Category Archives: Family

There is More

Have you ever been in a wrestling match?  If you’re like me, you  may jump to the idea or memory of wrestling with another person.  But maybe you have another tangible experience of being tangled up with something.  Maybe you’ve tried to hike through a rain forest without a path….or machete?  or maybe you have an avalanche of blankets covering you when you wake up in the morning that make getting out of bed a constrictive smothering mess?  Or maybe you’ve been wrapped up by your ear bud cables at them gym while trying to do lat pulls? -I’m not that guy.

Murch UG

In 1999 some friends and I would drive over to S.California from Las Vegas on the weekends to search for any  adventure on the beach we could find.  We spent most of our time in the water at Blacks Beach.  I remember an afternoon where we sat out on our boards in the pulsating Pacific Ocean.  Little swell that day so we paddled South to an area we hadn’t been before. We came across a huge kelp bed growing beneath the surface.  With curiosity and possibly a bit of stupidity I jumped off my board and started exploring. I dove down and started pulling myself down a kelp vine. At some point in my descent I became tangled up with multiple plants.  When I started to panic I was probably only ten feet below the surface but no one knew what I was going through.  It felt like 5 minutes when actually it was more like 5 seconds before my panic turned into a rage of survival mode. I kicked, tore and even bit my way out of that tangled green nest. I came to the surface and wasn’t able to suck in enough oxygen to compose myself. I started puking salt water everywhere.  My buddys came to my aid getting me on my board as I seeped water from every hole in my head.  They kept saying, ‘what happened Bro? Are you ok?’ Then one said, ‘Bro its ok there’s nothing but kelp down there’. I looked up finally being able to speak and said, “There is more.”

Honeyman State Park, Oregon

The bible talks about wrestling with principalities,  cosmic powers, spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. In Genesis, Jacobs wrestling match with God turns MMA when Jacobs’ hip is dislocated.  If you haven’t spent a lot of time in areas of the world where people groups walk hand in hand with spirits, this may be hard to wrap your head around. Sometimes the things we wrestle with are unnoticeable, especially by the people around us.  They need to know there is more. More to the story, more to us,  more that matters.

Brookings, Oregon

We are now back in America! We’ve spent the last month in South Western Oregon.  Upon arrival the sun was scorching hot and sky was a rich blue. Immediately we zeroed in on our old swimming holes.

Unfortunately, since then dozens of fires have flared up due to a lightning storm. So now, the visibility that we do have (sometimes only a 1/2 mile) is filled with an ashy haze that blots out the suns’ brilliance. The outdoor activities we were so looking forward to are but dreams at this point. We still love you Oregon.
When we left Uganda we knew we were going home to stay this time. We knew we were going back to a church family that had lives and priorities.  Being home for a month I guess you could say we’re currently in transition mode. The emotions and intentions that go along with this transition are difficult to describe.
I read an article a while back put out by the EU. In it, they asked foreign expat aid workers what they longed for the most while being on the field. 85% of them said ‘attention’.  Not money or better tooling, but attention.  A human need that even Jesus himself experienced.
What were our expectations for coming home?  After pastoring a difficult people group, would we be pastored in America?  Did we need it?  We thought we were going to get plugged in, caught up and reunited. Unfortunately there has been no reunion.  The transitional preparations for our arrival were nonexistent.  If you’re a Pastor on the mission field reading this, I can’t express enough the importance of having an experienced, empathetic, Jesus chasing Shepard to lean on.  If not, your mission could collapse and your transitions may ruin you or your family.
Fortunately,  He who is in us (my family and I) is greater than he who is in the world.  This transition/trial that we are going through will only make us stronger. I’m so thankful to have had that time in UG with my family. The memories and stories that we share will never be taken from us.  The friends, flocks and foes I made in UG will always be in my prayers.  I may not have an American job but I know God will forever use me as a Pastor. And right now my flock is my family- my first ministry.
Fish Farm Manager, Henry with students

I’ve read a lot of books and articles where missionaries try to articulate their transition time from country to country.  All are different depending on region and circumstance. We’ve come back to pot farms, robot vacuums and big trucks.  It all seemed new and exciting at first. But, now it’s normal. I’m currently surrounding myself with men I admire and respect, and am helping them with whatever God has on their plate.

