What a busy couple of days it has been. A week or two ago we got a long list of items that needed to be done in order for us to go to Uganda. It was a list that AIM sends to you, like a packing list. Some of the items on it were: medical checkups, visas, work permits, reading, etc. At first glance it was a little over whelming. Then you begin to think, “oh no prob. I got this, we have plenty of time.” Then you get the date you are leaving, which is August 1st for us. Still you think you have time. Then you get the emails pointing out that the Ugandan work permits take 6 months, oh and you need passports that take 6 weeks, and then you start to panic. Mission life doesn’t seem so glorious right now. No one told us about this part. We want to bring Jesus to the lost. Breath. Relax. Pray.
You see the pictures of everyone in different parts of the world and you hear the stories, but you don’t often hear about the time, money, and effort that goes into even being able to go. One of the things I want for myself and my family is for God to strip us down. I want to be uncomfortable. Perhaps that is what this is. I took off Wednesday so that we could get passport pictures made and then apply for our passports. Passport pictures if you have never had one made are…something. Blank face, no hair in eyes, no shadows, white background, no glasses, no this, no that. Oh and they are expensive. $12 bucks a piece for 6 people add up quick. So we get the pictures then we spend a while going around town trying to find a place to make us copies of them. We get Staples to copy them and it might work, though the pictures look off. The day started at 830am. It is now around 12:30pm or so and we are just now pulling up to the clerk of court in York. We herd everyone in and start filling out an application per person only to mess up at least once on each person. We go to the counter and feel like we have it together, just kidding they need a check. Cool we have one left, oh I mean they need a check per person. Sara leaves to go get money orders, and the lady does as much to the applications as she can. When Sara gets back we find out her drivers license will need to be renewed. When we moved we updated our licenses online thinking it would save time. When Sara got hers, they had used her 17 year old picture instead of her new one. It was weird but whatever, well it turns out that they used her signature from before she was married. Well now only my passport application could be sent. All of the others had to wait for her to get her license renewed. This was rough on Sara and brought some tears. We left and went by the DMV then we had to get to church. It felt like a wasted day. So I had to take Thursday off in order to get the passports done, which included new passport pics and then taking Rory for a third time to get his re-recorrected. We also had to get the boys physicals and some updated shots, which brought some tears as well.
These two days were not glamourous at all. They were full of frustrations, spent money, and tears. I was reminded of what some other AIM missionaries advised us, which was to lower our expectations. Missions does have some amazing parts and times, but it also has a lot of hard parts. We have to accept the hard parts because the mission, the end goal is that important. When I took Rory for his third set of passport photos he complained about having to do all of this just to go to Africa. I pointed out to him and reminded myself that we do this because people are going to hell. The Karamojong need the Gospel. The Church of Uganda needs help reaching their people. We accept the trials now so that we can go and do like our Lord commanded us. It not glamourous, its missions.
1 Corinthians 9:16
“For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
- We leave August 1st, pray that we get to leave on August 1st.
- For us to raise all of our support
- For our passports to be accepted and sent back in record time
- For our work permits to be sent back quickly
- For patience and persistence
- For rain in Uganda
- For the church in Kotido and the Karamojong
- For Helen and Paul to catch up on their sleep
- For our team in general as they get closer to heading to Kotido