When I first moved to Uganda I was doing language and culture study in Mbale, but after my first year there, Jesus made it abundantly clear that I was to join the team out in Kamonkoli for ministry. For a variety of reasons (including the fact that there wasn’t available housing), HUM and I decided that I would continue to live in Mbale and drive out to the village each day.
|The view from my current porch|
Jesus has abundantly blessed my time in Mbale! I’ve stayed in a number of different houses, but this latest place was my favorite. I got to be there for 3 whole years (so amazing after moving 5 times in 2 1/2 years!), and had over a dozen people live with me in these years. Callie has been my faithful housemate even from before this house, and such a huge answer to prayer. She’s an ideal housemate, and has been a wonderful teammate as we’ve taught so many newbies coming into our house to live in Uganda how to do life in Africa. Managing that flow of people in and out as well as constantly trying to find new people so we can afford the rent has been a challenge for both of us, but with her help and the grace of Jesus, these years have been a blessing. Callie will soon be marrying George and coming back to the States (check out her story and pictures here!), and while I am so thrilled for her, I am also sad for me. Losing friends is a constantly hard part of ministry overseas, but it's especially hard with the really near and dear ones. Life is about to look a whole lot different without her.
|Callie (second from right) and I with beloved |
past-roommates, Jess and Gloria, and other friends
|Callie on the left with me and Natalie|
Last year, the HUM board asked me to consider moving out to Kamonkoli, and throughout this year I have constantly sought Jesus’ will for me and the ministry He has gifted me with. There have been many challenges to me moving out to the village, but over this year I have seen one obstacle after another removed. I have been left with all positive reasons for moving from Mbale to Kamonkoli, so we have decided that as soon as my lease for this house is up on January 31st, I will be moving out to the village!
The only challenge that still remains is…..a house! At the moment there is no appropriate housing for me to be in long-term, and we are needing to build a place for me and other long-term missionaries that hopefully will be coming soon. I know… having the actual house would seem to be step one for me to move to the village :) But I’ve talked with Jesus about that too, and I am convinced that He is eager for me to be living in Kamonkoli and He’s got the whole situation covered.
Our contractor has given us an initial estimate of $67,000 to build this house on the HUM property. When Katherine and I were designing the house, we were anticipating closer to $45-50,000, so when that estimate came in, I was a bit shocked. And discouraged. My heart belief (even though I couldn’t have verbalized it at the time!) was that Jesus could have handled providing for $45-50k, but surely $67k was too much for Him. Ha! I love how ridiculous the lies that we believe sound when we actually say them out loud! :) You see, I know conceptually that Jesus always funds the work and ministry He has led us into…and I know intellectually that He’s an ENORMOUS God who possesses all the resources of the universe and can feed 5,000 from just two fish and five loaves of bread… but when my own need is in front of my face, my real heart beliefs are exposed. And I’m so grateful that Jesus is calling me into a place where once again, I must bring my fears to the feet of His cross and say, “I believe! Help my unbelief!”
So that’s where I am right now: choosing every day to believe that Jesus is going to work an INCREDIBLE miracle in the next 4 months in order to provide this house that has already been intentionally designed, prayed over, and dedicated to ministry and the kingdom work.
Ever since the decision was made for me to move to Kamonkoli, Jesus has been filing my mind with all kinds of ideas and dreams for ministry within that house! The sitting room is designed for a play place and study station where I can have kids over to do homework, play, and develop deeper relationships with them after school (instead of needing to make the 40 minute commute home immediately after class!). I also have a prayer room (or War Room!) with outside access so that I and other people from the ministry can come find a quiet, set apart place for prayer and communion with Jesus.
|My prayer room right now...soon to be replaced!|
While living in town, having teachers, friends, and my children over to my house has been a logistical challenge with the distance and limited transportation options. Now, I’m greatly looking forward to being in a place where I can welcome people into my home! My hope is also that living in the community and being constantly surrounded by Lugwere (unlike in Mbale where the languages are Luganda and Lugisu) will also help me complete my language studies faster! All in all, there are so many things to look forward to about living in the village, and I can’t wait to see how Jesus is going to conquer every last one of the challenges before I can move.
I firmly (and constantly choose to!!) believe that Jesus will work a miracle to provide this home. I get to participate in the miracle by constantly praying for it, and I would like to invite you to be a part of this miracle as well! Will you pray for this house to be fully funded and quickly (but excellently!) built in time for me to move into it on January 31st? Will you pray over each of the bedrooms, kitchen/dining room, sitting room, bathrooms, laundry room, and prayer room that they would be filled with the joy and peace of Jesus? That they would be a safe haven for so many people to come and experience the love of Jesus and grow to know Him better? Will you pray that God will surround it with His protection and blessing? I know Jesus might show you even more things to pray for, and I’d love to hear about those! Just leave a comment, or use the new “Contact Me” box on the right hand side!
And finally, if Jesus would lead you to participate in this miracle in a financial way, any checks can be written to HUM, designated for “missionary housing,” and mailed to PO Box 620727 Littleton, CO, 80162. Or for online giving, click here and enter your amount at the top and "missionary housing" in the Other/Special Instructions box just above the payment information.
I can't wait to tell you about the ways Jesus will answer our prayers along the way!