2-3 weeks if we see maize plants growing through the soil.  Then Zara asked her if she knew Jesus as her personal Lord and Saviour.  *S* said yes.  Then Zara said, great, then we will be neighbours in Heaven :)  *S* was amazed that Zara could tell the story so well and then be so bold to ask if she was a believer.  She said it showed her that you can share the gospel anywhere and that she realized that even a child can understand.

For Simon and I it was just great to hear that Zara not only knows these stories from the Bible but is happy to share them also.  It is good to get glimpses of how much she is taking in.

I wonder what will be the next conversation in the maize patch :)

Monday, 15 April 2013

Give thanks... and a prayer request

We give thanks that Simon is continuing to do well in his recuperation.  He has started flying again and is enjoying his "office time in the sky".  He is still not doing the long days to Sudan but that will come in time.  It is so good seeing him back in the cockpit again and enjoying what God has called Him to for this time.  Thank you for your continued prayers for him.

Please pray for Simon's Mum.  She has started chemotherapy again for cancer.  It has not been easy for her but we pray for God's sustaining hand during these days.  Pray for the side effects to be minimal and that the chemo would do its job and stop the cancer from spreading further.  We are glad that we will be home in Switzerland this year for furlough as it will be good to spend some time with Simon's parents.   Thank you for your prayers.

New and continuing adventures in the area of teaching the Bible and Church involvement

A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I would co-teach, with a friend, a session on "Hearing God's voice through Scripture" at a Church retreat.  This is not our home church but an International church in Kampala.  It was a bit daunting at the first thought of it but I agreed to do it.  The event will happen this coming Saturday.  They are having a weekend long retreat but I will just go on the Saturday.  Please pray for this event that God would challenge the ladies in their spiritual lives and that they would be encouraged through what is shared.  Pray for Marieke and I as we lead this specific session that God would give us what we need to communicate well and be an encouragement to those that attend.  There will be around 60 ladies in attendance so not just a wee Bible study group :)

Another friend contacted me today to say that the Scripture Union club that we are offering to teach again this term is already full with children.  There is more children signing up than we can cater for.  Pray for each of the children who have signed up that they would get to know Jesus through what is taught and shared.  May their lives be changed forever by hearing the truth of God's Word.  Pray for JulieAnne and I as we teach that we would communicate well and be an clear channel for the Lord.  This is so exciting to see so many children enthused by this club.  It is definitely an answer to prayer!

As many of you know I have been teaching three Bible studies for a while now.  Unfortuntately one of my teammates is returning to her home country.  That is the downside of living overseas; good friends come and go :(  So, because of this, I needed someone to replace her but I had no idea who it could be.  I did approach one friend who is going to let me know in about a months time when her schedule is more sure.  However, I did need someone to team teach with the Thursday one.  I just had confirmation today that a friend and also a colleague is happy to join the team.  This is a huge answer to prayer and I look forward to where God will take us in all of this.  The whole team (4 of us at the moment) will be meeting tomorrow to plan for September and also for the one on Thursday that starts a new session in two weeks..  Pray that God will lead us clearly as we look at how to take these groups forward.  We need an additional person gifted in music to join us.  Pray that God will work that out.

In the last couple of weeks the Church leadership at Freedom Kampala (our home church in Uganda) asked if I would get involved in a response team.  This involves praying with people who respond in Church services or who need further assistance.  Just yesterday they asked if I would lead one of the teams.  This is all in the beginning stages so how it all looks in reality I am not sure yet.   Simon has also been asked to head the production team in some way, however, this is still unclear as to how it all looks also as he has not started yet. We are enjoying being part of this church and look forward to helping where we can.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Yes we still have children......

It has been a while since I have posted any photos of Joshua and Zara of which I have no real excuse except I need to get my camera out more :)  Below are some photos we took in Jinja last week when we escaped from Kampala for a couple of nights.  Excuse the quality of them as we left without our camera and had to use our phones....maybe it was the excitement of being able to get away for a couple of nights that made us absent minded.  Anyway you can get an idea of some of the things we enjoyed together.

Looking forward to getting in the pool 

Joshua and Zara were so happy that Simon could go swimming again with them.  They laughed and laughed.
Taking a water break by the lake before zooming through the villages again

Joshua looks like a "boda boda" (motorbike taxi) driver in Kampala taking a nap on his motorbike

Family picture of us all with the River Nile behind.  I had an issue with my helmet lying squint and my suit being too big.....but so worth it :)

It is difficult to see in this photo unless you blow it up a bit but Simon and Zara are mud splattered.  Zara loves going on with Simon because she knows he will zoom through the puddles and get them both very dirty.  At one point all I could hear was her giggling and laughing behind me....she loved every minute of it.  It was a joy to hear.

One of the many puddles Simon and Zara enjoyed!

I think the expression and action says it all

What do you think of Zara's shiny gold boots...quite the outfit

J and Z - best pals walking back from the coffee shop where we had dinner.

Some furry friends came to visit whilst eating of the monkeys was just above our heads and Simon creeped up on it and gave it the fright of its life....we didn't see that one again :)