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Sunday, August 06, 2023

There and Back Again . . . 2+ months, 2 graduations, 2 moms, 2 moves, 2 continents

The first Sunday afternoon in August, and our second back here in Bundibugyo, has both the rooted familiarity of feeling we never left, and the head spinning reality of holding onto an increasingly dual-track life. In 1993, when we made our initial move here, we didn't have cell phone service or email or even a post office in the district, so the dislocation felt deeper and yet the singularity of living in the present more natural. Now in 2023, particularly post-COVID, the capacity and expectation to keep up with multiple worlds besides the one where we are actually located is real. This has many advantages, when we were in America for 2 1/2 months we had many facetime/zoom meetings with teams in Africa, and now that we are back in Africa we can text and call with family and interact every few hours it seems with our mission office or colleagues in other countries. Very helpful, but also jarring. 

On the helpful side, perhaps the greatest advantage was that immediately after the dorm fire (see post below in late June) we could communicate the needs of Christ School, and so many people responded generously to right the wrongs of destruction and injustice. On a concrete level that means we could immediately re-house students in other dorms with new mattresses, sheets, uniforms, books. And we could embark upon a dorm re-build, plus contract for safety improvements in wiring and smoke alarms and extinguishers campus-wide.  The truth is that in our hours of need we often find out just how many people do care for all of us here. That heartens those discouraged by danger and loss. And while most of the response was from supporters in the USA, not all of it was.  Last year another school in our district had a similar fire and we donated some of our Christ School funds to help them. Last week that school sent a delegation with ten 20L cans of paint for our dorm. This is the Gospel. We are not in competition, we are all collaborating to bless Bundibugyo and glorify God. 

After 2.5 months of visiting in America, celebrating graduations, driving about 5000 miles to help various family moves, a full week of vacation with our 5 kids which is nothing short of a miracle to align as they now have scattered back to their disparate jobs and schools . . . we are now back in Bundibugyo, back where we started. The same weaver bird colony is noisily commenting on the sunset. We had an in-district team "retreat" day to pray and study the word together and look ahead to the year. We've been at CSB nearly daily with meetings and projects, budgets and chapel and greetings. We've had visitors too, hosting a family we knew 20 years ago here in Uganda. We've connected with several of our leaders in our Area, seeking input, making progress. We've tried to catch up with our kids on this side of the ocean, those we've sponsored and fostered, meeting new babies born in our brief time away. 

There and back again, a privilege of the richness of life in more than one world, and the weariness of a heart divided amongst many people and places.


The Bundi Team . . August 2023

Baby Ariella

Baby Elsie

Basime and family coming to greet

Scott taking the four new donated laptops to the computer lab 

Inspecting the dorm rebuild, so far so good

A very cute greeting delegation, the Dickenson kids!

Baby Zuriel

Team pizza again!

Scott had this sign printed on metal, and here is installing it on the school gate.

Bwampu in the BundiNutrition office describing the program to visitors 

Baby Eugene