yep…6 weeks home and he thinks he’s hilarious. walking!?!? oh boy.
I’d like to introduce you to Godfred. He is on our ‘home staff’ here in Jinja. He accepted JESUS in the last couple months and was baptized TODAY !! Look at HIS JOY!!!Here’s a pretty amazing story of God’s sovereignty in this young man’s life. He came to us from a village (12 hours North!) We had not met or interviewed him!! But God knew. He had had to stop his secondary education because of a lack of money, and was basically living, and working alongside his mom to survive. He came to Jinja ready to learn. He is a young man FULL of character, and full of LIFE. He is a strong leader, loyal, kind and smart!! We saw qualities in him right away that made us so deeply grateful for how the Lord intersects our lives with specific people!!
After about a month, I asked Godfred how he liked his church here in Jinja (a different denomination than ours). He laughed and laughed and said, “I can’t understand anything, and no one talks to me.” He speaks a different language from his village, not the two common ones here in town. He has amazing English, however! So, I invited him to church. And he has been coming ever since. On Easter Sunday, this guy was literally jumping out of his seat to get a front row view of the baptisms! Our pastor explained the Gospel and how baptism identifies us with the life and death of Jesus. Godfred was visibly excited. After church I listened as he shared that he was going to get baptized, but he needed his mom there. I told him then that we would bring his mom into Jinja for his baptism!
Since then, Godfred has been coming to church faithfully. He reads his Bible EVERY DAY. He does Bible Study through our fence with a sweet young neighbor who loves Jesus. And he has been meeting with Dave and doing a discipleship study. This guy is HUNGRY. The Lord called him. He brought him here to Jinja, I believe, to meet HIM. To commit his life. To be made NEW. WE have watched and have been in awe!
Today when he was in the pool at church, Pastor Terry asked him if he was ready to identify himself with the Lord Jesus and be baptized and raised to life with HIM…Godfred, yelled joyfully, “YES, YES!” My heart leapt for joy! Here is some of his family from his village. He is from a very Northern village close to the border of Congo. We loved having them here!!The GUYS from Acacia. These amazing young men have been sweet friends to Godfred and we were so blessed and encouraged to have them over to celebrate Godfred’s NEW LIFE with us!! We had some pretty amazing fellowship and conversation with these young men who are truly pursuing the Lord.
WE LOVE YOU GODFRED!! And we’re so thankful God brought you to our Family!!
So, we had an ADVENTURE of the biggest kind. We took a family ‘vacation’…a road trip through Uganda way, way South to the border of Congo and Rwanda. Two things. We need a different word for road-tripping in Africa with 7 children. The memories of this trip make me want to cry, and laugh all at once. It was hard, exhausting, so so special and incredible. But ‘Vacation’ is just not the right vocabulary. Adventure. It’s all about the adventure.
The goal is to get away as a family–just us– a couple times a year. We have found that living overseas makes a few things in life a big more challenging. One of those being creating family traditions and memories that our kids and us look forward to. We want to build into our family…create beautiful and FUN memories of exploring and enjoying God and this beautiful creation together…so off. we. go!!
We really drove SO FAR. Maybe 11 hours. 11 hours, y’all!! In a Safari car. WITH 7 KIDS. It was fun. It was GORGEOUS. It was hot, and bumpy, and there was lots of throwing up and I basically felt like a mommy-jungle gym. Whew. BUT we made it! And it WAS WORTH IT. Really, I mean it! We went to an Island in the middle of Lake Byonini. And it was beautifully refreshing to my soul. It felt like the San Juan Islands back home. I LOVED this time with my tribe. Dave is amazing. And i LOVE LOVE my family. Isaiah joined the ranks like a CHAMP (besides the waking every 2 hours in the night thing!!)
We played and swam, and hiked. Ahhhhhh…..my soul was filled. I watched my kids giggle and sing like Tarzan on a rope swing into the lake. They tromped through the forest over golden leaves as we hiked. They built campfires, and played games. We found ‘treasures’, went on nature walks, and soaked in the beauty. It was just us.
We drove and adventured to near the border of Congo and Rwanda…it was breath-taking. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The people were beautiful. God’s creation was incredible. I’m so deeply thankful for the gift of this. Here’s some pictures to capture, where the words fall short…you’ll see!!
Thank you, Jesus, for this incredibly rich life you’ve blessed us with.
Looking to JESUS…