4 Years ago today (January 18, 2016) Debra and I embarked on this God ordained Journey Uganda. It seems longer and shorter ago. It seems fitting to reflect and talk about some of the lessons we have learned along the way; some brutally hard and others amazing revelations, some simple and some complex. Simple like Tacos! That picture speaks volumes about how elated we can get here over silly simple things since we cannot get some of our favs here. More about the tacos in a minute because, hey! They are Tacos and they are very important!

We had several blessings just today that are important. We bought a used LG washer when we came here and it has been faithful but started having issues that went away and then came back a few weeks ago and it hasn’t worked. Finding ANYONE who can fix things is as difficult as finding a good doctor, especially in Ft Portal. But we were blessed after one person couldn’t fix it that there was an LG tech who we talked to on the phone in Kampala and he knew exactly what the issue was. Remove 2 screws, pull off the top and a hose had come loose. Praise God!

Lesson #!: We have learned that nothing is easy here but the Lord will put who we need in our path when we need them.

Did I mention Tacos? Miracle #2 today! We occasionally will find some food here that is a treasure we miss. I MISS Tacos and when we visit the States I raid Taco Bell and fill up. We had a bad experience a few years ago when we found Old El Paso taco shells in Kampala. We found a good cheddar cheese and Debra found a good cut of beef; all hard to find. She made everything and we built the masterpieces and we bit into the tacos…….

And instead of joy we discovered to our horror that who ever shipped the shells from the UK packed them with soap or perfume as that is what they tested like. Major Letdown #!!

Well, fast forward to today. I had brought back 2 packets of Old El Paso taco seasoning from the States in September. We had no shells but Debra is the Jedi Master of making homemade soft tortillas. She found a good cut of beef and grinded it and we once again had found that same good cheddar. I am here to report the verdict:

OH Em Gee!!!!!! I about melted when I ate one and memories of tacos dancing in the moonlight and little fairies flying near me with sombreros filled my senses! It was totally awesome!!

Lesson #2: We learn to enjoy the rare simple things we miss when we can find them!

We suffered an entire collapse of our south security wall back in September shortly after arriving back from the states. It has been a safety issue and has required that the landlord has guards here every night. The work to replaced it didn’t begin until December due to many issues. We, unlike so many here are blessed to have the best landlord in the country.

Dorothy has always been a blessing to us. Through that storm of unsafety we are seeing amazing progress and we hope to have the guards gone next week if all goes well. They come with their own issues and privacy isn’t that good. The noise and disruption has been a huge adjustment and we have people on the property every day. Our guard dog Molly loves the new friends especially the guards. She is cute when they arrive as you can tell she thinks “These are my people!” 

Lesson #3: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in troubles.” (Psalm 46:1 NIV)

This week has been a struggle all the way through with malfunctioning gear, Debra being pulled in 90 directions and abnormal stresses above what we usually experience. I have commented in the past about the brutal level of spiritual attacks and those come in waves.

Lesson #4: We give God the glory in the bad times as well as the good ones. We have it so good here. 

We seem to be experiencing a sharp increase in spiritual attacks since the beginning of the year not just for us but in the areas that Debra focuses on. But our Gratitude List is longer than our struggles. We have learned to grasp a hold of the victories and use the struggles as growth opportunities. I especially can be a grumbler and try to be more of an optimist like Debra.

Lesson 5: God is more concerned with our character than He is our comfort and that is where He grows us. 

In refection, Our lives have been radically changed since we began this new life of Living Radical. Growth has been brutal at times but for me I know I have experienced far more growth in the past 4 years than I ever did in the States; it has come by necessity. This place will sift you, the enemy will dive into every weakness you have.

The beauty is that God uses that to draw me closer to Him. My choice must be to daily take up my cross and follow Jesus. These are just a few of the lessons we have learned in this phase of our lives. In it all, we are covered by Jesus.

We are so grateful for all of you who support us through prayer, financially and just in encouragement. The distance between Uganda and our old home is far but we know that when it comes to love, there is no distance that can separate us. God has used all of you to give us what we need in the human sense to continue the work here. We are seeing so many good things and know that 4 years in, we are ready for the next 4 or however many the Lord designates for us here. This is home and we have been surrounded by great relationships here. And we get to experience Tacos!!!! If you would like to partner with us financially you can do so here. Thanks for reading!