Sunday, January 7, 2018

Madeline Grace Hoyt

Madeline is as diverse and amazing as she is beautiful.  She is full of energy and thinks outside the box like no kid I have ever seen.  Her unique perspective on life and the connections she makes between events, relationships, and ideas continues to surprise and challenge me.  She is very athletic, climbing trees like a monkey, catching balls like a superstar, and all while retaining her sweet princess persona.  She has amazing rhythm and is taking drumming lessons with our friend Jonathan from church.  She continues with her piano, French, but her favorite extracurricular activity is drawing which like her father she is very talented.  Her ability to discern how things work and her analytic view of the world helps her to be a great problem solver which gives her a unique propensity to invent.  I have no doubt she will bring that creative inventive spirit to any career she chooses which right now is engineering and science.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hannah Bannana Matooke Grace Hoyt

Hannah is now 5 and is so amazingly intelligent and very interested in her own independence.  If her 11 year old sisters can do it she sees no reason why she should not be able to and is completely surprised that anyone would disagree with this theory.  She is reading starter books now and loves to "do" school.  She works through workbooks faster than I can keep up.  I need to up my homeschooling game to stay ahead of this one.  She loves having tea and watching Tom and Jerry.  Her most recent accomplishment is riding a bike and finally getting one of her front teeth to come in (took almost a year) - we had started calling her "toothless" like on How to Train Your Dragon.  She is as destructive as a night fury too.  But also just as loyal and loving a friend.  Great kid, can't wait to see what happens next.

Sophia Danielle Hoyt

Baby Sophia - so cute right
bird was a gift from a friend in Uganda.
Sophia Danielle Hoyt, my first born, how I do enjoy this young lady.  She may only be 11 but she has a way about her that is more mature than most teenagers.  She is very intellectual but has such a compassionate heart and a real gift with young children especially babies.  She loves the Lord and endevors to serve him through caring for others physical and emotional needs.  She is a great help around the house and helping with Hannah's homeschooling.  She loves Nancy Drew and Box Car Children mysteries which she reads over and over.  She is a voracious reader having read all of our books many times and loves to borrow books from all her friends.  She enjoys working with the Children's Ministry at our church and hopes to be a Nurse in a Christian Mission Organization someday.

Janet aka "T-Bird"

My Favorite Baby Janet Picture :)
Big girl makeup?? Fun Girl Party!!
 My Janet is now eleven and is such an amazing young lady.  I love this kid so much and so would you...  She is the friendliest girl ever and makes it a point to speak with everyone she meets.  She loves to read along with her sisters in Literature class and is enjoying CS Lewis's Chronicals of Narnia.  Big news is that she, like her dad, loves basketball.  She played for Heritage Lions.  We are now in Entebbe and not able to be near Heritage International School so no more basketball but she has adapted so well. She enjoys accompaning Helena and Hope to the market and also riding bikes in the Botanical Gardens down the street.  Big fun!  Janet enjoys cooking and is a big help with the kids in the Sunday School at our church.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unsuspecting Angels

