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!
IMG_8215
This summer Mac is studying coffee roasting, exploring around town, and computer programming for fun through an online mastery course.
IMG_6484
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.
IMG_6509
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.
IMG_8280
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.
IMG_8390
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/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

Highlights:

  • 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/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

 

Week 3 Rona Lock Down

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/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

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/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

Intentional Generosity

IMG_6913

What if we encouraged our pastors, supported our missionaries, and partnered with what God is already doing? What impact would we have?

I found a version of this list at The Gospel Coalition (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/10-ways-to-encourage-a-missionary/) and thought it was so good. I have been on the receiving end of this kind of support and generosity so many times. I personally know just how special it can be. When people invest in my life, family, and ministry like one of these points below it is like fuel on my fire that keeps me going.

In honor of all of those who have partnered with the Rousehouse over the years I wanted to encourage you to pick one of these ideas and be intentionally generous today towards a friend, missionary, pastor, community worker, volunteer, or non-profit servant this week. They will be forever grateful!


1. Pray for them and let them know that you are doing so frequently.

We love to hear from people back in the US that say they are praying for us. It means a lot to know that you aren’t alone in this work. It can be as simple as a short text message but makes a world of a difference in my day.

Your pastor needs to know that you are praying for them! You have a responsibility to your church to support them in this way.

2. Send “real mail.”

Send a note or a card encouraging them.

If they are overseas spend the extra money on postage and ship them a care package. I have seen how special it is to get a package of goodies. It means a lot! Especially around the holidays.

3. Pray for the people the missionaries/church serve and not only for the missionaries/pastors and their families.

We partner together to see the victory…Prayer is the key!

Pray for your community or city as well! God is counting on you and your pastor can’t shoulder this mission alone.

4. Recruit others to pray for the missionary’s area of service (city, people group, etc.) or for the missionaries themselves.

When people you have never meet commit to join you in prayer or serve with you in some way you are reminded that this is much bigger than me. God is doing His thing and blessing me in the midst.

You could help connect your church, help by mailing newsletters, collecting supplies they may need, or host a fundraiser.

Ask your church, how can I volunteer? Their jaw will likely hit the floor.

5. Go visit them with the purpose of serving and encouraging them in their work.

We love visitors! They bring goodies, encourage us, they get to see our day to day lives, they remind us that people back home still care a lot about us, and make us laugh and feel normal again. It’s so great to have your people really know what your work and ministry is like so they can know better how to pray for you and help you along the way.

6. Send them updates and pictures of you and your family (by mail or email).

Christmas cards are our favorites! We also really enjoy when we get updates on how families are doing, life is changing, and special events that are happening. These things help us stay connected in a real way.

7. Ask questions about their work.

Ask not only how we are doing (we do like when people really care how we are doing), but ask about our work and try to learn all you can about the people or city where we are serving.

I know that this has been said, but truly CARING about the work is the best way to encourage us. It means a lot!

8. Continue to be a Christian friend and continue to minister to them.

“Having friends that know me, are patient with me, and expect me to be the same struggling sinner I was when I left helps me stay humble when tempted toward arrogance, and hopeful when tempted toward despair.” – Mark Rogers, The Gospel Coalition 

We are regularly caring for people therefore we need people to care for us in the same manner. People in ministry type work struggle the same as anyone else. We need positive and real investments from others as well.

I am grateful for 3 guys that regularly check in with me and meet me at a heart level. They are the secret to me not giving up!

Your pastor needs friends too. Invite them to parties, hang out and ask nothing of them, find out some of their interest and have fun with them. Treat them like normal people and they will love it.

9. Support them financially.

Find out what specific needs they might have and meet those needs. Find out if they need any regular monthly financial support and start giving…with a grateful heart.

I love when people buy our kids clothes, send money for us to go out to dinner or a long weekend way, or simply ask what we need. It is equally if not more exciting to see a new monthly gift come in that was unexpected.

For your pastor, send him $50 to take his wife out on a date. Pay for a weekend away for his family. Take him to play golf. Send him a gift card. Do something out of the ordinary and surprise your pastor. You have NO idea how much that will mean to him!

10. Seek to encourage them when they are on stateside assignment or a pastor on leave.

Take them out to dinner, give them a place to stay or a car to drive for the week, take them to eat Mexican food (nothing says I love you like tacos!), fill there car up with gas, invite them to speak at your church or small group, give a gift card to Target, help them stock up on things they need to take back with them, ask them how you might could bless them while they are there with you. This will feel like life to there bones and breath in their lungs!

Send your pastor on a vacation. Share your cabin in the mountains. Take them to a nice dinner. Do something special for your pastors wife or children. Care for them well and regularly. They need it!


The impact you will have by whole heartedly seeking ways to serve those who God has placed in your life will be unbelievable. You may never know how much it means to the friend, missionary, pastor, community worker, volunteer, or non-profit servant but trust me it is will bless them so much! Your act of intentional generosity may be the thing they need to keep working towards God’s call on their life.

Thank you for choosing intentional generosity!

 

 

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.

img_4403

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. 

SoleHope-08559

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

http://www.rousehouse.org/partnering-with-us-2

 

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

https://www.instagram.com/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

 

 

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

http://www.rousehouse.org/partnering-with-us-2

 

A snapshot into our first month here in Uganda…

img_3679
Our new puppy, Stella! She is now twice this size in just 4 weeks!

 

img_3688
The furniture store where we ordered some beds and chairs for our patio

Random clinic pics

 

img_4182

MUD!!!

 

img_4237

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

 

img_4224img_4270

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

 

img_4276

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!

 

img_4113

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.

https://www.instagram.com/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

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

 

#America2019

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

65565055_10218316588163338_7797440794343768064_n

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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 11.29.20

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 (solehope.org). 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 spanky.rouse@gmail.com
  • 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 spanky.rouse@gmail.com
  • 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 (solehope.org)

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

https://www.instagram.com/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

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

65242456_10218920869671085_3071424065051820032_n

 

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.
SOUTH AFRICA
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
AMERICA
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!
UGANDA
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.
IMG_3700IMG_3725IMG_3323IMG_3870img_3364
img_3350

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).

Liaison

  • 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

Hosting

  • 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/spankyrouse/

https://www.instagram.com/lararouse/

https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

https://www.facebook.com/lara.rouse.7

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

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 14.33.14

https://www.instagram.com/solehope/

https://www.facebook.com/solehope/