Ending 2020 and New Beginnings

It has been almost 1 month since we have arrived back home to Charlotte, NC and 5 weeks since we flew out of Uganda. After leaving Uganda we stopped over in South Africa to visit some friends, ministry partners, and our church there. Our time in SA was spectacular! We were reminded of what a beautiful place it is and that we have some pretty amazing friends there. We believe that it was highly beneficial to have this in-between time before jumping back into American holidays and life.

Christmas in America…In the few weeks since we have been back home, we have spent a lot of time with family, busy with Christmas preparations, holiday fun activities, and eating all of the yummy foods. We realized that we really missed a lot of the American traditions during the Christmas season.

Needing some rest…As much as we have enjoyed the month of December we are now starting to feel just how tired we are. Still processing the past few years, exhaling from all of the stresses over the past 18 months in Uganda, getting over moving across the world again (selling everything, packing into 10 boxes, preparing everyone, flights and plans, COVID issues, etc), and trying to figure out what is next for our family are just some of the things that have drained our energy. Thankfully we have a good place to land here with with my parents and we can take this month to rest and recover.

Whats Next…Our initial plan was to meet with all of our partners and supporters in January. We really want to take sometime to say a special thank you to each person that has supported us financially, prayed for us, visited us, and helped us in so many ways over these past few years. We also want to share stories of how we have seen the Lord at work! With all of the COVID junk we are not sure if we will be able to see everyone during this month. It might not be safe for you or our family therefore we will take our time in meeting with everyone. Our future plans aren’t exactly clear yet but we do have a few ideas. We promise to share with each of you what they are as it unfolds.

How can you help…In the next month we will let each of you know a few ways you can help our family get back on our feet here in America. We will be needing a house, a car for Mac (can you believe that he is 16 already!), furniture and household items so if you have any of these things lying around or would like to give us a lead on how to get them please let us know. There are also a couple other ways you can help us through networking that will help provide an immediate income for our family and with building my life coaching business over the next year. We can’t wait to share some of these details as they unfold this month. Stay tuned!

How you can Pray with us

  • Rest for our family
  • Healthy rhythms in life
  • Provisions of all sorts
  • Direction and wisdom for what is next
  • House – Where? Buy or Rent? When?
  • That we are people filled with HOPE daily

Ugandan Lockdown & Our Children’s Thoughts

It has been a few weeks since our last update but not much has changed. As for Uganda, there are 489 cases and 79 of these have recovered fully. Most of our cases, around 400 are truck drivers from neighboring countries that are sent back to their home country when tested at the boarder. Thankfully we have NO official deaths from COVID-19 yet!!! 

The biggest problem currently is the lack of income and food for most local families. We meet people everyday on the street, strangers stopping by our house, or through our church that have not eaten in days. Our biggest impact currently is by providing basic necessities like food and soap to families. It’s life or death for some during his time. This season of life makes us really think twice about our true wants and needs. 

Our family is holding on here in Jinja during this time of lockdown. It really isn’t that bad but we definitely have days when we are ready to throw our hands up and wave that white flag.  We just finished week 10 of this lockdown which means it has been 10 weeks since we have driven cars, road on motorcycles, been to restaurants, had normal busy schedules, gone to church, held gym classes, and seen more than a handful of people in a day. We are over this! We are likely to have some changes come this week which makes us happy!

As for the Rousehouse kids, we wanted you to hear from them. 


We are still in great need of your financial support. We are dependent on generous people like you back home in America to partner with our family. Your generosity helps us in providing food for families, serving the Sole Hope staff during this time, and partnering in many ways with Jinja Town Church who is having the greatest impact on hundreds of families a week that are in need. 

This time is not what we had dreamed and hoped it would be, but we still believe that God brought us here and is using us and this situation for His good and kingdom. He is not done with us in Uganda!!!

