Almost one year ago now, we felt the Lord begin speaking to us about our future here in Karamoja. We have often wondered just how long we might be here, hoping to see God work quickly so that our role is no longer needed but recognizing that things – and more importantly people’s hearts – move very slowly here in Karamoja. And so we have wondered, “Lord, will You move like a rushing wind that transforms in an instant or like a great river that transforms over generations?”
We still do not know what exactly God has in mind long-term, but we do know that for now He has told us to settle down and put down deeper roots in our community. Jeremiah 29:4-7 has guided our vision of what is means for us to put down roots:
“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do no decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’“
In light of this scripture, we have been on the hunt for land that we can buy and on which we can build our house, as well as plant gardens and keep animals, and have room to host guests. God has been giving us a vision of establishing a sustainable community of missionaries who work to support themselves, live off the land, and practice corporate rhythms of worship, study of the Word, and prayer. We desire for our home to be a center of hospitality to the community around while we continue to seek Kingdom transformation in the hearts and lives of our neighbors and friends.
Over the last few months, God has provided contacts and resources for us to learn how best we can physically care for the land He will give us. We are pursuing a permaculture design (for more information on permaculture, visit www.permaculture.org) that will allow us to bring restoration and healing to the dry, often barren landscape of Kotido. We are excited for our future land to be a physical picture of the spiritual promises of restoration and transformation the Lord has given us for Karamoja (Isaiah 35, 44:3-5).
Land we are trying to buy a few miles outside of Kotido.