Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hi there everyone!!! I have been so behind in my keeping up with this blog! I apologize!!!

Months just continue to keep passing by without my even knowing it. Thanksgiving next week and Christmas just around the corner!! Just doesn't seem right, as, of course, they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here and no one really puts much emphasis on the "decking of the halls"!!! BUT.....some good news for us is........our container has finally left the shores of America and is on its way to Mombasa. It's estimated time of arrival is Dec. 27. However it can take 2 more months after that to actually get clearing and on to Kampala! But I'm just excited that it has left. We are praising the Lord for that! We needed $3000 more dollars to get it on it's way. The team from Texas that I was telling you that stayed at the guest house went back to their home church and told the mission board and they decided to complete the funds for us!! I cried!!! The Lord is so good!!!

I have to be honest with month 3 and 4 of living here were really hard for the kids and I as we were really missing 'home'! I had been told by other missionaries that it is the hardest time for everyone and that it was to be expected, but that it gets easier. They tell me things get easier starting in the 6th month. Not that things have been hard, it's just the missing family and friends and the conviences of America in general, but as much as I miss it all, I can rest assured that God has us here and we are in His will. I enjoy many aspects of Uganda, mostly

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our New House

Can I tell you a little about our house we're in now? Great. Thanks! It is closer to Wayne's job by about 10 minutes or so and super close to one of the little super markets that we go to to buy food! I like this area better and we are close to a Security Hub, plus, some "important" man apparently lives down our street, so there is alot of armed men walking up and down our road all hours of the night and day, which is really nice to have! This house is situated higher on a hill so it has a nice breeze and it is also situated on a really nice compound, which provides more room for the kids to play outside! Landon has taken up soccer and He, Sydney, Wayne, and the guard play every evening! Landon is quite good, I must say!!! The house inside is quite a bit smaller than the last, but still fine. My favorite part of the house is the big wrap around porch! It is so lovely! We spend most our evenings outside and we also eat dinner outside almost every evening! It has some quest quarters on the compound that occasionally a team will come and stay. It is so fun having teams here from different places. We have one from Texas here now to minister to pregnancy centers about pregnancy prevention, abstinance, and pro-life decisions. It's so fun! It's obviously a huge problem here!
We've been here now for 3 1/2 months and if I wasn't prepared to have a hard time right now with being home-sick, I may have already arranged flights home, but they say if you can make it to 6 months, then we'll be fine! The kids and I were looking thru all our pictures on the computer the other night of friends, family, and house, and they decided they were done here. I wanted to agree, but I know it's far from the truth. We have ALOT to do! I truly like it here, but when Harley, my 4 yr. old asked me if grandma and grandpa were dead because it's been so long since she's seen them, my heart broke! She and my mom are best buddies. Hardly a day goes by that she doesn't ask if we can go to grandma's house.
Although, Wayne's parents were just here for about 2 weeks and we had a lovely time. They were in Kenya for they're 50th church anniversary, so they decided to hop, or fly, over to see us before they continued on the Britain! It was wonderful. We went on a great safari to Murchinson Falls and had a fabulous time. There was a little too much excitement at times, as Wayne's dad had a poisonous snake flopping all over his feet at the poolside at a hotel. I was almost killed by a mama babboon........ok, so she never touched me, but she was chasing me.....and wouldn't you know, as I was running to the truck, the windows were going up and the doors were locking as Wayne was keeping him and the others quite safe in the car.....makes me wonder why he upped my life insurance last month....hmmmm. Finally some nice Ugandan man saved my life while I was a laughing stalk of the crowd that was watching, including the one's in MY truck!!!!!!! Then a HUGE storm came while we were in the back of the safari land, making the roads just a huge mudslide. I think that we were the only people out there and we thought that we may be spending the night with the animals!!! We finally made it back to the ferry, but we were driving thru rivers of water at times. I actually liked the excitement, but Wayne didn't, as he was the driver!!! And the last bit of excitement was when we almost got into a head-on collision with a big truck! It's a miracle that we didn't hit. Wayne ended up having to go on the opposite side of the ditch. It was so scary!!!!
But we made it home safely with lots of stories to tell. Landon says it was a monumental trip for him!!!!