We need you to stand with us and say a prayer for us during this time! Here are a few items:

  • Praise the Lord, Spanky’s ankle is almost healed up!!!
  • Safety, peace, and general calmness here in Uganda
  • The Lord’s working in our hearts and lives during this time
  • No missed opportunities during this season – His vision and purpose
  • The Lord’s quick and perfect victory over COVID-19
  • Uganda’s and the World’s Economy
  • Our families mental, emotional and spiritual healthiness during this time


The best way to be sure you don’t miss an update during this crazy time would be to follow our blog or one of our social media outlets.





https://www.instagram.com/causing_wonder/ – Mac’s Instagram

Week 2 of Rona Lockdown


The best way to be sure you don’t miss an update during this crazy time would be to follow our blog or one of our social media outlets.





https://www.instagram.com/causing_wonder/ – Mac’s Instagram

*Please go and follow Sole Hope to see the Hope of Jesus in action and the impact local Ugandans are having on communities and in people’s lives!

https://www.instagram.com/solehope/ – Sole Hope

Making the Most of Life

IMG_7034Last weekend we spent time with some new friends Richard and Sue. They have this amazing bungaló out on the Nile River away from town that is picturesque. They invited us for dinner after a long and draining week and we left that night feeling refreshed. Richard and Sue have lived as missionaries in Africa for nearly 30 years with there 3 children and don’t seem to regret a moment of it. They are full of joy, hope and wisdom and love to share it with those of us that are just newbies to this life. They share stories of how God has provided radically, 1000’s of pastors they have equipped, communities they have impacted greatly, and dreams of what God still has for them to be a part of. Their faith is big and it’s contagious to say the least. After an evening with this “hero” like couple, Lara and I begin to think, maybe we aren’t crazy. Just maybe, we are exactly where the Lord wants us today. Hopefully, one day we will sit with a young couple and tell them of all of the miracles, lives changed, and goodness we have seen the Lord do. We might be crazy (somedays a little, other days a whole lot) but we are going to keep faithfully stepping where He leads, loving others, and pointing people to the Father.

We have been visiting and following up with the top 10 schools with the worse cases of jiggers in 2019. So far, we are seeing a huge drop in the numbers of jiggers compared to last year! #Hope


All three kids had to be treated for Bilharzia this month. It’s one of those weird tropical parasites that you get from swimming in water from the Nile River or Lake Victoria. It makes you feel yuck, tired, and dizzy. Thank the Lord we are all still malaria free and that everyone is doing good now!



We checked the PO Box and BOOM it was Christmas in February! We love getting Christmas cards to pin up in our kitchen and enjoy all year long.


Nana and Pawpaw came to visit! Everyone loved spending time with them and for the opportunity to share our life in Uganda with them. We also love the treasures they brought along to share!


We found a real, legit Mexican restaurant in Kampala! Love at first bite!


Hot, dry season has arrived in Uganda but no worries, we found a pool!


Hanging out with friends is what our weekends are all about.



Mac started his first job. He is a coffee barista at the local coffee shop on Sunday afternoons. He has surpassed dad in his coffee making skills!




Ugandan fast food = roasted banana = yummy!



Bible study is going really well. It is fully Ugandan lead now! We are praying about how to start two additional groups with other staff through out the week.


The boys with some smiles!


The ladies enjoying life, even when one of them really wished she had some dramamine while on that local fishing boat.



Jinja Sweat is busting at the seems in both classes! We have around 35 people showing up regularly to get healthy and build community while we sweat together!



A picture is worth a thousand words…This picture screams only one emotion…JOY!


