March 16, 2016

MATOKE IN PEANUT SAUCE

Tonight we are sitting at Cafe Java's in Entebbe waiting to pick up some very dear friends at the airport. Our friends from Kentucky have sold everything, and have decided to join us on the mission field here in Uganda. We are beyond thrilled to have them with us in Kampala! Please keep Greg and Lorna Stierle in your prayers during this time of transition.

So with a little extra time on my hands, Nana is at home with the children tonight, I thought I would write the first of many (hopefully) recipes that we love!

Matoke in Binyebwa

It is very important for us to understand and appreciate the culture here in Uganda, and a big part of any culture is the food! Here in Uganda, the main dish is usually centered on a sauce or stew of peanuts, beans, or meat. This dish is an easy, healthy, family favorite that is suitable for vegans.

Matoke, also known as green bananas, is the staple food for the Baganda tribe which is the largest tribe here in Uganda.  Binyebwa, is how you say peanuts in Luganda. So this dish is basically green bananas cooked in a peanut paste. It is delicious! Green bananas are grown all over the country, as well as peanuts. So this is truly a cost effective meal for a group of people.

Matoke is mostly eaten mashed up and cooked in a banana leaf. But Charlton and I prefer simply peeling the banana and boiling it in the peanut sauce whole.

Ingredients

- About 3 or 4 bananas per adult
- Peanut paste about 1 kg
- Water
- Onion
- Tomato

Or any type of vegetable that you would prefer. If you really want to get fancy, add some fish!

Directions

Prep Time: Around 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1. 5 hours

1. Peel your green bananas
2. Cut up any other desired vegetables
3. Add peanut paste to pot, and slowly add water until you reach your desired consistency
4. Keep stirring until paste has dissolved and sauce has come to a boil
5. Add vegetables
6. After sauce is cooking for about 30 minutes add cooking bananas and let sit on low for about an hour. If you would like, you can cook the sauce and matoke until you see oil forming on top.


 


March 10, 2016

MY DAYS ARE FULL, MY HANDS ARE FULL, AND MY HEART IS FULL!

My heart is full!

Packing, cleaning, and organizing are all expected tasked when you are moving, or shifting as they call it here in Uganda. Now, throw eight children and three dogs in the mix and you are ready for a load of fun!

We want to give our family and friends a small glimpse into the past week. This is not written with a complaining spirit, we just want to share our experiences and praise God through it all. Here is a short recap of the past week. Let’s see, our family has experienced malaria, giardia, projectile vomit all over the dinner table, diarrhea, pus wounds, character training, sleepless nights, furniture delays, immense trash pick up, plumbing problems, and to top it all off a drunk neighbor was wandering around our house at around 6am yesterday. Then I was yelled at by him, and threatened to be thrown in jail. Just another day at the pony rides folks! Long story short, yesterday when we were trying to figure out how someone got in to our back yard (our son ran into our room and told us that a strange man was by the back door) we discovered an open window into our yard behind one of our guest buildings. This window leads to a small rented room of a young man not older then 25 years old, who, the day before came to our house asking for school fees, after we saw him drinking vodka on the street.

Well, I poked my head up to look through the window we found, and to my surprise their was indeed a bedroom. The young man was there, and appeared surprised as well. I apologized for startling him, and then asked him why he was in our yard so early in the morning. He told me that I was mistaken and we had a friendly short exchange and I left. We decided we wanted to deal with this issue quietly, and peaceably. But that young man had another idea. He came over to our house a few hours later, after he saw Charlton leave, (he was over at little bar next to our house with his landlord, Charlton and the man made eye contact) and tried to accuse me of some terrible things! Later that afternoon when Charlton returned, he and had a long conversation with this man's landlord, because the landlord wanted to ask us why we were harassing his tenant. As a side note, the landlord was also clearly drunk. Through it all, we think that we have come up with the most peaceable solution possible, so praise the Lord for that.

Don’t let that story put you off about where we are living. We truly do have some really sweet neighbors that we have met, and our area is is ripe for ministry. We actually discovered that one of our Sudanese neighbors does house church! I have also met some sweet women, one of which owns a tiny shop next to our compound.

