Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holidays Approaching

As the Christmas season approaches, I pray that you and your families are well, happy and living for Jesus!!. I am so excited for this holiday, both because I absolutely love Christmas and its so much fun to see the smiles and joy on the faces here, but also because I get one more Christmas in my Ugandan home. Having Christmas with these kids brings so much joy to them and to those of us priveledged enough to participate in it.
It is strange packing and sorting and seeing things go out the door to a new missionary home. My christmas thing are out and up. I did of course have to stand directly in front of the floor fan and squirt water on me while I was decorating the tree and the room so that it remotely felt like Christmas. It truly has been very very hot here lately. Thought today it is blessedly overcast and there is the promise of rain in the air.
I pray that God blesses each and every one of you as you celebrate this glorious holiday with your friends and family. May the joy of the season remind you, the reason for it.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Season of Change

I have always felt God's leading in my life here in Uganda. When he called me here over 5 years ago, I had no idea for how long, how it would impact my life, and the lives of others here. I hung out my fleece and asked God to reveal His perfect will for me and He most assuredly did. He spoke to me in a way, He never had before. I was in it for the long haul no matter how long.

These last 5 years, I have had NO idea when or if he would change that or call me back or on to the next mission. I have always been willing to be here for as long as He desired or for the rest of my days. God, it seems, has finally revealed that time frame to me.

With some fear and trepidation and yet a perfect peace that passes all understanding, I will be leaving Uganda January 2011. I am certain that God is saying "Go Home For Now". I have no certainties, however, about where He is leading me next or when or how, or even what I will do when I go back home. I have nothing but precious family and my church and friends and you wonderful people to go home to. I only know He is calling me to go home for a while.

I am open to suggestions or any interest you might pass my way. Perhaps He is allowing me time with my mother who is so frail. Though I missed many milestones with my Grandchildren, I have always been willing to give up family for this calling and yet God has been gracious in allowing me the times I have had to go home and 'visit'. I do know one thing, I will always be involved in Missions at the heart, and I will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS within my power be a supporter of Amani Baby Cottage. This place has been my lifeblood for over 5 years!!

This decision has not been abrupt nor easy. I have been praying, and fighting this with God for several weeks now. I knew this would probably happen someday but truly didn't expect it now. I love Amani and my work here. This is my home and has been since I first set foot on Ugandan soil.

I would like first to ask you to join me in prayer that God would continue to reveal His perfect will for my life and that I be patient and willing to bend or wait or go or whatever He has planned.

Secondly, I would like to ask you dear ones, for now, to partner with me and continue supporting me financially, both now and in the interim which of course starts January 2011. While it is still 4 months off, I need to prepare to begin shutting down my home and possessions I have acquired here in Uganda, get back home in Colorado, and then wait for God to direct my next move. Since I have no home, car, job or prospects at this time, I ask for your continued support. My goal is to be able to be ready, willing and able at the proper time. If you are so willing I would greatly appreciate it. Know that the funds will continue to be projected at Missions support. I will also continue for now with my blog comments on my work at Amani.

Lastly, I would ask that you let me know your thoughts, encouragements and any direction you think I might benefit from. I greatly value your love and support, your prayers and your friendship. This has been a difficult time and I feared it, yet, God said, Trust me, and that I shall do.

Thank you so very much and may God richly bless you as I pray you read between the lines and see into my heart. A heart filled with love and service to the kingdom.

By His Grace;

Siouxanne Mease
Reaching Hands Missions

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shanley's Thoughts

The coffee at Siouxanne’s flows abundantly in the morning hours. Often I find her sitting on the veranda with a second or third cup, curled up with her Bible or a good novel. This is her escape – a home where the Nile breeze enters in between the curtains in quick gusts, and she can check on the progress of her mango and lemon trees in the front yard. Often, towards the evening, she’ll juice lemons in her kitchen, and freeze the juice for a treat the next day.

I came to visit Siouxanne after spending four weeks in the Luwero district. Coming to be with her was a haven for me - a place of quiet and rest, running water and (mostly) dependable electricity. I trusted her home to be a place that I could come for normalcy, because she has learned the secret of adaptation. She walks a fine line between Uganda and Colorado, her work with 54 children off the Nile River, and the photos of her grandchildren that fill the rooms of her home in Jinja.