Ways to be praying with us this month:

  • Protection…physical, spiritual, and over our relationships
  • Travel plans and the impact of the coronavirus
  • Increased favor with our staff and those in our community
  • Strong community of friends and encouragers in our lives
  • Sole Hope 5K Fundraiser. If you want to run virtually click on the link below SoleHopeDenimDash5KandFunRunandVIRTUAL5K
  • Our new car still needs some work done on it
  • For Jinja Sweat: healthy bodies and community – Needing to raise funds to build a shelter and floor
  • Increased vision and passion for the work God is calling us to here


  • We had a good visit with Nana and Pawpaw
  • We had a new church send us a gift to help pay for our car repairs
  • The Lord is continuing to protected us from Malaria!
  • It seems like Sole Hope is moving in a great direction and is serving villages here in Uganda really well
  • We really sense a community of friends is growing around us!
  • It’s been dry!

How can you partner with us:

  • Pray Pray Pray
  • Have your church partner with us and Sole Hope through hands on events like shoe cutting parties and more. Sole Hope, Get Involved
  • Come visit us! or bring a team to visit and experience Sole Hope and Uganda
  • Share with others. We would love for others to have the opportunity to be a part of this mission and Sole Hope www.rousehouse.org
  • Be generous. We regularly need new monthly financial partners Give Monthly
  • Give a special gift ($20-$2,000) to support the work here in Uganda Special gift


Believe me, YOU WANT TO FOLLOW along on our social media pages! So many fun adventures, stories, and pictures.





https://www.instagram.com/causing_wonder/ – Mac’s Instagram

*Please go and follow Sole Hope to see the Hope of Jesus in action and the impact local Ugandans are having on communities and in people’s lives!

https://www.instagram.com/solehope/ – Sole Hope

6 Days Away!

6 DAYS AWAY! Check out what is happening with our home in Uganda today and ways you can help.
$50, $100, $500, or more! How can you partner with our family today and possibly over the next year?
Here are some immediate needs we have as we leave for Uganda. You can give towards a specific item or generally.
Fridge $1000
Stove/Oven $500
Beds $1000
Furniture and house items $1000
Kitchen items $500
Finishing out security fence $2500
Monthly, regular giving $200 total per month

Message me or Lara or you can click on the link to set up your gift towards the Rousehouse home in Uganda https://rousehouse.org/partnering-with-us-2/

Life in 3 different countries, Quick Update

There are lots of things happening and moving fast but we wanted to send out a quick update on the Rousehouse.
We began to post all of our furniture, cars, and extras just a couple weeks ago. God has been so good in providing someone to come buy almost everything we have. We have given a lot away too but for the most part God has connected us with the right people to sell our stuff. He has done this before (just 2 years ago to be more specific) so why would I doubt he can do it again! Let me tell you just one of the many stories we have during this time of the right people God has sent us. We are basically camping and making the best of it!

Our neighbor, Rob, has been a good guy to live beside. He has been super helpful and generous on multiple occasions. Well, I posted our family’s SUV for sell and he immediately came over to the house and made me a very fair offer. He transferred the money within an hour and told me that we should just drive the car until we leave South Africa. How great is that! He even used the car to take us to the airport and pick us up when we went to Uganda at 3:00 am! I am thankful for people like Rob!IMG_2528
We are planning out the time we will be in the US to make sure we see as many people as we can as well as get some needed rest and down time as a family. We are so looking forward to tacos, church, parties, family, friends, and to be honest Amazon and Target. We arrive on June 26th and leave on August 1st for Uganda. We hope to give updates, share vision for the next season, tell you more about Sole Hope and be encouraged by all of you who love and support us from afar. See you soon!
While we are in the US we will also be renovating a home in Uganda. Yes this is a little stressful and no we have no idea how it is all going to happen. We are trusting the Lord. The house is in rough conditions and currently doesn’t have a working kitchen or security fence around the house. We are working with some great people in Uganda to get a new kitchen built and installed, bathrooms up to fully functioning, the interior painted, electrical work fixed, a ceiling leak repaired, odds and ends done, and a fence installed around the property for security. This house is across the street from the Sole Hope Guest House and offices, centrally located to town, church, and other people we know which is why we really want this house. Location, location, location. It will also provide some good space for our family indoors and outdoors. We will also be needing to raise some extra start up/moving funds to help us pay for some of the work as well as we need to buy a 4×4 car (Yes, 4×4 is necessary to get around not just something Spanky wants to play in the mud with!). Can’t wait to share pictures later!
Will you please be praying for us during this transition:
  • Saying goodbyes/see you laters to all of the wonderful people, church, and city we have loved so much these past two years
  • For our marriage to be stronger than ever
  • The kids (peace, fears, friendships, a sense of settledness and comfort, hopefulness)
  • Travel plans to the US and then to Uganda – and all bags to make it hassle free
  • That our time in America will be refreshing, restful, and fruitful
  • For the renovations to go well and smooth so the house can be ready for our family when we get there in August
  • For extra funds for moving, housing, and vehicles ($10,000)
  • New financial partners to join us in this next season of the journey ($500 a month in new giving)
Will you join our financial support team and help bring hope to those in Uganda? Please email Spanky at spanky.rouse@gmail.com for more ways to get involved.

