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


For those of you who are on our supporters email list you are very aware that we are leaving Uganda and heading back to the US. During this time I hear the same questions being asked. What are you going to miss about Uganda, What are you guys looking forward to the most in America, and What are you doing now? As a family the answers for the first two change slightly but we are all about on the same page.


  1. FRIENDS – we have a very good group of friends and close community in Jinja. We will miss our dear friends!

2. ROLEX – This is the most common street food in Uganda. It is basically a veggie omelette rolled up in a chipati. It cost about $.50 and they are delicious!

3. PEOPLE – The people are Uganda are so welcoming and nice to new people. They love to talk to you, say hello and host you. The culture is very warm and inviting.

4. WEATHER – We love the tropical warm temperatures and the breeze that comes of Lake Victoria and the Nile River. The temperature stays around the middle 80’s year round. Cool in the morning, warm afternoons, and nice to be outside every evening.

5. LANDSCAPE – We love the lush green bushes, tall pam trees, gorgeous flowers, and red dirt roads. It’s like being in a jungle.

what are you looking forward to in America?

  1. TACOS – hands down, this is one of the best things about America!

2. quiet peaceful sleep – We are so looking forward to the quietness and peacefulness at night time. In Uganda, there is always noises and things happening outside that regularly woke us up in the nights.

3. shopping – Going to the store, and having multiple options of where to shop, and being able to find exactly what I need. How wonderful!

4. INTERNET and ELECTRICITY – reliable and consistent internet service and power!

5. CLEAN CLOTHES – We had a wonderful lady named Josephine who worked at our house helping us with so much like washing clothes. We didn’t have a clothes washer so everything had to be done by hand. It was fine but nothing every seemed really clean nor dried.


This is a question that I have already answered a million times and am expecting to answer a million more. I’m not bothered by the question but I don’t have much of an answer which can be a bit scary.

We felt like the Lord told our family that it was time to leave Uganda but He wasn’t clear to us in what is next. The first 6 weeks or so it bothered me very much not knowing the answer to this question. I felt like I had to have this figured out before I returned. Recently the Lord has told me to rest and not worry about figuring this out. He has a plan already laid out for us and he will show us what is next.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

In many ways taking this step of moving back to America is a bigger step of faith than moving to South Africa or Uganda. This time, we do not have a plan, a house, cars, or a direction. What we do have is HOPE in the Lord and memories of His past FAITHFULNESS.

Please continue to pray for our family as we are transitioning. At this time we are in South Africa visiting friends, our church, and favorite places before heading back to Charlotte for the holidays. Pray for protection from COVID and smooth travel plans. Pray that we will see and know the steps the Lord has next for us.

We are excited to tell the stories of all the Lord is going to do in this next season of life!

Are you ready?

I love coaching individuals, couples and teams! I have seen how coaching ministry partners goes so well with my purpose and passions in life. I love encouraging, empowering, and walking with people through the different facets of life so they can live their life to the fullest. Life coaching gives me the skills to do it even better now.

Over the past 5 months I have been working through a program to becoming an Internationally Certified Life Coach. I have had the desire to do this for many years and due to the COVID-19 lockdown I have had the time, money and opportunity to do it remotely.

I am seeing how my coaching is helping me in every other area of work, ministry and life. From conversations with my children, to working with people on projects at work, to pastoral care ministry, I can use this powerful tool of coaching to have a greater impact.

Why Use a Coach?

The reasons people want coaching are endless, and as unique as the person. Here are a few examples that motivate people to use a coach.

“You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you could be.” 

Andy Stanley, The Next Generation

  • To make significant changes
  • To better deal with uncertainty
  • To make better decisions To set better goals
  • To reach goals faster
  • To grow spiritually
  • To become financially more stable
  • To get ahead personally
  • To have a collaborative partner
  • To improve their relationships
  • To make a bigger impact on the world
  • To be a better leader
  • To simplify their lives
  • To reduce stress
  • To keep up with the speed of life
  • To address transitions in location and employment

Do you need a coach in life?

Are ready to chase a dream?

Are you looking for a fulfilling balance in life?

Are you wondering where your career is heading?

Are trying to transition in life or work?

Are you thinking about making a tough decision?

Are you looking for a break through in your business, relationships, health, or hobbies? 

I am currently looking to take on several more bi-monthly clients this month, so if you are interested please don’t hesitate to send an email to spanky.rouse@gmail.com. The first session is an exploratory meeting where you experience what coaching is at first hand and I get to hear what you want to focus on. This session is FREE! We will then make a game plan to move forward from here. 

I would love to meet in person, but I am also very comfortable with coaching via Zoom. I have almost 100 hours of Zoom coaching calls so far where real people have seen real results.

