Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in Uganda

We thought you might enjoy some pictures from our first Christmas season in Uganda.  Thanksgiving gave us some hints as to the emotional struggle we might feel being away from home in America.  Our prayer this season has been this, "Lord, help us focus on the incarnation in our pain of separation."  So far He has been good to comfort and guide.

Our parents sent money for us to purchase gifts for the children. Nathan, Peter and Bosco (our guards) made a treehouse for them.  Bosco came on his day off to help out.  They loved using the power tools.  Anytime Nathan struggled too much with a screwdriver or handsaw they would say, "Ssebo (sir), use the machines!"

One of the great things about Uganda is the abundance of local craftsman.  We hired a local carpenter named George to make some Christmas gifts for the kids. 

We made paper snowflakes, chains and icicles to decorate the house with. This afternoon was so fun! We cranked up the Christmas music, turned on our twinkle tree lights and drank hot chocolate. It was hysterical watching Peter’s excitement over figuring out how to make a snowflake. 

Nathan grew up with his dad reading a chapter of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” every night leading up to Christmas. He has carried out this tradition for our family and Nathan made sure to bring the book with us here in Uganda. It’s been so sweet to read it together every night.  

Beef here is rather inexpensive and is commonly used in cooking. However chickens are costly (20,000 shillings or $8) and are a real treat! We went to the market and bought 3 live chickens to give to our guards to take home to their families for Christmas dinner. They were so excited!
Another great gift to give is food for the Christmas meal. This washing basin is filled with cooking oil, sugar, rice, beans, soap and chocolate. We purchased this for a woman in our community who was recently widowed after her husband died in a car accident.
Peter and Ezra got Christmas haircuts today (Christmas Eve). Don’t they look great?! Or as they say here in Uganda…don’t they look smart?! The total for two haircuts was 6,000 shillings or $2.20. 

Our understanding of tradition has been completely reworked.  Even the most sacred traditions are merely expressions of a deeper truth.  Whether we are gathering for meals, giving gifts or just watching the football game with the same ole' guys we are celebrating things much weightier.  Love and generosity, brotherhood and community, hope and faith in the work of this little baby Jesus.  Our traditions might look completely different in Uganda but at their core they are 100% unchanged.  The truth remains.

Thank you for your involvement in our ministry in Uganda.  As a result of your encouragement, support, prayers and friendships we are engaging in a ministry only God could have planned.  God bless you all!  Merry Christmas!


  1. Is there anywhere that I could find Ezra's adoption story? I LOVED it, and I love reading your blogs!!

  2. Yes there sure is! You can check out my personal blog at and search the archives from August 2009 to July 2010. :) Thanks for following along with our journey! -Jade