The next stepping stone…Moving to Uganda!

“God is doing a new thing” has been the theme of our life, prayers, and ministry since the beginning of the year. Well, we are excited to announce that the Lord has very pointedly showed us what the new thing is He is leading us to do. We are moving to Jinja, Uganda in August to work with Sole Hope!

Starting in January the Lord whispered to Lara and me that our time here in South Africa was coming to a close. It was a blessing from the Lord that he has had us at East Mountain for this season. It has been a season of preparation, learning, and growing for our family, as well a season of enjoying new friends, a wonderful church, and fruitful ministry. South Africa was never going to be our final destination and turns out it has been a wonderful stepping stone in our journey of following what the Lord has planned for our family.

In January we began to diligently pray and listen to how the Lord was wanting to lead us next. After our surprise trip to Uganda in January with old friends and ministry partners, our family felt like God was saying that this was the next stepping stone. Over the next 3 months we sought wisdom, spoke with varies ministries and organizations, and began to really dream of how the Lord may want to use the Rousehouse. One organization rose to the top of our hearts passion for caring for those in need while pointing people to Jesus. That organization is Sole Hope!

During February, March and April we spoke with multiple staff and leaders at Sole Hope as well as their board’s chairperson. The first week of May I received a call from them saying they wanted us to join them in Uganda! Last week we went on a vision trip to spend time with the organisation as well as get an idea of what our life would be like living in Jinja. What a trip it was! You can read more and see some of our favorite pictures by clicking here —>Sole Hope visit.


What is next?

Our plans for the next couple months are busy but falling in to place with the Lord’s leading. As of now, we leave South Africa on June 25th to head to the US to visit family, friends, churches, ministry partners, and hopefully enjoy some rest and down time. For tax purposes it is beneficial for me to only be in America for 34 days which is why our transition will be rather quick. Our schedule while we are home will be full but also life giving to be with all of the people that love and support us!

We found a super rate on airfare and purchased tickets to leave the US on August 1 to head to Uganda. We hope to arrive at our new home by bedtime on August 2nd.


The Rousehouse’s role with Sole Hope?

I think it would be super helpful for you to know what Sole Hope does before learning about our involvement therefore it would be great if you would click here –>Sole Hope to read more. There are even videos for those of us that don’t want to read all of the written information.

Now that you know who Sole Hope is, let’s talk about how the Rousehouse will be involved. Our family’s mission statement is to love, serve, and care for people in need so that we can point them to Jesus and our role at Sole Hope allows us to do just that.

Our role has 3 parts:

Work place pastor/shepherd

  • Bible studies
  • Leadership development
  • Caring for the staff holistically
  • Adding a fun element to monthly staff meetings
  • Being present and available to staff

* Sole Hope has 65 staff (62 Uganda/3 American).


