Humbled by rain

I have a confession to make: when I’m in Uganda, and I see a post from the US about power being out and people are weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth, I think, “Wow. Y’all can’t deal.” Because power going out in Uganda is a given, and while we have an incredible generator on campus (#mostspoiledmissionary), power goes out. And you deal.

So, here I am, in the US, in Virginia for my sabbatical, and an incredibly strong thunderstorm rolls the through. The power immediately goes out. I think, “It’ll be back in a minute.” Except that it wasn’t.

Y’all, I couldn’t deal. No wifi meant I couldn’t send the email I’d drafted. I was using the data on my phone, but to be honest, my 3G in Uganda is better than my LTE here. There was no A/C; thankfully, it wasn’t hot. I couldn’t cook dinner because my gas range needs the electricity to start. The microwave wasn’t an option, obviously. I couldn’t even go out for food because my car was in the detached garage, and I don’t know whether the motor has a battery back-up. For some reason, not being able to use the elevator didn’t bother me, though I wasn’t looking forward to climbing the steps when I returned.

Praise God, after about three and a half hours, power returned. Hallelujah, and thank you Jesus (and the power bank for my phone that now needs to be recharged).

This little episode really showed me a lot about the state of my heart, and has given me a lot to repent of. So Americans, I am so sorry that I have judged you. Please forgive me. Perhaps now I will have much more charity and grace.

Living into God’s dream for me

Living into God’s dream for me

Living into God’s dream for me

God gave me a desire to be who God created me to be.

Though I fall short,

far too consistently

My God is there to redirect me, yet again

So that I may live into God’s dream for me.

God gave me an interest in other cultures and languages.

To travel and explore is grand,

As is to speak and understand.

But that alone falls short of God’s purpose

So that I may live into God’s dream for me.

God gave me a love of movement.

Selfishly I alone can move or

Combine movement and concern for others

Into the career of physical therapy

So that I may live into God’s dream for me.

God gave me opportunities to blend movement and cultures.

Bringing these interests together

To serve people with problems moving

Living in a distant land with a tongue different from mine

So that I may live into God’s dream for me.

God gave me a desire to teach these gifts to others.

Sharing God’s love

Through actions and words

Teaching others who love movement to care

So that I may live into God’s dream for me.

God gave us a desire to be who God created us to be.

As we all are complex

Not one gift suffices.

God created us to serve in unique ways

So that we may live into God’s dream for each of us.

Please continue to pray for this ministry and that all of God’s children live into who God created us to be, a bit more every day.

Cathy Donahoe is a SAMS Missionary and Physical Therapist serving in the Dominican Republic.

Follow-up on the gem of a student

In February, I wrote about an unexpected ministry when I went to supervise a student who was serving as a chaplain at a large school. A teenage girl had asked how it was possible to forgive someone who had hurt her terribly. We talked for a while, and I prayed with her. We exchanged phone numbers, but since the students are not allowed to have phones in school, I wouldn’t be able to talk to her until she came home on 4 May.

I just called to check on her, and not only did she remember me (one never knows!), she was bubbling over in excitement to tell me several testimonies. The main one surrounds the person who had hurt her so badly; that will never happen again. Then she shared several stories of how she has been walking in grace and healing this term.

Praise be to God!! Rejoice with me! This precious gem is shining so brightly! She has wisdom beyond her years; she recognizes that she has suffered trauma, and that it still affects her. But she is no longer willing to be defined by it. She is walking in light, and clinging to Jesus. This precious child reminds me of the woman at the well in John 4, with her exclamations of “Oh! Let me tell you what the Lord has done for me!”

Please continue to pray for this pearl of great price, that she continues to seek the Lord and His healing. We may stay in touch over WhatsApp during the term holiday, and we will talk when I return to Uganda.

To say that I am amazed, grateful, and honored to be a small part of her story would be a gross understatement. To God be the glory!

Easter by the Numbers

Easter by the Numbers

Holy Week by the numbers:

7 Days. 7 Services. 37 Songs. 

 WOW. Holy Week ended up being very full for me. Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, I played music at 7 services. I had to know 37 songs. I was already familiar with half of them; the others were brand new. 

