Sunday, December 29, 2013

On the Road Again

I never imagined that I would be again living out of a suitcase, moving from place to place like a nomad. While in the states my parents took Isaac and me on a one month trip around the states, we lived out of our suitcases, washing laundry as we went. December here in East Africa has been no different, except the lack of a car and my parents. ;)
Our journey began on Dec 7 as we flew to Uganda. Once in Kampala we traveled from friend’s houses, guest houses and hotels looking for the best deals and the best location for the things that needed to be accomplished. Days were spent meeting people, dropping off things that were donated for specific ministries, verifying paperwork at immigration and many other activities. It was a very busy 3 days.
We then went through our luggage and selected only the essentials to travel with us to Burundi. Our suitcases were filled to the weight limit with nothing but quilts donated by Something Deeper Ministries quilting group. Everything that Isaac and I needed for the week in Burundi had to fit in our carry ons! Wow.
Time in Burundi went by so quickly. Isaac and I were so relaxed flying into the airport. We knew where to go and what to do. There was an issue with my visa and I quickly spoke to the officer in Kirundi (the local language) and explained the problem. It was so great being able to express myself and not worry about language. Thank you God for giving Isaac and me the ability to learn Kirundi while we lived there. Once in Burundi we knew where to go and what to do. It wasn’t long before we were out of the house and moving around our old stomping grounds. We were able to stay at a friend’s place which kept cost at a minimum. The day after we arrived laundry was done. Almost every meal was booked for a visit with friends and ministry partners.
One of the best parts about visiting Burundi was surprising people with my growing belly. It was funny seeing the difference in reactions from our western friends and the Burundians. The westerners would skirt the issue and hint here and there that they had noticed while the Burundians and other East African friends came at me with two hands straight for my belly and would hold either side and tell me how excited they were for the baby. Many of our friends would remind us of how God was so good and how concerned they were back in March when I had the cyst surgically removed. God is good and what a blessing it has been to have a healthy pregnancy so far!
Once back in Uganda we traveled to village for the Christmas week. Again we repacked our luggage with the essentials for our visit to Isaac’s family. I thought packing for an airplane trip was difficult, try packing to ride a bus! Isaac and I allowed ourselves one small suitcase and a backpack each. An extra bag was thrown in at last minute to accommodate other essentials. With my swollen ankles Isaac decided that we would splurge and go for a more comfortable ride to Jinja on a bigger bus (a 25 seater). The ticket was about $4 a piece instead of $2.50. It proved to be a bad choice though. The whole ride I kept telling Isaac that this for sure was a missionary story. Once out of the capital city the bus experienced some mechanical difficulty and we had to wait for a replacement bus to come. Two people decided not to wait and walked off to look for other transportation. When the bus came the driver wasn't content sitting in the Christmas Eve traffic so decided to travel out of the way down the dustiest road he could find. The woman in front of me refused to close her window so by the end of the trip my right arm and all my face looked as if I put on too much fake tan cream. On top of the dustiness of the roads were the pot holes and dirt mounded speed bumps added by the locals to keep traffic slow. The driver had taken this path to improve his speed so no little, or big, bumps were going to stand in his way. With no regard to the shouting passengers he barreled down the road bouncing us out of our seats up to 2 feet in the air at times. I took to standing and holding on for dear life most of the time. It didn’t help that Isaac, being a doctor, was sitting next to me worried for the baby bouncing within me.
Once we arrived time in village was wonderful. It was like being on a retreat. One day I took three naps! A much needed time of relaxation and putting my feet up. Maama fed us well and made sure we were treated to as many showers (bucket showers) as we wanted each day (she insisted on 3 per day).