  • Help tell stories about the staff, patients, and projects happening in Uganda
  • Regular communication with the US Advocate team
  • Connect partners and funds from the US to projects and gifts in Uganda
  • Connect with Churches and Schools in the US to build a bigger partnership group for Sole Hope


  • Assist with Experience Sole Hope short term trips
  • Host individuals that come to visit Sole Hope
  • Host the Sole Hope Interns weekly for dinner, fun, and conversations


Random opportunities to serve

  • Small projects around the property
  • Volunteer during weekly jigger removal clinics
  • Mentor Interns
  • Staff appreciation (Christmas, Birthdays, etc)
  • Support staff by attending weddings, welcoming babies, helping care for them during sickness and walking with them through whatever life throws at them.


How can you play a role in Partnering with us in this next journey?

  • Partner with the Rousehouse by praying for us
  • Financially giving (regularly or a special gift)
  • Attend an Experience Sole Hope trip to come visit us and Sole Hope
  • Host a jean cutting shoe party
  • Be an Advocate for us and Sole Hope in your area
  • Give to a special project, staff party, or specific need at the Sole Hope Center (clinic)
  • Send goods like socks, safety pins, first aid supplies, sports equipment
  • Pray for our staff regularly, Sole Hope Staff
  • Come be an Intern and use your gifts, experience, and education, Intern with Sole Hope
  • Shop online, Shop online

Please contact us directly if you would like to get involved at any level and please continue to follow along in the journey with the Rousehouse here at rousehouse.org or through one of our media outlets:





https://www.instagram.com/causing_wonder/ – Mac’s Instagram

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 14.33.14




Visiting Jinja Town and Sole Hope

Last week our family boarded a plane in South Africa and headed north to Uganda with a question in our heads and on our hearts, “God, are you leading us to move here and work with Sole Hope?”. We were full of excitement to go to the place that sparked a fire and passion for Africa within us, but the excitement of this trip was accompanied by some anxiousness as we asked ourselves, “Can we do this? Can we live here long term?”



Cape Town, South Africa is completely different than the majority of Africa. Roads are smoother, things are cleaner, water is safer, accessibility to necessities are more available, and life is just a little closer to the what we would call “normal” in comparison to the rest of Africa. All that to say, there is something special about the rest of Africa too. The people are nice and welcoming, foods taste brighter and sweeter, weather is warm and tropical, and cultures are full of life!


When you are looking through the lens of “could we live here?” verse “this is a great short-term trip” things feel different and have a little bit heavier weight attached to them. At the end of day one both Lara and I felt totally overwhelmed and kind of scared to death. I think the the Lord used this sense of fear to help us view this trip rationally and not with an unrealistic excitement.


We spent time with the Sole Hope staff and volunteers, helped with jigger removal clinics in a village and at the Sole Hope Center, toured Jinja Town, attended a local church, checked out local spots to eat and drink coffee, drove through the mud and potholes, hang out with people that we believe will become good friends and had meetings on the Nile River while the sun set. It was a busy but great week for sure! We even found a 4×4 vehicle (definitely a must have!) that we will probably buy and a house that we will hopefully be able renovate, live in and use for ministry. This week was productive, eye opening, helpful, relational, faith building, hopeful and inspiring.

As a family, we are excited for all that the Lord has for us and the ways the Lord is going to work through our lives in this next season! Sole Hope and Jinja, Uganda we are coming for you!


IMG_3643IMG_3283 2IMG_317158055466920__3DA0749F-A1B5-4B80-AEAB-4284E71F85D4IMG_3234C31596D6-8A51-4F54-A030-756F846E1202BEBB63EA-B82F-4F56-82F2-61C8C571C0F0IMG_3717IMG_3667IMG_3639IMG_3683IMG_3622IMG_3638

Those Red Dirt Roads

A journal entry from Spanky on Jan. 20th, 2019 while we were in Uganda with the Fuel Uganda team.


