17 January 2013

7 Years in Uganda!

I can't believe we have been here for 7 years... for some reason that number seems significant, biblical or worth a touchdown dance!

Every time I think about boarding the plane from LAX on January 16, 2006 and arriving in Uganda on January 17, 2006 I can't believe we stuck it out... surviving a 2 day flight with a 9 month old and 2 year old after saying goodbye to family, friends and what we viewed as "normal life" is not something I would like to repeat again... but always a decision I am glad we made!

Usually I take time on this day to thank family and friends... so here it is... thanks a million! We could not have pulled through so many triumphs and trials without such an amazing group of people who hold us up in prayer each day, are generous beyond compare and treat us as if we never left each time we see them... we truly have the greatest team of support a missionary could ask for!

But this year more than most I feel like saying thanks to Christine and the boys... I often try to compare my family experience with them to my own experience growing up and there is no compare. We have truly been blessed by the experience in Uganda... but there is also a great sacrifice that Christine and the boys have made to make it through 7 years!

I have to thank Christine for giving up the chance to raise her boys surrounded by her parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins (who are all amazing)... we both have great families and the countless holidays, birthdays, funerals and gatherings I have asked her to miss can never be replaced. I also have to thank her for giving up the chance to raise her boys surrounded by friends in similar life stages who can share the joys and trials of child raising together... we have some amazing friends and every visit is a joy but also a reminder of times of joy and encouragement that she has gone without. I also have to thank her for forfeiting an amazing church back in Moorpark for the opportunity to serve a country that has nothing that can compare... for all the food, fun and comforts we have missed none comes close to missing out on these relationships.

There are also the days, weeks and months without power... the strange disease (which I think she enjoys a bit but not when it has her husband or boys down for the count)... the hundreds of visitors in and out of our lives... the occasional riot, unrest or unease just when passing to the market. Christine, your one in a billion and I can't imagine having survived this long without you. It is a joy to see you thrive in Uganda and I cannot say enough how much I appreciate every sacrifice along the way!

Noah and Kadin, you don't even know what you missed out on... each visit to the US opens your eyes a bit more to the wonders of legos, ice-cream, Disneyland, grandparents, In-n-Out, cousins, beaches and so many of the pleasures I enjoyed as a kid. I also know that one day you will fully understand how different your childhood was than mine. When that day comes and you stubble upon your dad's blog I want you to know how proud I am for how Uganda shaped your characters and personalities... I also want to thank you for the sacrifices you made without even knowing what you were giving up...

As I meet adult missionary kids it can go one of two ways... it is either a joy and a privilege or a childhood that they feel they missed out on... I hope you remember the trips around the world, the exotic animals, the thrill of adventure, the friends around the world and the support of friends from across the globe... I also hope that every time you check to see if the power is on before opening the fridge, you let the yellow mellow in the toilet, you board a plane, discover a new animal, can't understand a new piece of technology or get excited over mail - I hope you remember that Africa was home and you think of it as the best childhood you could ever have!

I often encourage new guys on the field... whether they are listening or not... to take care of their families or they won't survive here for long. Christine, Noah and Kadin... thanks for the adventure! There isn't a family in the world like you and I love being on this adventure with each of you!

1 comment:

Erin said...

This is awesome! Praise God for your sacrifice and all the great things He has given you/shown you through them. Praying for you guys.