Friday, December 21, 2012

New House Pictures, Woohoo

Greetings from our new home in Kotido!

We moved in about 3 weeks ago and we've really been enjoying it. It may be a little late for a Thanksgiving blog but it truly has been a month of blessings and we're very thankful. The first being the house followed by a motorbike and a new car! (That should be read like the announcer from "The Price Is Right"). To top it all off, in the last six months we've been given enough money to pay for all of those things, Praise God. Obviously we don't want to glorify our material possessions but we do want to glorify our Father in heaven who has abundantly provided for us. So without further ado, here are some pictures.

 Our Bedroom

 Our Kitchen/Sitting Room

Our Entire House (you can even see our latrine on the left of the Bedroom behind that kid standing there)

 Sitting Room looking into the Kitchen

 Inside the Kitchen

Also inside the Kitchen

 The Workshop on the front of the property we live on

This is our kitchen table on the evening of our Christmas dinner, hence the candles
(I know it's not technically Christmas yet, but this was the only time Kerri and I could celebrate with just us, next week we're celebrating with the Williams)

Kerri washing laundry as I type this blog.

Our new ride. It's a 1978 Landcruiser bj40 with only 60,000 km for those who care. For those who don't, just know it's a very strong vehicle that can stand up to our ridiculous roads. There's even a winch.

So that's all for now, we love you all, and miss you very much.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Snakes, Succoth, and Swimming Pools

The last few months have been elelabun! We have been very busy babysitting, story-telling, hiking, meeting new friends, killing spiders and snakes, and celebrating. Our days have been full.

In the middle of September, my sister Kristi and her husband Kenneth took a long-awaited anniversary trip to Zanzibar while Andrew, myself, and our two short-term girls watched all seven of their children. Let me tell you, it was a long week! J But we survived and more importantly all the kids survived and we finished up the week by meeting Kristi and Kenneth at a friend’s house in Soroti for swimming (in a real pool!) and fellowship. Thank you to the Dwires for your hospitality!

While Kristi and Kenneth were gone, Andrew had the chance to share some Bible stories in the village. We continue to be encouraged by the way God is opening people’s ears to His Word and what it means to follow Him. We look forward to the doors God will open in more villages this dry season as we have easier access to new places.

The beginning of the dry season is bringing lots of snakes and spiders out of the woodwork. We have already killed 5 snakes in the last month (I killed my first just a few nights ago!) and at least one more got away. I also killed my first camel spider the other night. Suffice it to say, I’m ready to move to Kotido where it’s dry and hot and not snake paradise!

We just finished celebrating the week-long festival of Succoth (check out Leviticus 23:33-43 for more info). It was a great week of celebrating God’s provision and all that He’s done for us. We had a good time feasting, worshipping, and fellowshipping together and we enjoyed having a couple visitors from Jinja join us at the end.

Now we are turning our attention back to finishing our huts, which will hopefully be completed by the end of this month. To sign off, here are some pictures of the progress:

This will be our cooking/sitting hut.

Here's our future bedroom.

This is the property we'll be living on.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gouda Times

There is nothing like being woken up at 4am by the crack of a gunshot nearby your hut to remind you that you're living in Karamoja. Fortunately, it was just some soldiers scaring off a hyena or two. No big deal. :)

Life is fairly uneventful right now, other than the tremendous amount of rain we've been getting. Today it felt as if a hurricane passed by the house. Rain was even coming in through the cracks in the windows. Last week we tried to drive into Kotido only to be stopped short by a very swollen river. We had to turn around and attempt the trip the next day. After several days of rain and no way to get to Kotido, we were living off of just beans and rice and maize porridge. Thankfully, that's what we eat every day, so we had plenty on hand! I must say, with the roads the way they are around here, I am very thankful God made four-wheel drive.

