Posted by: tonyalatorre | January 12, 2014

I can ride a horse in Uganda.

I sometimes need to write a letter to someone knowing I will never send it. I might not even read it through. Just the writing of it is therapeutic. If you are reading this and wondering if it is you I am writing about I assure you that you can relax. If you still wonder if it is you, don’t be so insecure. Only one person can cause me to feel this much shaken carbonation in my heart. It’s the enemy of God.

Saturday was such a marvelous day. We felt the protection, peace and presence of God amidst difficult circumstances. Our faith was strengthened. We received a heavenly blessing when God granted Kirabo Seeds custody of our sweet Rhonah. We were all amazed by His hand on our lives, and we were feeling thankful to be useful to see fruit of our labor.

No sooner does God use us for his great pleasure and good work than the devil shows up to shake the carbonation in me. One way to blow off steam for me  is to go ride a horse.


my sweet kira...I know daddy needed to see this picture

my sweet kira…I know daddy needed to see this picture

It is disappointing. I shed a few tears of frustration.  I experienced an episode of fury followed by “David prayers.” Goodness knows in the Psalms David had a lot of enemies and he prayed to God with direct intent for God to slash them with his justice withholding mercy for their evil practices. When I think of these people and what they do everything in me feels like a sports fan cheering their favorite team while it goes undefeated. (not that I’ve ever done that.)

David Prayers. When I read those in the thirties or so of Psalms I am encouraged that David was the man after God’s own heart and yet he was able to speak to God with such candor and emotion. It means to me that God welcomes my emotional conversations. At my age I realize my every thought is a conversation with God. To some that makes me a candidate for the asylum where they have shock therapies and padded rooms.  To me it is affirmation of the indwelling spirit seeking to have relationship with all of me. As usual, I don’t care what anyone thinks about my methods for life. It’s my life.

This ministry is founded on the PROMISES of God. Our ministry verse is: Psalm 68:5 “a father to the fatherless a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. He sets the lonely in families.” I study the promises but I don’t memorize the exact wording in scripture.  I know what they are and I recognize the need for them when I am in a situation. My life choices are based on God’s promises.  I believe in the honesty of the promises like I believe Jesus is my Savior. Without the promises I would go limp and chase my tail when the urge struck me to move. The promises move me into action. They secure my faith because I also believe God will always no matter what keep His promises.


this is Kira's best friend Marvin

this is Kira’s best friend Marvin

I know bribes are wrong. God disapproves of paying someone to get an outcome that serves selfish desires while hurting someone else and thwarting justice. I won’t pay a bribe. Culturally in Uganda I’m an outcast with that standard. It is so hard to do work here without offering a bribe. I could have handed the police a folded bill on Saturday knowing they are underpaid and hoping I would do just that and the three hour ordeal could have taken an American fifteen minutes.  I didn’t.  I never will. I won’t even give them a cookie at the same time I ask for a special favor.

I asked my next door neighbor at my apartment here to keep my location a secret. She knew me before she met me because she was in the courtroom when I testified in the fraud case that is open still. She knows a lot of hooligans in this town. I asked her as a neighbor to please conceal the location of our children’s home and my apartment to keep us all safe from our enemies. Later Jack asked me, “why would she do it just because you asked?” Funny this kid has been in Uganda long enough to know you have to pay for what you want. I said, there will come a time when she will need something from me so if she protects me I will help her. That’s what neighbors do for one another. That’s different than paying someone in authority to shift justice for a price and risk the wellbeing of someone for some money.


Phiona and Rhonah traveling Ugandan style. I love to do this with Kira in America. It's the best way to carry a child.

Phiona and Rhonah traveling Ugandan style. I love to do this with Kira in America. It’s the best way to carry a child.

All Ugandans I know fear those who pay bribes. They feel helpless and defeated. I have to constantly remind everyone: We serve God. When we do it HIS way we are safe. The moment we go on our own and follow local custom we are in danger. We might think the enemy will succeed with the shortcuts, but our God has proven himself faithful since the beginning. Look at what he has accomplished with our 18 kids amidst much outside turbulence and corruption.

I won’t compromise God’s rules for our ministry to fit inside this cultural box. I am an outside the box kinda girl in every way. If you try to put me in a box I will be shaken carbonation until I’m able to explode out of it. I respect those who love to be in their box. I’m simply disabled in there.

I guess what I can’t say and am trying to express is God’s way is the only way forward in the mess pushing in on us. The only thing I know for sure are God’s promises. Here’s a good one:

Exodus 21:22-24  You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all and if he does cry out to Me I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled and I will kill you with the sword and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

“At the end of the day” to quote Phiona, all we need to know is that we are inside God’s will and we are safe in our faith in Him. What happens to the enemies is a shrug for me. I don’t care. That’s a problem only God can handle. (and a little chocolate won’t hurt right now.)

After I finished my chocolate I made a call and I have a special indulgence for myself. I called Speke and I was able to arrange to ride my favorite horse at three o’clock Monday. I’m going to take a break from being Mama Tonya. I can’t wait to be alone for a little bit and smell horsey perfume.

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  1. Will be praying for you!

  2. Thought of the song “It is well with my soul” – it has ministered to my heart during the 3 very difficult weeks. Don’t let the evil one steal the joy that only comes from being firmly planted in His will. Prayers for peace, protection, vindication and justice.

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