I am curious, or at least I am becoming curious. My whole life I have been carefully planning how I wanted to serve the Lord. Granted, the road to where I am has not always been what I planned- in fact far from it. But, each step of the way, I had some idea of how things might turn out. This has changed. Jesus has now shepherded us to a place where we would have never anticipated. We are on the road to Bundibugyo Uganda. I had no idea there was such a town a year ago. (I still often say we are headed to Africa, as if referring to a continent somehow gives an idea to people where we will be.) In the next several months we will raise more money than we have ever done in our life, we will have our third child, we will hopefully gather people to move with us, and we will board a plane to Bundibugyo. It is all so big to us that we often laugh. How will this happen? Maybe this should be labeled our Isaac period. At other times we have been overwhelmed and paralyzed. Like Jonah, we just wanted to act like no one was calling us and we could walk the other way.
Amazingly, it is happening- not by our will but by Jesus’s work- and I am becoming curious. When we talked with World Harvest Mission about where we should go and they brought up Bundibugyo, we were not sure. Jesus however confirmed this calling in clear and crazy way. Before we had made any decision, our home church in Fletcher, NC called us and told us how excited they were that we were going to Uganda and that they were already planning on developing relationship with the church in Uganda. When we talked to our pastor in Boston about possibly going to Uganda, we found out that his daughter had spent a year in Bundibugyo and they had a huge heart for the people. I then called to talk with my close friend and mentor from medical school and found out that he was planning a mission trip to Uganda and that MCO was looking at starting a long-term project in the country. Everywhere we turned it was like Jesus had gone before us and had already talked to people about what we might do. We then began meeting friends in Boston who were from Uganda, including people in government, who would be able to help us, and the Vice Chancellor of the closest medical school to Bundibugyo. Still, we remained skeptical and a little terrified. This came to a climax last April. We were in Boston preparing to move to NC in 6 weeks, and we still did not have either a house or job. I had got to the point of frustration and looked at my little family around the breakfast table and said we had to pray- not for the fifteen things we needed to happen, but just one. We needed a house, and if we couldn’t get a house in NC, I was not sure we could go to Africa. Two hours later, three people had called with a house where we could live. We ended up in a sweet house in East Flat Rock owned by a missionary in Germany. We later found out that she is a friend with one of our good friends in Boston. We had a house, and I began to feel like God was listening- a very humbling feeling. The next week we prayed for a job and two wonderful options were presented. Again Jesus proved that though He is shepherding us into unknown territory, He would be with us. Most recently, we had our first official support phone call. As our first call, we were a little nervous. We called our dear friends from medical school that we had not caught up with in quite some time. We were surprised to find that had already heard about Bundibugyo as well. They are supporting one of their friends from college who spent two years in Bundibugyo and is now returning to East Africa with WHM. With joy they were looking forward to supporting both the mission and us.
We still have a lot of needs and we still alternate between being excited about where Jesus is taking us and being overwhelmed about all that lies ahead of us. However, we are beginning to spend less time fretting about the “what if’s” and more time being curious to see how God is planning to meet the needs.