Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things are great!

I thought I needed to do a little update since it's been so long since I've written. Things are going great!! I had a check up at the doctor the other day and everything looks really good and I continue to be healthy praise God! I ran 1/2 of the Little Rock marathon a few weeks ago with some of my girlfriends and it was an empowering experience.

There is a breast cancer survivor feature article in the April 2009 issue of All About You Magazine (AY Magazine). I was one of the women they interviewed for the article and I think it turned out pretty well. You should be able to pick up a copy around Central and Northwest Arkansas. (the picture above is from the magazine: I'm the jumper in the middle!)

I keep up with Facebook so if you are on, you can friend me here

The kids and Daniel are all doing well. Ophelia is closing in on the end of Kindergarten and Victor (3 1/2 yrs) & Fiona (2 yrs) are growing up very fast and play the days away.

School Pictures Below:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

HS Reunions & Race for the Cure LR

It's been a bittersweet end to the summer. Ophelia started kindergarten and is loving it which is a blessing but the 1 year anniversary of Kim's death was very hard. I miss her so very much. My health continues to be good and Daniel and I appreciate your prayers; the kids are doing great and growing up so fast. Vic turned 3 in June and Fiona is quickly closing in on 2 years old.

This weekend is Daniel's 20 year High School reunion and next weekend is mine! It's hard to believe 20 years have gone by. We'll be traveling down to central Arkansas 2 weekends in a row and there is a group from the Beebe class of '88 who are running in the Little Rock Race for the Cure in honor of Kim & me. Daniel & I will be running with them; Thanks for the honor!

Love, Karen

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Uganda Update

The team made it back to NW Arkansas yesterday evening. The kids and I were excited to pick Karen up at the airport and she and the team were happy to get home! I'm posting some of her photos linked below.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Uganda update for Friday

I talked to Karen on the phone a few hours ago and they were at the Airport in Entebbe getting ready to board the plane. They have one stop in Kenya and then they fly to Belgium and layover a few hours then on to Chicago and then home. They arrive tomorrow at 5pm CDT. The kids and I can't wait to get her back home!!!! more tomorrow after she gets here.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Uganda Update, Thursday, June 19, 2008

From: Chris Thornton
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 3:14:13 PM
Subject: Thursday

Our last day of service.... The team was spilt up today as the clinic and childrens outreach teams went to IDP camp Koch Chorom and a 4 person team went to witness and share at the village Opit.

From the reports the clinic and outreach went very good. About 220 patients were seen. Again many were not able to be seen. It was very hot and difficult today, but the team gave of themselves as usual and were a witness for Christ.

In Opit we spent 2 and a half hours doing hut to hut evangelism. We shared why we were there and invited them to the crusade in 2 teams. We then held a service in the UMC church there pastored by Titus. The church is held under a large tree in the middle of the village. The childrens choir sang and led worship and then Jody and Karen shared their testimony. Daphne and I and Jody and Karen then prayed with people. It was a great time. People coming to be prayed for. We literally got down into it today. Kneeling in the dirt with children all around. This was mainly children with a few adults as most of the adults were in the fields tending their gardens. A local team from the UMC is going back to Opit tomorrow to continue to support Pastor Titus and share the gospel.

It was a long, hot, and tiring day. But was a good day. People were helped. The gospel was preached. People were prayed for and God was given the glory. Our time here has been good. A lot of work to be done, but we will be back to Uganda.

Tomorrow we have morning devotions at the World Vision Child Soldier Rehab Center with the staff. Jody is leading it. I am really looking forward to affirming and encouraging these wonderful brothers and sisters for their work.

We will get to spend some time in the local market as some downtime and then our flight leaves Gulu international airport at 2pm for Entebbe. The Brickeys and Libby will leave with Pastor Edward, who is meeting us in Entebbe, to go to Jinja to serve his ministry for 2 weeks. And the rest of us will fly to Kenya and Belgium at 8:40pm Uganda time. I will email Kysia when we arrive in. Belgium. It will be good to see Pastor Edward again. He is a wonderful man. Our hosts in Gulu - Rev David, Paul, and Dr Moses - are wonderful as well. The church in Uganda has incredible leadership. They need our support.