Reviews from my personal clients:

“Man, I don’t even like talking about my feelings and things like this, but somehow you brought it out. I feel really good now!” – Missionary

“You are really good at this stuff! I can’t believe I just shared all of that and now have a plan for the week.” – Pastor

“I seriously needed this! I was wondering what to do and how to get it all done. Last week we talked, made action steps and I was more excited to tackle this project than anything else I have done all year!” –Entrepreneur

“This is so helpful during my transition. I didn’t know where to start, but look at all I have accomplished these past couple months.” –Non-Profit Manager

“I’m not a very self motivated person, but over the past couple months I have made progress in my professional goals, worked through conflict with co-workers, and set up really good times to spend with my wife talking about the bible and life.”-Soon to be dad

“I have a lot of projects I want to start. I want to gain some mental clarity in life. I need to increase my income. I need the accountability and encouragement you give when we meet and I immediately feel like I can trust you. Thanks!” –Ministry Leader

What is Coaching?

Coaching is an ongoing conversation that empowers a person or team to fully live out God’s calling – in their life and profession. 

Coaching is expected to produce insights, greater personal awareness, changed behaviors, actions, and ultimately results that satisfy the client. 

Coaching is all about you…

The client leads the conversation with what is going on in their life, goals they are wanting to reach, change they are wanting to see, issues and decisions they are working through, and what is most important to them. 

The coach listens, ask questions, and walks with the client. 

What Coaching Isn’t

It’s not therapy. Although many of the communication techniques are the same, like active listening, reflecting, use of questions, limited advice giving, etc., therapy focuses on the past to bring healing and unblock a person to move ahead. Coaching is future and action-oriented, for people who are basically clear of psychological and emotional issues.

It’s not mentoring. Mentors are experts in a particular field who seek to pass on their expertise to a person. Mentors provide knowledge, advice, guidance, correction, and encouragement to people who are newer and junior—by experience if not by position or age. 

It’s not training. In training, the trainer sets the agenda. Change comes from outside the participant, via the trainer. In coaching, you set the agenda. Coaches use adult learning principles of self-discovery to motivate change from within you.

It’s not authoritarian. Did you have a tough sports coach who used to yell at you and make you do a million push-ups if you made a mistake? That’s not coaching. Your coach will push you beyond what you might think you can do, but will always be supportive. You are in control. The responsibility to decide and act is yours. 

Why Does Coaching Work?

Coaching works because it brings out your best – what God put in! As a Coach, I believe that you can figure out every answer to life problems but it is sometime helpful to have someone walk along with you. 

Specifically, this is what your coach will do during coaching sessions:

  • Listen. Your story is central. Coaches fully engage in what you are saying. They also listen to the Holy Spirit and encourage you to do the same.
  • Ask questions. Coaches use questions to stimulate your thinking and creativity. Questions are about possibilities and the future.
  • Encourage. Everyone needs encouragements, and usually we don’t get enough. Your coach will hold up your vision, your progress, and your efforts.
  • Facilitate while letting you lead. Coaches facilitate your learning and problem solving. Yet, they are never fully leading – you are, with your agenda and your approach. 

Let’s get started!

What Faithfulness Looks Like To Us

2020 has been more different than any of us ever imagined. Even with things slowing getting back to normal our life just feels different. Fortunately, this year and its changes and challenges were no surprise to God and He has been slowly preparing us for years for these weird days we are in. And we know that He is also using this season to prepare us for the next one. He is just faithful like that! It has been helpful for us mentally and spiritually to remember this simple truth and reflect on how His hand has been weaving our days in to this special life we get to live. Let me give you a couple of examples…

House Groups at Jinja Town Church

With the lockdown of churches here in Uganda we have been streaming Jinja Town Church on FB. It was the best option at the time but everyone is missing the community that gathering for church on Sunday creates. In an effort to serve our church better we are introducing home groups to Jinja Town Church. This past month I have been able to help 9 groups begin meeting through out the week in different areas around town. I send out a short video each week summarising the sermon from Sunday along with a few questions and discussion points. Every group spends time praying for one another, enjoy fellowship together, and take communion. We have already had 4 people give their life to the Lord and so many others are being encouraged weekly by these gatherings. It is fun to see how the Lord is using our past experiences and skills we learned leading Small Groups at Ridge Church to serve the local church and meet people’s needs here today. 