Two weeks ago we enjoyed having a mission team visit from Louisiana. They worked all week building a literacy center on Kristi and Kenneth's property for training villagers to read the Bible. Andrew and I even got to try our hand at laying some brick. I have to admit the little bit that I helped with was pretty fun! I think Andrew was inspired by the experience as well because he's now planning to build our very own huts in Kotido. We've found a friend of Kenneth's in Kotido who is willing to let us build our huts on his property. He already has a tap for water on his property and a security fence (and enough room for chickens and a garden!), so it saves us a lot of hassle. We've crunched the numbers and we should be able to build two nice stone huts (one for sleeping and one for cooking) for less than the total cost of renting a place in town for the next 2-3 years. Now all we have to do is learn how to build! Should be easy enough, right? :)

We took the team down to Kampala to catch their flight back to the states and on the way back, we stayed the night at a Dutch man's dairy farm. He served us fresh milk and Gouda with breakfast and it was soooo nice! I found out from him that I can get everything I need for cheese making in Kampala. What an exciting discovery! Now I just need to figure out how to build a root cellar for aging my cheese. Anyone want to send me some good plans?

In other news, Mary had her little lamb in under 10 minutes. I'm pretty sure that's some kind of record in the lambing world. Her name is Clara Bell and she is very cute. 

Also this past week I've enjoyed discovering gluten-free grains growing in our yard. Apparently, amaranth grows wild here. Exciting! We also tasted my first attempt at home-made kombucha and I'd call it a success except for Kristi's allergic reaction to it. Needless to say, I now have to figure out how to drink a half gallon of it all by myself before the next batch is ready. 

All in all, it's been a fun few weeks. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012


We made it to beautiful Kacheri exactly two weeks ago. We've been enjoying lots of rain and cool weather, as well as the beautiful view from the hill next to Kenneth and Kristi's house.

 Kenneth and Kristi's compound/ burgeoning farm where we are staying 
until we find a place to rent in Kotido.

Our lovely hut/home for the next couple weeks.

The temperature is so cool inside our hut that we are thinking about
eventually building our own in Kotido. 


Meet Mary, one of our newest farm members. She's about to give birth and we're all 
very excited to have a new baby sheep around!

All in all, we've been enjoying our time in Kacheri. We're still on the hunt for a place to live in Kotido, but we will hopefully be moving there in the next couple weeks.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today is the day. We are about to board our flight beginning our 27 hour journey to Uganda. It's been a whirlwind of a month and we're kind of speechless. Thank you soooo much to all our family and friends for being there for us and we will dearly miss seeing you all in person. We'll be in Kampala for a couple of days before finishing our journey to Kotido via a 14 hour landcruiser ride, Lord willing. Our hearts and prayers will remain with our Colorado friends. We are praying for your safety as the fires continue. Alright, gotta board.


Monday, June 18, 2012


A few months ago Kerri and I started praying that God would raise up a network of people around us to support us as we live in Uganda. People to be the body of Christ around us, to pray for us daily as we pray for them, to come alongside us and what God is doing in Karamoja, to be our brothers and sisters, to keep us accountable, to encourage us as we hopefully encourage them, to e-mail us, to call us, to comment on our blog, to just be there. We don't desire to be an emotional sink-hole, but to have relationships that are edifying and life-giving for all involved.

Like I said, that was a few months ago and as I sit here in Canon City, CO drinking coffee from a great little drive-thru coffee stand called Jump Start Java, I am struck with the Father's faithfulness. We've had more than a month of just straight encouragement. The way God has used his body to come around us has been breath-taking.

First there's our Tuesday night bible study/dinner/field-trip/prayer/just amazing friends group. You're amazing and we've missed you all sooo much already. You are all very dear to our hearts.

The Father gave me an amazing boss at Starbucks along with some great co-workers and customers. Now they're all praying for us. You guys were a blast to work with and a daily encouragement for almost a year. I can't wait to see how God uses these relationships down the road (and we're praying for those future little Fletchers to know their heavenly Father's love even before they meet their new earthly father).

Then there's our house church. How can I express what an encouragement you have been. You are spectacular people. Sundays have not been the same without you. I truly look forward to seeing you all next week, except of course we'll miss Jack who will be up camping somewhere in the wilderness.

We were encouraged by not just our own house church but the whole Emmaus Road Network. What a truly great network of people you are. We tell everyone just how encouraged we've been by you. Shout out to the Superior house church as well. And the Hougens - we love you guys.

