Christmas on the Equator 2019

What does Christmas on the Equator even look like? Well, for starters it’s hot and sunny and full of outdoor pool activities.

You may have noticed the Rousehouse hasn’t posted daily stories or pics the past few weeks. We intentionally took a little break to simply enjoy the Holiday season. We did however take lots of pictures of all of the festive activities and adventures that we went on so that, we could share them later. Christmas was a lot different here in Uganda but we are learning to create some of our own family traditions and enjoy this season we are in. We know that this isn’t how it will be forever but we know that forever we will look back on these times and cherish the memories. We would love for you to scroll along and enjoy the memories we made during Christmas 2019!


Because of your support and generosity towards the Rousehouse we were able to throw a Christmas party for the Sole Hope Staff. There was a soccer/football match in the morning, big meal together, and games and prizes in the afternoon. It was a great way to end the year here at Sole Hope! Thank you for making it possible!

Some new friends invited us to a Christmas party, white elephant gift exchange and time of singing Christmas carols. They even turned on a small air conditioner to make it feel a little cooler for all of us Americans. (Yes, that is a live chicken and it felt quite normal as we all passed it around the living room to check it out)


Our electricity wasn’t working properly for about a week but thankfully we found a guy that knew a guy that took care of it just before Christmas.  It now works and our stove and fridge don’t shock us anymore!


My friend Obed and I travelled about an hour away to deliver 114 pairs of shoes to a community center for children. We wished we had at least double that amount once we arrived!


For Christmas I surprised Lara with a night away at one of the most amazing places! This is a resort in the middle of nowhere on an island in the middle of the Nile. It was exactly what we needed to refill our tanks!  They had the most comfortable bed, delicious food, private huts, bathtub on your patio, and the rapids rushing by you as you slept. Paradise!


Our church here in Uganda (Jinja Town Church) had a nice candle light service on Christmas Eve. We sang Christmas songs, read the Christmas story and then we went to eat Chinese food.



Lots of cooking and baking our Christmas favorites over this week. Everyone was involved but some just wanted to be taste testers.


Christmas morning was slow and perfect. We opened stockings, made a huge breakfast, opened presents, and laid around the house. This is one of our favorite Christmas traditions.



Christmas night we invited some friends and expats over for snack foods and desserts. It was such a fun evening. We played ping pong, ate really good food, and ended the night with a dance party! No videos were allowed to be posted to protect the integrity of others.


The Day after Christmas we headed off to Kampala (this is the biggest city and capitol of Uganda) for some R&R. We shopped for some goodies we can’t find in our town, went to the movies, spent the days swimming, spent time reading, sleep in, played board games and ate a lot of great food!

Lots and lots of great food!



While in Kampala, we also spent one morning at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Praise the Lord we left there with everyone’s passport stamped with the appropriate permit to live and work in Uganda! While we waited we could see the largest mosque in Kampala and Elly and Grey in their own little world entertaining everyone else waiting.


The kids are all doing great and really enjoyed this season! (Mac taking a pic with dad’s dream vehicle to make him jealous. Grey spending time with one of his besties. Elly giving loves to a friends baby goat.)

It has been a good time but we are looking forward to some normal rhythms of life, work, and family this coming month.

Ways to be praying for us this month:

  • Protection…physical, spiritual, and over our relationships
  • Increased favor with our staff and those in our community
  • Strong community of friends and encouragers in our lives
  • For Sole Hope leadership as they lead us in a healthy direction for this next year
  • Wisdom in finding a new car
  • Healthy bodies
  • Encouraged hearts
  • Increased vision and passion for the work God is calling us to


  • We all received our visas with no problems!
  • We have almost raised all of the funds for a bigger, stronger, better vehicle!
  • These past 6 months the Lord has protected us from Malaria!
  • Sole Hope was able to finish the year financially strong and healthy
  • God is continually showing us His power and faithfulness

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
  • Be generous. We need more monthly givers Give Monthly
  • Give a special gift to support this ministry here in Uganda Special gift


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

A Little Rain and Mud Never Hurt No One

Have you ever experienced a rain storm that made you wonder if you were going to float away? Never have I ever felt this way as much as I do during the rainy season here in Uganda. We have heard it is the wettest and longest rainy season they can remember. Yay for us.

