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Monday, October 14, 2013

In which we reach the 20-year mile-marker on this paradoxical path

October 14, 1993, we touched down on the runway of the old Entebbe airport with 8-month-old Luke as the night faded into dawn.  We stepped down the stairway onto the tarmac, inhaling the smokey air of Africa for the first time as a family.  In what would become a familiar pattern in our life, we felt a bit abandoned for a few hours, because the family who intended to meet us had all fallen sick with malaria and the trusted Ugandan friend they delegated was a bit late.  Sitting on the sidewalk with our pile of trunks, we watched what we thought were lethal mosquitos ( but were in reality pesky but harmless lake flies) swarm over our baby.  The journey of faith had begun.  These were the days before cell phones and internet.  We had no plan B.  Concerned airport personnel offered to get us a taxi, but we had no idea where we would go other than the one international hotel with a phone line to the US where the team had called us from in the past.  Our new home was a two-day drive away.  But just when we began to despair, John Wilson Atwoki showed up to rescue us for the first time of what would probably be dozens where we sat on a roadside with no options, and he whooshed in with a plan.  He loaded Scott and the trunks in the back of a pickup, and Luke and me in the front, and we were off to Kampala.

And so began what has now become two decades of loving the people, the view, the pace, the sheer in-your-face reality of Africa.  17 years in Uganda, and nearly 3 now in Kenya, with connections and visits and friends and ministry in all their neighbors: Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, the Somali border, Ethiopia, South Sudan.

Today we remember hither-by-grace: these 20 years are one continuous story of God's mercy in bringing us to this place.  Mercy to the few people we've had the privilege to work with?  Perhaps, but I mean His mercy to us.

(PS - click on the image of the prayer letter to download and read the original "first letter from Uganda").

1 comment:

Andy Steere said...

love love love this...thank you so much for posting. what a great inspiration you are to us. how privileged we are to happen to be here at the same time as you are.