Again we are here in Jinja living out of our suitcases looking for a place to live. Isaac and I can’t wait to be in one place with all our things so that we can spend our time on other things. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


We made it!!!
Isaac and I have enjoyed a rainy 64 degree morning here in Kampala, Uganda. We have had so much fun seeing friends and family here. I was riding on a motorcycle yesterday on our way to town and I was overcome by the huge blessing it is to be in this wonderful country. The sights and sounds, people and foods are so familiar and I have missed them. God is good to give us such an opportunity to live here.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


We had a great time in Dubai on our forced layover. It was great to have a few meals and a full night sleep in a hotel. We're on our way!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sharing Our Story

Isaac taking a break from time in the OR in Wenatchee.
 It's been a busy time in the states as we prepare to head back to Uganda. Isaac has been hard at work in hospitals doing observations and shadowing doctors while Rachel has been speaking to women's groups. We have both had the opportunity to speak together to different churches, schools, and kids clubs around the area. It has been such a blessing to share what God has been teaching us through stories of our time in Burundi and Uganda.

Rachel speaking in Chehalis to a women's group.

Rachel and Isaac adding a song to their presentation at San Juan Baptist Church.
Isaac at St Peter's Providence Hospital observing.

4th graders at Rainier Christian School praying for us before we presented to their school.

Rachel showing how strong a piece of fabric can be. What a big baby! Isaac thinks that's pretty funny.

Rachel speaking to the Lacey Christian Women's Club

In Aberdeen speaking of God's plan for using broken people.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Praying for Them

 We are having a great time in the USA sharing stories of our home and life in Africa but our hearts are still hurting for those who we love so much in Uganda. Please join us in praying for these precious little ones.

 Miriam lives in the house behind with her grandmother. She is very strong and is very helpful washing the dishes and carrying water. We enjoyed some girl time making a crown and bracelet.

We went to visit these girls at their boarding school. It was great to see their smiling faces as they walked across the lawn to see us. Kauma on the left is in Primary 5 and didn't talk much to us. Standing next to here is Penina who just lost her father in March. She was so excited to visit with family and we encouraged her and gave her a Bible. Mebra, next in line, is her cousin and a great support. She lost her parents back in 2006. She is too old to be in primary school but she is happy for the opportunity to learn at a good school. I visited Able, on the far right, back in 2010 and she is always a cheery girl. It was hard to leave these girls after our visit.

 Ibrahim has a charming demeanor and a great smile. He is willing to try his English and very helpful to translate for me. He struggles with peer pressure which results in smoking and drinking at his young age. His habits saddens his grandmother who has taken him in after his mother died leaving Ibrahim alone.

Mando who is posing with his mother is the brother to Penina. Mando's father passed away in March to HIV-AIDS. The family is still grieving but they were happy to see us. The quilt was my great aunt Louise's

Semeyi on the left is attending boarding school and is a quiet boy but a good student. He was happy to show us around his school.

Denis on the right was happy to see us. He was too old for his class and got into the wrong crowd. Please pray for Denis as he is the eldest brother of Penina and Mando and they are still grieving the loss of their father.

It was such a joy to see Brenda. She was so proud of being in junior high school. She knew that we had traveled far just to visit her and was honored. It was great for me to take a video message of her to her mother the next day. Brenda is a dedicated student and very focused on her studies.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

St Paul's Lutheran School

Had a great time sharing at St Paul's Lutheran School in Janesville, Wisconsin a few days ago. It was so fun sharing to students who laughed and enjoyed learning more about Burundi. I talked about animals in East Africa, how I got to Burundi in the first place, how I chat with my best friend Jesus when it gets hard to live so far from my family, and my favorite part...I took my wrap and put a "baby" (the smallest brave kid in the class) on my back.
I was asked to speak 4 times with 3-6th graders in their classrooms. It was fun to watch how excited the teachers were in addition to the students.
It's amazing how excited I get when I start sharing about life over there. I remind myself how much I simply love it!!! Looking forward to going back in December.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Something New

We would like to update our contact information and send out our new prayer card to you along with a newsletter full of stories of the last year and a message from the missions organization we have just signed with, Overcomers International. If you would like to receive this mail please respond with your mailing address.

New place
to send Tax Deductible Donations.
online- there is a paypal at the bottom of the screen
by mail-
Overcomers International
PO Box 26953
Federal Way, WA 98093
Questions about donating?
Call us or call Overcomers and they can answer any questions you might have :) they are very helpful

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Pull of the Pacific

 Such a great weekend spending time with family and friends. We had our first church speaking engagement and a family get together.

