Monday, February 14, 2011

Leaving the Land of Thorns

In our last blog, we wrote about an opportunity we were exploring to move locations within Uganda and work with a coffeehouse in Lira (about 5 hours from Kotido) for the remainder of our time here. Since that post, we visited the coffeehouse (more appropriately termed the cafe) and spent a day and a half with the American couple who runs it. Quickly following that trip, it became apparent to both of us that we were not supposed to move. God was simply not leading us to Lira. We both felt somewhat relieved, as we were not excited about the idea of leaving our team - our family - so much sooner than expected. Little did we know God had another thing in mind.

Soon after we made the decision not to move to Lira, we felt God leading us to pray about when we should conclude our time here in Kotido. Originally, we felt like God was leading us to be here for six months to a year, without a strong sense of the exact time-frame. Over time, however, we began to assume that we would be here for one year. As we prayed about the timing God has for us, we realized that our assumption was incorrect. God showed both of us that our time was going to be up in March, not in May as we had expected.

So we purchased our tickets (barely a month and a half before our flight date) and we will be arriving in the Denver airport on March 13th. This fact is still difficult for both of us to believe. It's hard to imagine the cold March weather that we will be jumping into while it's still around 85 or 90 degrees inside our house at night when we go to bed. We will be the only Coloradans with a tan! Our team has been very supportive of us leaving, having prayed through this decision with us. However, this does not make it any easier to think of leaving them here to continue on in the dry heat and oftentimes exhausting culture while we get to return to electricity, running water, and refrigeration. We get to return to ice cream (Andrew's excited about the Blue Bell) and whole grains and salads (that'd be me Kerri) and so so much stuff. Perfectly paved roads, perfectly manicured lawns, perfectly controlled climates (with heaters and AC), perfectly cold drinks, perfectly clean water, perfectly safe surroundings. I know that we've only been gone 8 months, but it doesn't take long to forget what it's like to have so many resources at your disposal, so many luxuries at your fingertips. I can still picture the streets of Boulder in my head, with their fancy cars and huge, expensive houses and it's hard to remember that people really live that way. It's so easy to forget here. And it will be just as easy to forget there. It always is.

So we are coming back. For how long, we don't know. Where we will live, we don't know. All we know is God has said that we are done here, so we are leaving this land of thorns and sun and begging and friends and family and beauty and we are moving on, trusting that God has a plan we will discover in time.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Hey people, or Jonathan and Lynnette since you may be the only ones that read this now.

It's only been one week since we last posted, which is very exciting for us. We'd like to catch everyone up on what we've been doing on the practical, everyday life side of things, while trying not to bore you to death.

Firstly, we're still doing many chores everyday, but it's not as bad as back in the day.

Kerri is really focusing on helping Shalom Uganda get NGO (Non Governmental Organization) status. This is a long process with quite a bit of paperwork but she's plugging away at it and Lord willing we'll file in late January to early February. At the same time Kerri has started to help develop all the different documents and forms that will help Shalom run smoother and better in the future. She is also helping with the Mercy Ministry run by Shalom Uganda, which involves delivering food and supplies to vulnerable people in Kotido District.

Andrew is helping support the Child Sponsorship Program, which right now means preparing for the new school year (the Ugandan school year starts in late January).

It seems to be obvious that Kerri works much harder than Andrew, but that's not a surprise to anyone.

I (Andrew) am going to give up this third person thing now to share a little of what God's been teaching us this past week. As a little background I'll tell you that this year has been much harder than we expected. While we've felt God calling us to work among the poor for a long time, we've learned that doesn't mean we're automatically Mother Theresa and St. Francis' spiritual offspring. This week Jesus' prayer in John 17 really jumped out at me. It wasn't anything in particular, just the overall spirit and focus of Jesus' words: unity. That his people be united. That his current and future disciples would live in unity with each other and with God. I feel like we've learned just how important that is, particularly unity with God. This ties in with something Kerri was sharing with me from Deuteronomy 8:3, the famous "Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Just before that part of the verse it talks about how God humbled the Israelites in the desert, making them hungry and then feeding them with manna. Increasingly leading up to this week, we've felt like the Israelites. Like we've been humbled and made to hunger for words from God. I feel like we've learned at least a part of just how important unity with our God is, a part of why Jesus thought it important enough to focus on in his prayer in John.

So now we're praying that God would sustain us with words from his very mouth. Everything else has slowly and sometimes painfully been shaken away to the point that we just really want his voice to be present in our lives.

I hope I expressed all of this in an easy to understand fashion. We're still praying and working through these lessons, so like our lives this blog is a picture of a work in progress.

Alright, well time for me to eat.

-Andrew (and soon to be edited by Kerri)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back in Kotido

It feels as if we've been traveling forever. We've taken three trips to Kampala since the beginning of November and our total number of hours on a bus since we moved to Uganda is up to 134 1/2 hours.

Kind of short on words today, so here are some photos:

The view from a nearby rock outside of town,
pretty much what the landscape around us looks like

Local elder at a healing ceremony
(his hat is made of human hair)

Our large mzungu (white person) house

Kerri and our neice Nevaeh enjoying one of our last big rains in September

Andrew and our nephew Izzy doing dishes outside

Hope you all had a great Christmas!
For those of you keeping track, we've passed the half way mark for our time here. Maybe we'll average more than a blog every two months for the remainder of our time...maybe.

Popular Posts