The children seem to be adjusting well, and are enjoying their new home. Here are some fun things that I am learning about my new children:
  • They love the freezer! Making ice is the coolest thing ever! 
  • We go through soap and toothpaste like crazy. I have never seen children with such joy over receiving a toothbrush and toothpaste. And they each brush for about ten minutes twice a day…. I guess we will see how long that lasts. :)
  • Carol (the oldest girl) loves to cook and bake. We made cookies for her very first time the other day for the neighbors. She is my very special helper, especially in the kitchen.
  • They take care of each other, and help each other out. It is really sweet to see.
  • Our new baby Katie literally purrs when she cries.
  • Our five year old boy does not speak English or Luganda so we have been able to use our Swahili with him. The little we know at least. 
This is real life folks! The good, the bad and the ugly--but Christ continues to shine strong through it all. Thank you for your continued prayers. Much love from this crazy bunch.


Sweet little Katie.
Boaz and Lokke drinking out of their water bottles. These water bottles were a hit!


Our three year old Cindy

Okay guys, Missy needed some attention too!

My two babies! Twins, I can hardly tell them apart.

Longoli and his ever present ice water.

These boys love to eat. On the menu tonight was rice pilau and eggplant sauce.

Sisters

Because of Jesus,

Natasha

March 01, 2016

ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

Sitting in the passenger seat, I glance in the side view mirror and see two new beautiful dark eyes looking into mine. Then that smile. You know the one! The melt your heart into a pile of mush because of the pure sweet innocents and joy radiating through smile-- yes, that one. Wow.  Oh, everything in the world just seems right.

~~~ This past Friday we opened our hearts and home to a sibling group of five here in Uganda. An eleven year old girl named Carol, a seven year old boy named Longoli, a five year old boy named Loka, a three year old girl named Cindy, and a one year old girl named Katie, pronounced Catty. We are fostering these children, with the hopes of adopting in about three years. Due to the high cost of international adoption, we feel it best to foster at this time, and then once we have been in the country long enough, take care of legal matters on a local level. Lord willing we will be staying here long term, so this just seems to make the most sense. We did not set out to take on five more children, but it seemed that the Lord had other plans. :) We decided years ago to say yes to God, and walk faithfully in His ways. These children needed a family, and a good home. In fact, my two boys were at high risk of becoming street boys. Something needed to be done. We will not be going into detail publicly on our children's background and story. It is theirs to tell, if they choose, someday. ~~~

Then we come to tonight. I'm sitting in my new home in Kampala all alone at midnight, in the only piece of furniture in my living room. A rocking chair. A rocking chair my sweet sister in Christ bought for me on when she was visiting a few months ago. Charlton is making the last run to our old house in another part of town, and all EIGHT of our children are asleep upstairs. I'm tired, and quite frankly a little emotionally exhausted from the past few days. I finally got all the children to bed, a little past 9:30. But my new boys who are five years old and seven have been getting up every night to use the bathroom and of course talk... loudly. The last few days my new three year old has been crying off and on through the night, and then everyone is awake by 6:00am, so sleep is a thing of the past! Tonight my five year old fell out of his new bed (he is not used to sleeping in a bed) and then decided that he wanted to get up and go and play downstairs. Ha, I squashed that notion really fast! I love all my little people, and the joy that I feel is so strong and powerful. But my flesh has been tested. Satan has come along and tried to steal my joy by planting different ambushes here and there. He is really good at making me feel not good enough, going from such a high to such a low. Lies. Yet, I tend to fall into that trap. I'm vulnerable, but God is bigger then me. It's not about me. It's about Jesus and what He did, and continues to do by ushering in His Kingdom and giving us the Holy Spirit. Live changing. So everything that our family does is in the name of Jesus. Not us-- Him.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. -Romans 8:14-17

God's cost in adopting us as His children, and joint heirs with Christ, is truly amazing! Seriously. Just sit down and really read chapter 8 of Romans. God endured infinitely more then anything we will face while raising and adopting children. We hope and pray that this decision will honor God and model His beautiful plan of adoption on earth as it is in heaven. We choose today to live by faith, and walk in love.

On that note, Charlton is now home and we are headed off to bed. Pictures will have to wait until another day. Until then...

Because of Jesus,

Natasha