Installing a roof
I always loved being in East Africa. Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Congo, Somalia….
They say you either get bit by Africa or you don’t.  I was bit.
And now, I cant stop thinking about it. The work that needs to be done, my guys who are still preserving, a lost generation that needs a boost.  I recently had guy tell me that ‘it will pass’.  They way you’re feeling. The empathy, the excitement, the things that matter….they will pass.    I don’t want it to pass.  I want it to be harnessed. Harnessed in a way that can be translated to a sleeping giant…America.  May God use us in way we never knew possible. May the things that matter to Him (things we can’t even comprehend) matter to us.
To the people who prayed for us while we were ‘out of sight’,  may Gods’ presence touch your life today. A thank you isn’t enough.  I’ve always admired those who can pray for the forgotten.  In America, it’s out of sight-out of mind. It’s not that way for the rest of the world.
To those of who gave to our mission financially, may God bless you for your sacrifice and offering.  From the beginning of our mission I choose to guard myself from knowing who you were. And even now I don’t. But if you’d ever like to hear stories or see photos of where your money went and what it is still doing I would be excited and blessed to share with you.  We were so thankful when a single donation came in to pay for our airfare home.  Also, the elders of ECF agreed to donate some transitional funds that we were able to use to purchase a vehicle. Over the past five years you have answered a tremendous call. Now that we are home, our current financial status is dwindling. Our monthly support last came in on June 1st.  I’ve consulted missionaries and organizations for counsel concerning the financial transition period. I’ve been told 4-6 months is a time of debriefing and transition.   If you feel so led to give to our time of transition we would appreciate the bodys support.  You can contact me with any questions.
To those who came to UG to support us, you are legends. The Ugandans still ask how you are doing today. No joke….all of you. Most of you impacted lives or broke down walls that allowed Christ shine even brighter in each person you interacted with. This made our job easier.  We were a Paul to Barnabas, a Peanut Butter to Jelly, a Phineas to Ferb…..you helped us. This was the attention we soo needed. Thank you for coming.
If you are ever interested in returning to East Africa please talk with me. God is always moving.
Last day with Wycliffe
Currently Wrestling,
Jason Folkestad
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The Season of Christ

 

banner-01-01According to each individual person, some seasons mean something. Most of us have embedded events or circumstances in our memory that play a significant role as to  how we feel about holidays. We celebrate holidays to recognize there original significance. Though many would argue Christmas is one of those pagan holidays; you can’t help but sense the sentiment of faith, hope and love around this time of year.

Noah in Ugandan school room
Noah in Ugandan school room

But in some parts of the world the holiday season is another reminder of hopelessness.  Here in Uganda, the schilling is king. For most, the schilling is Christmas. Often this time of year the Ugandans will ask me for their Christmas.   It sounded really weird to me the first year. “What do you mean your Christmas?”, I would ask them. They’re asking for a gift (schillings). It would be like asking some random stranger in America, “Can you give me some money for Christmas?” And some people in America will ask you for money. You’ll typically find these people on the corner in a Walmart parking lot, or roaming the downtown streets rummaging through trash cans.  The Ugandans I’m referring to are not like that.