Msumba Spanky

One of my roles at Jinja Town Church is to help share the preaching responsibilities and give Msumba (Pastor) Smooth a break. He is a great teacher and speaker and spends lots of time each week preparing. It is my pleasure to give him a breather every few weeks. Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to preach and finish up the sermon series “Storms”. I focused on Ps.91:14-16 and the promises the Lord gives us in those verses. Going through storms in life is inevitable, but God is faithful as we pass through them. Preaching is something that I am having to grow in but it has been a good outlet for me in processing what I am going through personally and what the Lord is doing in my life. Through this time of studying and preparation I was reminded of all the storms the Lord has brought me through and the promise that He is forever present with me. Here is the link if you would like to listen. https://web.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=2454100358232168&ref=search

Doing Life With People Gives Life

One thing the Lord taught us years ago is how important it is to live life with other people. We were created for community and the Lord calls us to help carry other people’s burdens. This takes work, it takes time, it requires vulnerability and it sometimes feels heavy, but it is so worth it. Not only do you get to see the faithfulness of God in your own life, you get a front row seat to see Him at work in others lives. God has used the people in our life so many times to encourage and bless us. It is our hearts desire to be that for others. When we were moving to Uganda we knew that the Lord wanted us to serve the people of Uganda, but we also had a desire to care for those in the expat community. We make an effort to connect with the people the Lord puts in our path and enjoy this journey together. It just makes the valleys and the mountain tops better.

Jinja Sweat

We love connecting with people from all over the world, hearing their stories and looking for ways to serve them and Jinja is full of so many people from so many different places. Our home gym, Jinja Sweat, was birthed out of this desire to build community and healthier bodies. We knew that accomplishing these two things would help others in becoming healthier emotionally and mentally too. We had no idea that during this crazy time our small gym classes would meet such a practical and real need. We have had so many people tell us that more than anything Jinja Sweat has helped them to stay sane during this time and even helped to fight off depression. That folks, is what you call a win! We have 2 small classes, 3 times a week, on a dirt floor, under a tin roof shelter, with minimal equipment, but the impact on people’s lives in spectacular. We are seeing more and more how creative God is in His plan to use our lives! Lara and I both experienced the power that exercise and attempting to eat healthy foods can make in your life just a few years ago. If there has ever been a time that we need to prioritise some self care to reduce the stress of life, the time is now! I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given at Carolina Sweat to get my fitness coach license and learn how to teach group fitness classes. Those skills are hard at work these days and are making an impact on so many!

Be Encouraged Friends

Even if this season feels weird, wasted, different and frustrating, please know that God will use it to prepare you for whatever is next and whatever is next is even better!

Will you be praying these things for us:

  • Eyes to be open to the opportunities and people around us
  • Strength and energy to continue investing in others
  • Spiritual growth and deepen relationship with the Lord
  • Extra funds for a gym floor (Pavers, Not dirt)
  • Wisdom
  • Direction for Jinja Town Church during this time
  • Mental, emotional and spiritual healthiness
  • Spanky finished his Life coaching school and is now working on hours so he can get his International Certification

What’s the Rousehouse up to this summer?

July has been a heavy month emotionally. To be completely honest it has been a difficult time for our family but we are trusting in the fullness of the Lord to take care of us. We were planning on being in the US this month to see family, friends and ministry partners as well as take a very anticipated vacation to the beach. Instead, we planned a couple shorter getaways here in Uganda. There is no beach, unfortunately, but there are some pretty spectacular natural beauties in this country. It’s also an adventure in just traveling to these places. 

Spanky and Lara: Lara and I went away for a long weekend with our friends, Smooth and Kelly, to an area of the country we had never visited. We travelled about 9 hours away to the Kibale Forrest in the western portion of Uganda. We simply relaxed, laughed, ate good food, stayed up late, and swam in one of the 88 crater lakes (A crater lake is a former volcano that has filled with fresh water…so we went for a dip in a volcano!). 

Family trip: Then Lara planned a family trip to the Murchinson Falls area of the country which is about 8 hours north west of our town. We stayed at some friends lodge which was a beautiful, quiet safari camping lodge for 4 days. One day we took a game drive (safari), another day we drove to the top of the Murchinson Falls, and most of the other times you could find us sitting by the pool listening to music and playing games. You can check out some pretty cool pictures from our trip by clicking —> here.

Community on high alert: This month many of you know that we have had some very serious home invasions around Jinja. They have all been focused on expats like some of our friends. We have upped our security, been more alert (less sleeping), and even created a safe room and emergency plan, just in case. We pray daily for the Lord’s army of angles to surround us!

Recently we have been noticing a few things that are quiet normal here but might be a little unusual from what you would experience in America. 


Elly visits the local supermarket weekly just to play with the kittens that are running around the shelves.
Grey’s been enjoying learning how to play tennis these days

Ministry and life is not what it use to be here but we are learning a new normal. Our ministry is definitely more personal as we are feeling our days with individual conversations, dinners with families at their homes, and working to figure out how we can have home groups instead of large church gatherings. We are anticipating the day we can get back into remote villages to serve and volunteering as a family to help meet others needs. Until then, we are doing the next right thing by encouraging people that God puts in our paths and keeping our eyes open to those opportunities that are right in front of us. 