We have a 5 hour layover in Belgium and the team is looking forward to some different food!!!

We thank you for your prayers. The separation of the team went well and God blessed both groups today.

Safe travels tomorrow for us and continued blessings to our families. We cannot wait to see you!!!

As a side note.... Dewey Dykes has officially become the most popar person ever in Gulu town with small children. They are the future and they are asking him to run for mayor. Their slogan for him is DEWEEEEEEE

I cannot wait for you all to see the pics. And for your family member to share their experience..

Tallk to you soon. Good night.


Uganda, Wed., June 18 Update

Powerful day. We were to spend the day in the camp of Koch Lii, but had some trouble this morning. On the way there our bus broke down. It put us 3 hrs behind schedule. We only had the clinic from 1pm till 4:30pm. The sad thing is if we had been there all day the docs could have seen everyone. being late frustrated the tem and distracted us some. We felt under attack and we were. The only thing to explain it. We prayed while waiting on the side of the road and once we got back to town. Karen pulled jody aside during the clinic and aid something did not feel right. They prayed and things began to so smoother. We realized that the bus broke down on the same part of the road that is stalled on yesterday. Yeah... Spiritual attack. People were disappointed again when they could not be seen. And the camp leadership promised the people all would be seen which did not help. Koch lii is a smaller camp the Koch Goma, but the needs are the same.

Through grace and prayer we worked and supported each other. And God was glorified. Many people asked the pastors and I in the prayer room about Christ. The children’s team did another outstanding job.

The docs and pharmacy teams were awesome today. Effecient, smooth, organized, kind, and graceful. They saw 160 some people in half the time. God provides.

Once mike Adelman was the man. He handled crowd control with grace, organization, and humor. It is not easy to tell people to line up and deliver news that they will not see the doctor. He is an inspiration to me.

Tonight after dinner we had a team meeting and got the opportunity to share about each team member. It was a special time. I cannot tell you how wonderful this team has been. They are supportive, encouraging, helpful, hard working, and just plain awesome. it has been my honor to serve and support with them. I am blessed to have spent this time with them.

You should each be proud of your family member. It is not easy to do this for them or. you. They have missed you and been the hands and feet of Christ to a place that is not easy to be. This is definitely outside the comfort zone, but they have blessed me. Wow. I cannot say enough. God is doing a great work in them.

Tomorrow the team is split up. 4 go to the village of Opit to share the gospel and pray. And the clinic is set up in Kock Chorom. It will be a long day. We need prayers for strength as the team is spilt up. Be with the clinic as they minister. And be with the team in opit as they share and pray. Neing apart will be different as the enemy will use this to distract us. As a team we are there for each other. Apart we will need an extra measure of grace and prayer to do the work. God calls us to do.

Some of the team is still sick. Getting better, but still need healing. Dewey was bitten by the Ugandan Tetsi fly and could now have African sleeping sickness. We are watching him to make sure he stays awake at all times!!! [Of course he is fine. He did get bit by something, but it was not the dreaded tetsi fly. We keep telling him it was, but..... Humor has been an important part of this trip]

Good night to our friends and family. Our work, this trip, is almost done here. We look forward to seeing you. Please keep us prayed up.

Talk to you soon.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Uganda Update, Tuesday, June 17 in Gulu

Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:11:25 PM
Subject: Tuesday in Koch Goma

Praise God for He is good and answers prayer!!

Today was an excellent day. As you know we were unsure how it would go in the camps due to the situation from the war. Well..... All prayers were answered.

First... Due to the relative stability the last 2 years a lot of people have left the camps to go home. There were still many people, but the numbers were managable. The doctors saw over 200 patients today and the process went smooth. We still could not see everyone and people went away disappointed, but great work was done. We worked on how to make the process better and God answered your and our prayers.

