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Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Day with Auntie Katie


I think my sweet friend Katie was a little worried about me since Mike was headed home. We decided to go to the Karamajong village and check out the beads that they have been making for Upon our arrival, kids started jumping up on Katie's car and the women were sitting over in a particular section making this loud yodeling sound....they were SO excited we were there! Those of you that do not know, Gwen and I have pardnered with Katie in trying to help feed the Karamaongs. We started a business that brings orphan awareness, helps people fundraise for their adoption, and feed children in Uganda. A few months ago, Katie went into the village and taught 3 or 4 of the karamajong mamas to make beaded necklaces out of magazines. Their homework for the next week was to go show 1 friend how to make the necklaces. As we walked up, I couldn't believe my eyes! There was a line of probably 100 women waiting (beads in hand) for me to buy them. It was SO EXCITING!! Just to see the expression on their faces was PRICELESS. For the FIRST time, they were able to earn money for something that they had worked for.....WOW! They went from looking hopeLESS to hopeFUL. We lined them all up, Katie counted the beads, and I handed out the money. Gwen and I will sell them to ya'll, then give a percentage back to Katie to feed their children! SO, for ALL of your Christmas shopping go to our website! (

Later that night, She texted me and told me she would pick me up first thing this morning and we would spend the day together just hanging out. Afterall, when she is in the states, that's what we (me, Katie, and Gwen) do....just "hang out". For some reason, I pictured our day "looking" a little different than usual.....hhhmmmmm. I picked Josie up from Amani and got her hair brushed, face cleaned, lotioned up and ready to cute is she?!

She picked Renee, Dana, Josie, and me up at our hotel. We headed out to "the market". As we were getting out of her van, a car rode by and splashed muddy water all over Dana's freshly ironed capris......I looked around for fear that we were being "punked". hahahaha Once we were immersed in the market we realized that there was so much mud, stinky fish, dead ants (yes, it is a yummy snack for these people) and raw meat, the muddy pants didn't seem so bad. Dana headed back to Amani on a piki and the rest of us headed to Katie's.

Some of you have heard me speak of Kristene (Katie's angel straight from the golden gates) We walked in Katie's house and Josie started squealing with delight.......
After we had been at Katie's for awhile, Josie decided to give her Auntie Renee some love......

We heard music playing. I ran to my phone thinking that it was ringing, when I heard Katie's girls screaming from the front yard...THE ICE CREAM MAN! (once again, I thought we were being "punked!") Seriously? There is an ice cream man in Bukaya, Uganda? How on earth does he drive down the road without hitting the goats? With a grin, Katie told me to grab my camera and we ran out the door to buy ice cream. There he was! A Ugandan man, with a cooler tied to the back of his piki (motorcycle).

I am still not sure how he had the music playing. It was that same carnival tune that we hear in the states when the ice cream man is driving through our neighborhoods...HILARIOUS! Of course, he has learned that when he drives by Katie's house, his chances are pretty high of having 15 sales. At first, Josie Love wasn't sure about this really COLD substance that mama kept putting up to her mouth. It didn't take her long to realize that it was a yummy treat! I couldn't help but think If she likes this sherbet....what is she going to think when I take her into Coldstone and buy her a Founders Favorite-pecans+heath bar? (since all of the local coldstones know me by name)

My sweetheart made it home safely, thanks for your prayers. I got an email this morning from Grace saying that they were glad to have Dad home and were anxiously waiting for me and the day when we can bring sweet Josie home. I am truly blessed.


Mallory said...

Josie is looking so much better! glad that you were able to get beads!!! tell Kristine i love her!! Josie is so cut in the picture with her! Cant wait to get Josie to eat some coldstone!!!

Love you,

Mallory said...

For got to say how cute that outfit is on her with the hair!!!

Diane said...

I became a Mama back...way back:) in 1988, our son, Joe, was born!! Became a Mama 4 more times since holding Joe:) Each time a child is welcomed into their family a Miracle just slowly unwraps itself...such a beautiful Miracle.

As I sit this side of the computer screen, I realize...AGAIN...we have witnessed, once again, the Miracle of family! God is so good, His Family, is so, so Good!!

Thank you, Suzanne and Mike, for allowing us to see another Miracle unwrapped right before our eyes!

It has been amazing, once again, to carry our prayers for your family to our Father who wants to show us His powerful Love....once again, He has, and once again I am humbled and cry out with HUGE THANKS to Him, and, to your family to allow us to see God in your sweet Josie Love and her precious family!!!

Praying on......

KT said...

what joy to wake up to this morning!!!!! totally overflowing with praise to our Father!
Josie looks so happy Suzanne! Can't wait to meet her.
I loved seeing the beads in action, knowing that they are lovelies for us to wear and that they truly are bringing work to a people. I can only imagine what this does for their heart. I pray that through these opportunities that God would soften hearts and call a people to himself. To God Be the Glory!