Please join us in prayer:

  • The kids and Lara will be starting school back this month
  • Please continue to pray for safety. Lord send your army of angles to surround us!
  • Awareness of the opportunities the Lord wants us to step in during this time
  • Praise the Lord for time away and a vacation
  • Financial support and stableness
  • Our friends, neighbors and church members that are struggling with finances and food during this time
  • Our families mental, emotional and spiritual healthiness during this time
  • Spanky is finishing up his schooling and hours for Life Coaching

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





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

2020 Safari Getaway

Here are a few pictures from our safari game drive in Murchinson, Northern Uganda. Mac will be editing some of his more professional photos and we will be posting a special blog for everyone to view. He is pretty good and I am excited to see what he has for us!

You can click on the photo for better viewing.

What’s New In June?

Uganda Update: We have now been in some kind of lockdown for nearly 4 months and have lost track of all sense of time. Currently we still have an official curfew of 7pm, no schools or churches gathering, and a few other restrictions that continue to limit the outreach and work that we are here to do. We are allowed to have 4 people in a car now, which that is still a little tricky for our family of 5. COVID seems to be on the rise here but we can’t truly tell due to the governments control of information. We are simply trying to live life as normal as possible and keep a content spirit during this crazy season of life.


Family Update: Our children have the privilege of doing most of their school either online or with Lara, therefore they have been successful in completing another year of school! Lara is super grateful to now officially be on summer break!
This summer Mac is studying coffee roasting, exploring around town, and computer programming for fun through an online mastery course.
Greyson is working on a dog training course while using our dogs as test dummies, playing his guitar, and playing tennis.IMG_6489
Elly is soaking up every bit of social time she can get with friends and playing mind craft.
Lara and I are planning for the coming months, working on some projects and investing in Jinja Town Church and people that we can easily connect with that live near us.
Needing R&R: Overall we are doing ok but definitely needing some time to relax, get away, and exhale. We enjoy our life here in Jinja, Uganda but there days that can seem overwhelming from the time you get out of bed. The stresses of a different culture, unstable internet, power, and water, regular sicknesses, safety issues, people around us that are in great need, relationships, never ending car repairs, constantly changing government rules, and learning how to fully live out our purpose during this time can all add up in a day. Also, we are suppose to be leaving for America next week but we are unable to make that trip which can add an extra level of frustration and sadness. I’ve heard that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I think a little R&R would go a long way too.
We have decided to take a couple short trips this coming month. Lara and I are going to head to a lodge in the Kibale Forest near the Congo border that is offering a nice discount for a couple days. We are looking forward to unplugging, relaxing and being somewhere with out all of the constant noises and chaos. We are also going to go shopping in the capital to pic up some goodies for the family. Then, we are wanting to plan a 4 day trip up north where we can take the kids. Our hope is to go to a safari lodge where we can swim, hike the waterfalls, and take a day safari. We think the kids would really enjoy this time away and going on an adventure! We will be sure to update you and send pics.

Please join us in prayer:

  • Spanky’s ankle is feeling much better but not 100% yet
  • Safety
  • Awareness of the opportunities the Lord wants us to step in during this time
  • Vacation and time away as a family
  • Financial support and stableness
  • Our friends, neighbors and church members that are struggling with finances and food during this time
  • Our families mental, emotional and spiritual healthiness during this time

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





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


COVID Creating Change

The world is learning what the new normal will look like after this pandemic. It is a whole new way of life for some. COVID is creating changes for the Rousehouse here in Uganda as well, but we see it as an opportunity to step into a calling.


COMING SOON: we will be sending our June Newsletter sometime in the next week. We have many new happenings and stories to share.

PLEASE keep our family in your prayers during this uncertain time. If you would like to partner with us financially on a monthly bases or with a special gift we would be more than grateful! Click here —> Partnering with us…

Thank you to those who are supporting our family and ministry during this season of life! We are forever grateful!

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

Rousehouse Rona Update Week 4/5

Click on link in to view the Rousehouse’s latest update…

Rousehouse Rona Weekly Update 4/5


  • Uganda has only had 55 cases so far, NO deaths, and only 18 active cases
  • Economy is being effected greatly and people are beginning to run out of food
  • We have had 3 ways to help those in need with food
  • Sole Hope is also on lockdown so only essential staff are on site. Others are still being cared for.
  • The Rousehouse is doing FINE but tired of lockdown

Please join us in prayer:

  • Healing of Spanky’s ankle
  • Safety
  • The Lord’s working in us during this time
  • No missed opportunities during this season
  • 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

*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