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!



Does God care about that?

house_for_sale__500_01Yesterday after church Mac, Grey, and I were riding around looking at a neighborhood we might would want to live in. This may seem odd for some people but this is totally normal for the Rouse House. We think it is fun to look at houses for sale and dream about what it would be like to live there.

Yesterday when we were riding around I asked the boys, “do you think that God cares where we live?” Immediately that both said no. Which honestly, was good for me to hear because I think that it is a sign that things like a house just aren’t that important to them. But Mac spoke up and said, “well, maybe. I think that God could put us in a specific house, in a specific neighborhood where people don’t know Jesus.” Grey quickly agreed, like he normally does when Mac speaks up.

My heart filled with excitement that this dream of missional living…being intentional with daily relationships and opportunities God puts in our way…is starting to grow inside these boys. I believe with all of my heart that if we, Christ followers, all made a conscious effort to think this way it could radically change a neighborhood, community, city, and the world!

For the Rouse House, we do pray often and ask God for a new home. To be clear it isn’t all super spiritual. We have some selfish request in what our house looks like, the size of the house, the schools our kids will attend, even down to we want the kitchen sink to face the living area not the window into the back yard. Please don’t judge. But we know that when God opens that door and gives us an opportunity to move into another home it is a grand opportunity to love and impact those he places around us. We can play a role in Jesus’ plan for rescuing those he loves!