“It feels like we have just been talking about this forever. Now we are actually doing it.” Maddix spoke with giddy movement in the seat next to me. Sophie sat to my left as she stared out the window at the twinkling lights below as they came closer and closer. The wheels touched the tarmac and gave the plane a little bump. Maddix breathed deeply and whispered, “We’re here”. Ezra and Ruby were a few rows in front of us sitting with Jade. We gathered our luggage and shuffled down the ramp into the airport. Health inspection. Visa. Luggage. Load the van.
As we drove through the city at midnight I could hear the children in the backseat pointing at things they had never seen before. “What’s he doing?” they would ask, “Why are they all up so late?” In the front seats were Josh Hallahan and Jeff Stanfield, fellow missionaries serving as our welcome committee and transportation from the airport to our new home. We reached the house after an hour and the men began unloading the vehicles. “We can do this Nathan, have a seat.” I was tired enough to accept the offer. Jade and I scurried around the new house with our children as they laughed and squealed in excitement over every new corner and cupboard. Within a few short minutes the excitement turned to fear and I returned to our room only to find every member of my family asleep in my bed. I went to the kid’s room to sleep. As I laid there with my head on my pillow and my heart racing I thought about everything my family no longer had around us. The house we love. The friends and family we love. Images of my children enjoying our home in America flashed through my mind. I wanted to cry. “What have I just done?” my tired mind was running away from me. God replied, “Relax, Nathan. This was my idea. Go to sleep.” So I did.
Jade woke me up. She had been awake with Maddix since 6:30am drinking hot tea and standing on our front porch. “Did you see our view?” I asked as I rubbed my morning eyes with the back of my hands. Jade was encouraged about Maddix’s outlook after a good night's rest as well as her own. These first few days were hour by hour. Our family would feel confident and joyful in one moment and trembling with emotion the next.
Every evening we've been treated to dinner with one family from our World Gospel Mission team here in Kampala. Sometimes we would be picked up and taken to their home. Other times they would bring food to our home and share an hour or so with us. We were so encouraged by these experiences. Very quickly they became a highlight of the day that kept us chugging through whatever trembling happened before 5pm. On Saturday our team leader, Jon Mayo, stopped by the house to check on us. Midway through the conversation he mentioned our truck and asked if I was ready to pick it up. I’ve driven further and further every day since then. Today I drove through Kabalagala to Gaba Road on my visit to a grocery store. It wasn’t the most relaxing drive I’ve ever taken but I survived. A boda (motorcycle taxi) driver with a big wooden box nearly met the passenger side of my bull bars but I don’t think he ever noticed. I moved along quickly so I didn’t have to find out.
Jade has been nesting. Today I felt great warmth as I noticed her getting creative around the house. She hung some things, folded some things and arranged the master bedroom. Earlier today we visited a carpenter and put in an order for some furniture. The house is coming together. We are learning where things are and how to get food and who to send our questions to and how long certain tasks might take. It’s a process that requires patience but we are seeing progress.
We’ve been excited by comments here and there about ministry opportunities but our team has been insistent upon us taking things slow. It’s good advice. When we aren’t bogged down with the struggle of day to day normalcies our minds are searching for answers to important spiritual questions like “what do my devotions look like here” and “how can I best show love to the person in front of me”.
I hope I’ve given you a picture of our early moments in Uganda that might help you to enter our world as you desire. In that sharing of our experience we ask that you continue to pray for a thriving existence. May God be glorified in everything we say and do in this beautiful country!
|Ezra has spent countless hours chatting with our guards.|
|Jade has been adding her "touches" around the house helping it to feel like home.|
|We put in an order with this fine furniture maker. We're excited to pick it up in 3 weeks!|
|This produce truck is just down the street from our house. We will shop here often.|