Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Ugandan Home

It is hard to believe that we have been here in Jinja, Uganda, for over a week now. While we have been staying in a fellow missionary's home during this time, we are in the process of preparing our new home. (You can see us in the picture standing in front of our new home, holding our new puppy Lulu Zuri.)

The house is simply amazing to us! It is evident that this place was once really something in all its glory. The owner is having it painted and doing some miscellaneous work on it, so we have not been able to move into it. It really does need quite a bit of tender, loving care.

Today we finally 'started' on the process of moving things around. We were not able to find the hardware for the beds but we did find some things for the house. The boys were each happy to find their toy boxes of course.

We finally have a plan for each of the rooms. Downstairs there is one bedroom (which will house guests whenever Andy and Karina Smith do not need to use it; however, they will store their things as needed.) There is also a large room where one end is available for the dining room. There is also a separate dining room, but we will most likely turn this into a bunk room later on for guests.

We were able to make it to Kampala, the capital city, a couple days ago where we picked up a fridge and washing machine. The men are not done painting in the kitchen or the wash room though, so we were able to get them hooked up.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms, one master bedroom, and two smaller rooms plus a balcony. We were pleased to find our lawn chairs today and set them out on the balcony. One of the smaller rooms will become Josh's room, his first time of having his own space. The other three bedrooms will house the rest of us, while the master bedroom will become our school room/family room. The other small room is directly accessed from the balcony and will be set aside for an office with perhaps a futon frame for an extra bed.

The boys' quarters is in far too poor disrepair to consider anyone living there. It would take A LOT of work to get that into shape. For now, this will have to wait. We quickly abandoned the idea of it becoming Andy and Karina's guest house.

When we contemplate the wonder of our Lord's loving providential care, we are in awe of Him. This house is so much more than we could have ever asked for or even imagined. It is a European style home with lots of windows and space. I can see that we shall be quite comfortable there and the transition to a new culture will be made easier because of it.

May we use it fully in ways that please Him and honor Him. May it be a place of not only hospitality for many but also a place where those who enter find rest and a sense of His loving care.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Trigger for Tears

A thermometer? Where are the thermometers?! I can't find a thermometer!!! Emotion wells up inside of me. Holding back the tears, I finish up my shopping quickly and head to the van. "Why am I crying over a thermometer?!!" I think to myself. I wanted to get a thermometer with fahrenheit to take with us on our move to Uganda.

It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't "really" crying over the thermometer. It simply represents for me, in a way, living in America. For the most part, I can run to the store and get just about anything we ever want or need easily and quickly. If I can't find it at one store, then I can simply head on over across town and most likely find it at another. Even if I encounter the worst case scenario and I am unable to find it, I can go on the internet and order it to arrive at my home within a reasonable amount of time.

Knowing Uganda stands in stark contrast to such conveniences, the thermometer reminded me of the HUGE transitions ahead for our family and myself. Suddenly, I was overcome with emotions and thoughts rushing to my mind. "Can I do this, Lord?" He gently spoke to my heart with reassurances. He is so very gracious to me in so many ways. After sharing some of my tears, I felt better.

Then this morning, God knew I needed even more reassurance. He took me to Jeremiah 1 in my quiet time with Him. There we find the 'Call of Jeremiah' and words like "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

"Ah, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child." (from verses 5-6) Boy, can I relate! 'I am only a child.' That is exactly how I have been feeling lately.

In these passages though, God gently encourages my heart that He has prepared me for this next life assignment from before I was born. He knew that He would be sending our family to Uganda long before it ever entered my mind. And He promises to be with me through every step of the way. He will be my words, so to speak. He will provide my every need.

Lately, I have been struck by the sheer enormity of His graciousness. Most missionaries go to their new assignment and have to start from scratch. No house. They must wait for their belongings to arrive. No place to call home for awhile and they must live in complete transition in the interim.

When we arrive, we will not only have most of our earthly possessions waiting for us, but we have a home (and not just any home)and even a puppy to welcome us! God placed Andrew and Karina Smith there in Uganda before us who have been working feverishly in between all of their other many tasks, to help smooth our way. We are SO BLESSED!!! GOD IS GOOD!!!

In the words of Jeremiah 1:17-19, "Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified ... for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord.