Monday, February 13, 2012

I have been home for 2 weeks now. Lots of great times with friends and family. I am blessed to have these awesome people in my life. I have missed out on a lot of memories and milestones in their lives while I've been away. But my heart still longs to be in Uganda. I miss the kids and facebook chat is just not cutting it. I have also spent some money on phone cards and it would be easy to use them in one day. I receive SMSs from friends over there and they don't understand that I have to pay to send and receive. (They only pay to send.) So my mouth will probably drop when my brother tells me what my cell phone bill is next month, but I am glad that they remember me. The other day I called my brothers in Ntinda and I heard a lot of noise in the background. I asked where they were and they said that they were at home. I quickly perked up and was like, "Are my kids outside playing?!" James yelled out, "Mzungu Jo says hello." It was great to hear them yelling "Mzungu, mzungu!!" once again. They melt my heart.

So of course people keep asking me what I am doing here. Well, here's the story. I have narrowed it down to three options. #3 Find a job here.  #2 Find a job in Uganda  #3 A millionaire (or several people with a heart and a desire to give) step forward willing to support me for the long term so that I can do what I am passionate about in Uganda. So yea, that's where I am.

Please keep me in your prayers as I go through this transitional period.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

So it's about time that I update you all here. I am back in good old Lancaster County. And no it's not because Ugandans are all money hungry jerks. Yes, the last straw for me may have been that there was ONE Ugandan who was a money hungry jerk. He is one of my brothers that I lived with and I believe that he misused some money and needed money fast to cover up his mistake. He said some REALLY horrible things about my family and friends who spent their life savings to come and visit me and has yet to apologize to this day.  He also demanded that they pay him $350 and locked my bedroom door and kicked me out of the house.  His friends watched in shock and my fan club was already at the guesthouse down the road. God works in mysterious ways that always work for the good.  I am understanding that we make mistakes sometimes because we act quickly or say things out of anger. My hope and prayer is that this young man grows the balls to apologize to me, his sister. Not so much for my own personal well being, but for his own. My last week in the house he refused to speak at me and only occasionally waved as we passed on the road.
So my last week was a whirlwind of emotions and goodbyes.  I can stand and say that I was not emotionally stable before this episode, so after it I was a hot mess. I have never cried so often in my life. Every time I told the story that I was leaving to my Ugandan brothers and friends, I lost it. I am thankful for James who was always there to listen and was willing to give up his life the last week to travel everywhere with me so that I did not have to be alone. For Charles and Ben who stood by my side and I think that their hearts broke for me. For Collins, a family friend, who after I made my decision to leave and was crying hysterically in the house, when I ran outside...he followed. For my REAL brothers and Abby and Kelly who spent their last 24 hours in Uganda comforting me and helping me get things packed. For my friend Abbey who offered that I move into his place...not that this was helpful since I already made the decision to go home and was trying to be firm. But I am thankful!! And God already showed his perfect plan in the entebbe (Uganda) airport. A girl came up to me and asked if we could talk.She was in Uganda for a week (supposed to stay for 4 months to study) but her malaria drugs interfered and dug up some anxiety issues that she battled in the past.  She was completely unstable and nervous about flying home alone. We quickly discovered that we were on the same flight and our layovers in Qatar were both 8 hours. So I will hang out here in Lancaster until God calls me back. More to come as I reflect on my 8 months in Uganda to come...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011- Father's Divine Love Ministries Jinja, Uganda

Happy New Year!!! a few short hours

So I am getting ready to say good bye to 2011 and HELLO 2012!! I am not sure of my wild and crazy plans this evening and there is no electricity at home so....   But 2011 was full of many great adventures, opportunities, and firsts for and I am sure 2012 will bring the same. For one, 2012 will be the first year with no pork and saurkraut and mashed potatoes. :(  Though no fear of bad luck... I am going to make the best substitute. Pork with cabbage that has sweet and sour sauce and irish, maybe will even mash them.
In 11 days now (but who's counting) my brothers and friends, Kelly and Abby will be arriving in Uganda!!! I am so excited to experience Uganda with them. We have lots of plans of traveling all over the country, enjoying fellowship time, playing with some awesome kids, and living the African life. I will be sure to post some stories here so that you can all know what you are missing out on. I am so thankful that I have such awesome family and friends who are willing to spend their life savings to come visit me. I owe them BIG time!! Thank you Dustin, Michael, Kelly, and Abby!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's Christmas time in Africa!!

This holiday season has been well.....weird! I miss all the Christmas hoopla and traditions back home with family and friends. I miss the Christmas tree, the baking, gingerbread houses with the McGaw's (Shoutout!), the shopping, the cold weather, the party's, the extra functions at work that is great money, and the Christmas music and lights everywhere all of the time. But at the exact same time I really am enjoying the sunshine (I have a nice burn and peeling skin), and the easy-easy life (okay I did breakdown and I must admit thus far I colored 2 sesame street christmas pics and I made a red and green paper chain for the sitting room at home).  I can probably count on my 2 hands the number of Christmas songs that I have heard thus far. This morning at church the children did their Christmas production and it was WONDERFUL. I am really looking forward to the Christmas Cantata next week. But most of all I am enjoying the true simplicity of Christmas this year. I sometimes forget that Christmas is right around the corner...2 weeks to be exact!!! I don't have my Christmas plans set in stone yet, but I know this holiday will be one that I will never forget!! (And maybe my parents will even allow my stocking to hang until I get home...) Love you and miss you all!! And I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas season!! There is still time for you to give your hard earned money to an orphan as well! Please do so!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coffee House THIS SATURDAY!!

Coffee House to benefit Uganda Orphanage
THIS Saturday, December 3rd 6-9:30pm

Pequea BIC Church - 40 Church Rd. Lancaster (right off Penn Grant Rd)

Come out enjoy some local musicians, sip a hot cup of coffee, indulge in delicious baked items, and enjoy each others company! It's bound to be a great time!! And it's for an awesome cause. So I want you all to clear your calendars and BE THERE!! I don't want to hear any excuses.

All proceeds go directly to Father's Divine Love Ministries here in Uganda. The money will be used to pay for food, medical, and school tuition fees. The very basic needs of these children MUST be met! Help us, help them!

If you are unable to come out (for some stupid reason), but would be willing to bake something, you can call my brother Dustin at 519-7999. Thanks!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You can educate and feed a Ugandan Orphan from the comfort of your home!!

Dear friends and family,
Oli otya! I send you greetings from Uganda. It's hard to beleive that I have been here for 5.5 months already.  I can guarentee you that I am a changed person because of this experience. I am now not surprised to see people in public urinating or picking their nose.  I expect to be charged the "mzungu price", I expect to see people throwing their trash wherever they please, and for every boda man to ask me, "we go?". Haha! On a more serious note, I expect to see people give all that they have, for complete strangers to invite me into their home for tea and to socialize (though we speak a different language), for children to over thank me for buying them bread or fruit, and for people I meet in taxis to start up a conversation as we are stuck in the jam and to be genuinely thankful for what little I am doing.
I am so grateful for each and every one of you who has blessed me in so many ways. Without all of your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes- I know without a doubt that I would have given up  months ago.
As you are all aware the holiday season is quickly approaching. As the popular song asks, "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?", the answer is YES. Many (actually every) ngo that I have been working alongside are feeling the pain in their finances as the world economy is hurting. Children's homes are unable to feed their children- kids are going to school hungry (that's if they are lucky enough that someone was willing to pay their school fees). They are so in debt to food suppliers, medical caregivers, and schools, that eventually the tabs are going to be put to an abrupt halt and innocent children are going to suffer.
But YOU (yes you) can make a difference. It costs approximately $1.50 to feed a children three, hot, basic meals per day. I know that the vast majority of you have $1.50 in your pocket at the end of every day. Ugandans will hustle all day to get that money and then turn around and give it to a friend in the hospital or give it away to a person needing transport.
I have lived my whole life valuing saving money- to see how large I could get my savings account. I even have money in stocks, cd's, etc. Then there are people in Uganda MY AGE who can not find a job and so they hustle EVERYDAY and when they come home with $2 they buy dinner for everyone in their house. If they have been blessed with $8 that day, and they so happen to get a phone call from an orphanage who can't feed their kids dinner that night, they give $8. And when that orphanage calls me I ask 150 questions, who, what, where, and how. I have seen it all. And every time I think WOW!
The world has so much to learn from Ugandans. The people here have a desire to take care of one another to the point that it hurts. I am not asking you to necessarily give until it hurts (because I am not able to give that way. But, hey, wouldn't it be cool if we did sometimes.) I just ask that you give from the overflow.
All contributions will be given to orphanages to pay off debt that they have accumulated to make sure that their children's basic needs have been being met. I know most of your Christmas trees will be crowded with things that you don't really need. Why not consider giving the gift of education or a few hot meals to a child whose parents are deceased and others whose parents chose to not want their children. If we all give a little, we can change the future of Uganda by impacting her future leaders today.
All contributions can be made payable to me "Jolene Goss" and mailed to 8 Campside Circle Conestoga, Pa 17516. Or see that either of my parents or brothers receive the contributions. Thank you once again!!