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2013, the Year of Firsts

2013 has been a big year! So many things have happened for us as a family and for Tamarind.


For us as a family Zach first stared crawling in January and not long after was walking, and now is running around and very inquisitive about everything, especially anything musical or that has knobs and buttons. At 16 months he is over 85cm tall and is frequently mistaken for a 2-3year old. We have all been blessed with good health apart from some minor colds and flu. We have had a nice amount of time being a family of 3 and now we are preparing to become a family of 4! We have a baby due in April 2014. Chris and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary in January and it only feels like yesterday that we got married. ☺


In April my Aunt Rosemary and Uncle Bill came to visit, and it was very nice to have family around to see on the ground what we are doing. Unfortunately during their stay Nana Carne passed away. This was a great loss but a relief for her from the pain that she was in. She was an amazing woman that made a huge difference in many people’s lives and impacted our life greatly. In many ways I think my Nana has blessed us through her skills, character traits, and Christian heritage passed on by just being a faithful woman of God. She will be missed much by all.


Sarah and Zach visited Australia briefly for Nana Carne’s funeral. This was a bittersweet time, bitter saying goodbye to an amazing Nana, sweet seeing friends and family.


The firsts for Tamarind started in May when Chris started to get ready for our first team, who arrived end of June. They built our first training centre and planted our first pine trees. They experienced our first community celebration lunch and were the first to be involved with the Tamarind community of businesses. What an amazing experience that will never be forgotten, - thanks Northern Beaches Christian school year 11 class of 2013. Great bunch of people that will last in our hearts forever.


On the practical side Tamarind has now been registered as a Community Based Organisation for 2 years, we have 3 properties that are being developed, and have a Ugandan Bank account. Chris has become the first full time worker on the project. We took a faith leap and a pay cut and Chris left his job at Watoto in February 2013 so he could focus on what God has called us to in Africa. The transition has been amazing and challenging in many ways. Amazing in that Chris has flourished in his position and the work that he is doing in the community. Challenging financially to rely completely on our Heavenly Father for all our needs.


Tamarind harvested our first crops in early October. Rice, corn and beans which we are planning to sell some and use some to feed the workers that will be making bricks over Christmas. We have big plans for constructing a storehouse and mill to continue the development of the demonstration farm and training of the local community. Presently we have up to 100 builders and farmers that are working for us and participating in our program. Approximately 16 of those have completed the first training module in empowerment, discipleship and life skills. It is very exciting to see the change in the community already! This war-affected community have been influenced and impacted by NGO’s (Non Government Organisations) in many positive and negative ways. Some of the negative outflow has been that local people have become very reliant on aid to function in life, and created a dependency that disables them to function normally and be self-reliant. Chris has started to challenge this mindset and change their understanding of daily living to a more effective and future orientated perspective. The response has generally been positive and receptive; we pray this will continue in the future.


Praise Points:

  • Our ongoing good health

  • Northern beaches Christian School support, team visit and involvement in the program.

  • Crops that have been harvested.

  • People that have completed the first module of training.

  • Zach’s growth and development


Prayer points:

  • Health and well being of Sarah and her pregnancy

  • Continued change and openness of the community to the program and understanding of Jesus love.

  • Ongoing growth and development of Tamarind on the ground practically, financially, and spiritually

  • Chris’s Visa


A big THANK YOU to all those who support us in many different ways. You are playing a vital part in Renewing, Restoring, and Rebuilding Northern Uganda.

If you have read this prayer letter and your heart has been stirred to take part in the programs through prayer or financial support please let us know, we would love to hear from you!

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