It’s hard to put into words exactly what I want to write, but here is the headline:
We are leaving our home here in Uganda and moving back to Canada this summer.
There are a thousand reasons why this is happening now, but ultimately the reason is this: God has called us back to Edmonton, Alberta. He has made clear that the time is now, and that this is what is best for our newly created family of four (five, Belle counts too).
Looking back, I know that my last post was in September, where we shared the exciting news that we were taking an extended home leave, the first we’ve ever been granted since we came to East Africa in 2013.
Shortly after I sent that last update, we nearly lost Oliver, who had to be hospitalized, and had to fight tooth and nail to survive.
We were so devastated by that event, it took everything we had to make it to November, when we flew home to Canada, only to be caught up in the 2nd COVID-19 wave.
Since returning to Uganda, we’ve been working non-stop to make exciting, bold progress here. LifeNet’s partner network here is set to exceed 120 partner health facilities, improving healthcare for hundreds of thousands of patients every single year. We’ve partnered with another organization here to bring clean water to 6 different communities. I’ve been privileged to be a part of preparing to launch LifeNet operations into new country programs, while Nadine resumed work on refreshing our medical curriculum.
It’s been an amazingly productive time, and we are so thankful that God has given us the opportunity to participate in this work alongside so many colleagues and friends here.
So – why are we leaving? Well the truth is that this decision has been made for a long time. It was actually made crystal clear to me all the way back in 2016, when I realized that I needed to go back to school. More than 5 years later, 2 adoptions, 1 dog, our family is ready to make this happen.
The entire LifeNet team has been very supportive of this goal of mine for some time, and we are collectively in the midst of preparations to ensure this transition is a successful one. As we look forward, we are thinking of our family and our needs, but we are also thinking of the calling God gave us with LifeNet. I know that he has even greater plans than we do for everything happening here in East Africa!
My last day working as Uganda Country Director will be April 30th, one month from today. Nadine, Oliver, Finn and I will then take several weeks to say goodbye to Uganda, the country that we’ve called home for more than 6 years. It will be a special time for us to bond and start to recover as a family, and to celebrate this amazing nation and our sons’ heritage here.
We are in the midst of selling our things here, choosing what to bring and what to leave behind (the dog makes the cut, obviously). We are actively searching for a new home in Edmonton, as I am preparing to go back to school.
We know that this transition will bring expected and unexpected costs – we have very few possessions of worth, and while we have worked hard and diligently saved, there is a lot that goes into figuring out how to live in Canada once again. We are going to have a lot of practical needs that will need to be met – hotel quarantine costs, furnishing a home, mattresses to sleep on, etc. We’re trying to figure out what that looks like, and how people can provide financial support directly to our transition if they wish to – please reach out if you’d willing to contribute.
We are tired – if we learned one thing being home in Canada, is that we have empty cups that need filling. After 9+ years of living, working, sweating and bleeding here it is time for a respite, and it is time to focus on recovery. We do not know what God has in store for us next. In 2013, we moved out to Burundi for “2 years,” and we are still here in 2021. God will make things clear as he always has. For now we just know that moving back to Canada is what we are going to do next. We know that with time, we’ll understand more of what comes after.
As always, we need your support and prayers for what comes next.
Sending lots of love and gratitude for every one of you reading, praying, and cheering us on.