busy market Jinja Town
busy market Jinja Town

I was in town today ready to hop on my bike when I got a tap on the shoulder. I turned to find a Ugandan man. This man was possibly the same age as me.  While he was sporting a dress coat I shook his thickly calloused hand as he said “Oyambe nze” (you help me.) He went on to tell me a story about his struggling livelihood and how he wanted to get his family Christmas but he had no schillings. He revealed some seriously white teeth while smiling during his story (Ugandans are known throughout East Africa for their perfect teeth). He then asked me for ‘his Christmas’.  Without thinking too much I reached into my pocket to see what I had. A couple crumpled two thousand schilling notes ($1.25). I looked at the crumpled notes in my hand and thought, “this can’t be this guys Christmas”.  I placed the notes in his hand, as if shaking it again, but didn’t let go. It’s custom culture here to hold one’s hand while communicating. I found it to be very useful in keeping  someones attention. Often squeezing their hand and looking into their eyes when you want your words to sink in.  I wanted to tell him Christmas wasn’t about schillings. But I didn’t know how. On Christmas day, I thought, we’ll be having a big meal and exchange many gifts. Am I speaking hypocritically if I tell him he doesn’t need schillings for Christmas? The story this man had shared with me included a horrible event that had just taken place in Western Uganda in a town called Kasese. I had already known of the event and may even of have had more intel on the circumstances  than him but I listened.  He teared up when he said his brother was one of the 50 murdered by militants who lined up a group of young men and executed them with a machete to the back of the head. It seems these elevated events are happening all over Uganda on a regular basis.

Uganda Military
Uganda Military

From my perception living along side the Ugandans;  it’s not the world we live in, it’s the world they live in. If I find myself in these horrible circumstances- I get away, I fight back, I out smart the oppressor. The Ugandans are often to busy surviving to recognize what’s developing outside their survival box.  So, I held his hand and I said, “go home.  Go home and spend time with your family. Go home and reconcile with the people around you. Go home and thank God for every day he gives you.” Yes, my family and I will feast on Christmas. We’ll exchange gifts and maybe go out for ice cream (December is the HOT season here). We’ll also go swim in the river, play games, read a story aloud. We’ll spend time together. Christmas, like most holidays, has nothing to do with the schillings. It has to do with time, people and Jesus Christ. If you can find a healthy blend with that trio your season will have substance. Otherwise the Christmas foundation you’re creating will be tasteless, forgetful and eventually crumble.

People. They’re the reason we do what we do. Love – Hate. Live – Die. Strive – Survive. Like an endless wave, we are constantly being moved by people.  What you wear, what you eat, how you speak, the way you think, the length of your grass, the car you drive, Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest.  Because of people.

Ugandan children at a village school
Ugandan children at a village school

We mingle with a lot of people here in Uganda. Many of them, young kids learning how to survive.   We’ve spent over three years in Uganda and God has continued to push us to our furthest abilities. Recently we were led to an orphanage buried away in a local sugar cane field. The orphanage was not well run and even now is under investigation. It was at that time we felt led to bring one of these children into our home. We have begun the process of adoption for a young 8 year old boy named Wyclife Mukisa.

Faith, Maci, Wyclife, and Noah
Faith, Maci, Wyclife, and Noah

We call him Wyci (Wee-Key). Wyci was abandoned as an infant and grew up in the hands of a third-world orphanage. When Wyci was abandoned he was in a very poor state. So poor that his condition left him unable to walk until he was 5 years old. We have since taken him to a blood lab where he tested positive for Malaria, Tuberculosis
and an Immunodeficiency Virus. His condition doesn’t affect the way we feel about him only that it allows us to care for him that much more.

Solar lights charging outside a house
Solar lights charging outside a house
Noah and Wyci -inseparable.
Noah and Wyci -inseparable.

In the midst of village ministry here in Uganda, this little boy has, all of a sudden, gotten our full attention. The village of Kirugu is now fully equipped with solar lights in every home. The Church is becoming a place of refuge and joy.  Village families are beginning to understand what it means to enjoy life and all that God has given to us. There is so much work yet to be done. But right now, during this Christmas season, we are focused on Wyclife. You’ll have to trust us when we say -he’s worth it!

Wyclife (age unknown) at the orphanage.
Wyclife (age unknown) at the orphanage.

The first time we saw Wyci he was playing futbol. He was slower, and he would stop often to catch his breath. But he would light up when we took the time to sit and talk with him. And we thought “as this kid gets older, his chance to be a part of a real family will be slim”. Now we are so excited to announce that this little Ugandan boy has a real, loving, affirming, Christ-chasing family.

