Recap on 2014
Happy New Year!!!
Today I (Sarah) have been reminiscing on all that has happened in our lives in 2014. This year has held more change in our lives than any other year. We have made adjustments as one change after another transpired. We entered 2014 with a new baby and a complete career change and major move in our near future, though we didn’t know if it would truly work out yet. We entered 2014 with our hearts eager to return to Uganda and our support efforts in full swing. We hoped to be here before the end of the year so we could be a part of Claire’s graduation. We hoped our support would be in place before July so we could experience Uganda together with the team from our home church in Kenny Lake. We were holding our breath and looking to God and making back up plans in case this didn’t work out. It was and still is new to us, this living as missionaries, and we were trying to be prepared yet live in faith that God had called us and would meet every need. Let me tell you friends…He has called us and He has met every need! Wow!
Here we are on the other side looking back and seeing that God has been faithful to us and we are here, living among the vulnerable and loving our own family and the children that God is adding to our family here at New Hope. I am in awe and humbled and feel so privileged. We continue to learn more from the faith of our Ugandan family here and are always encouraged and challenged to love God more and believe God more.
As I look back, I remember the doubts and the struggle to believe that we would really be here as missionaries. I remember the prayers, the long periods of silence to those prayers and then all of a sudden huge answers and progress…then more prayers, silence (what seemed to us as silence) and then…boom…more answers and progress. I remember choosing to believe time and time again that God was at work and He would bring about this plan in our lives…after all, it was His plan in our lives! It was a year of growing faith and it continues to be a journey of faith and choosing to believe and fighting against the doubt and discouragement. I am so thankful for the year of struggle and answered prayer. I don’t want to ever forget!
I remember mixed emotions as I was so excited to return to the people we love in Uganda, but also so sad to say good-bye to such lifelong friends and also new dear friends from Kenny Lake and to be even further away from family. I recall being so overwhelmed at the task of packing for Uganda, selling off most of our possessions and packing up a house to prepare it to sell. Friends stepped in and helped like crazy, even when I didn’t realize how much was actually left to be done. Family, friends and church family rose to the occasion and cleaned, sorted, packed, cleaned some more and saw us out of our home. They carried the burden and served us until we were ready to go. I felt so loved by the sacrifice and time spent with us, serving us and loving us those last few weeks…and even to the last hour!
Financial support came in enough that we felt we could return to Uganda, though things would be tight, we would make it. We ventured out in faith. We were able to go with our sending church’s team and share Uganda with them. It was so important to us that they see what life would be like here, that they would meet the people we already loved and have a way to understand our lives here. Uganda impacted them as we knew it would. What a joy and honor to share it with them!
We were indeed here for Claire’s graduation. We celebrated her accomplishments and were even honored in her life as parents. We were once again humbled and blown away. Friendships developed that we didn’t expect and God keeps adding more to love in our family…and they seem to be more boys! I’m fine with that. We love Ammon and Gerald and are thankful to be a part of their lives and learn from them and hopefully they are learning from us as well. I am seeing again the power of a hug in the life of one who hasn’t known the love of parents. It is a powerful thing to be the arms and feet of Jesus. I pray we are quick to obey Him always so many can know the deep, deep love of Jesus…
So, in 2014, we crossed the ocean and here we are in Uganda. We left snow and ice for the red soil and heat of Africa. I find it ironic that every seed we brought with us has struggled to thrive in this rich soil…yet the seeds that took root accidentally have taken off through our rubbish and produced fruit. We have pumpkins, watermelons and tomatoes growing that we never intended to grow! I know there is a life lesson there, but that is another post!
Our kids are learning the value of friendship and hard work. They are learning the local language and I know that means a lot to the people here. We are taking the time to learn what is important to them and it shows them we care enough to talk to them, that we love them. Though they don’t know it, my kids have opened up many doors to be an encouragement to the people here. God knew what He was doing when he brought our FAMILY here! Trigger is a tool for ministry everywhere we go. I can encourage a mama in the grocery store of Kampala, a complete stranger in Kiwoko, a guard at the parking lot. Hearts are softened automatically at the sight of a baby, especially when he waves at them!
I’m so thankful that we are here. Yes, we struggle and are sometimes discouraged. Yes, we misunderstand things because we are in a different culture and we don’t understand certain things. Yes, we do get tired of being called Muzungu and being stared at everywhere we go, of being asked for a job and of every Ugandan event taking hours! We do grow weary and some days irritable and frustrated! That goes with the territory. I do not know yet what this year holds for us, but we are where God wants us. Of that we are certain. So we look ahead with anticipation! We look ahead for God to lead us, provide for us, encourage us, give us understanding, open doors clearly for us and to give us HIS heart for the people and the ministry we are involved in. We expect great things for 2015. Not because we are great, or the people here are great, or we are in great shape…but because our GOD IS GREAT!