I want to tell you the story of a little girl.  She was not my little girl but one that impacted our lives and yours in an amazing way without ever knowing it.  Perhaps an angel.  Her name is Ruth.  A small name of only four letters with a very big meaning.  Biblically we all know the attributes associated with Ruth – kindness, pity, compassion, loyalty, charity, mercy, and sympathy.  You may be thinking, “But I don’t know this girl.. How can she have impacted my life?” so let me elaborate.
 It was because of the compassion of Christ through us to Ruth’s father that we first met her shortly after her birth and the death of her mother in the village.  You see her mother did not get proper pre and post natal care and developed complications which lead to her death.  This is a common occurrence in the village and so Steve went with our friend and guard Richard Otim to bury his wife and try to save his child.  I say save his child because after the death of a mother the infant often times follows due to dehydration and starvation from lack of adequate milk substitutes since wet nursing is taboo.  Steve dealt with the burial which was complicated by a balance due on the bride price which had to be paid before the clan would allow their daughter to be buried.  After the price was paid and the young mother properly buried they made arrangements to leave the small fragile infant with a WYAM nurse in the town of Soroti. She was adequately cared for until Otim could make arrangements with his clan for a nanny to come with him to Kampala to watch the children while he worked the night shift as a guard.
It was at this WYAM babies home that Ruth unknowingly changed our lives because it was this trip and this place where we met our daughter Janet Acimodo Hoyt.  This was the place that Christ’s plans of charity, mercy, and compassion flowed from this little girl’s need into our family and overflowed into another little girl’s life…Janet.  You all have been touched by God’s faithfulness and goodness in the story of our daughter Janet and thus I say you have been impacted in an amazing way as you get to see Janet’s life unfold and point daily to Christ’s goodness.  Janet moved from death to life eternal and continues to be strong in body and spirit and she carries this banner of charity, mercy, and compassion to all her friends and the babies she helps as she volunteers in the nursery at church.
Ruth and Brian moved from Soroti to live with us for a couple of years after the death of their mother and it was a blessing to have them around laughing and growing with our kids.  I have not seen them for several years because they moved back to the village.  Otim remarried and lost another family member to complications with childbirth on the very night we received our dear beloved Hannah almost 5 years ago.  I remember pacing the floors with Hannah in my arms and the phone on my shoulder as he was losing his baby boy.  It was such a bitter sweet night as I held my own new baby in my arms engulfed in God’s great grace to me and feeling Otim’s great loss. 

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5.

These verses were sung by my angels throughout my home this year for their memory verse and it is amazing how in my difficult times I can hear their sweet voices singing His words as a balm to my soul.  It is with a sad heart that I ask for your prayers for Otim and his family as Ruth died yesterday at the age of 7.  The circumstances are difficult for me to understand as I feel that all of these deaths were preventable with proper healthcare.  I have been shocked and angered and even raged at this world but in my sadness I just realize that these men need Christ and only through Christ can they lead.  Who will first lead them, who will teach them how Christ loved so they can love with the same fierce, passionate, prevailing love.  I pray that God meet Otim in his grief and teach him how to love his son Brian as they feel the sadness left by such a large void, a void so vast it is hard to believe it was left by a seven year old girl.

Just as the book of Ruth is a story of redemption and a page in the bigger plan of salvation I believe in the plan that Christ is working in the lives of those around me even when I am raging against the storms that want to consume this heart of flesh.  I have hope and it is in Christ’s great love and plan of salvation.  Be encouraged that Ruth has been called home to be redeemed and has entered the land of Her God for eternity and she is consumed with his love, the storm can rage on but it has been calmed by the Great Redeemer at this time for this little girl.  Praise be to God for unsuspecting angels.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Value of a Name

