Living a half a world away from where you were born and lived for over a half century, it takes a long time to grow accustomed to the cultural changes, the language, the incredible noise and even shopping in stores. I’m not kidding when I say Ugandans put things in stores where you wouldn’t expect to find them. Kleenex is not in the paper aisle with toilet paper or paper towels, paper towels are not where you would find napkins (they call them servettes here). A “Hardware store” is a small place where “we sell these screws but not these ones.” I have to usually go 6 places to create a complete toilet tank set!
Yes, life can be very challenging and dangerous here but also rewarding. I apologize for not putting out many articles but I vow to correct that! Life has been so strange since COVID struck. The churches were shut down twice for several months each time. The schools were shut down for almost 2 years! After reopening, my role shifted heavily into training leadership.
Seeing how dysfunctional and dead the churches were, He showed me what they were lacking in the most: so few have ever been trained in leadership. The Lord has found my niche. My curriculum includes 2 manuals on leadership, one for church leaders and one for potential new leaders in their business, spiritual and personal lives.
Uganda has far too many followers and so few leaders.
Training them has been a struggle even after 6 years of being here and studying the culture and how they learn and understand language. So many want to progress but so few get opportunities and many who do will not put out the work to do anything. That is that hand of dependence that we deal with. I have declined to train some leaders.
That is due to church division and wrong priorities.
George and I visited a group of pastors down in Kamwenge recently who had these issues and after a day of talking with them they now have to prove they are ready to learn. The focus is church buildings and power, not making disciples. Jesus didn’t say to make churches; He said to make disciples and so few churches even attempt it.
We are blessed to have a never ending mission field here.
Debra works with the school still but much of her focus is turning to discipling women. She has a special gift in that area and I am amazed to watch her lead women so well. Between her online BSF group she leads and here in our church as well as women she mentors in other areas, she stays pretty busy and as always she ministers through food and since arriving in Uganda over 6 years ago, she has become an incredible chef! I get to benefit from that! We are growing old together. I cannot believe how much time has slipped by and not a day goes by that I do not remember that we have more days behind us than ahead.
This makes the work all the more urgent.
We live in a place where we have traffic jams created by cows, driver’s education cars that break down and lazy cats….. There is so much suffering and crimes of desperation. I walk daily into town and talk with people looking for that opportunity to share hope that so many need. I see the faces of those who struggle to eat.
The poverty is overwhelming. Through it all, Uganda is our earthly home away from our Eternal Home.
We know just as strongly today as we did in 2015 that God called us here to live and serve. He has been faithful and has provided so well for us over the years thanks to those who partner with us and pray for us. We had a chance in January to do a short getaway to Lake Bunyunyi in the SW corner of Uganda and what a beautiful place it was.
We don’t get much opportunity to get out and take breaks so when we do it is a wonderful respite.
We are finally coming to visit the States for the month of July for the first time in 3 years and we know so much has changed there. Sadly we have more freedom here in Uganda than in America in regards to our faith and the sharing of it. With as sad as the political and social climate are there, we are seeing this trip as a short term mission trip where maybe we can share some light.
If you would like to partner with us financially and be a part of our JourneyUganda, go here to begin. Thanks to all who pray for us and provide our needs!
Lorna P Qazi said:
Great post, Bill. Will be so good to see you two! Send us your details. I am off to Alaska June 23 -28 to accompany a cousin to a 50th HS reunion but will see you all soon. Lorna
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KEVIN VERKLER said:
praying for you , you both look great , never age ________________________________
Bill And Debra said:
LOL! We have aged a great deal! 🙂
Akugizibwe Newton said:
Glad to follow this, wish you all the best for your mission trip to the states may God bless you abundantly for you have really showed us light. Bill and Debra, we are proud of your great efforts.