Continuation of Chapter 5

Ok, Ok. I know that time has passed, but you must give me a break, as I've started my job at the International school, plus we have no internet at our new house.....So I guess I'll need to catch you all up!!!
1 1/2 months after we arrived here in Kampala we found out that the house that we were renting, which we knew was temporary, was more, or should I say "less" temporary than we thought and we needed to move out as there was a new family moving in that belonged to the mission that owned it! They had been doing us a favor by letting us stay there, however, we thought we had it until the end of the year. No big deal because the very same day we found out we had to move....GOD brought another house. Furnished and in a safe area. Within 2 weeks we were moved in! Really, moving is much easier when you don't have much to move. Just our clothes and our computer and that was about it!!! This house is much smaller, but still perfect for our scenerio, beings we still don't have any of our furniture or other belongings that are being shipped. We are starting to feel doubtful that we'll even have them before please pray!!! We need to find a house that is more permanent so we can make it our home and hook up internet. The hook-ups are expensive to do unless you plan on staying in the house for awhile! So we'll have to wait for a more permanent situation to set up internet! Thankfully, my job allows me to play on FB and write on here in my "spare" time!!! Some days I have time and some days I don't!!! I am helping in the administration at the school that our kids attend! I only work from 7:30am-12:30pm. It is PERFECT!!! I actually really like it and it has helped me meet alot of other moms!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Alright. New day but continuing with chapter 4.....Wayne had said that he thought that I would be the one big hurdle to taking this mission. He was wrong, because I think I was even more excited than him, maybe not, but we both were excited! The ministry that we are working with is called Watoto Children's Ministries. It is so amazing what they have done in the lives of these little children. Many of them were child soldiers and have had to do some really gruesome things including killing their own families in hideous ways. The stories are just heart breaking, but to see these kids now and the hope that they have can ONLY be because of their Father Jesus Christ! Many of these children travel around the world and bring a message of hope to every person they minister to. There are several groups that travel and the same kids never travel more than one tour. It is quite a growing experience for them. They get to see many parts of the world that they would never see. They have sung for the Queen of England, President Bush several times, and have even opened up for the Olympics!!! If you ever get the chance to see them, you should. It will change your life!!! It did mine!!! You can check out their website at www. to see where they will be. It will NOT be disappointed!! And you will probably get to see Wayne as he will be traveling with them as the technical director. His primary job with Watoto is heading up the World Tour. This tour doesn't start until 2013. Right now they are working on the "Restore" Tour. They will be traveling to the 40 biggest cities in the world filling up arenas with their message. It is going to be AWESOME!!! Marilyn and Gary Skinner are the founders of Watoto. They were asking a friend of ours what I was like, for they'd never met me before. They told him as much as they knew and that I was a hairdresser. (Cool Story Here!!!) Watoto had just been donated all the salon equipment from a really top-notch salon in Springfield, MO. They had been planning to start a salon to help fund Watoto. However, they needed someone to help that had some experience with this. Also, they wanted someone to be able to teach this trade to the older orphans that were interested in this trade. So here I am.....I am so excited to help with this. I really crave doing hair and would've missed it so much!! Now I don't have to even give it up. Can you see how God has just orchestrated this from the beginning? The Salon would veer more towards the mzungus (white people) and expats, as well as any Ugandans that can afford it! Apparently there is a call for this type of salon, so naturally I'm super excited! We had the opportunity to go and visit Uganda, where the ministry is located, so I could have a better idea of what I was going to need to pack. We got to be there during a huge int'l Watoto conference, which was great, because it really gave us an idea about what the whole of the ministry is about.....the kids. I had a great feeling that I would do okay there and God would take care of us. What I didn't know, until the last couple days of the trip, was if our kids would be okay and able to adapt. I, then, went and saw their school that they would attend and then had perfect peace thereafter! I also got to meet alot of the moms of the students. They were so warm and friendly. I just knew that I'd/we'd be just fine! This was in Oct. of '08.
Wayne had to fulfill his agreement with NCU until May of '09. That gave us time to prepare! I can say that that 7 months between I wanted to chicken out a number of times, and had another 1000 excuses as to why maybe we shouldn't go. Again....God answered all my fears and always gave me perfect peace!!!
So that brings us to the whole "what do we do from here?" We sold two boats, both our cars, 4-wheelers, and had several moving sales and sold basically everything that we couldn't take. God was faithful and we were able to pay off some debt and had a little money left over to start a new life in Uganda. I can't say that it wasn't sad saying "goodbye" to all our toys and belongings, but in another sense, it was refreshing to simplify our lives again!
We were able to keep our home and some great friends are renting it from us. Such a blessing!!!
Wayne, at the last minute, decided to add another bathroom in the basement. The house was in desperate need of another one! It turned out beautifully! I look forward to enjoying it one day! On July 3, Wayne, myself, and the 3 kids, boarded our flight to Africa. We had 13 suitcases and 10 carry-ons! We were a sight!!!
Some very dear friends of ours took us, and all that we owned, to the airport! The goodbye's were hard, but we had to do it!!!
24 hours later we arrived in Entebbe. Long flight, a couple air sick children, and some sleepy parents, but we had arrived. It was 11pm. Which takes me to our next chapter!

