Our first post here was sent out on April 1, 2012. It was titled “We have a Blog!” This is its spiritual sequel.
When thinking about the complexities of moving Nadine, Oliver, Finn, Belle, and myself back to Canada, I wanted to take a trip down memory lane and see how we announced our move in the first place.
“We’re moving to Burundi” was all of the nuance I could muster at that point as a writer to get our point across. That’s about all of the information I provided about our impending move.
I also blogged on April 1st. Ironically enough, the older, wiser me was going to post about our upcoming move on April 1st, 2021, but I thought “what dummy would blog about a life changing decision on April fools day?”
Me. This dummy did exactly that. 9 years ago.
We were preparing to give away our possessions, pack up our lives, readying ourselves to move out our small condo and into my brother-in-law’s basement, giving notice at our jobs, preparing to say goodbye to friends and family… all of that was expressed in just four words.
“We’re moving to Burundi.”
There are a few reasons behind this oversimplification of an incredibly complicated process. We were brand new to the idea of asking for support and fundraising, and it was hard to find the words on how to ask for help. It was also so much simpler for us – we were a young couple, with few possessions to our name, relatively new to our careers… as hard as a decision it was to pick up our lives and transplant them to East Africa, it was also incredibly easy.
We also didn’t know any better.
We had no idea how hard it would be. We couldn’t have known what we were actually giving up, or what we were actually giving it up for. I know I’ve written and shared about this before, but I am truly so thankful that we were in the dark. We were young and foolish. If God would have sat us down, and told us everything that was going to happen, in our foolishness we would have said, “no.” That sounds too hard, too difficult, not worth it. We would have been so wrong.
Yet coming through to the other side, recognizing everything that we’ve gained from our time here, the price that has been paid is nothing compared to the wealth of life, and of family, that we’ve experienced. Thank you God, for in our ignorance and foolishness, you saved us and preserved the path forward on the journey you called us into.
So now, things are a bit more complicated, but we are a little wiser. We understand a bit more about what we are doing, what it means, what it is going to cost.
Honestly, it’s a lot scarier.
Moving back “home” after 9 years feels nearly impossible. It is hard to contrast the emotional, financial, mental toll this transition is taking with all of the joy, love and support we are receiving from friends and family who cannot wait to have us come back. We feel that love and excitement too, but it’s like a broken jar of jam — all of that scary glass is mixed in with the jelly, impossible to get out. Do you still enjoy the sandwich, or is each bite terrifying?
However, we move forward, knowing that this is the right thing to do for our family, and what God is calling us into for whatever may come next.
It truly helps to know how much support we have waiting for us back home. You don’t know how much it means to us, to know that we have a safe haven to come “home” to when we will arrive in mid-June.
Through the generosity of loved ones, we will have a home, an actual house (!!!) to live in on Edmonton’s west end. It’s a remarkable provision that is completely the answer to our prayers.
This move, along with realizing how little we actually own back in Canada, and what we will need to spend in order to provide the basic necessities for our family is starting to come into focus for us, and this is where I need to ask for your help and support.
As I’ve learned, this is not uncommon for families returning from the field. To that end, our partners at Serving in Mission Canada have a policy of being able to support their missionaries by keeping their fundraising accounts open for 3 months following the completion of their work abroad. For us, what this means is that every donation that goes to our account at SIM Canada, effective immediately and through July 31st, will come directly to Nadine and I to support us as we rebuild our lives in Edmonton with Oliver, Finn and Belle. In over 10 years of fundraising, this is the first time Nadine and I will ever have funds come directly to us.
Nadine and I have never been in a situation where we’re asking for support for our personal needs – we’ve always been focused on raising funds for guesthouses, or vehicles, or programming – never for ourselves. If I’m honest, I’m surprised by how hesitant I feel to write this, even after so many years of raising support for the work we’ve been so privileged to be a part of.
We really do need your help. We’ve always had more than enough to support our lives here in Uganda, but the growing recognition of what our costs of living will be in Edmonton is coming into clear focus. Anything that you could give, big or small, will make a world of difference for us.
We will keep you posted, and share any needs as they come up. People have already reached out saying they’d like to give, or save a mattress for the boys, or a bike. Please don’t hesitate to connect with us if you feel like there’s something you can do to help.
If you feel led to give, you can click HERE to find our page with SIM.
From our family to yours, thank you so much.
Keep those prayers coming. We’ve got long, stressful days ahead.
Please pray for:
- Oliver and Finn. That they would be resilient, brave, and happy. We are asking so much of them as we have to spend time selling off our belongings, packing up what we have, finishing up work, and so much more.
- Nadine and I as parents. That we would have the strength, patience, and abundant love and understanding that our boys (and our marriage) needs while we are stretched so thin.
- Our home in Edmonton. There will be a lot of physical work to do, and a lot of responsibility, (and an incredible amount of emotional processing) as we get ready to move into our home.
- Our travel – we haven’t booked our flights yet, primarily because we still need to sort out visa issues here in Uganda, AND we are doing what we can to avoid locking our boys up in a hotel room for 3 days. We are really worried about the mandatory hotel quarantine for Oliver and Finn’s sake.
- Our remaining time in Uganda. I am working straight up through until the 30th (and most likely after) in order to ensure that the Uganda program will continue to thrive during this transition. In May, we will take time to visit some of our favourite places, and truly prepare ourselves to say “goodbye” to this amazing life we’ve built here over the past decade.
- What comes next for our family. We are coming home completely exhausted and burned out. In particular, I am a physical mess. School might have to wait, given the financial factors, and my personal health and wellbeing. Pray for guidance for us.