Decker’s Diary

Dear Friends and Family,

on the Mission Field
August 2012

Barb Decker

I am home again, but this time I was so torn between coming home and just staying there. Seven months is a long time to be on a primitive camping trip—latrines, bucket baths, unreliable electricity, food cooked over the fire, and lots of walking. Then the last two weeks before I left, it was more like 25/8 than the normal 24/7. The whole reason for changing my ticket from the original plan of returning May 9 to returning June 29, was to be present in Uganda during the Hartzler family work-team trip from Kansas City, headed by my boss, John Gross. Things started getting extra busy around the 19th of June and then went full tilt until I got on the plane on June 29. It was extra fun as well. The team members stayed right in the Abba houses and had a chance to experience home life along with the rats running on the rafters and the roofs. The big boys forfeited their beds and had a week-long slumber party on the floor, or with matSudatresses covering benches. nese It seems that in the presence refugee of a team, I have an excuse to camp do some sightseeing. With and the purpose of ministry, we visited children. 1) a Sudanese refugee camp in Adilang, northern Uganda, 2) the House of Friends' Eddy Reber Memorial Home in Katogwe, north and east of Entebbe, and 3) Luweero, north of Entebbe, the site of future farming opportunities for Abba House. Singing and dancing during church services and providing many with gifts of clothes, soap and salt on each leg of this trip was exciting, both to those who received and for us, as we see possibilities of future ministry in these areas. A video was taken and produced for your watching pleasure and can be linked in at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zWQSqjrjJA&feature=share . As for my sightseeing, I haven't yet seen Africa's finest—lions, tigers, or giraffes; but on this trip, I saw Africa's very finest-- hundreds of children walking along the roads on their way to school. Some may not have food, other than that which they might get at school, and most didn't have shoes, but all were in the uniform of their particular school—brightly (cont. on back)

Kids on My Heart—
I think every time I come home from Uganda, I go through a little bit of depression. Perhaps it is because of the hearing the kids' voices all the time and then coming to a silent house. It's very nice for a few days but then I start missing them all again. God is not finished through me there—I'm just on a break. I do like coming back to the sinks and faucets, warm showers and flush toilets; but I also look forward to the time that I will return to Uganda. I am looking again toward going back in November and then spend Christmas again at Abba House. I am hoping to take a few kids from Abba House, during the Christmas break, to serve as missionaries to the children at the Eddy Reber Memorial Home in Katogwe. Ultimately, I would like to start something like an exchange program between the “sister” children's homes. It's still Uganda and still Africa, but it may prove to be their first “discomfort zone” away from their comfort zone and be a step in their spiritual growth, training them to give out of themselves to help someone else.

I will support Barbara Decker’s work on the mission field with House of Friends in the following way. ___ Barbara Decker Mission Support (Monthly) $_________(One Time Gift) $________ ___ Abba House Project ( ) Multi-purpose dining/kitchen $___________ ( ) Missionary Quarters $_________ ___ Mission Trip Expenses to Uganda $_________ ___ Please send information on sponsorship of __child, __worker, __ Abba House Director.
All donations are tax deductible. Please write checks payable to: House of Friends and send to P O Box 228, Alma, MO 64001 Thank you for caring!

colored dresses and shirts.

A “Man Thing”
A fun thing I would like to share occurred during the time when the Hartzler Children arriving Family team was there and at school. they were showing the Abba kids how to throw an American football,. Henry, one of our older boys, challenged me to arm wrestle. To give you a little background, in June, 2011, when I first moved into Abba House, the young kids and I were arm wrestling at the table. I beat Desire, Joshua, and Allan and then asked Henry. So, he sat across from me, and I beat him too. One year later, after I had forgotten the whole thing, Henry wanted to arm wrestle. He was looking for a match to win and this time he did!

requirement gifts from the groom to the bride's family, which I think are: a leg of beef, cooking oil, washing soap, matches, and a goat. The rest of the gifts given are extra blessings, which the groom's family brings in, presenting them before the Gifts carried in baskets on top of the bride's family. heads of women in the groom’s family. What a colorful parade that was, with all the ladies bringing gifts on their heads! Now engaged, Patrick and Harriet will be married in November. If it's God will, I hope to be there for that occasion. How exciting!

In Closing —
I continue to thank all of you who are contributing to this work in Uganda. I realize budgets are getting tighter and life may be getting harder, but God promises provision, especially to those who remember the poor, the orphans and widows, and the children who come unto Him. I would ask you to pray for the care and education sponsorships of these children. One time, when I came home, I spoke of prices of things—how sky-high they had gotten and how hard it had become for a poor man to put food on the table. My words were met with ,”well, that's comparable to prices here.” But, here, in the U.S., wages are at least seven dollars per hour. There, a villager to gain seven dollars, he may work for three days, depending on the job and how many days it takes him to complete it. Please remember the Abba House children, workers, and especially the director as you pray about sponsorships. Visit the House of Friends website for information about this. I also thank you very much for my continued support. May God richly bless you as you have blessed me so that I can bless them.

A Ugandan Tradition —
In May, I was invited to an engagement party of Patrick, a brother of Pastor Kaaya, and Harriet, the worship leader in the church. An engagement party, or “an announcement,” is a big cultural and traditional get-together where the two families and all their guests face each other. It was all in Luganda, so I didn't catch any of the jokes; but, as I see it, she announces to her family about this man who has asked her to marry him. While he “hides” deep on his family's side of this event, both families face off and insult each other pubLine of guests coming licly. In the end, to party. however, her aunts, in a slow dancing step, wade their way through his family to find he who is hiding. Then he and she can sit together and insults are changed to blessings for the two. Then his family brings in great offerings to her family. There are five

Be Blessed, Barb Decker
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Barbara Decker, Missionary House of Friends P O Box 228