Oatsvall Team said...

what a fabulous email .... i feel like i am right there ... and Auntie Gwen will make sure Josie gets her some coldstone .... I can't wait to touch these necklaces ... What a story !!!!! We may need to take one of your pictures and make it part of a tag ....

i love you sister .... miss you tons and am SO PROUD OF YOU ....

Oatsvall Team said...

k, i had to go back and stare at the picture of Josie Love standing ... I am just in awe of her WILL and what she has overcome to be there when God sent you there ...

Love You Josie ALWAYS ... Auntie Gwen

Beautiful Mess said...

God is so faithful in the way He weaves stories together to make it a B-E-A-utiful tapestry!

Josie-love looks beautiful!

The women who are serving by making necklaces-amazing!

Thank you for sharing!

Faithful to pray for you and your family!

God bless!

HMK said...

Just found your blog through Katie's blog... congrats on the new addition to your family. Our Bereket is HIV+ too. The necklaces are beautiful; they look similar to the ones I sold for From HIV to Home... also made by women in Uganda! :)

That Fresh Feeling said...

What a powerful post! Praying for you!

Never tire of doing what is right 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Jeanine said...

Such joy in all your faces! The pompon pigtails are just too cute. Josie is glowing, as is her mama!

Anonymous said...

My heart is so full of so many different emotions when I look at these pictures and read your sweet, sweet words. i try to envision what you must be thinking and feeling when you look into the eyes of all of these beautiful children and the people of Uganda...I am just in amazement that you are actually there and helping and serving and loving on soooo many of God's children. You absolutely blow me away.

I baked a Tollhouse pie on Wednesday for my small group and thought of you the whole time, wondering if Josie had tasted any chocolate, yet? And if so how much did she love it! Everyone that I know in Bowling Green is praying for you and your family!

I absolutley melted when I saw Josie Love standing at the bed with her precious little dog ears and sweet little pink outfit! She is so precious Suzanne that I can't stand it! I wish that I was there with you! I miss you and can't wait to see you and I am anxiously awaiting getting my hands on sweet lil Josie Love! Take care and love and hugs! xoxo


and 2 became 5 said...

with all of these "shout outs" for coldstone, maybe you could have a corporate sponsorship in the works for amazima! I'm in love with her pigtails - not sure i'm calling them the right thing, but whatever i am loving them.

Lisa K. said...

What an incredible transformation your sweet lil Josie has made right before our eyes. She is precious in her pink and truly a picture of God's saving grace. Enjoy the time you are there and so glad you have Katie to hang with !
Your story is such a testimony to so many. Thanks for sharing and please know we continue to lift you up in prayer.

In Him, LIsa K. Bloomington, Il

florence said...

How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure...

Josie is breathtaking! She looks so content, happy and loved. Your journey has been so amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us and allowing us to see God's mighty hand at work firsthand.

How funny that you thought you might be punk'd! That would be a surprise to see Ashton Kutcher in the middle of Uganda!

May God's lavish love continue to fall on you.

Renee Click said...

What an awesome update! I wish I were there! So glad you are bringing more beads back, I have sold over 125! SO I will be needing more!!!! Yea! Tony told me that I was going to make those babies "fat" selling all these! LOL!!! Josie looks adorable, you got all the hair"controlled" I see and it is precious! Anyway, so glad things are going well, I love the pics! Can't wait to hear all the details! Love,

Gran said...

HI Suzanne,
We miss you here, but the kids are doing well; Grace played awesome in her last volleyball game on Wednesday, and they won. Caleb just watched the video of Josie with me and Mike and just laughed and laughed. He loved it. As I was reading from Jeremiah again this morning, His Word never gets old, "I know the plans I have for you to give you hope and a future." And, that includes Josie and all of us as we surrender to Him day by day. I'm so glad He is faithful, regardless of where we are in our relationship to Him. Other words I read today from "Wisdom for the Way" from Charles Swindoll was for Mothers. "Sometimes when we are completely overwhelmed by circumstances and happenings around us, look up; He has overcome victoriously, and so will we as we look to Him day by day for direction. And, you are right, I am a planner, though most of the time my plans get changed by more important priorities. Our former pastor, Brother Glenn who is now with Jesus, used to say, "A Christian's choice is not between good and bad, but should always be between what is good and best."
I love you, and Pop and I are so proud of you and Mike and all our children and grandchildren; we are blessed to have each other.
Looking forward to seeing you soon. It was so sweet just to hear Josie's voice in the background this morning on the phone, and God has placed you there for such a time as this. His timing is always perfect. "It will be worth it all."
Love again,
MaMa Gaye

Auntie Amanda said...

