Grace Notes

The Spirit of Christmas

August 19, 2007 by Lissa Eggleston | 0 comments

December 23, 2003

Dearest Friend,

DSC00971 (Small) Mike and I will spend this anniversary opening our home to the mamas and children. I have made punch with soda and fruit juice and have two kinds of homemade cookies to offer. I reduced the sugar in the cookies since the mamas think we mzungus make things sickeningly sweet. The mamas really have a heart to teach the children manners and want them to have the opportunity of visiting and learning how to act in other’s homes. Some mamas teach the children to bow before each adult and extend their hands for a hand shake. DSC00978 Each is reminded that greeting is very important so I will greet each child at the door with proper attention and linger long enough over each one so they can “find their words.” This will be so fun! Yesterday, we had our own little Christmas pageant and I videotaped it. The children thought it was like any other camera and ignored me pointing it at them. I want to show them the video at the party–it will be the first time they have seen a TV and the first time they will see themselves on screen. It should be fun. Mike will get the guitar out and we will sing and praise and pray together while they are here. This is the Christmas spirit here in Africa!

Cottage3 (Small) DSC00981 (Small)The children have been so excited since we began decorating. There are cedar here and the people climb them and cut out a branch to serve as the tree. It is traditional to decorate on Christmas Eve and the trees are covered with balloons, cotton balls, sweeties and Christmas cards. DSC00990 (Small)This year we started a little earlier with the decorating, Pastor Fred allowed us to cut three trees from the cedar at his place. I provided each cottage with a string of lights which was a huge and unexpected treat . What joy there is in making Christmas for others. I have wrapped each child a “new” t-shirt and have a small matchbox car for the boys and something special for the girls too. DSC00974 (Small)

I have been fed by Luke’s account of our Lord’s birth more than I can say. We are blessed that our Savior did not stay far off–that He came near–Immanuel!

In Christ,

lissa

Our Tribe Increases

August 8, 2007 by Lissa Eggleston | 0 comments

November 10, 2003

Dear Friend,
I have typed about three messages to you this morning and deleted each as I read and was sickened by the self pitying that I was willing to type.  I think I would just plead that you pray for my soul to be satisfied in Christ alone this week.  I especially need God to strip me DSC00894 (Small)of the need to feel “successful” here and show me how to help these mamas without hindering their care of the children.

Auntie Janet is out today and so I will assist Jenipher in her cottage–Monday is bed linen, serious cleaning day and she will need help.

Yoweri has arrived to live at Rafiki village!  He is our oldest and a little boy who has memories of parents and has understanding of the unsettling shifts in his surroundings.  He was pitiful looking when we picked him up at the restaurant.  Gone were the fancy clothes; he was sent looking like a street child–in fact that was what he was. Ywire2 Overwhelmed, he did not know what to make of his new clothes and toys but he clung to them just as he did the peanut butter sandwich!  He had trouble settling in and wanted to cling to me because I was the most familiar.  I introduced him to Mama Flavia and he resisted going to his cottage. I know that he will respond quickly to consistent care and kindness. I never tire of seeing these children go from dull, expressionless faces to smiles when they sense that they really are safe. clip_image002[1] Interestingly, he is drawn to the cows that help keep the grass down here in the village.

When the cottage door opens, he bounds out of it grabs a long stick and begins to join our gardeners in herding these huge beasts.  He is the only child here who is not terrified of the “Nte” which is the Lugandan word for cow.  DSC00116 (Small) He races across the grounds shouting, “Nte! Nte!”.  Mama Jenipher says that he does that because he is from a western Ugandan tribe who herd cattle.  I think he will be happy here with the cows and maybe soon with the people!DSCN4531 (Small)

Moo Mowers Mother selection committee meets Thursday and we have a birthday celebration for Robert and Chloe Friday DSC00636 (Small) so there is much to tend to to get ready for these.DSC00632 (Small)  I talked with my folks yesterday and they sounded very good–I pray the winter is not severe and they can get out to church each week.

The most bizarre thing happened yesterday while I was elbow deep in dish water at the Dining Hall.  With sweat dripping and bright sunshine beating down outside the kitchen window, I heard the strangest thing!

Juliette our cook had the radio on listening to Lugandan praise music, then all of a sudden I heard the first notes of “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”!  Here in the middle of Uganda on a day that looks like June I was more than surprised to hear such a familiar song in such “un-Christmasy” surroundings. I thought, “What the heck, I like this song so I sang along but it just doesn’t feel the same when you are sweating!  Have a great day and give my regards to Judy when she comes.

Love,
lissa

August 3, 2007
by Lissa Eggleston
0 comments

O Sing to the Lord a New Song

October 19, 2003 Good morning friend.  Today I am staying on site with Cottage #1 while the others have been transported to church.  There has been a new willingness from the staff to assist in transporting children and mamas to “morning … Continue reading