Our lives are not our own.

Follow our family's journey as we give up the "American Dream" to live and love in Uganda.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

it's so hard to say good bye

Hey everyone,

We trust you all are doing well. Thank you so much for all the prayers and kind words and financial donations that have supported the ministry we have been doing in Uganda. Our lives will never be the same because of what we experience on a daily basis here.

For the next two months, we plan on continuing what we have been involved in... feeding the poor, helping the children, and supporting other believers in Kampala. We have really been searching the Lord’s will for our lives, through prayer and fasting and asking some people much wiser than ourselves for some advice.

What we have come up with is the following: We are flying home in January to relocate to Las Vegas. We are actively looking for areas of town to minister to. Jeremy is going to work tax season to get us back on our feet, and then begin a faith community in the neighborhood we will live in. Beth will be planning a mission trip back to Uganda that will occur in August. We will continue our ministry we have begun in Kampala. We are in the process of putting into place an organization that will continue to feed the street kids we have been interacting with and continue helping them get an education. Our website now has a section for child sponsorship so a family can pseudo adopt a child who needs help.

We have really struggled with this decision, but feel it is what is best for our family. We do not view our stay here as a waste of time, effort, or money. We have lived through things and learned things that we never would have were it not for us heeding Jesus’ call to come. Uganda will always be with us, and we will have an ongoing relationship with the people here. We covet your prayers through this transition. We so appreciate your friendship and support. We love you all.

The Howard’s

Monday, November 15, 2010

Psalm 139

It is probably not very good bloggmanship to just post what other people write but I am so humbled by the love of God. It seems God is continually renewing my mind and removing my character defects. Even the ones I have thought were long gone. I still struggle with self hatred. Harsh right? Well we could call it something more pc...self esteem, low self worth, image issues. It comes down to not feeling worthy of Gods love. Trying hard to be better than I really am. Isn't it crazy that God already knows everything about me! I cannot hide the bad stuff from Him. Yet again with this Psalm He reminds me so gently that it is not about me but all about Him. His perfect love.

Psalm 139

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

i miss sleep

I can't sleep...not at night anyway.
I just lay here.
Sometimes I surf the internet or read blogs.

I pray ALOT when I can't sleep.

When I lived in Vegas and couldn't sleep I would redecorate my house in my mind.

Since I have been here, I worry. I just lay awake and worry. I worry about my homeboyz, I wonder if they are staying dry while I listen to the rain fall outside my window. Most of them live in shacks with no real roof. I worry about my kids and the issues they face because of fetal alcohol syndrome. I worry about our oldest son, because he is 16, and driving. I worry about the future because I have no idea what will happen. Even though it is a sin...I worry. So tonight I am choosing to meditate on this:

Matthew 6:34 (New International Version)

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

and this

Philippians 4:6

6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

and this one

1 John 4:18 (New International Version)

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

So God,
I guess if you don't need me to help you. I will go to bed now.
Thanks for taking care of everything. Please do a miracle and keep the kids dry through this storm. I pray that the Holy Spirit would comfort me and them and give us all peace. Thanks for healing my babies a little more each day and for keeping Matty safe. I sure do love you.

Monday, November 8, 2010


The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

I sat there on the wooden bench, tears streaming down my face. I could barely take the bread from the passing tray. My vision was blurred and my heart was aching. I didn't expect the emotion to swell up and spill down my face. It took me by surprise.

My sin cost Jesus His life. But because of His blood I am able to approach GOD without guilt or shame. It's too much.

Jesus knew. He knew what He was facing, and He chose to follow through.

Recently, I have lost sight of my purpose. I have been feeling lost. The last couple of days I have been having a hard time seeing anything clearly.

Taking Communion with my African brothers and sisters in a small hillside church has helped me to remember. It doesn't matter which continent I live on. Or which ministry I am serving in. What matters is Jesus. His sacrifice. His love.

My life is but a vapor.

I want to use my limited time loving God.
I want my life to be a response to His great love for me.

I love this song. You have probably never heard it...unless you are old like me.

One day a plain village woman
Driven by love for her Lord
Recklessly poured out a valuable essence
Disregarding the scorn
And once it was broken and spilled out
A fragrance filled all the room
Like a prisoner released from his shackles
Like a spirit set free from the tomb

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of you Jesus
My most precious treasure
Lavished on Thee
Broken and spilled out
And poured at Your feet
In sweet abandon
Let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee

Lord You were God's precious treasure
His loved and His own perfect Son
Sent here to show me
The love of the Father
Just for love it was done
And though You were perfect and holy
You gave up Yourself willingly
You spared no expense for my pardon
You were used up and wasted for me

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of me Jesus
God's most precious treasure
Lavished on me
You were broken and spilled out
And poured at my feet
In sweet abandon Lord
You were spilled out and used up for Me
(Steve Green)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The thief at my table

This is Opika.