The work that we do here in Uganda is fully supported by donations from individuals, families and even businesses.  We recently received our year end financial report statement. The giving trend for our support is on a steady decline.  If you’re interested in giving or even knowing more about exactly what we do in Africa, please don’t hesitate to contact us or Edgewater Christian Fellowship.

http://edgewaterfellowship.org/

We are hoping to be in Oregon next summer to introduce you to the newest member of our family.  May the Lord richly bless you while you make unforgettable memories this Christmas season.  -Jason Folkestad

Wyci surrounded by mosquito net wearing a germ mask while reading before bed.
Wyci surrounded by mosquito net wearing a germ mask while reading before bed.
At Church
At Church
Michelle watching Noah and Wyclife swim in the River Nile
Michelle watching Noah and Wyclife swim in the River Nile
Camping on Christmas Break
Camping during Christmas Break
At the mall in Entebbe Uganda
At the mall in Entebbe Uganda

A Kids Mission

What is a kids mission in life? To do well enough in school to get a full ride to an ivy league University, find a career, lease a reliable car, get married,  buy a home, raise a family, retire at a young age, and die much older?  Kids are so innocent that they rarely think of any of these things. Kids want to have a good time. Even when they are learning, they want to have a good time. Jesus himself said to a crowd of adults in the book of Matthew “become more like children”.  I do not believe He meant become as ignorant as a child or throw a temper tantrum when you don’t get your way, but rather HAVE A GOOD TIME. Kids are innocent enough to turn the other cheek and still want to know more about God.

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At the UG airport. Saying our goodbyes.

We recently had a family of friends come visit us here in Uganda. The Blands.  In a America we were neighbors; sharing the same small flag lot directly across the street from our kids school in Oregon. We lived life together. Neither I or them ever thought we would see each other in Africa. But we found very quickly that God is much bigger than our pessimistic thoughts. And we had a good time!

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Installed a swing at church. Kids loved it!

Throw a futbol in-between a group of kids and watch the good times begin. It doesn’t matter what the kids skin color is. All that matters is that they have a chance to communicate in child like ways. Playing, swinging, laughing – they love it. Sure they get to speak an unknown language sometimes and that also can be fun. “Samba Samba!” (Pass Pass). They learn this one quickly when playing futbol.

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Maci and Olivia hanging in a new hammock.

 The Blands were a blast!  Their kids are practically the same age as ours. It seemed like they were always doing something; even when it seemed like there was nothing to do. Kids are flexible and imaginative that way.  Our kids sooo appreciated and needed their friendship.

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Kids playing in the tree house.

                                                                    We spent some time out in the Kirugu Village where we are working with the local people. We attended a couple Sunday church services and spent weekdays in fellowship and labor with the local community. Kirugu was blessed when the Blands brought over 350 solar lights for the village. New Hope Church now has a team of people who help distribute these lights to each and every home in the village. Shauna Bland gave me a scripture to cast along side this solar vision for the village. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”   These lights represent hope for the hopeless. The Blands were able to see the lights in action as we walked the dark village after the sun set.

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Installing a small pig house at Gertrudes house. She is a Ugandan widow who has taken in many orphans. Pastor Glen Litwiller had a heart for her when he was here last year.
While we worked the kids were kids. Playing in the red dirt roads and climbing on any tree willing to hold them.  Eli and Shauna were ready and eager to do anything God put in our path. Some visitors are hard work…they were easy. Pastor Ronnie of New Hope Church has expressed how thankful he was to have the Blands in his community. The neighborhood is still talking about their visit and all the work they did.   During their visit we had the opportunity to visit a school that was in need of a bathroom for their students and teachers. As we team up with Daniel Kaggwa and Sign of the Dove on this project my prayer is God we give us some new insight on how to design this bathroom.

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Ethan and Faith hanging with the local students.
Before the Blands arrived my kids didn’t have much of a summer. I’ve simply been too busy to present them with some fun summer activities. So I had an idea of taking the two families camping to end the summer in style. After Eli and I researched where we wanted to go and stay I believe God knew exactly what we needed. After a six hour drive north we ended up at Murchison Falls, where the River Nile meets Lake Albert. When a Westerner thinks of Africa and all its glory this is the area tucked away in their mind. Even though a hippo woke me from a dead sleep with its butt pressed against our tent, we had a great time. Thanks Blands – unforgetable!

