Monday, June 29, 2015

Hope Family

Hope Family has been a huge part of my and Catriona's lives here.  For the past three years, we have gone there at least once nearly every week, and we worked there full time for a month last August.  The six kids there now are very close to my heart and I am going to have a hard time saying good-bye.  Please pray for Catriona and I as we say good-bye and for the kids that they will continue to grow strong and healthy and that they will come to know their Father God who will always be with them and caring for them. Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks.

Friday, June 12, 2015


At the beginning of May, we enjoyed a trip to Kobwin with our good friend Christine.  We took a walk and climbed some big rocks behind the centre to see the landscape.  The view is amazing and it is fascinating to see the differences between there and the area around Kasana.  In the afternoon, we were able to go to see some rock art with all of the Kobwin kids.  We squeezed into two vehicles and bumped down the road.  It was cool to see some Ugandan history and all the kids loved going somewhere in a car! That night Pastor David and Auntie Christine hosted us for a great Iteso meal.  On Sunday, we went to church and loved the joyful worship.  We left shortly after church and then spent a night in Jinja.  It was wonderful getting to spend some more time with our Kobwin friends.

David Family Camp

A couple of weeks ago, David Family got to go to Musana Camps.  We had an amazing time filled with lots of fun.  We drove down there on Monday and reached the camp just in time for lunch.  After lunch, we all got settled into our tents and then went down to the beach.  Some people went swimming, others played volleyball, and others just relaxed.  That night, we had a campfire where we sang songs, shared what we were thankful for, and ate mandazis (doughnuts), pineapple, and brown sugar, wrapped in aluminum foil and put in the fire.  Mmm...

The next morning, we had a couple of sessions and also played some games.  That afternoon we hiked to the waterfall and enjoyed getting soaked.  When we got back to the campsite, we had a huge water fight.  And the Musana Camps staff know how to water fight.  This meant that there was a tank of water on a tipper, pressurized by a generator, and sprayed threw a hose.  As we would say here, "It was serious." That night, after getting cleaned up, we had a Mystery dinner. Everyone was given a menu with strange names of foods on it.  Then they filled in a sheet to make 3 courses of food.  This resulted in strange combinations of food.  The worst combination was definitely fish soup and cake. It was really disgusting. was lots of fun.  After dinner, we had games night.  We had a lot of good laughs.

On Wednesday, we had some more sessions and some people went down to the beach again.  In the evening, we chatted and tried to walk the Slack line before dinner.  Dinner was delicious with pork, rice, and curried peas. We had another campfire that night and sang some more songs, and even roasted marshmallows!

The next morning, we packed up and got ready to go.  We ended up leaving after break.  On the drive back, we stopped for "chicken-in-your-face", sodas, and chapattis.  We got home around 4:30.  It was a wonderful time away and everyone enjoyed it very much.  I loved spending time with everyone and it was extra special to see Brian and Kakulu, two of our Treasures enjoying their time so much.  The photos are all from our friend Keziah.

Monday, May 25, 2015


On New Hope's logo, there are arrows shooting out from the country of Uganda.  Since last writing, we have had the privilege to see some New Hope kids (some who are now adults) spreading God's truth to other places in Uganda.  Two boys from Kasana started a band called "Kingdom Arrows" to reflect this and early in April they had a concert in Kiwoko, the town closest to us.  It was a wonderful time with great music.  The guys talked about how everyone has a "sphere of influence." They were influencing the media through their music which was glorifying God.  

We were also able to visit the New Hope kids who are attending the Kiwoko Hospital Nursing School.  Some of them actually graduated this month.  We know one of the girls well, because she lived in David Family during her Investment Year training.  She was a part of Daniel Family in Kobwin before that.  We enjoyed a picnic with the students--fried chicken and salad made by Auntie Constance.  It was a great time of fellowship with those young people.

The next Sunday we went to Kiruli for church.  It is a village about 30 minutes away from Kasana where Pastor Paul Kusubiira and his family live.  Pastor Paul was one of the very first Kasana kids and in addition to pastoring a church in Kiruli, he heads up New Hope's Pastoral Training Institute.  The week we were there, however, one of the guys from Kingdom Arrows was preaching.  It was his first sermon and he did an amazing job.  After the service, we ate lunch with the Kusubiiras, the rest of the Kasana people, and some people from Kiruli.  I was especially blessed to see one of the little boys who used to be in Hope Family.  I hadn't seen him since he left last year, and it was wonderful to see how well he is doing.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Number 100!

