Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Meet Our Intern Phoebe!

            Everyone meet Phoebe!!! She is the very first special needs intern at GSF. She graduated in May from Georgia College and State University (Yes, Cody and I went there, too). She spent her summer working at a camp in Montana, got engaged, and is now interning here with me for 3 months!!! She is already such a blessing to us here.  She is interested in everything going on here, jumps right in, helps with Nolan, and is helping make great changes to the special needs program! It is fun to have someone with the same background and passion for children with special needs around to laugh and work with.  She came at just the right time, too since I could not do this without her and manage Nolan at the same time. 
            Cody and I met Phoebe last year when we spoke at Georgia College and State University on Furlough. My favorite professor asked me to come share what we are doing in Uganda with the special education majors there.  I was thrilled when she emailed about seriously coming and interning with us for three months.  She arrived at the end of August and will leave at the end of November…if we let her go…just kidding!
            It is really neat to have someone here that also went to the same school as us. We have had fun conversations about school, restaurants, Milledgeville, Georgia, life in the South, and professors.  It is fun to talk about the special needs program at school since we both went through the same program…even though a went through it A LONG time before her ;)

            Together we are working on implementing assistive communication into the lives of the children with special needs at GSF.  We have cleaned out the sensory room and are creating new jobs and activities for the children to participate in throughout the day. While some of the children were at home from school on holiday, she did a lot of tutoring in order to figure out what is going on with some of our special needs students. I am so thankful for her time and efforts to do things that I could not do by myself.  We are so grateful to God for bringing her at this time, for her heart towards these kids, and her help in this time of need!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Summer 2016...But Mostly Nolan

Our Finished House!

Our personal life in Highlights:

We moved into our house on May 31, 2016.

We left for America on June 3, 2016.

We spent time with family.

Celebrated one of our good friend’s weddings where Katie was a bridesmaid.

Was thrown a baby shower by our church family at E3 in Tallahassee.

We only got to see a few friends for a very short period of time because our schedule was so packed!

Katie had a special needs team working with her in Uganda the day we arrived back. 

We began organizing our house into a home and preparing for the baby that was due in a month.

Ready to Brave the Bumpy Ugandan Roads

Nolan’s Birth in Highlights

Katie’s water broke on Sunday July 17 at 11:00 am at home.

Katie and Cody drove to Kampala (2 hours away). 

There was Very little traffic! What a blessing! (It could have taken a VERY long time!)

Nolan’s heartbeat was very irregular throughout the labor and was monitored closely.

At 2:30 Monday morning the Dr. decided that a C-section was needed due to his heartrate. 

Nolan arrived at 3:04 am Monday July 17, 2016. 

He was 6 pounds 6 oz and 15 inches long.  

Since then:

We have been adjusting to life as a family of three! J

He is such a blessing and gift from God.

He is now 5 weeks old, growing, and doing great!

Cody had a month at home with us until he started back to school.

Cody’s school size jumped from 13 students to 27 in one year!

First Day of School 2015

First Day of School 2016

We have added a new family to our missionary team at GSF!

Katie is staying home with Nolan for the time being. 

She plans to continue her work from home after taking some time off. 

Katie has an intern coming next week to work with her until December!

How we see God working:

Providing an intern for Katie at the perfect time

Making it possible for her mom to come as soon as the baby was born

Allowing Cody to have a month at home with Nolan.

Keeping the traffic low on the drive to Kampala and that Katie was not in pain.

Even though Nolan was early, he was so healthy!

On Our Hearts: Community

It was such a difficult decision to have Baby Nolan here.  There were sacrifices made on both sides by family and friends to make this happen here, but we felt that this was what we were supposed to do.  We were so blessed with community here and back home.  I have a much larger view of community and family after having Nolan. 
            As for community in Uganda, I really felt the GSF missionaries support us as a family. During the birth, there was an iMessage group-text going for updates and silly comments.  One female missionary actually came with us to the hospital for the drive and delivery.  Another couple met us at the hospital to be there as we needed them, and did little errands, visited us, and they actually stayed in Kampala overnight!  Another family came the next day and brought pizza for everyone.  The Global Outreach Africa Director and his wife came to the hospital to visit as well.  At one point, we had 9 missionaries in the room visiting! That is amazing for a couple who technically had “no one” with them, and all these people lived at least 2 hours away!  One missionary actually came back the next day to spend time with me before my mom arrived that night.  There were phone calls and texts from Ugandan friends and other missionaries in the community that also warmed our hearts.  We arrived home to GSF, and there were kids and staff out to greet us, signs on our door, and the missionaries had cleaned, decorated and organized our house for us.  There were also meals brought for a week and a baby shower.  There were so many other things that I am forgetting to mention, but the important thing is we were SO well taken care of!!!
Part of Our Amazing Missionary Family
            As for our American Family, there were so many facebook messages and posts.  My mom got on a plane and arrived by Wednesday morning. (This was the plan all along) We were able to Facetime a lot of people to “meet” Nolan.  There were gifts and donations made in Nolan’s name.  Our church announced the birth of their newest missionary, and our sending organization Global Outreach celebrated with us as well.  For being so far away, we felt so loved and connected during this time.  Thank you for loving us and supporting us!!!  The ocean didn’t feel so wide.