Chapter 5 ~~~Life On the Mission Field
Wayne had been to Kampala two weeks before we were to move here, playing drums for BH. He was able to see the house that we were going to be living in! It was all going to be the first time for the kids and me. The ride from the airport to our house is about 45minutes. And we didn't get in until 11:30pm. I wanted the driver to drive slower so that the kids could see what was going on in the streets. It is pitch black here at night as there are no street lights. Africans playing cards, games, and even doing hair, all by candle light. Babies and children were still out playing everywhere on the sides of the roads. I don't know how little African babies know to stay out of the road.....they just do. Not that there are never any tragic deaths from being run over, but I'm just surprised that there aren't more!!!
So we pulled into our compound and the house looked very nice. Watoto had a nice welcome fruit and flower basket with chocolates and a wonderful card! Our driver and personal assistant that were going to have for the next several weeks helped us get all of our luggage inside. We decided to just shower and go to bed. It was after 1am at that point. I slept really hard until about 4am. We live next to a dog training center and also the Norwiegan Refugee Cousil. So between all the dogs and army training chanting and so on, oh and the huge loud birds, that jump you out of bed with their loud, and I mean loud, screams, and I can't forget the roosters that start crowing and don't stop until afternoon. I must also mention the LOUD muslim prayers that they pray on rotating loud speakers. We had to laugh!!!! I was told that we'll get used to all the racket.....that's what all the neighbors are saying!!! We'll see!!!
We are now in to week six of this exciting adventure and, yes, we are getting used to all the noise. Don't know if I'd be able to sleep without it......haha!!!!! I'll write more later!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Here I sit at 4am on a Sat. morning listening to the neighborhood roosters crowing. I have been listening to my son's watch beep every hour on the hour and after the 4th beep, I know that I've been awake far too long to prolong what I need to get up and do......Share my Story!!!
Last night I know is the mark of a new chapter in my life, but I will first start my story with Chapter 1.

Chapter 1~~~My Life Growing Up
I was born and raised in a very small town called New Sharon, Iowa. I had a very easy life compared to many. I was the youngest in my family with two older brothers, all very close in age. My parents loved me and told me so, probably everyday. I had a very happy, healthy home.
I come from a very rich christian heritage that goes back many generations. I was prayed for before I was ever born. Never missed a Sunday church service, or Wednesday youth night! Summer church camps were instrumental in my spiritual growth as well. I Loved my Church!!! (Still Do)
Growing up, we didn't have much money in my younger years (I had no idea) because God provided EVERYTHING we ever needed and I even, sometimes, got things that I wanted!!! =)
I thought my family was/is fun. My two older brothers, you see, are both comedians, or so they think!!! 0.0 Dinner at the table always ended up with much much laughter! I have very fond memories of the times at our little cabin at Lake Ponderosa with friends and family! And many fun camping trips as well. We called them, vacations, but they sure were a lot of work!!! I will cherish the memories of growing up in the DeBoef household! I'm blessed to be apart of it!