Uganda -DOWN but not OUT

The country of Uganda has voted (somewhat).  The president has been elected. All social media is back up and running. Shops, banks, and airtime stands should all be open up for business throughout this week. That means Uganda  has no choice but to get back to normal. Normal – what is normal? As an American stuck between two worlds, I’m not sure I know what normal looks like anymore. But normal to Uganda is – survival. If they have the opportunity to get back to the “daily grind”, they’re going to be ok. Because surviving is what Ugandans do best. 

 

Vision Group Photo
 

There is some bitterness lingering. Tensions did get high. Shots were fired. Tear gas was thrown. People did die. Died for what? For change? Change of what? A President? 

Change, as you know, can go two ways. Positive and Negative. I’m not sure the younger generation of Ugandans even care which way the change goes – as long as there is change. Many African nations have experienced change and once they did they had wished it never took place. Donald Trump was just quoted saying “Ugandans are cowards. Museveni belongs in a prison not the state house.”  Am not a Trump guy, but often he speaks what many Americans are thinking. Which I believe is why he has such a following.  I’m writing this message from Kenya, so I’ve seen the difference between people groups in East Africa. Ugandans are different. They are not confrontational. Not like some tribes here in Kenya or in Burundi. Are they cowards? Is Museveni good for this country? I’m not about to go all political on this blog, it’s not why I’m in Africa. Ugandans are simple caring people. Socialy, among the villages, this is a very bonding trait. But it could also be the perfect tool for a dictator to use against his own people. Beisyge (the presidents opponent) was not ellected. Some of Ugandas popullse is upset over this. I believe the answer is simple. Besiege was not Gods chosen leader. Romans 13:1 says -“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Does God appoint evildoers? No. God does not work with, nor is His plan for evil. His plan is bigger than our anger, pain and even our death. Often we can not see past these overwhelming emotions. We just see pain. For now, Gods plan includes Museveni. I don’t agree with Ugandas electoral process, and surely I do not agree with the police and military action against its own people. But in the end, I agree and submit unto God. The vast majority of Ugandans understand this, and believe they will grow stronger because of it. 

 

near Katwe Uganda
 
We are monitoring Ugandas democracy, or lack thereof from Malindi Kenya. We will be leaving as soon as we fix some of the problems we have discovered with our van. 

Since arriving in Kenya we have had plenty of time to unwind, focus and eat lots of ice cream.  The town we are in is interesting. The Italians came here over thirty years ago and decided not to leave. So, the Kenyans in this area have been transformed. You’ll find a Kenyan with long Rastafarian dreads wearing three gold rings on his right hand, a gold chain around his neck speaking Italian and eating spaghetti for lunch. You won’t find this anywhere else in Africa. The Italians have a way of highly influencing those around them. And these are not American-Italians, these Italians are born and raised in Sicily and have no americanisms about them. So it’s been difficult to communicate with them because they speak no English and my Italian ranges from ciao to grazie. But the Italian restraurants are totally worth it. I’ll have to grab a variety of noodles from the Italian supermarket before heading back to UG. This morning I read and meditated on Psalm 20. With different people groups on my mind I kept going back to verse 6. It’s says God will save His annointed people. I thought of the many Israelites I’ve meet, then the Italians, Kenyans, Ugandans  and Americans came to mind.  I don’t believe this anointing is a Jew nor Gentile phrase. I believe, like in 1John 2, that it’s referring to ‘those who have ears’.  Not everyone has a desire to follow after God’s heart, to resist evil, to love those around them. So all these different people groups have the same opportunity as you or me. They have the opportunity to choose for themselves -good or evil. And you can see the outcome of their descion making imprinted on their lives. In a place like Kenya where the cost of living is low, the Italians are living the high life. But you can still sense they are searching for something in their lives. So, you’ll find them at the casino they fabricated or in the all-inclusive resorts they’ve created; because they have a desire to fill.  I’m reminded, we ALL need God. 

