Happy Malaria Birthday! Okay, not so happy….. It has taken me a few days to write this since I have been splitting time between the bathroom, the bed & the couch! Note to self: If you are going to star gaze past 10PM, wear appropriate clothing! We have been blessed in that we have one of the only houses in Uganda that has screens on the windows so we have never used a mosquito net. I guess I have been a bit complacent & need to pay attention! I think I am finally past the waves of chills, shakes & overall feeling of death though I have spent my 57th year on the planet Earth horizontal with lots of nausea, severe gastric trials & an ongoing pesky fever.
Malaria: Just another of the many changes we have had to adjust to. It seems just when you get comfy, you are staring down the barrel of change again. I think I adapt to change a lot better than I did in America. When we got here change became the norm. We have seen a lot of changes since we have been here going on 575 days, both personal and in ministry. We started out with the kids & we have seen the Lord branch us into many different areas.
In my work with the western region churches, opportunities to work with the pastors and other leaders abounds. I started teaching a class on exegetical & homiletical studies for the church leaders as there is a very large need for that. It has been a challenge with the language barriers & their differing levels of experience in the Bible.
(Picture: Class Minus 2 Students) I am focusing on smaller classes which gives me more time to address each person’s learning curve. It is exciting to see when they grasp principles which will help make them more effective in leading others in the Word. And in developing the course & teaching it I am also learning more.
We are seeing an ever expanding growth in relationships here, both Ugandan & American! We attended a meeting a few months back with the US Ambassador to Uganda who came to visit FT Portal. She updated us on several things such as security concerns and health threats. We found out there are more Americans here than we would have thought.
That brings the potential of new friendships! We have met 2 wonderful families who we are looking forwards to building friendships with plus another couple who have partnered with our church in the past who have been here since the 80’s who live a few hours away.
Debra met and started a relationship with an amazing woman named Carol who has been here leading ministries for several decades. She and Debra have a lot in common in their personalities especially in the area of being non nonsense kind of gals. We have been exceedingly blessed with relationships on the Ugandan side as well. Since Ft Portal is not that big, over time people are getting used to us being here.
While we will always face a level of prejudice and racism, we can see that we are living in a place with a lot of potential to spread the Gospel.
As far as the kids go, they went from the slums of Naguru in Kampala to a stable home environment in Ft Portal town and now they are living out in a village outside of town on a huge spread of land which has a lot of potential. They have a lot more room to roam. There are more changes on the way in that arena and we have seen changes in the kids as well. Like all kids, we have had both difficult issues as well as positive ones.
We are seeing growth in many of the kids beyond the physical sense and our relationship with them deepens as time passes. We have a neighbor who is connected to the Gideon ministry and the kids received Bibles who wanted them. Their spiritual growth is very important.
In that ministry, there is never a shortage of challenges, mainly financial and logistics. With that move the kids have been separated from the church we serve at which was their home as well. The cost of transportation is now an issue whereas before they could walk it in 5 minutes. We know weserve a Big God and nothing is beyond His ability!
We are holding on to that tightly!
As time passes, we see these changes as blessings and opportunities to grow us as Christ’s disciples and working and living effectively in a different culture. Not a day goes by that we don’t thank the Lord for allowing us the opportunity to journey here and live with these amazing people. We see us as the ones who are blessed as we get to do life with the people of Uganda & other fellow missionaries who are here doing Kingdom work. If you would like to consider partnering with us in prayer and /or financially, we would be honored. Just let us know.
To support us financially you can go to this link and either give a one-time gift or sign up to be a monthly partner. Thanks and God bless you all.