Chapter 2
~~~College Days
I'm not sure if the Lord had me go to North Central University, formerly know as North Central Bible College, or if bible quiz and fine arts scholarships encouraged me to attend. I think I decided that's where I was going to go when I was 14. Influenced by a music group that came to our church "One Accord". I love music. I was a trumpet player and singer and I thought that somehow, someday, I'd be famous or something, I didn't know that I really wasn't THAT good until I started college and was surrounded by so many extraordinary musicians! That kind of put a damper on my dreams of being famous. God gently brought me down and I sincerely felt like I was to do something else that was also a passion of mine. Hair. As I talked to the "end of the year" guidance counselor, I decided to be brave and tell him about my next plan of action. So with my head down, I mumbled my plans. He asked why I would be ashamed to be apart of such an incredible field of ministry and I had never really looked at it like that before. So within the next few days, I found myself enrolled in cosmetology school. I LOVED every second of it! And I still do!!! There's something about a salon chair that makes people open up their hearts and become vulnerable. That's the place that I can step in and not be "Just a Hairdresser". I believe that God has used me these past 12 years for just that! I will continue to minister to women through hair!!! Sounds funny!! So Wayne finished NCU and I finished school at about the same time, which then brings me to the next chapter!!

Chapter 3
~~~My Soulmate
Sometimes I forget how amazing my husband is a great time to reflect!!! Wayne Thomas was my brother's roommate at NCBC. That is how we met. He comes from a strong christian home as well. As he is almost 5 yrs older than me, it was not love at first sight or anything, but just a charming friendship! Over the next few yrs. is when it started to develop into something, and I knew that I could Never live without him! I think he thought the same!?! We married in 1997 after dating for 2 years! I was/am the luckiest/most blessed women alive! We moved our life to Orlando, Florida right after the wedding. The Lord had us there and took great care of us with miracles after miracles. I love to reflect on the Lord's hand on our young, inexperienced lives. We were blessed beyond measures with our first son, Landon, in 2000. Wayne, shortly after finding out we were going to have a baby, was asked to start touring as Ron Kenoly's full-time drummer. He didn't tell me about it and he told them that he couldn't. I found out a few days later from a friend that didn't know that I didn't know!!! I felt very strongly that he was to go and play! He did, and what a blessing this job was to our lives. This lasted nearly four years and another child later, our second little angel, Sydney, aka Sipper. Into her 1st year, the Lord was telling us it was time for Wayne to move on! With nothing on the sideline, he continued until he could find something else. In those few LOOONNNNGGGG months, is when we were in disobedience and we knew, as things started falling apart for us for the first time, ie finances, marriage, and just lack of joy altogether! So Wayne quit, and what do you know,?, he was offered a job the same day! And doing something that he, too, had always wanted to do. Run a recording studio!! He did that for the next 1 1/2 years which led us to the job opportunity at NCU. I had been praying that God would move us back closer to my kid's grandma and grandpa. My mommy and daddy!!!! I had missed the midwest. That's when we moved back up to Mn. So Wayne helped NCU get a state of the art recording studio off the ground. Shortly after we moved to Mn, I was expecting baby #3. Another little angel, Harley, born in 2005. I'm very blessed with my 3 perfectly healthy children. I love them SOOOOOO much!!!
So all this time, I have been working in salons and renting spaces for my own business, until, Mn. Wayne and I decided, with the move, and new baby coming that it was time for me to stay home and be a full-time mommy. That sounded perfect. I slowly started doing friends, college students, and neighbor's hair out of my house until, soon, I was busier than my kitchen would allow. Wayne, then, surprised me and built me a beautiful salon in our new house. Complete with the sink and all the salon furniture. I was set. So from then on, I worked professionally out of my home, while still being able to mother my kids MYSELF!!!! It was perfect!!!! We were so blessed!!!
We had a lovely house in a new neighborhood, but the houses were practically on top of each other. Wayne has a phobia with his personal space and he started dreaming of a house with a little bit of land to go with it. I'm going into detail with this, because it was one of the first times that I was sooooo sure that I heard the Lord's voice!!! I had a phone call from someone in the church that I hadn't officially met yet, asking about a hair appt. I met and loved her instantly and she invited me to her bible studies on Tues. mornings. I went. As I was driving to her house, a whole 3 miles away, I felt like I was Alice In Wonderland. Beautiful neighborhood in the woods, but still so close to everything! As I approached her address, I passed a house for sale and made a note to pick up a flier after the bible study. As I did so, I pulled over in front of the house and read the flier and then I saw the price, and decided it was time to stop the dreaming. As I was pulling away, the Lord distinctly said "This is YOUR house". I almost laughed to myself, due to the "double we can afford" price. I said ok Lord, make it happen!!!! I called Wayne, he was in Ca playing drums with BH, and told him that I saw a house I thought he'd be interested in. He said, you'll never believe this, but I was JUST praying that God would change your heart about moving; you see, I was happy where we were and didn't feel like moving again. He had been trying to persuade me, but I imagined living out in the boondocks on a farm away from civilization and wasn't real thrilled with the idea. Because Wayne would love that. I've been there. Done that. And Over it!!! So apparently, God HAD been working in my heart and it was a compromise. Woodsy, which I do like, and land, but still close to everything!!! Still had to figure out the whole $ thing. God did that for us.....It was a process of a year and a few months, but the Lord came through for us. We traded houses with her! How crazy is that? We love the house and hope to finish our lives there! Which leads me to the next chapter.....