This is my 100th blog post in almost 5 years! Looking back on all that has happened, I am amazed at where God has brought me and my family.  (If you would like to have another look at one of the posts, click on the link.) My first post was about the experiences of my first two days in Uganda.  Now things that seemed strange to me then, seem normal now.  The next year, we returned again to New Hope and I enjoyed going to school with my friends. In early 2012, we made the decision to move to Uganda for two years! We were very excited when we arrived. We had some excitement for Thanksgiving when Mama Janet came to Kasana. We kept very busy during those first few months! Catriona and I had our first taste of a Ugandan delicacy.   That December, we enjoyed making some new Christmas traditions!  The next year I started helping in Treasures Class which has become a weekly occurrence that I always look forward to.  Our family had a quick trip back to North America, filled with visiting family and friends. We arrived safely home and jumped back into life at Kasana. We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October!  I killed my first snake! We enjoyed good times with Treasures Class and Hope Family. I had a wonderful 14th birthday and trip to Kobwin. We had a piano recital and I spent a month helping out in P.1! I also worked at Hope Family for a month. In August, we moved to our new house! In September, we went back to Canada for a month. Soon after we got back, I traveled to Kabale, a beautiful town/city in south-western Uganda, for a burial. We celebrated Christmas again and welcomed in the New Year with some good friends. The rest of the holidays were filled with fun activities. In March, we went on a busy trip to Kobwin, Musana, and Jinja.  In that time, I also celebrated my birthday!  And then sadly, a few weeks ago, we said good-bye to sweet Carolina

These have been a snapshot of the experiences of the past five years.  Actually in four days, it will be the five-year anniversary of us arriving in Uganda for the first time.  When I first stepped off the airplane on May 12, 2010, I never guessed that I would be writing this post today.  This blog has shared some stories of my life here.  Many stories have been untold, but I hope by reading "Christina in Uganda" you have understood a little of what it is like to live as an MK in another country.  The past five years have been a mixture of joy, sadness, love, peace, and discouragement, but I wouldn't trade these years for anything.  I am so blessed to have lived in Uganda for three years and be a part of the New Hope Uganda community. Webale nnyo Mukama!

Monday, April 27, 2015


The past couple of weeks have been filled with different emotions. If you have been reading Catriona's blog, you'll know that two weeks ago, precious Carol went to be with Jesus.  It's been really hard for me and for many others here at Kasana.  Sometimes it still doesn't feel completely real.  I'll be talking about the Treasures and I'll begin to say Hassan and Carol but then remember that Carol isn't there anymore.  I have cried many tears.  I miss Carol so so much but at the same time I am so happy that she is in heaven.  When she was here, she was often in so much pain.  She couldn't walk or talk or eat.  Now she is talking, running, singing, dancing, and as Brian and Wilson say, playing the guitar and the drum.  I have so many memories of Carol.  I remember visiting her at Hope Family when we were visiting in 2011. I'd sit beside her and sing songs or give her tickles.  I remember rubbing her tummy and singing to her at Special Needs.  I remember her huge smile when Auntie Christine would say her name.  I remember her tears when she wanted to be cuddled and then her smiles when someone picked her up.  I remember the morning songs at Treasures Class signing our names.  Carol, A. Christine, Catriona, and I had the same letter so we had different places where we put our "Cs".  I remember greeting her at Hassan's House. I am glad that I can look back on these times and that I am able to personally testify that Carol's life had a purpose.  When she first came to Kasana, no one thought she would survive.  Her five years of life were a miracle and God had a plan for every single day.  Carol had a huge impact on my life and the lives of so many others.  I know that God will use her life to bless others in the years to come.  I praise God that I know that Carol is in heaven with him, jumping, dancing, and singing, praising her Father God.  She is in no more pain.  She will never cry again.  She doesn't have to take any more medicine or get any more shots.  She is safe and she is alive!

Please continue to pray for Carol's dad, the Special Needs staff and children and others at Kasana as we continue to miss Carol.  Please also pray for the Treasures in Jars of Clay Program (click on the link to learn more) as they continue in their work.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our Trip (Part 5)

On Saturday, we headed to the Kingfisher Resort for the day. We spent a lot of time in the pool (had to make up for over six months without swimming) and in the process got ridiculously sun-burnt.  Kasana and I had lots of fun making fools out of ourselves with our "water ballet" routine.  Meanwhile, most of our siblings pretended they didn't know us... We also did some pretty nifty jumping photos.  The adults and Tiegan went on a boat ride, Kynan and John disappeared somewhere to play football, and the teenagers swam and talked about all sorts of happenings at the Kingfisher.  For dinner, we went to Two Friends.  Jensen, Catriona, Kasana, and I shared a small pizza and some Indian food. Mmm... At this point, half an hour before dinner, I am salivating thinking of all the delicious food we ate on our trip.  Going to Two Friends was an adventure because we spent most of the meal trying to figure out who was the very important person who warranted a more serious security check at the gate and all the soldiers around carrying AK-47s. By the way, the AK-47s are normal, the soldiers are not.  Usually it is just a couple of security guards. We never did figure it out though.  But that and the huge group of people (25 people) that got there before our huge group of people, caused our meal to come quite late. Meanwhile, we watched rugby and football on the television. But when the food came at 9:20, we enjoyed it all the more.  

The next day, we packed up to leave.  The Mortons went to a brand-new church in Jinja which has been started by a man who used to work at New Hope.  We were blessed to be able to attend the first service.  It was an open structure with a tarp as a roof.  To tie the tarps to the roof, Uncle Godfrey and a couple other men clambered up the ten-foot logs and tied them down.  A pretty impressive acrobatic act.  We enjoyed worshiping there as well as getting to see Uncle Godfrey and Auntie Florence's family.  Then we began the journey back to Kasana and reached there in the late afternoon.  This March will be very memorable to me.  It was lots of fun!