Um, I have so many things to say about this. First off, I am AMAZED at the transformation in Josie, from the videos in the last post to her smiles and strong looking standing by the bed (sorry, it's the PT in me.. she's looking great, developmentally!). Your love is making that girl THRIVE, sister.
Secondly, that picture of you gals in the village buying the beads, with Josie tied around your back and the cute faces from the girls in front is priceless. Love it!
You seem to be doing a great job taming that hair!
Kristine is lovely, as usual. She and her sister Betty (please meet her if you haven't, she lives at the Suubi house on Magwa) are the funniest gals ever! What blessings to have working and living in those homes.
Aaaaand Katie's girls' faces in the last pic- PRICELESS! Who is that in front? hahaha!
Love you lots, give Josie hugs and kisses for me! <3

lauradodson said...

Hi Suzanne and Mike,
It was truly a pleasure meeting y'all in Uganda. We're home and adjusting. :o) Whew.

I've been reading through your posts and really have been enjoying your blog. I am goinjg to tell our friends about your project for fundraising. They're adopting from Ethiopia...

Take care and we are keeping y'all and Josie in our prayers.

Brian and Mandy Harvey said...

Suzanne--what a beautiful picture of ALL of what God is doing down there! It is awesome to see God accomplish so much all at the same time..only Him. While looking at your blog last night, Elijah was standing over Brian's shoulder and said, "Look Mama, it's our sweet Josie Love! She is happy to have her Mama and Daddy!" Precious. Then there's Ella-kate who thinks every brown baby she sees is Caleb! Just wanted to let you know we love you and will constantly be in prayer for you and all that God is doing, and that Josie Love will have a miraculously, only-God-can-do-that kind of fast homecoming! Love you!!!!


Wife of the Pres. said...

I want some necklaces! You and Gwen inspire me! We can all do something … just look at that full circle you've painted. I was working on a blog post in my head about God's redemptive love. That bead story … redemptive love!!!

I want to put something on my blog about 147million. do you have a button yet???

Josie Love is just beautiful! Her hair--can't wait to see you fixing that every day! :))) Glad your DH made it safely home to the rest of your family here.

I was talking to someone from our church two days ago while we waited for our daughter to get through heart surgery and was talking about your blog and your story. Our Preschool Minister said, "Oh, you're talking about Josie Love and her family, aren't you?"

Please know you are surrounded by prayers here at home in W Cty., T. I have had other instances of people saying they had heard about you all and are praying!!!

Victoria Searer said...

I received my shirt today & I read the note that was tied to it to my little Carolyn who's 6. When I told her with me buying the shirt it feed 1 child 1 hot meal for a week, I could see the wheels start turning in her head. She said, "But I get 3 meals a day." I had to tell her baby some people can afford to have 3 meals a day and there are hungry kids all over the place just needing a little bit of love & someones attention. She asked me if I could help her at the school get food together. I told her I would talk to her principal & try to get together a food drive. She asked if we could set up a stand to get food from other people also. When she started saying all of this I broke down in tears & was so proud. I hope she is just a glimpse of the next generation. We can't wait for the new necklaces! I've already told my Husband & Dad I would like one for Christmas! We can't wait to meet Josie Love & Mia at the next reunion! Be safe & know that we're praying for you!

Much Love from your cousins in Texas,
Victoria, Nathan, Carolyn & Rowdy

Anonymous said...

You are one day closer to bringing her home... each day. Hang in there and know there are many interceeding on your behalf. We love you and embrace you in our arms from across seas. The great thing is that our Father knows neither time nor distance. Continue walking one step forward, one day at a time. I love you, sister, and look forward to all the MIRACLES that continue to await us! Joy in the journey, Corinne

Chastity said...

J Love is glowing! I am a PCA teacher, Gwen just came to do a chapel for us this past week - Awesome! I have been following you for a while and this is my first post on your blog. Your family is lovely and your heart for Jesus is contagious. My husband and I have been praying, searching, and we will find ways to help more with this ministry. Your blogs (all three) inspire me and break my heart on a regular basis. Praying for your safe homecoming and most especially for the health of that sweet baby Josie.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where you are in this process and not sure it matters....we just keep praying....watching God show up in ways we could never imagine. We look forward to your return!

MommyBrec said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I am LOVING Josie Love's hair-do! It is so wonderful to see her smiling and standing and the videos with her talking...SO PRECIOUS! What a sweet little darling she is!

LOVED all the pictures! Thank you for taking the time to post them. The necklaces are SO lovely, and I can't WAIT to get me one! Those women are AMAZING! What Katie, you and Gwen are doing is amazing! God's hand is in all of that work, in each bead...Thank you for following Him and being faithful to Him! You are blessing so many lives!

Thank you for the update! Continuing in prayer for your entire family.

The Ferrill's said...

Wow wow wow....those first pictures of the women and the makes my beads all the more meaningful. Thank you for showing me a glimpse of the beauty behind the beads!
I'm praying for you, Suzanne. I'm so thankful the Lord has put friends around you to encourage you! Josie is a lil' pumpkin! You are one blessed mama!
I know the Lord is being greatly glorified through this time! Praise Him! Thank you for being faithful! Even when it's hard...


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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