The pharmacy is a hopping place as it never slows down once the clinic starts. Daphane, sylvia, and pam were joined by dewey and charles to handle the volume. Great job by all. They helped each other and covered for bathroom breaks [this is a whole other email!!! It is interesting to go to the toilet as they say. Your families will fill you in. And I think we have pics!] And for water and food. No lunch today. We ate snacks and stayed hydrated.

Childrens ministry went very well. It was very hard and there were still a lot of kids. Keith, tamara, preston, and libby did fantastic. They were helped by dennis who was awesome. Dennis is a former child soldier abducted from his village. He spent 6 yrs in the rebel army. Both his parents were killed by the rebels. He has a 10 and 13 year old sibling and he works so they can go to school. He would like to go. Back to school someday, but now he is the only caretaker for them. This is the kind of stories you hear. Wonderful brother of Christ who is taking of his family and serving God. It was an honor to meet him and see him work with the kids.

Keith was awesome with the kids. He got them to call the hogs!!! And sing the figt song among others... He is an expert in blowing bubbles and is a killer balloon animal maker. He also shocked and awed them with his futbol skills!!!! Keith is a hero of mine as he gives of himself and does whatever is asked. He loves people and is always bringing a smile to the kids.

The prayer room was great today. I met many believers and got to pray for every single patient today. The needs and suffering can overwhelm me but when it was starting to be drained from all I saw and heard God brought someone to us that praised God even with sickness and sufferimg in their lives and the lives of their family. It was a great day.

The team is tired and hot and sore. Libby and preston got sick a little bit due to the sum today, but both are better. We have many on the team battling stomach issues and headaches. There was a nice breeze today that helped and we did well on water. Sore muscles and aching joints are also abundant. A lot of standing, bending over, kneelingn etc. Please pray for continued healing and rest and strength.

We go to kock lii tomorrow. This camp was smaller than koch goma last year, so all should go well again. Please keep praying for a smooth process, organization, healing, rest, supplies, and childrens ministry. The childrens ministry is so important and so tough. There are kids everywhere. You see 5 year olds carrying the infant sibling on their backs. Malnutrition. Rags for clothes. And great big smiles and laughtet. These children are incredible.

The children can be very aggressive during activites. You cannot give anything away as it turns to chaos. Older kids take things away from younger ones. They hit and beat others. It is heart breaking. So please pray for fun activities and stories, and grace. These children know war and suffering. We cannot expect them to be kind and polite. The smallest thing [empty water bottle, gum, balloon] is valued and treasured like gold because they have nothing. Pray for childrens team.

One last note...... As the team rumbles down dirt roads in a bus that has seen better days we have bonded. I mean gotten really cozy. In the sun. And heat. And I can say with confidence that at the end of the day we STINK!!! Some may tell you the did not, but trust me.... They did. And I am the chief. I can get down right rank. Nothing like 17 hot and sweaty muzungus riding in a bus with no air conditioning [thank goodness for windows] in the sun and heat and dust and dirt and fumes in africa to create a whole new smell!!! And we are no longer 17 white people. We are now 17 slightly reddish brown people. Don't be alarmed after our first couple of showers at home. They rust color is normal. It will go away... Eventually.

We are all looking forward to opening our our ugandan restaurant when we get back. NWA is ready for some posho, chapate bread, mangos, matooke with g nut sauce, cassava, rice amd beans, nile perch, and roasted goat!!!! Yummy!!!

I love the food, but you can tell we miss home.... The bus ride turned into what foods we miss. Chick fil a. Taco bell. BBQ. Cheeseburger and fries.

We miss you all. We are so thankful and appreciative of your prayers. We love you and cannot wait to share our stories and pics with you. God has been glorified by this team. It is my honor and I am blessed to have served with them.

But we are not done, so please keep up the prayers.

Good night and Shalom