Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wise man from the West

I know the wise men in the Christmas story came from the East.

Right now I am thankful that my 'wise' man (for whom I thank God for each day)has returned safely from the west. Mark has been in Chad for 11 days doing a quality audit of the MAF programme there.

It is never easy being a 'single' mum especially this time, since Mark was able to spend time with my parents (who work in Chad) and the childrens Jajja and Grandma.
At Christmas we are celebrating the arrival of Jesus into this world, Immanuel, "God With Us".
During Marks time away I was so aware of Gods presence with me. He was truly my joy and strength during those days and I am so thankful for the gift of His son.

No doubt, you are all busy preparing for Christmas in your own homes.
We have also been busy with Christmas Pantomime, school plays, Leading worship at church, baking gingerbread cookies and mince pies, decorating the tree - all the things you do, only it is warm here!!
A very proud mum and dad went to see Joshua (4 years old now) play one of the three kings/wise men in the school play, 'The bossy king'. He had his own line to learn and did so well.

Amy (who just celebrated her sixth Birthday this month) will be performing with other children at church on Sunday.

We shall spend Christmas day at church and then have lunch with Marks cousin Ruth.
After that we shall be travelling to Kenya for a Christian Conference over New Year.
We pray that as you celebrate this season with your families, you will also know the joy of Immanuel 'God with us' this Christmas.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Third Culture Kids

Once a year Amy & Joshua's school celebrates 'Rainbow Day'. This is a day to recognize ,learn about and celebrate all the countries/cultures represented in the school.
This year Joshua's class has 19 children from 12 countries!
Amy's class has 21 children from 10 different countries around the world.
being surrounded by such diversity is one of the bonuses of living overseas.

Right now, Amy & Joshua like to enthusiastically represent both Uganda and the United Kingdom. They are very much Third Culture children, born into one culture with parents from another. No doubt, as they get older they will have days when they struggle to figure out their own identity and it will be interesting to see which culture they identify with most.
For now, we can simply enjoy the blessings of being a 'mixed culture' family!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Joshua's 1st MAF Flight

Joshua has been asking for weeks when Uncle Dave (Operations Manager) will let him ride on a MAF plane....
Well, Last Saturday was the day. When we told him in the morning he said "Ooh, I will be delighted to go on a flight"(not sure where my 4 year old has learnt such big words!).
There were seats available on a short flight to Bukasa Island (Sesse Isles)to pick up Sam Tsapwe who heads up Jesus Film Ministries. Sam had been training and encouraging pastors on the remote Sesse Isles for a couple of days.
The day was made perfect when Greg Vine, the pilot allowed Joshua to sit up front for one leg of the journey. Joshua had the biggest grin on his face for the rest of the day!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Holiday Fun

We enjoyed a wonderful holiday last month in Fort Portal, western Uganda.
The weather was mixed although there was not enough rain to stop us camping or to stop the 'boys' swimming in the rain!
We enjoyed a lazy week of walks, reading and swimming.
For me a holiday is all about not having to cook and we enjoyed some lovely meals too.
Of course, Kluges GH would not be the same without the camel who is very friendly although the children were not entirely convinced!

Our final night we visited the new Kyaninga Lodge which sits perched on the cliff at the top of a crater lake. It is like a little bit of paradise. I only wish we could have stayed longer... although my legs were a little achy walking up and down all the steps!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Pray for Uganda

It is not unusual here to have the occasional person requesting help with medical bills, school fees or provision of a job, but lately we are faced with an increasing number of requests.
Many people are struggling to provide for the basic needs of their families. Cost of staple foods and petrol have risen greatly.Sugar alone has doubled in price in just two weeks.
High unemployment, high inflation rates and a poor dollar exchange rate is impacting everyone.
Power and water cuts are becoming more frequent driving up prices as well.
There are no easy answers, but it is not easy to watch people suffer. Pray for wisdom & compassion for us as we respond to individuals and also remember the leaders of Uganda, that they would be able to make changes that will help the people of this country.


I am feeling very blessed this week.
Last weekend we celebrated our 12th Wedding Anniversary !! (3 years in UK, 3 years in USA and 6 in Uganda - never would have thought that twelve years ago).
I am excited to see what God has in store for the next twelve years.

I have been enjoying a wonderful summer holiday with Amy & Joshua. Until last week we have had beautiful sunshine and been at the pool most days.
Joshua has started swimming without arm bands so now I shall have the challenge of keeping up with my children in the pool soon!

Both children have learnt to ride their bikes without stabilizers and had a wonderful time riding rouns at the hangar yesterday.