I thought some of you might be interested in seeing what songs I’m playing down here. Since I had the list of songs for Easter Services handy, I’ll paste it below, along with links to sites where you can hear (and buy) them. I really like a lot of these songs. In a great twist, two songs I’ve been asked to learn and play down here were done by friends of mine who live in Charlottesville! I had not heard them yet and when Fr. David asked me to learn them I was very excited. One of the songs (not played during Holy Week) is a song featuring work by 3 fantastic Virginia folks I know. A video of me playing it is below. Produced by mastermind Isaac Wardell, Sung by the amazing Paul Zach, and featuring the insanely tasteful Orlando “IAMSON” Joel, the song is “We Abide, We abide in you.  Check out their version here

You can see my added notes down below – showing the songs I didn’t play or only sang and didn’t play. For two services, a wonderful local ex-pat musician joined me. On Good Friday Fr. David played 4 tunes. The songs by Judy Bailey are all songs we use in every service. She is amazing and has put together a Carribbean musical liturgy. 

One note: I have never learned this many songs in such a short time. It was a bit stressful, but I’m glad to have been stretched in this way. 


Palm Sunday – Catharine On Piano

Processional – All Glory, Laud and Honor – Not Playing

Gradual At the Name of Jesus – Red River Hymnal  3/2 time. (Tried to learn this one. Struggled and ended up only singing)

Creed – Judy Bailey

Offertory  – Palms of glory, raiment bright.  – Not Playing

Christ Jesus is Lord – Judy Bailey 

Blessing and Honor  – Judy Bailey

Lords Prayer – Judy Bailey

Agnus Dei – Judy Bailey

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – Rockingham Tune 

All Hail the Power of Jesus Name  – not playing 

Ride on, Ride on in Majesty – not playing

MAUNDY THURSDAY: – Catharine on Piano

Processional  – Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.  Not Playing

Gloria in excelsis Deo – Judy Bailey 

Gradual – Brother Sister, Let me serve you.

Offertory – I Am the Bread of Life  – Learn guitar and melody

Christ Jesus is Lord – Judy Bailey 

Blessing and Honor  – Judy Bailey

Lords Prayer – Judy Bailey

Agnus Dei – Judy Bailey

We Are Standing on Holy Ground – Only singing

All praise to thee, my God, this night  – Wendell Kimbrough 

My God and is Thy Table Spread – A-capella Learn Melody

Watch and Pray – Taize chant 

Good Friday 

Gradual  – Jesus Loves me, This I know. 

The Old Rugged Cross


Amazing Grace

My Song is Love Unknown   – Sam Bush 

There is a Green Hill Far Away – Not Playing 

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand -Not Playing

O sacred head, surrounded by crown of piercing thorn! – Not Playing 

Alas and Did my Savior Bleed – Key of D. (learned but ended up not playing

It is Well With My Soul 

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – Rockingham Tune 

Communion Instrumental Music – Arranged a medley of the more commonly known tune (in the states) to When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, with Oh Come Let Us Adore Him as a chorus. Played it in DADGAD and loved it. 

Holy Saturday 

Exsultet  – Liturgical Folk  (Worked up an arrangement but ended up not playing) – 

Who is like our God?  -Wendell Kimbrough – 

O give thanks to the Lord – Wendell Kimbrough – 

My Strength, my Song, my Salvation: Cardiphonia 

O Praise the Lord for He is Good  – Luke Morton 

Gloria – Judy Bailey

Gradual  – In Exitu Israel  – Arranged to a long meter tune

As I Went Down to the River to Pray  – Learn

Offertory – In Christ Alone

Doxology – Learn

Holy, Holy, Holy – Judy Bailey 

Christ Has Died  – Judy Bailey 

Blessing and Honor – Judy Bailey 

Lord’s Prayer – Judy Bailey

Agnus Dei – Judy Bailey 

Come Let Us Worship and Bow Down 

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God – Learn 

The Lamb has Overcome – Luke Morton 

Recessional  – To the tune of Ode to Joy – Learn 

Easter Sunday 

Processional – Jesus Christ is Risen today  – Learn

Gloria – Judy Bailey 

Gradual – O Praise the Lord – Luke Morton –

Creed – Judy Bailey 

Offertory  – Not me. 


Holy, Holy, Holy – Judy Bailey 

Christ Has died – Judy Bailey 

Blessing and Honor – Judy Bailey 

Lord’s Prayer – Judy Bailey 

Agnus Dei – Judy Bailey 

The First Place – Matt Westerholm – 

Who is Like Our God – Wendell Kimbrough 

The Lamb Has Overcome – Luke Morton 

Recessional – Not me.