It was so refreshing to be able to hug all my family as many times as I wanted to. My aunt said, "You already hugged me." I told her I was saving up :)

Isaac enjoyed himself playing in the ocean for the first time. He was the feet sinking master.

We had plenty of time to soak up some much needed time in the sun.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sad moment cure :)

It doesn't matter what country I'm living in. Or how close I am to family and friends. When the sad emotion overwhelms me Crasin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and listening to the Civil Wars always helps :)
Thanks Laura for introducing me to the band of my emotions!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Time

What a summer. We have been in the states for a little over a month now and it has been lovely.

Celebrating our wedding, eating too much ice cream (thanks dad), camping, visiting family, canoeing, ski boating and so much more!

Thank you for all your prayers this time of relaxing has been great.

We are starting to gear up on our speaking engagements and preparation for our return to Africa in Dec.

Please let us know if you would love to see us

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grandma, this one's for you!

My father normally gives me a gentle hint about the lack of blog posts, which pushes me to share one or two. But this post here is dedicated to Grandma who clearly informed me that I needed to post something :) Thanks Grandma for keeping me on it.

We are currently living in the US for 5 months before we head back to East Africa. Our lives are in transition currently. After a wonderful going away breakfast we packed up our apartment and put it into 4 different homes of friends who will keep them under beds and in dark closets for a few months. We flew the 2 day journey this time in 5 days, we made some stop overs :)

The first stop was in Kenya. Isaac had fun at the hospital and I went next door for my own enjoyment.

These two were awaiting surgery of their own to make their legs work. We played football (soccer) scooting around the playroom. As you can imagine, they were much better than me at the scooting thing.

The second stop was in Dubai for a forced layover. Our travel agent scored us the deal, thanks man!

Now we are living in Washington. Life here is different and hit me, not like it did the first time with culture shock, but still quite strong for the first 2 weeks.

We are settling now and Isaac is enjoying his time observing local doctors in their work. Thank you for your continued prayer and support. If you are interested in having Isaac and I share our story we are currently putting together our speaking schedule. Please let us know, we'll be here until the beginning of December.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Preaching and Not

Isaac has graduated and I have moved off campus but Hope Africa University is still home to us. We both attended Campus Fellowship, a 30 min meeting 4 times a week on campus, while we were living at Hope. Isaac has been invited to preach on a number occasions since he graduated. It was a pleasure to travel with him this time.
Since our visit people from the group have mentioned on multiple occasions that our lives speak louder than our words. They say that our marriage and dating days were something that they have taken notes on. It has been humbling to hear how God is using our lives as a living example to others of the love of Christ.


He’s about to die! Our good friend Renson is Kenyan. His father is a FM missionary in Uganda. Now he is studying in Burundi at Hope Africa Univ. And he works at The King’s School in the office.
Renson came to work one Monday morning and went home feeling ill. Within the 15min it took to get to town he fell so ill that he checked himself into a clinic. It wasn’t 10min later that he was unconscious with serious dehydration. Renson had cholera. He would have been dead within the hour but was transferred to the hospital that Isaac works at. Renson now says that he thought he was going to die until he saw Isaac’s face. He said, “I knew Isaac wouldn’t let me die”. There is a limited number of IV drips in the country and hospitals are very frugal with the use of them, they don’t like to give patients more than 4 bags (1/2 liter in each bag). Isaac didn’t listen to protocol and over the 15 hours Renson was in the hospital he used 73 bags!!! At one point he had 3 bags dripping into his arms at one time.
That night we held a staff prayer session to pray for Renson knowing that we could loose him at any moment.
The next day Renson was transferred to a cholera clinic (it was a tent outside where they put many cholera patients together. I learned that it is really easy to treat but also very easy to spread. We went to visit Renson and had to put on special masks and got sprayed with disinfectant. We are thankful to God that Renson was healed. He is fully recovered but we will keep his story with us.