For me, it's the way that Siouxanne has adapted to her life here that is most remarkable. Just today, she was laughing telling me about the boda she bought when she first arrived, and her quick confrontation with a truck driver trying to move it while she was parked outside Jinja's marketplace. "I said, 'What in the world do you think you are DOING!?'" she laughed. She left, after that, to enter the market to grab some ingredients and I noticed the quick sureness in her step that tells me she knows her place here. And quite the place it has been - one of both healing and administrative volunteer, midwifery and volunteer coordinating (which she only did for 9 months) aside from her full time job as medical director. I know that, for her, it's a calling, more than a job - and that it is the calling to be here that gives her a sense of place, in the midst of living across the world from her children and grandchildren.

"I know I wouldn't be here if God hadn't put it on my heart that this was undeniably exactly what He wanted from me," she told me at dinner, over her delicious chicken tikka masala that I ate way too much of. "But that's what He did, and so I came."

I've heard the story before - the way she couldn't find a house to buy in the states, because, unbeknownst to her, God was preparing her to leave the country. I've heard about the heaviness in her heart when she left America for the first time, and the way she laid out a proverbial fleece before the Lord before she decided that it was, indeed, time to sell most all of her early possessions and move to Africa.

I think it's the honesty in her struggle between Uganda and Colorado, grandchildren and orphan care in Africa that gave her the ability to relate to me, and to laugh, as we compared ourselves to the Israelites, looking back on the parting of the red sea, but wondering just exactly how He plans to feed us in the desert. When she talks about the amount of time she might stay here, or when she'll be called to go, she turns back to the signs that brought her here the first time and says, "I don't know why I worry, when He provided so miraculously in bringing me here."

I once sent my mother a Confucius quote that reads, "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." It was a form of recognition, more than an admonishment. My mother has moved five times in the past four years - two of them across the country, all of them in houses with small kitchens and makeshift basements, unkempt gardens and half hearted paint jobs. She told me once that it had clicked for her that each place had to be made a home. I reminded Siouxanne of it this morning as I sat at her kitchen table and we talked about my own journey into Africa. I feel the tug she talks about, but I don't know what fleece to lay out, or how God will answer.

Until then, I'm encouraged when I think of Siouxanne, living here on the Nile and Lake Victoria, treating the children at Amani, midwifery, AIDS testing and running an emergency unit outside her clinic. On the side, she's housing and encouraging weary travelers like me, unsure of their own place in Africa but reminded, by people like her, that it's the answer to the call that matters in the first place - and that when it comes, one can rest in knowing that when His call does come, it comes in absolutely undeniable ways.

. Shanley Knox
August 12, 2010 In the words of photographer Kendrick Brinson, "Life, I love you." I woke up this morning in Jinja, where my journey in Africa began. I haven't been here since August of 2008, when I hugged my roommates a quick goodbye at 5am, and climbed into the left seat of a taxi bound for Enteb...

Monday, July 12, 2010


As most of you have probably already heard via the International News Affiliates, we had some bombings in Kampala last night. Both places have been frequented by us when were in Kampala. I am safe and those dear and near to me here are safe and sound.
We are all a little unnerved and have a heightened awareness that we are in the midst of terrorism, but we also trust in a mighty and awesome God.
We are asking all our friends and families to keep us in your prayers and especially those that were affected by last nights bombings.
We know without a doubt that God called us here and so in saying that, trust that He knows best.
You can get on the local newspapers website and see the story, but please be aware that the photos are VERY VERY graphic. and

Thank you dear ones for your prayers and your support. God is good and on His throne and He is in control. Bless you all

Friday, July 9, 2010

Following His leading...

I am constantly amazed by the complexities and simplicities that are always tied together in this country. They are interwoven so tightly that sometimes you cannot tell the difference. Daily I feel that God is constantly speaking to me and bringing about a message my heart can barely contain.
One of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in my life is being called to this country. A little over 5 years ago, I stepped on an airplane for a two week trip that forever changed my life. You may have never experienced such life changing, mountain top events, but I pray that through my words, my eyes and my heart, you can see from this blog that I truly have.