This is the main road in front of our house. It is technically not a dirt road. This day it looked more like a river after the 30 minute rain storm that came through.

We have had multiple days that our road has flooded like a southern summer “flash flood warning” kind of rain. Almost every week we get stuck in the slipperiest mud you have ever met, even though we have a big 4×4 SUV. Often one of us busts our butt or skates around like we are a ice dancer in the mud. We have had to learn to be flexible more than ever before since our plans are regularly forced to change due to the rain storms that pop up from no where.

Yes, my feet are under water as I walk home. You also can’t see the pot holes, so you move very slowly.

The constant mud makes rainy season a dangerous time to drive on some roads and especially dangerous to ride a boda (motorcycle taxi). But, with the rain comes some nice surprises as well. It’s unbelievably green and the temperatures are mild and wonderful.

I had to take a picture of the one day we went to the village and I didn’t get stuck!!!

Just before the rain comes a wonderful breeze comes through that is considerably cooler and very refreshing. Sometimes we are forced to stay inside, play games, and drink coffee and tea which are things we all enjoy. The rain at night is a built in noise machine even when the power goes out. For the kids one of their favorite things about the rain is the freedom to go play in the rain and mud with their friends.

Grey came home soaking wet after playing in the cold rain for hours.

Ugandas often say, “It has rained too much!” but it doesn’t stop them from continuing on with life. They are steadfast and hard working.  They may be slower to show up for a program or appointment but they will come. Church seems to be even more full recently, even with the threat of rain. My experience growing up in church would be the opposite. If it looked like bad weather people didn’t come.

What? Your Saturday morning breakfast spot doesn’t flood?


The rainy season here in Uganda is like all the other seasons we go through in life. We can endure it better when we simply learn to enjoy it, wait it out, and remember that it is just a season. Another season is just on the horizon and it too will bring it’s own challenges and blessings. Let us learn in this season what God has for us and look for His goodness, even when it seems to be pouring on our head and we are soaked all the way through our shoes. I pray that I become more content no matter what season of life I am in because we know the one who commands the storms and He loves us so much! 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful, for this is God’s will for your life…”

Philippians 4:11-13 (Spanky’s translation) Let us be content in all circumstances. Rain or shine, God’s can give us what we need for today.

Head to toe in mud after pushing a car out of the mud. Just a normal day at clinic.

Finding our place, rhythms, and people

It has been 9 weeks since we have landed here in Jinja, Uganda. Somedays it feels like we have been here for 9 months and other days it feels like we just got here yesterday. So far, we are really enjoying life in Jinja. It is feeling like home. We are making new friends, finding our rhythms in life, learning more and more everyday about Ugandan life, as well as how to connect well with Sole Hope! There are really awesome days and some not so awesome days but regardless we are learning to remember to focus on what we have to be thankful for and that usually changes our perspective pretty quickly.


Lara and I are starting to get a feel for how the Lord wants to use us here within Sole Hope. In Uganda and many African nations it takes some time of relationship building before people truly let you in and trust you. We think that the Lord is giving us favor already with this. In September we started a bible study/small group in our home on Wednesday nights with the shoe makers and tailors at Sole Hope. The first night we were expecting to have 6 people attend but ended up with 17! Most people have continued to come each week and have began opening up more and more. We are getting plugged in, in a variety of ways and believe that we are exactly where the Lord wants us for this season of life! By the way, Sole Hope is even more awesome than we thought they were! We love these staff!!!img_4459

Last month on a Friday afternoon we had a staff party for all of Sole Hope. Everyone got off work early for the day and headed down to the river. We ate chicken on a stick (everyone’s favorite roadside snack), chapatis (thick tortilla like cakes), fresh fruit, drank sodas and then played a big soccer (or as the call it here football) game between the staff. Let’s just say it gets serious but was so much fun!