Football Match

Every once and a while the Ugandans and Kenyans who live in Burundi organize a football match. Isaac and I attended this last one. It was fun to cheer on a country that I represent now :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Post Fire

Since the fire to the public market business hasn’t slowed. It is harder to find what I am looking for and the streets are full of vendors, but people have to eat and so shopping goes on.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Bats

What is that noise outside my window? Two of the seven houses I lived in this last 8 months had fruit trees that attracted something noisy in the night. I found out that it was fruit bats. These large bats make their migration from the tall trees on the north end of town to the fruit trees in our south end neighborhood. This one I found on the road. Obviously wasn’t playing well with others.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Still Alive

Many Burundians will say, you should be grateful that you are still alive. They then add to their point by stating that many others have gone but you are still here (in a country just out of war this is a huge statement).
Well I am writing yet again the "Still Alive" post on my blog. It has been so many days, weeks or months since I last posted. I need to apologize. Much has happened and I hope that in the next few days I will gather stories and photos to share.
In brief,
I'm still working at The King's School, which now has its own website,
Isaac is working at the Van Norman Clinic attached to Hope Africa University. He is also teaching a university level course to midwifes in training.
We spend much of our free time praying and planning for our trip to the states. We are excited to share what God is up to in East Africa and to prepare for the next season God has ahead of us. It will also be great to have chocolate chips, since I ran out just 2 days ago :(

Monday, March 25, 2013

Teaching, teaching

I was given a new student who is too young for my class but there is no space in the class of his age. While my class is writing stories and complete sentences he is learning to form letters and learning their names. In Burundi there is only one full English school. This boy, comes from an English speaking country and home this makes the choice of education in Burundi difficult. Please pray for The King’s School as it continues to shine the light of Christ to those in Burundi who have no other option for education.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Students Leading

Days of hand holding are over, you are old boys and girls now it is time for you to lead your own morning worship time.
It has been a joy to see these students of mine, some only 4 years old leading worship for their class. It’s great to see the seeds that are being planted coming to life. Every morning we have a time of worship and bible stories. We are reading a children’s Bible cover to cover. It is great for them to see the Old Testament stories connect with the New Testament. In the Muslim faith the Old Testament stories are the same. This gives a great platform for trust and the gospel to be shared with those who have heard those stories at home. My students who are Muslim are asking questions and really taking it all to heart. In the afternoon or on the playground I hear them talking to other students about questions they have about the stories.
Please continue to pray for all my students that the word would not fall on deaf ears.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Market Fire

My beloved market was burned to the ground. All that is left is the exterior brick walls and the remains of the crumpled roof. It’s been hard to find what we are looking for these days. When I need something I used to go through a ritual of thinking, where must I go in the market to get that. Now I start the process and stop—slightly annoyed that my ease of shopping has been interrupted. But for others their lively hood, their whole business has been destroyed. Please continue to pray for the many Christians who lost everything in the market fire.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

If I have to turn around during this church service for any reason, you’re busted!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

While you were sleeping

Don’t worry mom our doors were locked and windows secure. Unfortunately all it took was a digging tool and patience for the thieves to dig through our mud mortar exterior wall. They came on a night where there was no power in our area. They came for food taking only a 50lb bag of flour (purchased the day before), a crate of glass soda bottles, a loaf of French bread, a small can of half used powdered milk, an electric hot water kettle, a 2 lb bag of raw peanuts and poured about a cup of sugar out of the dish. Fortunately they didn’t take any of our cooking supplies and utensils. Our kitchen and our main house are separated by a wall so we had no idea they were there, and are very safe.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

December and January

Dad, Mom, Adam on their way to see my classroom

Welcome Home Mr & Mrs Mubezi (our new home)

My class presenting at the Christmas play rehearsal
Sweeping up coffee beans in village

Quick visit to the Nile River in Uganda

Daddy Daughter Shot

Who gives this woman?

Prayer during the service

Bridal Party

Mom made the wedding cake...good job mom!!!

Open up Sabo
Mr & Mrs Mubezi

On the way to the honeymoon...yes in village :)