Opika is a thief. At least thats what all the other homeboyz tell me.
Watching him color at my kitchen table you would never guess that. Today he is just a kid. Making a picture. Probably as a gift for someone he loves. When he is done he will show it to me proudly with a big grin. He will say,"Mom, look at my peekcha." Just like my own kids have so many times.
What you can't see in the picture is Opika's story. His father has many "wives". It's allowed here, he is a Muslim. The one Opika lives with here in our neighborhood is his step mother. She is a drunk. A fall down, belligerent drunk. I like her but still, she is a raging alcoholic in a world with no AA. Opi's dad has a good job. Two in fact. But there is never any food or school fees or new clothes. He spends it on women. A raging sex addict in a world with no SA. SO Opika lives a life of survival.
I guess that is why I am rooting for him.
He started school last month. It was so amazing to watch him grinning from ear to ear in his new uniform. Jeremy cut his crazy hair so you can't even see the fungal infection that causes him to have a bald spot. He was doing so good getting himself up and out to school. He has no one to wake him up or make sure he eats a healthy breakfast. Yet, he was still an enthusiastic learner. Until this week. He got sick. His sister, who has her own tragic story, woke him once but his dad yelled at her to let him sleep. He has missed a few days and he is already behind. I am worried. I want him to succeed. I see his potential, yet I realize the odds against him. My prayers sound more like pleading for this child. I am desperate. He needs more than I have to give. I am so grateful he has a Savior. Even if Opi doesn't know Him yet. God knows his name. God knows every hair on his balding little head.

I am sure your neighborhood has an Opika. A kid who never looks clean. A kid with bad manners and no parental supervision. You don't have to move to Africa to help kids like Opi. Look outside when you call your kids in from playing. See who is last to go home. Don't keep your kids from playing with the kids whose parents are drunks. Invite them in. Love them. Tell them with your actions about the love of Jesus.

Matthew 25:35-40

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.’

Friday, November 5, 2010


I feel stifled.
Down right repressed.

My hands feel like they are tied and I am useless.

My vison, my plans, my burden is right in front of me. Yet I can do nothing.

So I sit paralyzed.

Doing nothing.

I am not sure if it is complacency.



But here I sit.

And it SUCKS.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Ok, this is for my blog-obsessed friends. Only you will truly understand the shock and horror.

Since I have been in Uganda, I rarely read blogs. Before I came here, I stayed up all night going through blog after blog.

Usually it was stuff that had to do with Uganda or adoption but I could really get lost in any of it. I guess it is the voyeur in me. I am kind of a freak. I don't read fiction, I never had a great imagination, I prefer biography's and documentaries. So this whole blog world is like my crack!

It started as soon as I got here. One day, I was out for ice cream with one of my kids and there was a guy with like seven white kids doing the same. It is hard to not stare at white people here, they are few. So as I am checking out this large crew I recognized a random child from one of the blogs I read. He is like 6. I knew his name. And his favorite food. CREEPY! Seriously. I felt like a stalker. But wait it gets worse.

One of my friends is well networked into this whole adoption group from facebook and we have had a great time meeting families over here adopting. One such sweet friend had been here for quite a while so we have met up a couple of times. As we were talking I quickly realized she is the best friend of a blogHer I read religiously. Oh my word! I am going to jail!I know all of the stories she is telling me about her best friend from home. For real! This just seems so wrong.

But wait it gets much worse!

Last weekend we were traveling and wanted to "run into" a bloggy friend we have never met in real life. We all think, we would totally be best friends with this person if we could only meet. Our driver takes us to her gate, which was open, so my friends go to say hi. By this time, I am looking over my shoulder for police. I know I have crossed a line from being an interested friend to a class 3 felony stalker. For the privacy of all I wont tell the end of the story. Just know it is BAD.

All this has got me thinking about privacy and honesty and stalking laws....

I don't meet many people who follow my blog. And when I do I admit, I get
a little embarrassed. I use my blog to let people know what is going on with us.
Sometimes my post are very honest and I feel vulnerable putting myself out there to the world wide web.Other times I feel like a fraud. When I look at our cute little website with our cool family photo up on top. Then I look down from my keyboard and see myself still in P.J.s, at 1 in the afternoon, my kids running around like crazy children because they need some structure I'd rather not give. The trouble with blogs are you get to share only the parts you want to share. You can delete and edit the parts that don't sound right or might make you look bad. I have tried to be real on my blog. But I do not share everything. There is no way I am going to post an accurate account of who I really am. If I did that my blog would be really boring...

I'm Back on Blogger

Jeremy has a girlfriend...
It is his MAC BOOK.
He is so in LOVE with her he is delusional.
She is temperamental.
She has refused to work most of the time we have been here in Africa.
So even though I am very proud of my man and his website,

I am coming back to the blogger world!


About Me

My photo
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States