Kids are doing well! School is going well for the boys at home and Elly is enjoying her time being social at her international school. We are so thankful that they have all found a good group of friends

Mac’ took an official Barista training course this month to gain credits for school and for fun. He rocked it!

Grey is one of the main attractions at the Sole Hope clinics in the villages. Maybe it is the long hair and white skin or maybe it is because he is the best foot washer around! It is unbelievable how he gets on his knees and scrubs tons of kids muddy feet each week with ease and confidence.


Elly loves meeting new people, talking with her friends, painting her red dirt stained nails, and holding babies at church. She is like no other, for sure!img_4493

Lara had a birthday this past month. We celebrated her by heading a short distance out of town, having breakfast on the gorgeous Nile River, relaxing and taking it easy, and watching the sunset with friends at our favorite local burger spot (also on the Nile River).

Ways to be praying with us:

  • Healthy bodies and protection from sickness
  • Friendships and community for all 5 of us
  • Influence and favor with Sole Hope Staff and Volunteers
  • Wisdom and direction in ways to have the greatest impact
  • Emotional, mental, and spiritual healthiness – the enemy is wanting to attack daily
  • Our car to be running properly. We only have one and it’s been causing us problems multiple times a week
  • Work permits to be approved with no issues this month. We have had some delays and challenges. 


Join us in impacting lives and making a difference, click here to learn more about partnering with the Rousehouse.


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



25 Lessons Learned

We haven’t been in Uganda that long, just 7 weeks, but we have made some observations about this place, people, and culture. Some of them are super funny and some of our observations have helped us from losing our mind. Once we gain more of an understanding of some of these lessons learn it has helped grow our love for Uganda. It is also allowing us to just laugh when we would normally be frustrated. We thought it would be fun to share our list with you and maybe update it later as we are 100% sure there will be many more lessons to learn. 

  1. The word yes is replaced with the sound “mmm”…sometimes it can also mean no or I am still listening to you or I am thinking about it. 
  2. A Rolex is not a watch. It is a delicious street food that is similar to a burrito filled with eggs. 
  3. When you honk your horn (or hooter) it has about as many meanings as the sound”mmmm” and none of them are rude. It is more of a jester letting you know that I am driving down the street. 
  4. Electricity is not guaranteed and you must know at all times where the candles and flashlights are 
  5. “Food” is referring to the starch you eat at a meal. Uganda has posho (thick grit like cakes), rice, matooke (mashed up plantains), cassava and a variety of potatoes that make up 80% of your meal. 
  6. Gnuts are actually small peanuts and they are delicious!
  7. No matter how angry someone looks, if you say hello they will absolutely smile and greet you. 
  8. Greetings are very important! Everyone you meet will say hello, ask how you are doing, ask how your family is doing, how your day is going, etc. Greetings are important and not rushed!
  9. Sharing is a part of daily life. 
  10. A phone call trumps everything else. You could be in the middle of performing a medical procedure on someone and if your phone rings you stop to answer it. (I saw this very thing happen last week)
  11. If you want something done you call the person, you do not text them.
  12. There is no such thing as personal space. If you don’t like to be touched NEVER come to this country. 
  13. Chicken on a stick (another fast food, street food) can make any situation better. People get giddy over this special treat. 
  14. Your car breaking down in the middle of no where or getting stuck in mud is a part of life. Don’t worry about it but enjoy this time to chat with friends, laugh together, and wait for help. 
  15. Music is life and never stops playing.
  16. Fast internet means you might be able to download a Netflix show if no one else is on the internet. 
  17. Lizards and bugs are like extra roommates. You don’t bother them and they won’t bother you.
  18. You don’t point with your fingers. You point with your lips. It’s pretty hilarious the first time you see it. 
  19. If you eat dinner at your friends you better take a picture to show your wife. She might wonder why you aren’t hungry for her food and think some other woman has been feeding you. (This literally happened last week at our house)
  20. You shouldn’t get mad when things don’t happen in the time or manner you thought they should. Anger and demanding tones get you NOWHERE here. Laughter, long conversations, and patiences is like sweet honey. 
  21. Learn to laugh at yourself and others. Everyone else will surely be laughing when you do something stupid so join in, they love it. 
  22. If you are in a hurry you should stay home and out of traffic. It is better for your soul!
  23. Be ready to take your shoes off multiple times a day.
  24. The supermarket has everything you could need, just not when you need it. 
  25. If you need to buy something specific or have a specific job done, I have a guy that knows a guy that can get a guy to come meet you to talk about it. 