Chapter 4
~~~The Calling
Okay. So very shortly after moving into our lovely home and setting up another wonderful salon. I walked in to our church one Sun. morning. The minute I walked through the doors, I felt very funny. "Too much caffeine" I thought.
Dave Pedde, a great friend of ours, was leading worship and Wayne was on the drums. The music began and my tears started flowing, I had no idea even why. It was not called for at the time. (No offense to anyone) But I didn't know what had come over me. I am NOT an emotional person, well maybe a little, but I rarely cry!!! I might be able to conjure up a few tears here and there, but it's not a common occurrence for me! I COULDN'T STOP! It went on throughout the whole worship service and then kept on going. I was embarrassed and Wayne was concerned from the drum set. People started hugging me and I felt really dumb. I couldn't answer why. We had a missionary to Africa doing the service and I continued to cry throughout his whole message. And then I KNEW.........the Lord was calling me/us to go. I felt it soooo strongly that it was undeniable. As the missionary continued, I was so moved, still a basket case, and was also trying to figure out how this would ever work! It just couldn't. We aren't preachers. We're not even speakers. How would we ever raise support and what would we even be qualified to do there? But even with all the excuses I could think of , I KNEW. However, I didn't say anything to Wayne.
That night the missionaries were going to be at the Pastor's house sharing slides and more in-depth details of their mission. Now, I normally don't do hair on Sundays, but on this particular Sunday I had two friends coming. I had to cancel them so that I could go to the Pastor's house.
And wouldn't you know.....the minute I walked up the driveway, here come the tears again. "Oh No....Here we go again." I tried to gain my composure before I entered. I did.......For about a whole of maybe 3 mins. and again the tears came gushing out......I wanted to leave. I was soooo embarrassed!!! What was I crying about???? I cried the whole time and all the way home. Thankfully Wayne was playing somewhere that night and wasn't home!!! I cried all evening and internalized over and over what the Lord was asking me/us to do. What He was asking me/us to give up!!! Late that night, when Wayne got home, I had to tell him. I was too suspicious with my red, puffy eyes, and scratchy throat NOT to tell him. He didn't seem too surprised. The month before he had been playing for BH in Africa and met with some friends of his parents for dinner. Wayne grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, I probably should have told you that before, in case you didn't know. They said that the Lord kept placing Wayne on their hearts for someone to come and facilitate the Watoto "World Tour". Wayne said that he would pray about it. He hadn't mentioned this to ME (his wife) WHY? That was my same question!!!!! He said that he just wanted to pray about this alone without any influences.
"So?" I ask. "What did He tell you?"
"He JUST NOW told me that we're suppose to go!!!!"
Through ME guys. Through ME!!!!! God spoke through ME!!!! Can I be a little excited about that???