The children at Amani Baby Cottage never cease to amaze me. I am daily confronted with different issues and yet sometimes the same issues repeatedly. Sometimes I have to stop myself from being complacent. Oh that I would never forget the primary objective to my being here. I try to always be ready for the Lord's leading. I never know when or where He will do that, and I try always to be prepared for the unexpected.

I have had a small 4 month old baby that has been sick without knowing the etiology (source).
Fevers, and at first cold like symptoms. I treated him for them, tested him for Malaria two times with both showing negative. The little guy started having focal seizures and was a sick little guy.
At one point the volunteers brought him to me thinking he was near death. I treated him as best as I could, took him to the local hospital for testing. They didn't find anything either. But nevertheless, I treated him for infection and went ahead and treated for Malaria. The fevers and cold symptoms left but he continued to have seizures. I bumped my prayers for this little guy and started an Odyssey of phone calling to find a neurologists and an EEG. Phone numbers I had were no longer working, doctors no longer available, I was going crazy trying to find some help for this little guy.

The hospital in Kampala we use for testing like that had one tech that performed them and this person was on "leave". I finally after 4 days of phone calls and pleading found a doctor, but he would not answer his phone. Meanwhile, my prayers continued and I am sure all the volunteers were praying as well. Amazingly, the seizures STOPPED and he started smiling and acting like a normal 4 month old baby. I cannot explain it except to say the POWER OF PRAYER WORKS MIRACLES.

I don't have an ending to this story yet. Today, I have sent him to Kampala for testing finally and evaluation, even though the seizures stopped. We found somewhere else to test him. I pray though the medical is limited, that if there is something going on with this little one it will be found out. I will continue to treat and observe and do whatever it takes if possible to keep him well. Oh and By the way..... He is HIV negative!!!!!

From stories like this little guy to another child at the home who is Autistic. He is like the wind. It is hard to contain him. He is a free spirit. This week he threw gravel on my car seat. I had to spend 15 minutes cleaning it out so I could go home for the day. That same day he had thrown gravel in Mama Cook's outdoor kitchen so that had to be cleaned up so she could cook. You have to laugh at this, though, it means closer watch on him as he gets to big to manage. We wait for another special home to open this September so they can take him and love on him too.

'God, so move in my life and my heart, that I remain open to your leading and direction. I am your servant Lord, and ready to follow you to ends of the earth.' AMEN AND AMEN

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Ok, so I have a total and complete aversion to snakes. I can barely stand to say the word "Snake". I would rather the world existed without them, for many reasons. But, I also know they are a part of God's Kingdom.
Caterpillars are a different story however. I will admit, I did refuse to touch this one. It was pretty large. I did take pictures and look at it for awhile. It had a rather large stinger on its rear but was amazingly vivid green with brown/gray geometric stripes on it's topside.
Amazing!! That's what I said. God is amazing!!! He has created so many amazing and incredible things. It's hard to capture on a camera.
These children here at Amani are amazing. Their resilient and precious, funny and obnoxious, loving and truly God's own. I love my work here, and even though I sometimes get mired down in the immensity of it all, I still am so thankful that I am called here for now.
We meet the needs of these children, and God gives us the grace and wisdom to do it. Like this Green Caterpillar they each have their own unique way about them and their beautiful in God's sight.
Thank you all dear ones for your continued support, your prayers and your kind messages. Receiving hello's from you are like precious jewels for me to put on a chain. I link them together to form a beautiful piece of quality jewelry. Bless you all abundantly. I love you all.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bold as a Lion