Oh the joys, struggles, fun, and challenges of living in Uganda!


If you would like to see pictures of daily life and regularly experience some of these lessons learned you must go follow us on Instagram and Facebook. – Mac’s Instagram – Sole Hope



Just getting started!



Ways to be praying with us:

  • Healthy bodies and protection from sickness
  • New friends and community for all 5 of us
  • Influence and favor with Sole Hope Staff and Volunteers
  • Wisdom and direction in ways to have greatest impact
  • Emotional, mental, and spiritual healthiness
  • Daily abundance of grace and favor from the Lord!

If you would like to join us in impacting lives and making a difference click here to learn more about partnering with the Rousehouse


A snapshot into our first month here in Uganda…

Our new puppy, Stella! She is now twice this size in just 4 weeks!


The furniture store where we ordered some beds and chairs for our patio

Random clinic pics






We worked hard so we had to have sodas and cassava during break.



Okello, the master tailor and designer of the Sole Hope shoe.



Friends or monkeys?


First day of school 2019-2020! Elly is exceptionally excited because she got into an international school. Homeschool for an extreme extrovert feels like torture.


Staff meeting, fetching clean water for foot washing and the finished product!



Somehow Lara still gets bit every night???

We would love for you to join us on Instagram and Facebook to see daily adventures, ministry sites, and family activities. – Mac’s Instagram – 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


We made it to the US on Wednesday night after a long and crazy journey. We needed to save some money on airfare and the Lord provided some half price tickets, to which we were so thankful for. BUT, we have learned that you sometimes get what you pay for. We ended up taking 5 flights around the world to get back to Charlotte, NC. We were so grateful that we had good flights and that all of our bags made it! #itsamiracle


We hit the ground running hard and fast. It has been a wonderful time catching up with family and friends as well as getting some delicious food. We feel so connected to all of those who personally support our family therefore it is a blessing for us to spend time with as many of them as we can. We are so blessed by these amazingly, loving people!

It’s pretty hot here in Charlotte and its getting us ready for the hot, humid weather we are about to step into as we head to Uganda.

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Some of you may know that the Lord opened a door for the Rousehouse to rent the house directly across the street from Sole Hope ( We are very excited about this location for our family and the opportunity we will have to host many people daily. The house is a large, older home that needs a good deal of work but it has a big, beautiful garden for us to enjoy. We have been working with a local realtor and contractors to get the work started so please be praying for everything to get done quickly. We will post pics soon. IMG_3709


Our family will be spending the month of July with family vacationing, reconnecting with friends, visiting churches, raising some extra funds, and preparing for this next step in the journey of heading off to Uganda.

Please be praying for us this month!

  • We need to raise around $12,000 for the renovation of this home and to install a security fence. Could you help us with this need? Please email
  • We need to secure about $500 more a month in regular support. Would you be willing to join our partner team? We would love to chat with you. Please email
  • We need some rest this month
  • Good connections with family, friends, and partners
  • Safe travels
  • Mental, emotional, and spiritual preparations for this next season
  • Pray for Sole Hope! #hopeiswinning (

We would love for you to join us on Instagram and Facebook to see daily adventures, ministry sites, and family activities. – Mac’s Instagram – Sole Hope



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 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 or through one of our media outlets: – Mac’s Instagram

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