Okay, so the title is a bit weird in itself. People can have different perspectives about the same thing. For instance, our perspective of the massive change in our lives moving to Uganda is different than the family and friends’ perspective of our move here.
This article is all about (My) Bill’s perspective and hopefully I can get Debra to write about hers (if she will ever write one [Hint, Hint!]). You cannot live in a country for well over 50 years and then move to another country that is SO different from the one you came from without an element of shock and vision to hit you.
This change has been a 180° change from life a year ago! I mean, WHY do this? We were comfortable in our life, career and ministry in Denver and things were much more convenient there! Are we crazy!!?? I can say, we have NO regrets! Maybe…. The WHY can be summed up by this passage:
And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. (1 Samuel 12:20 ESV)
The fact is that throughout my walk with the Lord, each time I was pushed to go deeper I had the choice to obey or not. I am grateful for the many “instruments” of God in the form of Godly Christians who recognized in me what I didn’t and helped push me to change and serve God in the gifts He gave me to use. Did it always mean I would obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings? No. But over time, I have learned to pray, listen and obey. My desire is to serve the Lord with my entire heart! When I surrendered the decision to come here to the Lord, the path was sealed. Totally sealed!
We are here because of God’s calling, plain and simple. Here is the cool part: Any fears I had, any inconvenience, any discomforts I experience and any other negative aspects I have pale in comparison to being here. The Lord is using this surrender, this calling and my (for once) obedience to show me that His ways are ALWAYS better than ANYTHING! That is what blows me away the most! You, being our family & friends back in the US CANNOT see the exact same perspective in this as I can. It would have to be YOUR calling and you would have to be IN it. All I can offer you is to consider if there is any witness in this for you, it is this:
You might be wary of truly seeking what the Lord wants to do in your life. After all, he could send you to Africa! Seriously, if you could see what I see (perspective) right now, you would see that you WANT to be doing whatever he wants you to do! And you would WANT to do it! There is a quote that haunted me about a year ago when Jesus was at work pulling on my heart. I FEARED it and now I have EMBRACED it:
“Might God be calling you into reckless abandon for something new, something unexpected?” (Lynne Hybels)
The “reckless abandon” part freaked me out! Going from fear to embracing was only possible with the power of the Living God!
As we settle into this house, we bring to an end a difficult, challenging and sometimes painful 6 months of MASSIVE change, MASSIVE gutting of our old life, living in limbo out of suitcases and experiencing vast changes in the way we think, live and understand people. I say this not to garner sympathy but to state a fact. That fact was created by God so therefore it is good! Debra and I had been diligent at keeping our marriage healthy and that has been a blessing as we have discovered that we have been stretched there as well. Everything is a growth experience for us! As it should be!
I am blessed beyond measure to serve with her here in this way! I mentioned people who pushed me to go deeper and Debra is one of those who encourages me in that way. Needless to say, she is a natural to be here. As we both learn about the Ugandan people it is obvious to see how well she converses with them.
I get to witness how she connects with people and how she is already knitting her heart to the a.k.a girls.
What I know most of all is that I belong here, in Uganda, with these people, in this time. How do I know: I sense a peace even in the midst of the trials and difficulties we face here. On the hard days, we remember that no matter where we are, we will face those kinds of days. The trials are just different. I find a joy here that I didn’t expect and I’m grateful every moment that God has granted that. I have experienced Jesus stretching me beyond what I thought was possible. The glory is His!
I know he will continue to stretch me and it will continue to be for His glory.
We are just getting started on this adventure; this Journey Uganda! We have only been here 3 months though it seems much longer; not because of the difficulty but because there has been so much radical change! As we begin to minister to these a.k.a kids, serve in our new “home” churches, Kyampisi Baptist & Kabarole Baptist, build relationships, venture into new territory in our marriage ministry and other things, we look forward to how God will be glorified as we are His hands and feet!
(We would love to have you partner with us financially! If you feel led in that way, go to our giving page! All donations are tax deductible and will go towards our ability to minister to those around us in need!)