Recently, my brother Sam came to Uganda to visit me. He took us both on Safari, which was absolutely wonderful and thrilling. It was so great to be able to spend time with my oldest brother. We were blessed and priveledged to see all the animals you could possibly see in this part of Uganda, East Africa.
One of those creatures was the Male African Lion. We had been driving around the game park looking and looking when the decision was made to try and go off road a bit. We drove around in the bush for a bit and were just about to give up and get back on the road and out of the game park before dark, when we went around a large cluster of bushes and there under them was the big Daddie himself. The grass was so tall that at first we didnt see him as he was down lower than the grass tops. But as you can see, he sat up. We were about 20-25 feet away from him, and with the windows of the bus thrown open wide we started shooting pictures as quickly as we could.
Fortunately, he sat there and watched and allowed us our photo op. It was amazing to be that close to this wild animal knowing at any moment (if he wanted) he could have leaped through one of the windows of the bus and had a royal feast.
This King of the Jungle was breathtaking...
There is however, another King that we must picture in our minds while walking this earth doing His will. That is the King of Kings, The Lion of Judah.. One more breathtaking, miraculous, amazing and thrilling than any other we will ever experience. As long as we are obedient and trust in Him, He will be our Protector and Saviour.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 28:1, "The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a Lion." This is a warning and instruction on how to live, because if we are bold and heed these warnings, we as Christians and children of God will dwell with Him in eternity and we will be able to take many there with us.
Living a righteous life is not an easy road.. I Peter 5:8,9 says, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring Lion, seeking someone to devour. BUT, resist him, stand firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your bretheren who are in the world."
As you face the Roaring Lions of this World, remember the Lion of Judah who saved you and be bold as a Lion and face the devil head on.
In the final Sunrise of life, when you stand before the King of Kings he will say to you, Well done thou good and faithful Servant...enter into the Joy of the Lord"..... That Sunrise will be better than any you or I have ever experienced.

This is the sunrise we experienced in the game park at Murchison Falls, Uganda, East Africa in the North

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring into Destruction

Well by now you are all settling in to face the Springtime. For you last Sunday was Daylight Savings Time 'Spring Forward Day'. We do not change time here at the equator and I nearly forgot that it was that time of year.
The rains have brought much lush greenery and the flowers are blooming riotously. Well lots of mud too, but that is to be expected.
I am sure most of you have heard about the complete destruction of the Buganda Kingdoms Tombs of the Traditional Kings. This was a UNESCO world heritage site located on Kasubi Hill near the capitol city Kampala. The Buganda is Uganda's largest ethnic group based in the central part of the country. The site is a symbol of the Spiritual, Political and Social State of the Buganda Nation. 4 kings bodies were housed there in the domed mausoleum.
Tensions between the government and Buganda is high anyway from the recent clashes over assigning a second king by the government. Presidential elections are a year away and Bugandan's are fearing that these are retaliations by the government. I do not believe the government is involved but someone bent on causing serious trouble between the two. Someone cruel and with evil intent. It is a sad thing that a historic place like Kasubi Tombs could fall prey to people with their own private agenda. This loss for Uganda would be like America losing Arlington National Cemetery.
The raging fire destroyed everything except the concrete walls that formed its backbone, as well as the metallic pillars that supported the dome. Stripped of the wooden poles, reeds and grass, the structure now seems like the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde or other ancient dwellings.
My heart goes out to the Buganda Nation. Despite any political agenda's or Religious connotation, it is a sad loss.
I am praying that the people will act rationally and forgive and remember that God alone is sovereign and the remembrance of these kings in their hearts will not soon be forgotten.
Pray for Uganda, its people and its government and for us who occasionally get caught in the middle.
Things are good here at Amani Baby Cottage. We have 58 children right now and for the most part they are doing well and healthy. I hosted the local governmental Health Department Immunizations section. I am able to call them and set it up. I pick them up with their supplies and they come and give all the immunizations needed for our home for free. It's a whole lot easier to go and get them and bring them to us rather than try to take 58 children to them. After we finish with all the immunizations, I treat the team to soda's and Mandazi (fried sweet bread). It is a wonderful thing that they will do this for us. I am very appreciative of their assistance. They give things like Measles, DPT, Flu shots, Polio, Tetanus, etc. No MMR or Varicella, though those can be obtained in the country for cost. Although they cost less than what you would pay in America the cost is prohibitive for our facility. When children are adopted or fostered to the USA it is part of their immigration physical.
We had the whole house down with Chicken pox a couple of months ago and it took a long time to clear the facility. Thankfully no problems or repercussions from it.
I continue to plug away at my work here and am thankful that I can.
God bless you all there as you enter Spring and Planting Season. I think of you all so fondly and pray God's greatest blessings upon you. Drop me a line now and then, I would love to hear from each and every one of you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photo Gallery of my life and work

