Thursday, February 19, 2015


If we were living in America I would say we are "moving" into our new house. I guess now we could say we "have moved," although things are not yet all in place. But here in Uganda, this process is called "shifting." For some reason that word seems to have a more temporal connotation in my mind. I have found that living here in Uganda increases my awareness that this world is not my Home. 

The shifting began a little over a week ago, on Friday night after the appreciation lunch for the workers and the open house/dedication time with GSF staff, missionaries and a few of our neighbors. Those two celebrations were both great opportunities to celebrate this blessing and encourage others in Jesus. At the end of the lunch for the workers, Daniel gave out more Bibles to anyone who did not receive one at Christmas time. I am praying that these men will read God's Word and grow in their faith or come to know Jesus for the first time. Here is a photo in the front of the house of the men who were able to attend that day. 

During the open house/time of prayer Mark, our team leader, talked of our eternal home. It is easy to be distracted by our temporal "homes" and forget to live for the Home that is eternal. It was a good reminder. 

Some of our neighbors were able to join us for that celebration on Friday afternoon, and one of the men came to church for the first time on Sunday. I hope that living closer to our neighbors in the village leads to more opportunities to build relationships and share Jesus with those around us. 

After the open house on Friday, eight neighboring children from the village came over to help us clean the house and prepare to move. I was thankful for their cheerful help sweeping, mopping and wiping things down. It also provided more opportunities to get to know them and improve my language skills. I wish I had a photo to share with you, but the picture in words will have to suffice. They are sweet kids and I am praying that they will know God's love for them through Jesus. 

Saturday and Monday were busy days as we shifted all of our things to our new house. We moved in even though there was still work being done. Of course this process of shifting can be a bit stressful, so I was extremely grateful when some friends on our team offered to help watch our younger 2. Honestly, it was more like I was about to pull my hair out, so I put the boys in the van and drove to go find some help. It was great to have someone watch the boys while David and Cody did most of the heavy lifting. Elijah, Esther and I were mostly trying to organize and put things away. 

On Monday afternoon we discovered that  we could not get our bed frame through the bedroom door, the sinks were leaking, and we were all irritable. Since the boys' bunk beds were not yet dry from being painted, and our bed frame was stuck in the hallway, we decided to just put the on mattresses on the concrete floor. The Gwartney family was so thoughtful and invited us over for dinner. It was great to be out of the mess and not have to worry about preparing a meal that day. After dinner we were all tired, but the kids were so excited and the parents still had a lot of work to do. Elijah got his brothers to lie down, and he played the guitar for them. They were asleep quickly. 

We went back to teaching on Tuesday and worked at settling in during the afternoon and evening hours this week. We finally all have beds and we are getting most things organized. We needed to go to Jinja on Saturday, but we spent the morning working at home and then went into town in the afternoon. 

On Saturday morning, as some friends from Buundo were walking nearby on their way to dig in their gardens, I invited them in for coffee. While they were here I asked if they would like for me to read the Bible to them in Luganda. They seemed excited to listen, and helped me when I struggled with pronunciation. I was excited that our new house has already provided opportunities for reaching out in our first week. 

Please pray with us, that our home here will provide us with many opportunities to encourage others in their faith and to reach many with the good news of the gospel. I am also praying that it will be a place of rest and refreshment for our family so that we will be able to continue to do the work God has called us to do. Thank you to all of you who have helped make this home a reality! 

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