It’s been a while…the last you heard from us, we were just leaving Burundi and expressing how much we would miss our family there…we still do. But we’re finally feeling settled here in Kampala, Uganda!
Moving here has been quite the adventure! We’ve had our ups and our downs!
We were able to borrow the Shammah Health Center truck to move to Kampala and we have been able to use it while we have needed to haul furniture and get around. We loaded up the truck in Burundi with everything we owned, including our motorcycle, 3 bicycles, and a large Burundian drum! We couldn’t believe it all fit…Jean Paul, one of our colleagues in Gitega, kept saying “I didn’t believe…it’s a miracle!” Josh left on the long road trip through Burundi and Rwanda, to Uganda. He had some trouble crossing the Rwanda/Uganda border as he tried three different times to cross…luckily we had the proper papers stating that we were moving our own belongings, and they finally let him through. He made it safely, with all of our things! Praise God! As there was not room for me in the front seat, I followed behind the next day on the plane…because the traffic is so bad in Kampala, Josh had to leave Kampala for the airport to pick me up before I even left Burundi!
We were blessed to have been able to stay in Brian & Jessica Myrholm’s (missionaries from Edmonton!) home when we first arrived while they were away in Kenya. This was a massive blessing as we would have otherwise needed to stay in a hostel and were not sure what we would have done with our stuff. In the meantime, we worked hard at looking around for a home! After much searching, we found an apartment that suited us perfectly! It was the least expensive and nicest place we saw, so that worked out very well! Our suite was not yet finished so our landlords graciously let us move temporarily into another suite for a couple of weeks…the moving date was the exact day we had to leave the Myrholm’s home…the timing couldn’t have been better. So we had been living out of bags for a few months, but we are happy to say we have fully unpacked and been settled into our own home for a couple of weeks now! With the craziness and chaos of Kampala city center, we are happy to be living a bit out of the way near lake Victoria, where it’s peaceful and relaxing…good for the soul.
Many of you will remember Grace, our dear Ugandan friend who worked at Shammah Health Center in triage. She moved back to Uganda, her home country, in December and we followed shortly after. It has been a massive blessing having her here and it was so comforting to see her when we first arrived in Uganda. She has helped us shop for our new home and has directed us to the right people to help us. In Uganda, unfurnished not only means no furniture, but no appliances and no curtains too! So we have been busy purchasing all of that. In almost 6 years of marriage, this is the third country we have lived in and we have had to start from scratch three times!
God has really provided for us and blessed us materially here…something new to us here in Africa. We have power almost all the time, running hot water, and a fridge!!! There are large grocery stores where we can get almost any food…we seem to be spending most of our food budget on juice and cheese…two things we didn’t get much of in Burundi! What a luxury! We are really grateful for our time in Burundi in many ways…it really makes you appreciate the very basic of things…marvelling for the next hour at how you turn the fan on and it works, and how we can keep food in the fridge, and how we can make ice cubes…being able to appreciate such simple things makes life so much more exciting!
The traffic here in Kampala, is really some of the worst in Africa! “City planning” is not a familiar concept here, so traffic jams are a constant occurrence…any time of day! In fact, Kampala is known so much for it’s bad traffic that everything is just collectively known as “the jam.” We have experienced our fair share of “the jam” already. Traffic rules are very different as well, and even vary according to the time of day and the type of vehicle you drive, so that has taken some getting used to as we’ve already been pulled over by the cops three times in one month! White skin in Burundi gave us a free pass most of the time…in Uganda, it makes us a target. Large quantities of Matatu’s (small buses) and boda boda’s (motorcycles) swerve in and out of traffic, make sudden stops, and are just plain nuts! Such chaotic and dangerous traffic has caused me to really need to surrender my worry to the Lord. Please keep our daily safety in your prayers.
Many of you have heard of Watoto church from the Watoto children’s choir. We are happy to say that we have decided to make this our home church! We are very excited to continue to connect with people there, get plugged in, and invest in this church!
Josh has been very busy starting up LifeNet International here in Uganda! He is currently working out of our home and once he begins to hire staff, he will be looking for an office location. He has been doing everything from looking for a vehicle, looking into how to register LifeNet as an NGO here, figuring out finances, meeting with church leaders, doing clinic visits, etc. A couple of weeks ago, the executive director of LifeNet and the Burundi country director flew in from Burundi and spent a week here with Josh in meetings and doing clinic visits. We spent a couple of days upcountry in Masaka, visiting a few clinics as well. It was wonderful to see the work being done up country and the potential for clinic partnerships there. LifeNet invited me on the clinic visits with them and I was able to do follow-up medical assessments for LifeNet. I really enjoyed getting out to see a variety of different clinics, seeing how they operate, and meeting the medical staff. There is a lot of need for LifeNet’s presence in this country and I’m excited to see the impact that they will have here!
Life has been a little different for me, moving to Uganda without a job lined up. So up until now, I’ve been focusing on getting us settled in and helping out where I can. I have realized during this time; however, that I’m not built to be a lady of leisure! The great thing is, is that there are many different things I could do to help out here in Uganda…it’s just a matter of figuring out what God has called me here to do. I have some opportunities presenting themselves, so if you can please keep that in your prayers, that would be amazing.
Thank you so much for following us to Uganda and continuing to support the new work we are doing here. We are excited to continue to update you on the progress of LifeNet International! We are also planning on continuing to update you regarding Shammah Health Center in Burundi as much as possible. We are in regular contact with them, and they are doing very well! Thank you to those of you who are also continuing to support the work being done there!
Now that we are settled, we’ll be back to updating more frequently, and we also plan on keeping you in the loop as to how to continue to support us in the future! We are working on identifying a charitable solution in Canada so please keep that in your prayers as well, we are getting close!