April 2011 Sometimes my 16 passenger van and I clamor down the driveway and I think that I will get out and life will be easy. That 14 daughters will greet me laughingly at the gate and there will the smell of fresh wheat bread baking in the oven and a long run at nap time and clean laundry on the line and 14 bodies pressed close against mine on the couch before bed. It was once. Except today life is messy. And there are 14 girls at the gate but they are fighting with each other and one comes … [Read more...]


Tonight marked one year since the day Makerere stumbled into my yard with his leg charred to the bone. To remember ho far God has carried us, we had a little celebration. We celebrated healed legs and healed hearts. We celebrated strangers-turned-family. We celebrated Jesus's kept promise of beauty from ashes. We celebrated life.Just feet from the white and pink frosted cake, on my couch, lay a little boy who is fighting death. 7 years old and merely 20 pounds, HIV snuck up on his family causing … [Read more...]


Healer God

November “You are right.” He says. I look up into the shy smile I have grown to love so much. Day 178 of bandaging this wound, and it is almost gone. Makerere is not one to strike up conversation usually, so I probe. “Right about what?” “That thing you say. You know. About even bad things being used for our good and all of it working for God’s glory even when we can’t see it. You are right. If I hadn’t been burnt we might not be friends, you know. And If I hadn’t come to live here, I would still … [Read more...]

over here again. humbled. Can you imagine the stench? Joseph has walked and Mary ridden 90 miles in the scorching sun, the wind whipping around their faces and caking them with dust from the dirt road. More sweat pours from Mary’s brow as she experiences the pains of labor for the first time. The stable is packed with all the travelers’ animals. Flies buzz around them in the heat and the air is heavy with the smells of sickly sweet hay and kmanure. And into this, a baby enters. I have witnessed t … [Read more...]


I really am going to start publicly sharing His 2011 miracles soon (you know, one day, when there is a calm season... ;) ) In the mean time, I am blessed to be guest posting here today.. One of my very favorite things about gazing out at my backyard is our sunflowers. Seeds brought from dry Karamoja and planted in the fertileJinja soil grow at least ten feet tall and radiant, heads lifted to the sun. Much to my dismay though the time we get to enjoy the flowers’ bloom always seems brief in c … [Read more...]


“I just want to remember,” she says matter-of-factly, and she pulls the covers right back up over her head. It is well after our 8 o’clock bed time. I have been sunk deep in the couch and in the Word knowing that 13 pairs of feet were tucked snugly in 13 beds. But as I make my way from the couch to my room, something catches my eye and I peek my head in the girls’ bedroom. There flat on the cold, hard tile floor is my 11 year old with her blanket pulled tightly around herself. It doesn’t look a … [Read more...]


Merry Christmas!Praising our Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!incredible photos by Mandie Joy … [Read more...]


Tonight, I rock a baby who is not mine. For the fifth time this year, we have a foster-baby. I snuggle her close and gaze into her eyes as I feed her a bottle and sing Jesus over her. I kiss her forehead and pat her back just as if she were mine. I swaddle her tight and I tuck her in beside my pillow as if she were mine. But Jesus said, “Not this one.” When we offer to foster a baby in the midst of our craziness, and when people learn that we are fostering another baby, they make the “yo … [Read more...]


The last few weeks have been so full of God’s blessings and extravagant surprises. Every day another gift, beautiful and unexpected. I feel spoiled rotten by the God of the universe, His love just too good and too perfect for little, broken me. I shared this with a close friend recently, giggling with surprise and awe like a little girl who just received a marvelous present from her Daddy. His response was perfect. “He loves you, Katie. You’re one of His favorites.” He laughed and I laughed but i … [Read more...]


It is after midnight and I lay her in yet another new bed in another new place. Strangers-turned-friends have opened their home up to us, the wanderers, during this quick trip throughout the United States. As I lay her head on what seems the twentieth different pillow in three weeks it occurs to me that once again she will wake up in a place that is not where she fell asleep. And as soon as I realize this I realize something else: she will wake up happy as long as I do not get out of bed first. … [Read more...]


Rummaging through our box of paperwork, I find it and it hits me unexpected. Her birth certificate, the one her birth mom stuffed in her bag as she sent her off to a “better life” at her uncle’s when she was only five. And at the top is a blue stamp that reads Siripi Rhino Camp. Camp. The word hits me like a punch to the gut and I fight the urge to vomit. In Uganda, the word camp does not mean summer fun or starlit skies. In Uganda the word camp means war, displacement, hunger, hurt, trauma. I ca … [Read more...]


Today I look around and my breath catches in my throat. Surely I should take off my shoes. Or fall to my knees. Or raise up my hands. Surely this moment is holy. Not because of anything spectacular. This morning is going the same way every morning goes. Still in my pajamas, hair disheveled, placing porridge dishes in the sink before grabbing another cup of coffee, I look around. Regina moves into place beside me to help scrub the dishes. All four of her once-malnourished children play in the … [Read more...]