Hello from Uganda!
We made it! It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two weeks since we left the Mitten State and headed out on this new adventure! By God’s grace, the transition to life in the Pearl has gone really well so far. We’re setting into life here and we are absolutely loving it.
As we were thinking about our first week here, we came across this journal entry that Ben wrote before we left. We intended to post it earlier, but life happened Anyways, here it is…
A week prior to writing this blog post, our apartment had been filled with couches, tables, a bed, lamps, wedding gifts, decor on the walls…everything that made it a home—our home. Within the span of a mere week and a half, we had sold almost everything we owned in an online auction to family, friends, and new acquaintances. Everything had been picked up and Kari and I were left standing in the living room—a room emptied all too abruptly of everything but memories.
I thought back to when we were first moving in and we had to get our utilities turned on. If you’ve ever had to do this, as I’m sure a lot of you have, then you know that they give you a very vague timeline within which they will come by. Our given time frame was 11am to 2pm. I was tasked with the wonderful job of waiting for them, and I got there early with a book, an iPad, and a lawn chair borrowed from my in-laws. I was ready to wait!
I decided to use this time to pray over the apartment and put it under the covering of the Lord. I prayed that God would make it a place of peace, love and joy; that every time someone visited, they would have uplifting fellowship and that they would leave our home feeling encouraged. I also prayed that God would do His will in the marriage and lives of Kari and I. We had hoped to stay in this apartment for a while. There was plenty of space and we were in a great location. We had planned on staying here for three or four years, during which time we would be saving up to buy a house. At the time, we were sure that this apartment would be home for quite some time. That was our plan and we thought that it was a good plan.
As I sat and prayed in that empty living room that was soon to be filled with life and love, I had been overjoyed because we now had our own place, our own address. We were going to finally open our wedding gifts and use them. My heart was filled with joy, for we had been waiting a year and a half for this.
Kari and I had great plans. God had even better plans.
The eight months that we spent at apartment 202D went by so quickly. Here we were again in an empty living room. People who had bought our items had collected them, and we were getting ready to leave. We reminisced on all of the memories that were made, tears that were shed and laughs that were shared with everyone that had visited and had fellowship in our living room. Rather than three or four years, it had been less than one. We were not following our plan or dream of moving into a house. We were putting everything we had on the line: quitting our jobs, selling our belongings, moving out of our home, and heading far, far outside of our comfort zone.
We were leaving all that was familiar, yes. But we were obeying God’s call for us to go to my home country, Uganda, and serve the people there. It is scary, difficult, and painful for both of us to leave nearly everything and everyone we know. However, it is liberating to know that we have God on our side and that He’s going to take care of us. He was calling us to fully rely on Him and trust Him, and we are doing our best to do so. We have said goodbye to apartment 202D, but we are excited for our new home. We are looking ahead with hope and joy, for we know that the Lord is our shelter and He will provide.
We’ll be posting an update on our first few weeks in Uganda sometime next week. For now, we’ll leave you with this quote that we love…
“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if he doesn’t come through.” – Francis Chan
Missing you all and praying for you as you serve God where you are!
Ben & Kari