It’s our first day of going out to be a part of ministry since landing in Uganda 2 days ago. It’s Sunday which means it is church day. Everyone is tired from the long travels to get here. The kids (all 3) are with me while Lara stays behind to sort the pharmacy out and get things ready from the first medical clinic tomorrow. IMG_2239

We are riding in a taxi out to the village that is an hour and 15 minutes away down a bumpy, red dirt road. Elly is sitting up front with me and she is asking 1 billion questions. The driver just laughs. I was loving her excitement and she seemed to be loving the moment. The boys jumped in the back of the taxi with a bunch of other people but seem to be ok and comfortable. IMG_1868

I was loving the fact that our kids didn’t seem overwhelmed by “Africa” so far. We live in Africa but this is much different than our home.


Church was looooong and Grey and Elly didn’t seem to be that in to it. Elly asked if she could go out side. I later went out and found her holding a fat baby and laughing with the kids her size. Grey really enjoyed lunch. We had rice, mushy bread, chicken stew, and we got to use our hands. IMG_2014

Later we went for a walk through the village with 2 of our translators who are brother. We were invited into homes (huts), asked to sit down, and got to know families. Mac did really well. He seems to have to fear or no reserve. I love seeing him do his thing and enjoy seeing others being attracted to his personality. IMG_2237

Everywhere we go Elly either has a baby on her hip just like her momma or she is sitting on the community mats talking with the woman while they play with her hair. It does my heart so much good to see all of them exhaling in a way by simply being in this place. At the end of the day we climb back into the van and Grey says, “Can we come back tomorrow and the rest of the week.? I love this place and the was the best day.” I am overwhelmed by joy and all kinds of emotions. IMG_2228

For me, I love riding down the red, dusty, dirty African roads. You pass by the elderly man with white hair riding his bicycle, the woman carrying a bundle of fire wood on her head and a baby on her back, little girls carrying yellow water jugs to and from home, and shoeless children yelling, “Muzungos!” (white men). There are small village markets on the side of the road, chickens running in the middle of the road, smoke rising from the huts off in a distance, and moda bodas (motorcycle taxis) zooming by. This is Uganda to me. It’s not home for me but there is something that is super comforting to me. The people, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the realities and possibilities. This is Africa to me and no place I would rather be than right here, and right here with my family. To day was a good day!



Feb ’19 Update on Uganda and Life

For February we decided to share our update on life and our trip to Uganda in a little differently way than normal. Part 1 is Spanky giving you a brief update and Part 2 is the rest of the Rousehouse giving you their take on the trip to Uganda. Part 2 is a MUST watch(!) therefore if you only have a few minutes right now to hear from us PLEASE watch Part 2 first. 

We will also be posting our favourite pictures and a couple journal entries later this month. Be on the look out!


Updates on January prayer request and February needs:

  • UPDATE: We are still praising God for all that He did on our trip to Uganda.
  • The new East Mountain residents for 2019 have arrived and are settling in. Please be praying for them as they get started in their studies and ministry assignments.
  • Pray for the Lord’s clear vision and direction for life and ministry here in Africa.
  • Update on selling the car: 3 days before we left for Uganda the only guy who looked at the car offered me cash and we sold it!!! Praise the Lord!
  • Update on my Land Rover that was broke: The mechanic that was working on it offered to buy it from me for a fair price so we sold the same week as the car. Praise the Lord for taking care of this tough situation.
  • The Lord’s continued work in our own hearts. He is speaking and moving and we don’t want to miss out.
  • Please be praying for Spanky as he is taking on a new role overseeing the partnerships East Mountain has with ministries and organisations around Cape Town.

We would love for you to join us on Instagram and Facebook to see daily adventures, ministry sites, and family activities here in South Africa.





https://www.instagram.com/causing_wonder/ – Mac’s Instagram

If you would be able to join our monthly financial and prayer team we would be grateful! Your generosity will make a lasting difference in our lives and the lives of those we touch here in Africa. Click here to sign up, http://uwm.org/missionaries/11084/