Thursday, June 13, 2013


When I was Paige and Bryan's age, we lived overseas and only came back to Texas once a year.  For me, coming to Uganda is like those times when we saw our relatives after a years' separation.  N.  We get excited to see them, and we wonder about how much they have changed. When we arrive, there are familiar sights and smells and sounds that our brain reserves only for this place. We feel as though its been too long, as we exclaim about how children have grown, and then we feel like no time has passed as we fall right back into our old conversations, picking up where we left off with no awkwardness. We rest in the comfort of people and a place that feels, to us, like coming home. It's not where we live, of course, and we know we'll have to leave. I remember the strangeness, when we lived abroad, of people asking when we were "coming home," and then us saying, as we left, "we've got to get home."  Five years into our missions here, Jinja has become another home to us. The past few days have been filled with seeing old friends, exclaiming over how they have grown and changed, and wanting to soak up every precious second of our time together. 

I've read a lot lately about the ineffectiveness of short term missions. Good thing we're not on a short term mission! We may come here each year for a short time, but we have long-term relationships. I wish I had access to my pictures from previous years, so that I could show a then and now, but this is Emma. (Emmanuel). 
When I first met Emma, he was five, and Ms Agnes' youngest child. My own children were very taken with his adorable pictures, and Bryan would even select his most special hot wheels cars for Emma's Christmas packages.  Today, Emma is clean, healthy, and in P3 (third grade). He can read and write, he has clean water, food, shelter, and he knows Jesus. He is so far ahead of where he should be, given his life circumstances, thanks to the love and generosity of Agnes and the people who faithfully contribute to his care. 

Last year, we met Pamela, a girl from the community surrounding Agnes'. Pamela attends nursery school at the orphanage and has special needs.  She has attended nursery school for a year with the other children, being treated just like them. A year later, she barely seems different from them, and she did this today
She wrote her own name too!  :-) 

We are about long term relationships. The workers at the hotel, the people at the churches we visit... They remember us and us them. We can't wait to catch up and check in.  It's our way of saying, "we're invested.  We consider this 'home' too. 

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