 The beaches here are beautiful but finding privacy from the Kenyan lottering can get frustrating. ‘Beach Boys’ is what they’re called. They will hound you in Italian until they realize you’re American and then they’ll use the little English they speak to try to sell you something….or even nothing.  We’ve managed to get away from the tourists and find where the locals do their fishing and diving.  It really is a hidden paradise. 
 

123 yr old tortoise
  
falconry Kenya
  
puffer fish
  
Indian Ocean snorkel time
  
elephant in Tsavo
  
Zebra and many crazy birds
  
Tsavo East, Kenya
  
crocs…everywhere
  

But we are ready to get back home. We’ve decided to take a different route home to divert away from all the road construction and many semis hauling goods on Mombasa Road. We will be taking a “shortcut” threw Tsavo East and bypass Niarobi to the south. We will be taking our time as we travel west. This will give us more time to evaluate Ugandas progress. We should be back home by early next week. Continue to pray for our travels and the country of Uganda. 

Indian Ocean spear fishing – octopus
  
sailing…indian ocean
  
Impala
  
Hippos crossing river
  
Baboons
  
so many giraffe
  
the dry season
    
 

Since writing the above journal entry, we made it back home in UG. It took us three days to get home. And just before leaving I received a phone call from a Ugandan Police Detective. He said “you need to come home right away. Your home has been thefted.” It was 1am when I received this call so it took me a few seconds to understand his broken English.  Once it settled in I knew It was going to be a long trip home. My mind raced with different scenarios and circumstances as I drove for three very full days. The trip was pleasant as we saw many different animals and visited with many Kenyans. We got home Monday night. I dropped off Michelle and the kids at a nearby guesthouse while I went to our house to assess the damage. When I arrived I found four of our Ugandan friends in the sitting room with very solemn faces. The man (Nelson) who was watching over our house immediately broke down and cried telling me he was sorry. He then told me the story. He came home late 10:30. As he entered the yard he saw our bedroom light on. A bit puzzled he made his way through the dark yard. Then he was hit in the back of the head with a stick and beat. He got up and ran for the front gate which was now locked, so he climbed over its top to reach the other side. He ran and shouted for the neighbors. At that time the intruders fled leaving much of what they were attempting to steal behind in the yard. The police came and apparently took fingerprints and Nelson went to the hospital. As he told me the story I knew he was seriously affected by this event, both emotionly and physically. He needed to know it wasn’t his fault. I hugged him and thanked him for his presence at our house. Many things were stolen but if it wasn’t for him, everything would be gone. It wasnt til the next day when I had a good chance to assess the house. They went through everything. Looking for schillings, I’m sure. They had a plan to load bags and suitcases full of anything and everything. But when Nelson came they left a lot of those bags behind in the yard. Fact is, as I had three days of driving to rack my brain over what I was about to succumb, it wasn’t that bad. My friends and I a spent yesterday cleaning and repairing. I also paid the local police department a visit. Things will change a bit around the house, but life will go on. Because we don’t just survive – we thrive. We may have been down, but like Uganda, we’re not out. 

New Snail Mail

We have relocated and we have a new PO Box address.
There’s something about sitting down, sharpening your pencil and writing a letter. When was the last time you did it? Yes I know, you sent an email today and it traveled around the world twice in a matter of seconds. Not what I’m talking about. There’s work behind a letter or a package that creates integrity and patience. Many of you have sent us items via mail (old school). It’s great to receive something that’s traveled such a distance. The kids love it when they receive mail. If you’re interested in sending a letter to Uganda don’t be shy. It’s not nearly as expensive as it may seem and the mail here in Jinja is fairly reliable. The kids would love a new pen pal. And yes, they will most certainly reply. See you at the post office!

