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

It’s been a good “season”

IMG_8383Winter is coming here in South Africa. The cool autumn mornings, changing leaves, and much needed rain are a nice surprise for our family. It also feels very odd for us to be in the middle of Autumn during May. May is a sweet time for Lara and me. Tomorrow, May 18th we celebrate our 16 year anniversary! To celebrate went away for a few days to a small village just over the mountains from where we live. It was a nice time to get away, talk, reconnect, drink a lot of coffee, enjoy the amazing views, eat lots of yummy food, slow down, relax, and stay in an old Dutch cottage with chickens walking around. Our favorite thing was, hands down, the Mexican churros with chocolate sauce to dip at the local pub!!! We went twice just for the churros.

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Grey and Elly have officially finished up school for the year! They are still reading through the bible, working on math, and practicing guitar and dance. Mac is almost done and is working very hard to finish up over the next week or two.

Summit is East Mountain’s 6 week summer intensive internship that runs from the end of May through the first of July. Summit is a relational learning experience, filled with adventure and intentional community living. This year we have 2 young American guys, 1 Zimbabwean, and 3 South Africans that will be going through the program with us. Lara and I are serving on the leadership team for Summit and will be involved in many of the weekly activities. We are hopeful that the Lord will use us during this time to bless and equip these young leaders for missional work as well as deepen their relationship with the Jesus over these next 6 weeks.

We have continued to enjoy our children at the community centre! We have been able to recruit some of our resident interns to help connect with the teenagers in the community better through dance, small groups, and sports. It is encouraging to see the deeper relationships and greater influences the Lord has given us with the community! We also love the affection and hugs we get when we see them at church, in the community, or at the centre.


We have bought our flights to the return home for a visit this July. It’s not been a full year since we arrived here in South Africa, but our original plan before the whole visa debacle was that we would travel back to visit our families during July. Since that is what everyone had planned on we decided July would be best. We will be in the US for most of the month of July but traveling around a lot. We are looking forward to are seeing family and friends, Mexican food, and long hot showers that last more than 2 minutes! Things we will miss while we are gone for this month will be our church here, friends, our children at the community centre, our mentee’s, and braais. We are thankful we have all of those things to come back to though!


Answers to Prayer:

  • We have been feeling much better since our last update. Praise the Lord we haven’t had any stomach issues since we asked all of you to be praying. Thank you for praying!
  • We have seen the Lord’s favor with the families at the community centre.
  • Tickets are purchased for the US. They were very costly but we were thankful for the funds to purchse them.
  • It’s been raining more regularly!
  • God is moving in our lives and in the lives of those we get to invest in!!!



  • Summit: Our schedule over the next 6 weeks will be very full, the 6 young leaders coming, our family’s schedule, and weekly balance.
  • Planning for our trip to the US and a vehicle to borrow during this time
  • Keep praying for the children and families at the community centre: opened hearts to the Lord, better grades at school, and a willingness to come to church with us starting in June.
  • Rain, we still in need of much more rain this winter to counter balance the draught we have been in during the summer months.
  • That we can keep our focus on what is most important, wisdom to make the best decisions, and hearts full of love for the people God puts in our paths.
  • That we will have a deeper since of God’s presence and power in our lives

May 2017 Newsletter Update


May has been a whirl wind of a month for us at the Rousehouse. Busy busy busy! Thankfully we are holding up well and have experienced the joy, strength and peace that the Lord can give. Thank you for all of you who have been praying for us. KEEP IT UP!!! Let me catch you up on a few prayer points from last month to start…

  • Decisions on what to do with our home. Rent it or sell it?

After many conversations, prayer, wise council, weighing the options, and moments of grieving we have decided to sell our home. We love our sweet little house and realize that it was given to us by the Lord for this short season to enjoy and that is what we have done. We will always remember this blessing from the Father!

  • Finishing up fundraising, 100% by June 1st

Almost everyday this past month was filled with meetings, speaking opportunities, and lots of conversations. We are now super close to being at our 100% monthly financial goal!!!! We are in need of just $200 more a month! PTL! If you would like to help get our family across the finish line check out how to partner with us here or email us at We do still have some set up cost needs too so any special one time gifts would be very much appreciate as well.

  • Ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to know the Father’s leading in every plan and decision as we prepare to move

This season has been tough but priceless, for sure. I don’t know that we have every heard from the Lord clearer, seen Him at work, and experienced His presences like we have recently. We are reminded that His plans for us are the BEST and that He desires to care for us more than we could ever imagine or ask. We are learning that you get to experience this part of the Father the most by going through tuff stuff which in the moment isn’t too fun but we are learning is worth it.

  • Successful silent auction fundraiser and all the planning that goes into it.

Lara killed it! She worked really hard and it paid off! It took a lot of work on her part to put it all together and I am grateful for her! We also had some amazing people that donated a whole lot of awesome gifts and packages for auction. Lara and I wanted to keep all of them for ourselves because they were so great! Thankfully we had many of you come out and bid on them instead. I had a really fun evening with our friends and family celebrating my birthday as well as we were able to raise over $3100 to go towards purchasing plane tickets and vehicles in South Africa. Definitely a great night!

  • From our family’s prayer card, the letter J – joy: That we may be filled to an overflow of His joy. Romans 15:13

Some fun events this month have been celebrating our 15 year anniversary, Elly’s dance recital and 2 weddings.

IMG_3093I can’t believe that it has been 15 years since we got married! Definitely the best thing that has ever happened to the both of us and yes we are more in love today than ever and have so much fun in together! This is the only way we would choose to do life. We were suppose to go out of town for the week but ended up spending the night and next day sitting under a tree in the grass in the small town of Davidson. It wasn’t the week we had planned but it was just what we needed…it just needed to be much longer!

Elly did awesome at her recital! We could really tell that she has improved from the time she first began a couple years ago. Masterpiece Dance Studio is amazing and we will miss all of them especially Mrs. Jackie! Elly’s favorite dance was the Jazz dance because it is fast and she gets to “shake her booty”. She gets her dance skills from her mom for sure! It was a bittersweet time as well seeing Elly and two of her bff’s dancing together for a special ballet piece. Great memories and we got the DVD so we can watch it over and over and over.

Prayer points for this month:

  • Visas – we need to be applying this week and praying that there is no issues with the consulate accepting and approving them quickly.
  • Trip to NYC to apply for visas with the SA consulate
  • Putting our home on the market and selling the rest of our furniture, cars, etc.
  • From our family’s prayer card, the letter T – Travel arrangements: purchasing the best plane tickets, cost, routes, etc.
  • To have 100% of monthly support finalized and one time set up cost in
  • Strength: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual 


The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
    and with my song I give thanks to him.

Psalms 28:7

Set the date


Dating from the Urban Dictionary:

1. To see someone.
2. To be with someone.
3. To be “together”.
4. The action of doing any sort of various activities to gain acquaintance with someone romantically.

When Lara and I were just teenagers we began dating each other. These are some of the greatest memories that I have. We use to have fun together, eat dinner, drink coffee, walk around parks, sit at the airport and watch planes, and ride around in my Jeep just holding hands. It was awesome! For some reason when people get married, begin having children, and get real jobs they think it is also time to stop dating each other. We believe that this is the exact time that we should be dating one another!

About a week and a half ago in the middle of a busy season of travel, work, and ministry Lara said she needed a date day. What a great idea it was! We dropped the boys off at school, left Elly with someone, and hit the road. We drove up to Black Mountain just outside of Asheville for the day. It was the perfect day. Nice weather. Good food. Shopping.  Hiking. Enjoying the changing leaves. But my favorite time of the whole day was just me and my love sitting at the top of the mountain talking, laughing, and enjoying the view. There was nowhere else I would have rather been in that moment and nowhere else I would rather be right now!


Some may think that it was irresponsible to take a day off in the middle of the week. It absolutely was the right thing to do that day! Going on a date with my wife was just what I needed. The next day at work a friend asked how it was and I told her that it was good medicine. I seriously felt recharged and ready to tackle the world.

The question of dating your spouse is not a question for the RouseHouse. The only questions we have are when is our next date and how often can do this together. We want our marriage to last, be healthy, and be an example to others. To accomplish these goals we must make time to date, talk, laugh, and love on each other! IMG_8186