The Doctor is in

Beautiful Sunbird on my car mirror

Toddlers walking in rain, moments before scolding the mammas for them not having pants and shoes on

Simple Reminders I post

My mini lab

It Speaks for itself

Part of the supplies I stock and use

My Medical Library

These are some of the ARV's we use on our children who are HIV + and need them. Thanks in part to you wonderful supporters and prayer warriors, these are a few photos of things I see, do and have at my disposal that I have acquired and use at Amani Baby Cottage. Bless you all today

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wagon Play

Food For Thought

I made Biscuits and Gravy for my breakfast this morning. You might think that is not a very big deal, but let me tell you that everything made here is a big deal. Fixing any meal is a process. Since the presence of ready made and easy fixin things are just not available here, we do it the good old fashion way...From Scratch!!!

As I was contemplating the process it took me to complete my breakfast, ( and it really was not near as good as the Biscuit Supreme at Starvin Arvin's) I couldn't help but think of the process we go through in our Spiritual Growth and our service to Him.
Everything about our lives is a process.

We start out as a tiny baby totally dependant on our parents for ALL our needs. As time goes by we grow and mature and learn each thing, day by day, step by step. Eventually, we become adults and start that process all over again when we marry and have children.

How like that our Heavenly Father watches over us and teaches and admonishes and helps us learn to walk, talk, grow in Grace. He stands there as our Spiritual Daddy waiting for us to take our first steps and then continue to walk toward him and His loving arms.

It has been said..."We live in a world that knows the cost of everything, but the Value of nothing. In this world of the "here and now" we who are followers of Christ are called to build our values around what lasts forever...." but do we really!!! Can we not learn the Values set before us.
The process for preparing the world for His return is like those biscuits and gravy. Each step tenuous and each step important.

I would hope that we would remember the we are pilgrims in this world, not tourists. With God's help we need to keep a clear perspective and an undistracted heart, so that we can more effectively serve the Saviour.

So in saying all this, I encourage you dear friends, that as you walk in the process of growing and helping 'others' grow, remember the process that was gone through for us.

Each of us has a job to do here on earth. Whether it be locally or abroad God uses us in powerful and mighty ways and He is there extending His mighty arms out for all to walk into.

These precious little souls here and those of us called to care for them are in a process. While it may not be Biscuits and Gravy (with Cheddar Cheese from home I might add) , it is something immeasurably more important. Preparing those little hearts for growth, health, maturity and eventually and prayerfully having ministries of their own. Isn't this what it is all about?

Whatever God has called you to do and wherever he has called you to do it, serve Him with your whole heart. Give the process the time it needs to mature and in the end you will receive your reward and God's Kingdom will be complete.

Monday, January 25, 2010

....the mission goes on..

It is January 25, 2010 and I am back in Uganda once more serving a mighty God.

Can you believe we are almost 1/12 of the way through this new year already. It's amazing to me how time flies and how God continues to bless this ministry.

I had an absolutely wonderful time with my family during the holidays. Those precious hours spent with my Grandkids and children blessed me so much.
My daughter did throw me a wonderful 50th birthday party and I was able to see many people and spend a little bit of time visiting with them and all my kids and all my Grandkids.

Those of you I was priveledged to see during the short time I was home gave me great joy.

I continue to serve here at Amani Baby Cottage and always seem to hit the ground running when I land here.

The work here is ongoing and you all continue to be a part of it.
I have been on this planet for 50 years now and Praise God I can continue to serve here. Please continue to pray for me and the work here and continue to support Reaching Hands Mission to Uganda.
I would also ask you to pray for our dear friends and connections in Haiti. It is a sad and horrendous situation there right now and our hearts and prayers are going up for them right now.
Bless you all dear ones.