One Year Ago
Last Thursday marked our first year in Uganda. It has been quite the year of milestones. Our first year of foreign service, a year of being totally dependant on God for our finances, and our first year of not owning or driving an automobile.
In a nation where private car ownership is not the norm and roads are not maintained one would think a break from vehicle maintenance, insurance, refueling and driving in congestion would be refreshing. However over the past year getting back and forth from church, purchasing tools and building supplies, and joining with homeschool groups in town has proved to be challenging if not impossible in many cases. Just going to the store and getting a box of groceries (yep, a box) strapping it to the back of a motorcycle and schlepping it up the dusty hillside is exhausting. Our friends from South Africa have left to visit home and have loaned us their van for six weeks. We have only driven it twice but I’m not sure we will be able to go back to public transportation after they return. Next month we will begin the process of fundraising for our own vehicle. There have been many opportunities for ministry that we have not been able to pursue because of lack of transportation. If you know of any organizations who specialize in funding ministry vehicles for overseas missions let us know, we’ll need all the help we can get.
We welcomed a Family Ministry School for several weeks of outreach here at Hopeland this month. They organized a children’s event, ministered in the hospital, served in the village, and helped refurbish our friend’s birth center. Jeri and Dora have been working at the Good Samaritan Birth Center for almost as long as we have been here. They even spent a night in the guest quarters hoping for a baby to be born. The midwife, Christine, has a well appointed facility but has little time or resources to get up to the requirements for national registry. We combined our own personal resources with the team and were able to buy several liters of paint, wood for furnishings, and supplies for cleaning. They set aside three days and postponed a day-off to complete the job. The second day we arrived, Christine came running out to bring Jeri and Dora in to catch a baby. It was not her first delivery in Africa, but out of the hospital and sharing it with Dora made it special. The team lost no momentum and neither did the baby’s mama, two hours later she was on the back of a motorcycle with her new bundle of joy and headed home. The team was amazed at how issues of personal care are overlooked but equally impressed with how Christine managed it all. Christine still has a number of projects to complete but some deep cleaning, a new coat of paint, and some extra seats made a world of difference and she was thrilled with the results. This is the second team we’ve hosted as a family here at Hopeland and both have been great. If you would like to journey to a foreign place, that is very safe, and has so many opportunities to do good let us know and we will set it up for you.
Liesel got dunked in Africa! Two weeks ago Liesel chose to accept Jesus as her savior. Last weekend she got into an inflated pool in the middle of the sanctuary and declared to everyone that Jesus is her Lord, and then got baptized. Little did she know it would be so cold. She braved it and now is a part of a big family. We couldn’t be prouder and know her life will be a blessing to many.