I could get my produce from the Embassy Supermarket that is convenient, clean, and usually devoid of beggars but I have always chosen to immerse myself with the people I love here in Uganda and try at every casual meeting to develop further relations.  Grocery shopping for 7 years every week affords one ample opportunity to get to know the people in the market.  I have been around for births and deaths, marriage and divorce, joy and pain.  It is a blessing to me to be among friends here.  Being a long term missionary allows me the opportunity to have the time in which to develop trust and genuine concern for this place and these people.  I am eternally grateful to God for this but…
Today was a hard day.  I am not sure why today was especially hard as it is not a new phenomenon for me to see the loneliness of children.  Perhaps it is because it is so close to Christmas time, a time that is already emotionally charged in my heart.  Today like every week I visited, I laughed, I bought vegetables, and I bought my little beggar a rolex.  He is called Baby Rolex and I am Mama Rolex as I rarely leave the market without buying him a Rolex, a street food made of flat bread with an egg rolled inside.  Ironically his real name is “Lubega” Israel.  I say ironically because phonetically the Luganda name “Lubega” sounds a lot like “the beggar”.  Sadly this makes it most fitting.  And then there is the name Israel meaning “He struggles with God”… Lubega Israel certainly has his work cut out for him as he ponders the question, “why this lot in life?”
Israel goes to the orphan school down the road and has a family that lives in Soweto, the largest slum in Uganda, located just behind my market.  He has family but this is his school holiday and his family cannot financially support him during the holiday.  During school term he gets to eat at the orphan school but on holiday he is sent to the market to beg for food in order to survive.  His dad sells pineapples on the street because he cannot afford rent for a market stall and his mom sells cow legs.  This is not enough to support a family so the name he was given seems appropriate.  He has stepped into his role as the little beggar.  I love this little beggar yet I know so little about him and there are so many exactly like him. 
I saw him playing with a dull broken box cutter and a burned out light bulb today and thought that with proper love, nutrition, and education perhaps one day he could be an inventor or an electrical engineer.  We will never know how much he could contribute but I do know that God has a higher plan and purpose for this little guy.  I saw him standing in the gutter with his little bare feet about the same size as my 4 year old Hannah’s and I wanted to bring him home with me.  I think, had I done this, that everyone would have been pleased and how sad that made me that his parents were in a place of such defeat that it would be better for them to give their child away.  I hate poverty but I know that God is the orchestrator of life and this life of Baby Rolex is just beginning and could yet prove to be powerful and bring Christ great glory.  But his circumstances still bring me to tears.
Most of my friends in the market have never even thought to ask this little beggar his name as they have all consuming issues of their own.  He is just shooed away so as not to be a nuisance to customers.  This week he will eat each day from our food budget as I left a bit of my grocery money in the hands of a trusted vendor and asked that she look out for this little one and try to show him God’s love.  This is not a solution just a Band-Aid but today in the market I helped give this little beggar a face, a name.  His name is Lubega Israel and he is not a nuisance but a child, a blessing from the Father.
God bless the lonely, the hungry, and the forgotten this year whether they are in the gutter of a slum market like mine, in a bedroom behind closed doors in a house full of opulence or just numbly looking for meaning for their lives.  We all need to know we are recognized.  Like Israel we all need to remember that He knows our name and He has a plan for us.
As we thank the Lord for each of you and your unique contribution to our ministry here in Uganda we pray that you continue to be blessed through the name of Jesus Christ who imparts great value to you and to the works of your hands.
Thank you and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

1st order of window and door lumber called “Mugavu” arrived Friday. Amount shown represents 1/8th of our actual “Phase 1” need.

It was legally cut near the Rwenzori Mountains (Eastern Uganda at the DRC border)…though it was farm grown, thus the mountain gorillas remain safe, the rains prevented the truck from getting within 2 miles of the source. So after using chain saws to cut down and rough cut the sizes shown the men carried around 250 - 12” x 2” x 7 foot and 25 - 12” x 2” x 14 foot pieces the two miles on their heads to the truck. Ironically the delivery truck lost a wheel 400 feet from the container shown. So using the ministries Toyota Hilux we loaded 19 - 7 footers at a time (or 6 – 14 footers) and moved them the remaining 400 feet. They were amazingly heavy…yes I helped carry, load and unload.

Depending on whom you ask it will take 3 months to 1 year to air dry. Since this is not nearly fast enough we will convert the container behind into a “charcoal & fan/natural air” kiln dryer. Hopefully this will drastically decrease that time.

The furnace will be built using some of the clay bricks that were not acceptable for construction. We will build it partly below ground level and the remaining parts, including the chimney, will be buried in a mound of dirt above ground. Air will naturally flow up hill (via a shallow brick lined tunnel) in order to fuel the charcoal fire inside.

The slightly inclined brick chimney will give the heat and smoke its only opportunity to escape the furnace; into the container.

Two holes will be cut at the far end of the container. They will be small enough such that a would-be thief cannot pull the timber out. It will also be small enough such that the two fans blowing the moisture out also cannot be taken. When there is no electricity, since the holes will be toward the containers top, nature should take its course.

A metal awning will be welded in place to keep the rains out.

About the Hoyts

Steve is a Construction Manager and Architect with eMi EA serving the Lord Jesus Christ in Uganda Africa.

Melinda and the girls are dedicated to learning and growing in love and grace through home school activities and community bible study with the ladies and children of Uganda.

About eMi EA

engineering Ministries international East Africa

The vision of eMi is to glorify God by offering hope to the spiritually and physically poor.

eMi EA's mission is to glorify God by exemplifying Christ's love to the spiritually and physically impoverished of East Africa by developing suitable facilities. We partner with Christian organizations in the planning, design and implementation of building projects which directly and effectively meet the tangible and spiritual needs of the people they serve. We use our God-given technical and spiritual gifts to enrich the lives of the people with whom we serve.