Thursday, February 2, 2012

We made it!

It’s true. I’m writing from a pleasant, warm evening in Kampala, on an increasingly dear friend’s comfortable couch. (We are nine hours ahead of Central Standard Time during Daylight Savings; eight during the rest of the year.) It doesn’t feel like I’m living here yet. (Will that change when I’m writing from my own sofa?) I am peering through the haze of jet lag, and am also looking forward to sleep just because it seems the only appropriate solution to all the foreign that speaks and honks and jumbles around me, quite literally.

God’s fingerprints were all around our flight—perhaps most visibly in a) the man for whom I’d been praying for weeks, i.e. the airline attendant who checked us in, when he waived fees to the tune of $280 over the too-large “personal bags” we’d had to check. I was amazed and so thankful—especially when we found ourselves wondering how we’d have made it walking on with two more carry-ons; b) getting to walk/stumble/sob our way into a DFW security line with only a couple of other people in it; c) every single one of our 18 bags, six carry-ons, six wanna-be personal bags, two carseats, and a partridge in a pear tree made it to Uganda. Thanks, those of you who prayed! The kids behaved very commendably on the flight, which was of course a tremendous relief. I didn’t entirely plan on my youngest getting airsick upon landing in London, nor did I anticipate just how little sleep we would all get. But it may have actually helped my kids’ jet lag anyway.

Today we recovered for most of the morning, and then shopped for appliances (we have to buy our own here) after walking through our house for the first time! eMi had even sent a team to clean it for us. It’s small but sufficient, old and quirky but highly functioning. Right now the outside is two shades of orange, which is, you know, sort of close to the yellow we thought it was going to be.To my delight, there’s a mango tree that may have some great days of climbing for my boys, a papaya tree, a pumpkin patch, and, drumroll please, an avocado tree loaded with fruit! We even had some for dinner that I picked up off the ground. The yard’s gonna have some great fun, there’s a perfect shady spot for schooling outside, and we hope to pick out the interior covers of paint tomorrow. I’d prayed for a yard, fruit trees with one to climb, and a great space for outdoor living—and if you can believe it, God granted all three. I am humbled.

So many emotions right now as we collide with the things we love, the things that will take some getting used to, and just a small handful we will never be used to. Right now, I am praying for sleep tonight. My youngest has a bad cold and a lot of insecurity, resulting in our fifth night of near-sleeplessness now mixed with cultural adjustments during the day…have mercy. Gratefully, we are surrounded by incredibly generous and gracious missionaries who laugh when our kids come close at their dinner table.

God is able--!


Tricia said...

I am just moved to tears of joy that you are over there, eager to embrace all that God has in store for your family! I am so excited (and of course, jealous here in this alpine desert that can't grow anything) that you have a mango, papaya and avocado trees! A pumpkin patch? I didn't even know those grew in Uganda! How exciting! I can't wait to see pictures! We are praying for you guys as you adjust. Love you!

The Frugal Muse said...

Safe arrival: check. Now I'm moving on to prayer for good sleep for all six of you! I'm loving this first glimpse of your life there and God's faithfulness in the midst. Love you dearly, friend.

MyFairLadies said...

So, so blessed by your update. I'll pray for Jack today, and that the coming days bring rest.

Avocados?! Love it,

Soaring High said...

So good to hear the trip went smoothl! Praying for your hear as you and your family face all the changes that are still to come. I too will pray specifically for GOOD SLEEP for all the children and you and John! Can't wait to hear more updates.

mhutsell said...

Wonderful news. I kept hoping we'd hear from you soon! The exhaustion sounds awful. Praying you can get rest soon. Praying for Jack. Orange house? God has a sense of humor. You know, if he is going to give you avocados then you have to pay with an orange house! :) God bless you guys! We love you! M.

Unknown said...

Janel--I just read your blog to Kimmy this morning, and we both laughed about the avocado tree because we planted a seed about a year ago and it has grown like crazy (20" tall). But your yard sounds great and your kiddos will so enjoy it. I loved how God answered your prayers and you all arrived safe and sound. Hugs~

Julie said...

been thinking about y'all! so glad to read your updates (to include furniture). We are so jealous about the ah-voe-cah-doe tree (that's how Rwandans say it.) John and I are considering visiting friends in China...and he reminds me that "there are avocado trees in central Africa." He wants to go back to Africa.

Julia DesCarpentrie said...

We envy the fruit trees and are so excited for you all. Fresh avocado-that is fantastic. Can't wait to hear how God continues to use you and shape your family in these first few weeks. Will say a prayer for you all tonight.