Housing here in this new home

Life here in Karamoja is just different than life in America as you might expect. The other missionaries and I live a very comfortable life style, but there are still changes, challenges and new things to learn about life here vs. life at home.

I am living in a bonda which is basically a big round hut with a thatched roof. I have three windows, one door, two bunk beds, one wardrobe, one bookshelf, one desk and one papason chair. It is very nice, and actually one of the coolest (temperature wise) places on the compound. It is typically between 75 an 80 degrees Fahrenheit inside my house. The outdoor temperature has been between 85 and 90 I think. I haven’t checked really checked. Part of bonda living also includes outdoor facilities. I am not the biggest fan of the pit toilet and outdoor water spout, but I will learn to be in time. I am glad I get a shower house with running water! I do not have my own kitchen, but there is a kitchen in the main house that I can share with any visitors or other singles who are here on the compound. So far I have just been enjoying the company of others and eating their good food J Soon I will have to pitch in, but it is nice to have a bit of time to enjoy fellowship and not have to worry about what to have to eat.

I really don’t have to worry much about adjusting to “my new home” for long because I begin house sitting for one of the missionaries tomorrow for the next three months. They are heading home for a time of rest, relaxation, and fund raising. I will have a nice big house with indoor plumbing all to myself. I will be very spoiled by time they come back J It is a good thing “my bonda” is cooler than their house, or else they might find me living on their couch when they arrive home.

Home in Karamoja, At Last

I descended from the plane and was greeted by the smell of Uganda. It is hard to explain, but it is an acrid sort of smoky smell. You know what I am talking about if you have been here. I arrived approximately 12 p.m. Tuesday evening your time (EDT), and 7 a.m. in the morning here. I was so excited to be here. Traveling seemed to last forever, and it made it all the longer since I was stuck in the Airport FOREVER (awake the whole time) and then couldn’t sleep on my second flight. Oh well, there is no what to do. I waited for a while in line to get my visa, and then headed to collect my baggage. It was very easy to spot my luggage since I was almost the last person through to collect luggage, Walking through the doors with my luggage secured I saw a familiar Mzungu face, two of them actually. Pastor Al and James were there to fetch me. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see smiling and familiar faces (I had a few to many hours on my own).

Wednesday (the day I arrived here) we ran various errands in Kampala, and then head back to the airport, checked in at the flight motel, and relaxed for a bit. The T’s went to fetch Laurie (Mrs. T) from the airport later on that evening, and I stayed back and got ready for bed.

Today the T’s and I ran a few more errands on the way out of town and then headed to a city about two hours from the capital. We met up with Dr. Jim and Jacob there, transferred my things to the other car, and then went our separate ways. The T’s are taking a few days of R and R and I headed to my new home. It is so good to be here, and start settling in. We didn’t get in until just before dinner time, so we unloaded, cleaned up and ate dinner with the Eldeens. Kris and I talked for a few hours after dinner which was really nice.

Thank you all for your prayers. I am so happy to be back. To be settling into the place I will call home for the next year. Don’t forget to keep in touch.

*tick, tock*

Time is passing by, and it has taken summer with it. My departure for Uganda is just around the corner. I think I started counting the days a little over 2 weeks ago, and now I am suddenly realizing that I only have a little over 2 days before I board the plane! Where has the time gone? Whoops... I have only saved approximately 1,000 things to be done in these last few days :) I wish I could have fit more in the past two weeks, the past month, but even so the days have been full. Unfortunately, I do feel as if there are 1,000 things to do and hundreds of people to see and I know that it won't all happen.

To my dear friends and supporters, thank you for your love, prayers and financial support. I am sorry I haven't been able to spend quality time with each and everyone of you, but please accept my heartfelt gratitude. It is through you all that God has provided for all my financial needs for the upcoming year. I know that God will continue to provide for my needs physically, spiritually and emotionally throughout the next year. I am excited to see how He will provide, and I know at times He will use you all in new and special ways to encourage and strengthen me. Please don't underestimate the power you have in this endeavor through prayers and thoughtful emails or cards.

This leaving part has never been easy, but I have also never left my home for a year. It is hard (as many of you warned me), but I know without a doubt that this is God's will for me at this time. Oh how I wish I could gather all my friends and family in one place instead of this loving of multiple people in multiple places, this separation for a time, and all of these good-byes, but I can't. Not for now. However, I know that a time is coming when all those who are in Christ will be joined together, in one place, for eternity! Praise God!

So I guess this post can be summed up by: This leaving and preparation is hard, and I love you all. In the midst of this "hardship", let us look forward with great joy to the day we will all be joined in the throne room of our King!

"Fear not, you worm..."

After a long and eventful day, I laid my head down to get some much needed rest when panic made me sit up with a fright. I leave in 17 days.

I tried lying in bed for a few moments listening to our neglected dogs play (at 12:30 in the morning mind you), and forcing my heart to be still. To stop freaking out. To sleep. This was all just because I was tired right? It didn't work. I got up sat in the dark loft for a little while praying, and when the dogs quieted down I returned to my room. I opened a new journal that I have been saving for this coming year in Uganda and began to write, two pages later I came to an end. Next, I opened my Bible and began to read. I started in Isaiah 41 because of the famous verse 10. "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." However, the verse that jumped off the page, made me laugh and calmed my soul was verse 14.

"Fear not, you worm, Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel."

Except it kind of read like this:
Fear not, you WORM, Jenny, you woman. I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

I can do no more for my current fears than a worm can when it sees a GIGANTIC human foot approaching to squash it in a matter of seconds. It is pretty humorous really to be reminded that I am no more good for my fears than a worm for his fears. It also reminded me of the sermon Sunday night, Fear what? If God is for me, WHO can be against me?

So here is to putting an end to the fears and concerns I have about how everything will be accomplished in the next 17 days, and how I will survive a year in Africa. Do you realize that a year is a very long time and there are lots of things I will "miss out on"? But I am confident that this is where God wants me to go, and what He wants me to do, so why should I fear? He is on my side! Praise His glorious name.

And here is to cherishing every moment of the next 17 days (and even more so the following 365 give or take a few in Africa).

About Me

My name is Jenny. I am a sinner that has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and I want to share the grace and love He has shown me with others. I am a nurse living and working in Uganda, and I am praying that God would make Matthew 5:16 true of my life.
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Enjoy snippets from my journey as I step out in faith day after day.