We are thrilled to be back at home in Uganda. The Lord knitted this beautiful country into our hearts 4 years ago and we have never regretted His calling to be here. We do have to schedule trips back to the USA periodically and this time we waited 2 years which worked out well. We always dread our trips back to the USA due to the long arduous flights, the 9 hour difference and expenses.

But we stayed a little longer this time and we had a time free of a lot of stresses which is a first for us. We had time to actually relax.

Phil, Kaye & Olivia

Debra was on the run more than I was due to the fact that she has a few close long time friends she loves to see. We split up a week after getting back and I went north to Montana where I was born on a road trip and she went south to Phoenix to see a friend for about a week or so and met back up in Denver so we had some time apart.

We got gifted a nice rent a car that was wonderful to drive.

Glen, Joan, Marney, Josh & Candace

It was nice being up seeing my brother and his family and a few childhood friends. I enjoyed just being out on the road in peace and quiet. Back in Denver, we had a full schedule of seeing family, friends and supporters; one generous couple we had never met before. We had a wonderful time seeing people and catching up with everyone; especially those we don’t see on social media.

We were able to accomplish a few major goals so all in all it was a good trip and a blessed time..

Dave & Debbie

We stayed at the “Howeth Hampden” which is what brother Dave calls their house. It is a wonderful peaceful haven and they are always so generous letting us stay with them. They are a delight! We finally met Buddy, the famous dog who instantly won our hearts over and made our stay even better. We are so blessed by those that pray for us and support us.

Mr & Mrs Smith

God has sure been great to us and reaffirmed over and over again our calling. I wish we had gotten more pictures. We get busy talking so it becomes an afterthought. So sorry if we didn’t get all of you. Next time we will be better at that. As we get older so do others we love and care for. So we never know who we will see again or not. So these quick visits back to where we came from are precious. They seem to go fast and slow at the same time.

We notice the changes and growth of the cities and the people we know. Some of the kids who were once kids are now adults.

Collin, Sydney, Caley & House Church

We got the chance to go to a few churches and one was a house church that one of our favorite young couples started. Collin & Sydney had been leading a smaller house church for young adults and then it blossomed into a larger thing. These house churches are becoming more common with the need for deeper relationships or as they say, more “community.”

We were thrilled they let a couple of old fogeys crash their party.

Tony: Mr Lightning McOwen

One of our fun get togethers was with Tony & Remy. Tony has gone somewhat bonkers over cool cars. I love the muscle cars of the past and he has a sweet Nova and just acquired a Shelby Cobra. It has 4 point seat belts. He had to shoe horn me into the car and we went for a spin. That thing moves fast. They crammed a small block rocket engine under the hood. Well, it’s not a rocket engine but….

At one point he punched it and my innards ended up in the back seat. Oh, wait, there is no back seat Debra had a scream in it as well. It is funny since the top speed limit here is 100KPH (60MPH) and I think he did that in 2nd gear!

Top: Amanda, Lorna / Bottom: Cece & Aaron

We were concerned about coming back due to me not watching the missionary travel agent close enough. He booked our return flight with connections way too tight with a little over an hour in Chicago and about the same in Brussels. We had everyone praying since we take back 5 loaded up suitcases where ifr we miss our flight and the bags get to Entebbe before we do they could go missing.  The Lord answered our prayers! We got to Chicago and the gate to Brussells was just across from the gate we arrived on instead of having to dash to a different terminal and since they were late leaving the bags made it. In Brussels it was really tight since we were an hour late leaving. The pilot made up some time across the ocean but not all of it.

So we had to make a mad dash to get to the plane. When we arrived at Entebbe we were amazed our bags came off first and all of them arrived! It is really sad that my faith falters over the silliest things.

Debra’s Family

All in all, we are getting better and more efficient with these journeys back and forth but we are grateful that we are done for 2 years. We don’t plan to return until 2021 for our next visit but you never know what will happen. People frequently ask us when we are moving back to the states and our answer seems to surprise people: Never if God wants it. We just have no desire to leave this place where life is harder in many ways. It is a place filled with purpose and an ever changing landscape where the Lord uses us as paint brushes to create His work of art in what He wants us to do. No, we would love to end our days here. We at least have the benefit of the communication age where continents and oceans cannot separate us from those we love.

We arrived late at night and once we came out of the airport we were met by our taxi guy and the smell of Uganda. That smell always reminds me of when we arrived in January of 2016. A smoky tropical smell that signals we have arrived home! When we hit Ft Portal a few days later we were welcomed home by our furball kids who we think thought we were never coming back. And as always, going to see the kids was a wonderful event where some of them still wonder if we are returning. Their faces and voices are one of the many things that tells us this is Home Sweet Home! As always, if you would like to partner with us, head to our page at Mission Quest and join us!!!