PO Box 871
Jinja Town Uganda

The Folkestad Kids…

These past few months have really flown by! The kids are really enjoying their summer break (which kid doesn’t?). We have had more time for family outings and outreach to a nearby school. This school is predominately muslim and was a little hesitant to let a Christian in to teach the bible. The head teacher met Faith and Maci the first week and it helped bridge the gap between our beliefs. Each week has gotten better and several weeks ago many of the children received salvation.

As a missionary kid, life can have it’s ups and downs. At times it can be very exciting meeting new people, having them around all the time, sights and sounds. At other times it can be lonely, quiet and as a family we really have to ask the Lord to help us be creative in what we can do to keep us all mentally and emotionally stimulated. Here is a brief update on the kids and what they have been up to lately to keep themselves busy.  The kids are currently in a home school co-op on Fridays and are really enjoying it.

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Maci has swimming, book club and baking. Her favorite class is baking( mom is the teacher:) She is a real saver lately. She saves all her chore money and refuses to spend it. She has the most money in the house and we are constantly asking to borrow it from her. She is becoming a little banker. We found her a drawing book today at a flea market and she loves it. We also scored on some acrylic paints for the girls.

imageFaith is enjoying reading these days. She devours a book in several hours. She loves to play with the little kids and is so responsible. She really has a heart for the Lord and a sensitivity to His spirit. At co-op she is in drama, book club and baking. She also loves taking pictures and drawing. She found a picture of an African girl and is drawing her face. It is turning out really nice. image

 

 

Noah – oh he’s so fun these days. It doesn’t take much to excite him. He is in to collecting weird odds and ends. He is obsessed with wanting to buy wooden bowls and knick knacks. We went to a market today and he brought his chore money. He also scored some money for losing his front tooth(which makes him even cuter!) He was with me one moment today then disappeared and came back proudly holding a wooden box he had purchased with his own money. It was a cigar box:) he was so proud!! He payed way too much for it but I couldn’t burst his bubble. He has been making envelopes to go on everyone’s doors so we can give each other mail. He is also currently writing a short story on my computer titled, ” The search for the secret key.” He just told me before bed that he couldn’t wait to write tomorrow. 🙂 Lastly, we found a tiny little hole in the wall library with kids books a half hour away, so every other Thursday we travel there to get him five new books to check out. He thinks it’s so cool.
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I’m really enjoying our kids!
-Michelle Folkestad

Round Two

We’re back in Africa, which means we have to find time for blogging.  We’ve created a new blog as our current host is revamping their website.

It’s been refreshing to be back in Africa.  The Ugandans as always are very welcoming. The location of our home in Zzana is a very peaceful. We quickly grew accustom to the call of prayer from a nearby mosque. Now that we’re back to something we’ve already started, we are ready to push forward. In the past three weeks I’ve traveled all over Uganda to conduct different projects. There is no denying the need is great in Uganda.  The question for us is where is God calling us to plant His Word deep? Our whole family had the opportunity  to visit an area east of Kampala called Kayunga. This area has a real need for ministry. You can watch this video to find out more about the region.

I was excited to find an airstrip only twenty minutes from this piece of land.
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Yet another puzzle peice God added to my mission in Africa. A pilots license. Why? How? Where will God have me travel to? Who does He want to add to His kingdom? I think its the not knowing that excites me the most. To think of how far God has brought me and my family, and what He has allowed us to go through….at times it’s overwhelming. Well, next week I’m taking a license conversation test to get my Ugandan pilot’s license.

My family and I are diving into the language of Luganda. With classes four times a week. The tribal language is becoming a fluid hymm to our ears. The best part is when you know what a Ugandan is saying (about yourself typically) and they have no clue that you can understand. Just attempting to be more like the people your called to serve earns you a lot of respect here in Uganda. To help them feel important, to validate their culture and traditions. Once they realize you’re not here to change them, doors begin to open.

My vision for a long-term mission in Uganda is to disciple those who are truly called to follow Him. Once we are established in a village I have a hope to start a school of ministry for young adults, and a retreat center for church leaders throughout Uganda. We will continue to keep the body posted as God continues to weave us into His people.
-Jason