Both Mark & I have made it through several weeks of work with our immediate colleagues away on holiday/furlough. There was the odd glitch at the Guest House with broken washing machines, no water and no electricity but I made it through. What a blessing it is to work along side others. I certainly miss Monika when she is not there to share the Guest House work with me.

Mark is busy this week performing maintenance on the Cessna 208 from Chad. It will hopefully leave for service in Chad again next week...
and we shall be heading off to western Uganda to have a family camping holiday.
I'm praying hard for sunshine (it's rained every day this week in Kampala) so we can really enjoy the rest and the children can have fun swimming etc.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Making A Difference

MAF Uganda pilots had a really busy day last Thursday, when we carried 50 people into or out of Southern Sudan. There were teams and individuals from 13 different organizations!!
It made the departure from Kajjansi interesting with so many passengers in the terminal together with luggage to sort out and make sure it all travelled on the correct aircraft for the departure of our 3 Caravan aircraft.

We estimate that if all the passengers had to make their journeys by road that it would represent a total of about 130 days of travel - yet we carried them in one day!

It took the whole team to make this happen, the staff who helped in booking the passengers and all the others who maintained and prepared aircraft or helped the passengers with their luggage and journeys in any way.
You are also part of that team as you pray for the ministry here in Uganda - Thank you.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Home Again

We are back in Uganda and adjusting to the routines of life here again. There has not been much of a temperature adjustment to make though, as the spring weather in UK was glorious.

Our time in the Uk was busy but as I reflect on it I realise what a time of blessing and encouragement it was. There were many wonderful times with friends, encouraging comments from folk who remember us every day in prayer and fun days out doing things we cannot do in Uganda.

Some of my favourite memories are our day trip to London when we saw the 'Changing of the Guard' at Buckingham Palace and the musical show 'Lion King'- we all thought it was fabulous even if the Hyenas were a little scary. (It was certainly something fun to look forward to after having medicals at Interhealth!)
As Uganda is land locked I very much enjoy seeing the seaside and we had two lovely days out at Ilfracombe, Devon and Folkestone, Kent. a bit chilly for swimming though...

One of the things we miss most about life here is being so far from family, so we are grateful to have had a weeks holiday in Devon with Marks family. We celebrated Nana's 60th and Joshua's 4th Birthdays that week.
It is a rare occasion when my family is all together, but with my mum and dad back from Chad we spent a glorious Easter weekend together and then were around for the arrival of our new nephew, Louis Benjamin Jones on 29th April!
God is sooo Good!

Newnham Family

Jones family

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Firsts in the USA

Well our time in the States has been busy. We have visited many friends and supporters and been really blessed by spending time with each one. Many friends have been waiting a long time to meet Amy & Joshua. It was fun to see how our friends families have also grown - this provided many new play mates for Amy & Josh. Our visit also included a number of 'firsts' for the kids:

Before leaving for Home Assignment the kids had been really wanting to see snow and their wish was granted

Since our children are not used to living in a country with seasons they did well. The snow was closely followed by spring flowers like daffodils.

Having left for Home Assignment before the end school term Sarah did some home school with Amy and Josh

Amy and Josh (and Sarah) got to go flying with Daddy at the controls

We visited some friends with nearly 50 acres and went 4 wheeling (Quad biking in UK english!)

We were also able to take them out into Amish country where the Amish were busy ploughing their fields and where horses and buggy's ride beside cars.

We are now beginning our month of Home assignment in the UK which will no doubt be just as eventful.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Ready to fly

We have a habit of getting important paperwork ready at the last minute.
On the eve of the elections I found myself driving across Kamapala to the British High Commission in order to collect the childrens new British Passports.

The children are both quite proud of their Ugandan & British nationalities as you can see here. Although, as a mother who has worked hard to get all this paperwork I was quite paranoid about how long I let them hold onto their own passports!

Aside from putting together a presentation and packing the suitcases (just small details) we are now ready to head off to UK & USA on Home Assignment.
We leave On 9th March - not long now...

Uganda's Elections

Elections here have been missed by most of the world because of all that is happening across North Africa.
Last Friday, the nation went to vote and we are thankful that it was all relatively peaceful. We had a polling station just 20 metres from our home and have had a heavy police precence on the road for a few days, so we stayed at home most of the time.
On Sunday 20th Feb, President Museveni was declared the winner. He has been re elected with 68% of the vote.
The opposition parties have already declared that they do not accept the vote, so we pray that in the coming days they will express their opinions in a peaceful way.
For more information and pictures check out