Monday, February 29, 2016

February Update

We are back and in full swing in Uganda!
            Furlough Summary: It was great to see and be with family and friends. We mostly spent our time in Georgia/Florida, but we did have the opportunity to visit friends, family, and supporters in California.  We had a great time catching up with people, enjoying the food, and sharing about what God is doing at GSF.  We also got approved and confirmed by the Global Outreach International Board as full-time missionaries.  Furlough is a great time, but also a hard time.  Cody and I felt like our life was on pause because we were talking about our work in Uganda but not actually doing much of it.  Furlough also confirmed what we already knew in our hearts that we are “home” in America and “home” in Uganda.  We love both for many different reasons and are so thankful to have both in our lives.   Thank you for all the hugs, conversations, and love that you showered on us while we were there!

             Holidays: We came back and jumped right into the holidays, including: staff Christmas party, special needs Christmas party, cookie sing-a-long, and last minute shopping (yes, that happens here, too). It was wonderful to have Cody’s mom and one of his sisters here to celebrate with us, and we all went on a safari together.  We were so thankful to share our lives with them and have them here with us!   

 What are we up to:

            Katie is preparing to help start a class for struggling learners  (resource class) at the Ugandan School with a Ugandan teacher, beginning at the end of February.  She is making small changes to the special needs program, implementing goals this year for the children with special needs, and making future plans for the older individuals with special needs who are 18 and above. 

            Cody is in the 2nd semester of teaching this year.  He is teaching Kindergarten-11th grade English. He is doing A LOT of reading: from Sophocles and Plato to Cat in the Hat and the Bob books J He has his own Sunday school class, which he loves teaching.  Cody has also been working a lot more with adaptive technology to help Katie solve problems for the children with special needs.

            House: One thing on our heart is the building of our house.  It sounds like a typical thing and a basic process, but I am learning that it is so much more.  First of all, a fellow missionary, Daniel Iya, is the project manager, and he hired the foreman for the building project who moves up to this area of the country during the times he works here. They have worked together before on a previous project.  Then they hired the labor workers. These men range in age from 15 to 25.  This shocked me because they are so young! This gives Daniel the opportunity to really teach them skills, help them provide for their families, raise money to go on to more schooling, and disciple them and teach them about God.  We know for a fact that a few of the workers are Muslim and are excited for this opportunity for them to hear about Jesus.  Please keep Daniel and his ministry of building our house in your prayers! 

            Baby:Very much on our hearts and minds is our little baby fox due to arrive in August.  We are very excited and thankful.  To answer a lot of questions:
            We are having the baby in Uganda. It will have dual citizenship.  We have the best OBGYN in the country as our doctor. The hospital we are using has a NICU and Neonatal Unit.  We have prayed and thought about what was best for the baby and really decided that this is the best thing for our child and family at this time.  We have many back-up plans, but this is our course of action at this time.  I hope this sets some minds to ease. We really are thinking this through!

                       Baby Sly Fox (Health)
                       Katie (Health)
                       Seeking God's Direction in future plans 

                       Baby Sly
                       Future plans coming together
                       All the missionaries are back together again at GSF
                       Annette, sweet new lady helping in our home   
                       Progress on the building of our new home


Monday, September 21, 2015

Furlough: Faith, Family, Friends, Food, and Fun!

Hello from America!

           We are enjoying our time in America so far. It has been very busy but also very enjoyable.  During the first week, I was in one of my high school friend’s weddings. I got to spend some great time with friends and help finish up wedding details the week before the wedding.  I only had one night where I had trouble sleeping for about 2 hours, and that was it for jet lag, which is awesome!!! Cody went to visit his family and then met back up with me for the wedding in Virginia. 
            Then we spent a few weeks back in Thomasville, during which we attended the Global Leadership Summit, met with supporters, went to our home church E3, saw friends and family, celebrated family birthdays, and substitute taught at Brookwood. 
            Next, we went to California where we met up with a lot of supporters, made new relationships, and caught up with family and friends! It sounds strange, but after Georgia and Florida, that is where a lot of our supporters are, so we went to visit them.  This was our first trip to California.  We enjoyed GREAT food thanks to some awesome people!!! In our week there we were able to see and experience Malibu Beach, Sonoma Valley, Lake Tahoe, Hollywood and Los Angeles. 
           Afterwards we traveled to Savannah to see my brother and his wife where we ate well (seeing a trend yet) saw his cool Lego robotics classroom, had game night, and went to church in a theater.  Then we went to Athens to see family and meet up with some other people there.  We spent a week in Atlanta catching up with friends, thanking supporters, and making new relationships.  Next we went to Dahlonega to see camp friends and supporters, and then we got to spend a week in Cody’s home town of Rome, GA. We were able to meet up with people from his home church, see his whole family, and visit our favorite spots there. It was especially wonderful to have the triplets reunited after at least two years!!!
           While we are here to connect with friends, family, and supporters, we are also here to share our story about what God is doing at GSF, and to raise funds to support the ministry at GSF.  At this time, we are focusing on additional monthly funds due to adding a physical therapist and special needs teacher’s salaries to our budget.  We are also raising the funds to build a small house at GSF beginning in the next few months. We are still following the schedule that is at the bottom of the last post. We hope to see you while we are here!!!


Enjoying being a bridesmaid with and for high school best friends

Catching up with dear heart friends from college who are doing great ministry in Atlanta 

Enjoying lots of connections through three of the group growing up in Rome, all of us working at camp together, and three of us having lived in Africa! 
One of the amazing parts of this journey is having friends all over the world. It was great to catch up with friends we made in Uganda and explore Los Angeles with them. 
It was such a blessing to have time with this amazing couple who are inspiring in how they live their lives for God


The triplets! No, they are not identical ;) 
Almost the whole Hanna/Fox family 

The triplets and their loves :) 


 California Mexican

Korean Barbecue

Beginning our month of travel

Exploring Los Angeles
Hollywood at night