Staying on the house church theme: we spent an encouraging weekend with (next was) the RiverChurches network, a place part of me still considers home with my other brother and sister Jack and Jaelyn :). Thank you for being invested in us and we'll see some of you in the next couple of days.

There's also Advance Him, which is our mission sending organization. We look forward to being on the team and we are thankful for the support you've already given us.

We were very encouraged as well by Lake Tanglewood Community Church and their pastor Roger Hubbard, who have all supported us non-stop over the years.

Also in Texas we ran into my good friend Tanner Lemons who was super encouraging. We're glad to have him and my old friends Curtis and Colton praying for us. You guys are great, and hopefully next time we can meet up.

We were able to hang out with my old gang of friends from Texas and reconnect before we head out. Thanks Kevi-P, Brett, John, and Nels for a good time.

Then there has been all of my and Kerri's family. We're amazingly blessed with two great families who are nothing but supportive. All of you are a blessing and we love you.

In Louisiana, we met an awesome woman named Ms. Cynthia, who was super encouraging. She talked with Kerri for several hours about Karamoja and was excited to get her church praying for us. Thanks Ms. Cynthia!

All of Kerri's old and my newer friends in Canon City have been so interested in what's going on with us, which is a great blessing. We even ran into an old family friend of the Hunters at a grocery store in Pueblo. Nan was very encouraging and took a handful of prayer cards. Praise God for perfect timing.

Kind of last minute here in Canon City we ended up speaking at the Evangelical Free Church. The missions board was great and we really enjoyed the congregation. Thank you very much for your warm welcome.

Judi at Stamp of Excellence in Canon was super sweet and the stamps she did for us are great. She even said she'd be praying for us.

I probably forgot some people, but we have been truly blessed by ALL of you. I look forward to Karamoja even more now knowing we have such great people back here praying for us. Thank you all so much. Of course, thank you to the Father for knitting your bride together so beautifully and blessing us beyond anything we could imagine.


Monday, May 7, 2012

So Little Time

It's been over a year since we last left Uganda, five months since we decided to move back there, and less than two months are left before we leave. So little time. So little time that we've spent here in Boulder. So little time left. I remember thinking when we first moved back to the states that the idea of spending a whole year in Boulder seemed like an eternity. I didn't realize, however, how quickly one year could pass by here and still feel shorter than one month in Karamoja. I attribute this phenomenon to the fact that Karamoja and the West exist in two entirely different dimensions. Skeptical, are you? Well, I'm no Stephen Hawking but I do think there might be a wormhole located somewhere between Europe and Entebbe. But unless you want to come visit, you'll just have to take my word for it. You literally step from one world into another when you travel between the two. This explains why time doesn't move the same in Karamoja as it does here.

Here time flees. It flees our grasp, always evading and eluding us. We invent silly contraptions to help us save time, as if we can store it away for a rainy day. But time is antsy and refuses to keep still for us here. It flits about from one activity to the next, never idle, never at rest, never able to quite sit still. We can never catch enough of it. Somehow it always gets away from us.

But in Karamoja time crawls. It creeps slowly onward, pausing often in the shade of a tree to rest, never hurrying for anyone or anything. It doesn't know deadlines or emergencies or vocabulary words like "urgent" or "now". Forget your plans, your schedules, and your expectations. Karamoja Time will foil the lot of them. In Karamoja, it does not matter if you are white or black, male or female, young or old. Times moves for no one. No, like an old grey-bearded elder, time moves as it wills, slowly but determinedly, wisely pausing for meaningful occasions. The exchange of greetings with each person you meet on the way to the market, the interruption of a friend stopping in for a visit, the invitation to join a neighbor for tea. In Karamoja, time may not move for you, but it will always stop for you.

Here in Boulder time is fleeing before us, not caring to stop, pause, or slow even a little. We now have only three weeks until we leave on our tour of neighboring states to say goodbye to loved ones. This past year has been short but sweet, full of growth and rest, peace and friends. We have dearly loved being neighbors to our good friends the Wades, and we have found a true family among our house church and couples group - a first for us in Boulder. I am thankful, very thankful for this short year and I look forward to the long years ahead of us in Karamoja.

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