Arrival in Uganda
After over 20 hours of flight time, 40+ checked bags, more carry-ons than we could comfortably handle, a layover in Seattle and London, we arrived safely with our team in Entebbe, Uganda late Friday night! Thank you for your prayers. Trigger was an amazing traveller and waited for his melt down until we arrived at the guesthouse Friday night. I certainly can’t complain because his timing was great! All our bags made it with the exception of the boys’ bikes. We are hoping they are sent our way and soon. All in all, it was an uneventful trip to the other side of the world!
All day Saturday the team was capturing the new sights of Uganda. It was so fun to see what people were hauling on their bikes and motorcycles (bodas). I’d forgotten how impressive the termite hills are in size…some were taller than any of the members on our team. We arrived safely at the Kasana Children Centre Saturday afternoon. We drove straight to our new house to unload all the totes. I think we gave the Uncles of New hope quite a work out! Old and new friends greeted us so warmly. It’s been a joy to introduce our team members to the people we love.
As many of you know, we moved into the house of a family who recently had to leave New Hope due to health conditions. We are totally in awe of the house that is now ours. I think my jaw was hung open for my first walk through. Over and over again I thought, “I can’t believe this is our house!” More appropriately we are in awe of the giver of this house, who has blessed us certainly beyond what we deserve. Troy and I keep talking about how we feel bad that this house is ours. What did we do to deserve this? The truth is, we don’t and never will…but God is good and delights in giving His kids great things. I hope I am always grateful for this gift! Mitchell’s did a wonder here, thank you.
Day one in Kasana was a joy and we were all ready for bed. There was no power, but that was nothing new! During the wee hours of the morning (3-6 I believe) all of New Hope woke up to Uganda dance music from the neighboring village of Kabubu (Kubooboo…isn’t that a fun word to say!!). I lay in bed with a smile on my face as I remembered this was not uncommon on a Saturday night. Welcome to Uganda!
So, Saturday night was not the best for sleep, but we had the joy of our first church service ahead of us. I was so excited for the team to experience worship in Uganda. It’s amazing and everyone really enjoyed it. We got to introduce our team to the people and we were surprised when the church welcomed our family to the New Hope family of believers. We were asked to come up front and they welcomed us and prayed God’s blessings over us and the promise to love us. What a special surprise the really touched my heart! We are home!
Sunday was Day 2 and all the team came over to our house after lunch and helped make some order of the chaos of our totes. Many hands make light work and before long we could walk in the living room! We are moving into the rainy season here in Uganda and we are hoping our team will get to experience a real thunder and lighting storm. Though we haven’t had one yet our family learned quickly that when the rains come, be sure to close the windows right away. We did have a great downpour and while we were enjoying the rains from the veranda, the rains were flowing in our room through the window and onto Trigger’s bed! Oops. I vaguely remembered this too! I won’t make the same mistake twice!
Sunday evening we joined up with the Jonathan family (this is the family we were a part of before) for their testimony night. Once again we were all greeted so warmly and my family was reminded that once you are a part of a family here at New Hope, you are always a part of that family. We feel so loved already and we know God has a plan for us here. We look forward to growing in our relationships with the children and showing them God’s love, the only love that changes lives. It was such an encouragement to hear the kids talk about what they are learning about God from the sermon and also from the past week of life. God is most definitely at work in their lives and I’m so privileged that we now get to be a part of that! I’m so happy our team is experiencing life with these kids and their families.
Monday is really when our team began serving in the different areas of New Hope. Julie and Sandy headed off to the vocational school to work with the young girls who are learning to sew. They both had their first boda ride and rode double (side saddle for women) on the same boda to the site. What an adventure. John was totally in his element as he headed to the same site on a different boda to teach the young men how to remove an engine. Janie and Kelly went to the school to help the sponsorship department take height measurement of the children. Nikki and Amanda were at the school helping with the pre-school age children. Jeni (who joined our team from another church) was also working with the school and helping with Bible lessons. My family came back to the house and attempted to unpack a few more totes, but I was reminded again that relationship matters more than accomplishing a task. We had visitor after visitor who stopped by to talk. I realized soon enough that was what I needed to do. Our sponsored child came by and shared his story and how life had been since were last here. He accepted Christ after we left, not because of us but because of his life circumstances. What a joy for me to hear his story and hear from him that He accepted Christ as his Savior! We are all here doing what God has called us to do and it’s a beautiful thing!
Tuesday is upon us and everyone is serving in areas of their strengths. Julie is back at the Tailor school, John back teaching mechanics, Sandy helping the office staff with an audit (oh joy…but it’s what she does!), Kelly and Janie back helping with more measurements, Amanda, Nikki and Jeni back at the school and I am back at the house writing to you while Trigger sleeps.
All in all, we are all enjoying our time here. It hasn’t sunk in yet that this is our home for the next 5 years. That will come with time. The boys have all adjusted well and are running free like kids should! This is going to be a great place to raise my boys. Everyone loves the baby and he has seen so many beautiful dark faces and he loves them all! I had a feeling Trig would be a tool to open doors to relationship here and boy is he! I see that God has plans for us all, for our team and for our family. Thanks for your prayers for us…for all of us. Our health is good so far, Trig is getting used to the time change as are all the boys and the team, we are adjusting back to Ugandan culture and we are all so blessed right now. We will update again soon!
Thank you very much!