Sunday, February 1, 2015

A form of "welaba" (goodbye)

It's the end of an era of sorts.

This August, our EMI office plans a landmark move to a joint facility with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF--remember Jim Elliot?). It's a move that carries tremendous implications for eMi's scope of ministry here in East Africa. It's why my husband is leading eMi's third fundraising climb up Kilimanjaro two weeks from now! (Woot!) And it does mean that we'll save a bundle in housing costs moving an hour outside of Kampala.

In light of us heading to the States for two and a half months of home assignment and our lease coming due, we've decided to move (Ugandans say "shift") early. It will be, in the manner it seems we are so fond of, notably nuts. I returned on the morning of January 30th. We move on February 6-7th, and John's dad arrives to climb Kili with John (!) on the 9th. They return on the 22nd, and we fly to the States on the 26th. Anyone else doing the math here? It's never been my best subject.

But more than the insanity hitting us is actually the good-byes.

The kids completed their last library story time at the Giving Tree, after which they were even given certificates of volunteering and vinyl posters of their time with the kids!

It's goodbye to the kids in our neighborhood who come over to ride the bikes or jump on our loaner trampoline.

No longer will all of our eMi staff live within five minutes of each other. Some will remain in Kampala for their kids to go to school. The new area is more remote, so we'll live spread among the corridor of rolling hills lining the road to Entebbe. This means our community will change significantly.

And I hope to be commuting to the refugee center once a week. For as much as I loathe Kampala traffic, I my heartbeat has been at the center this past year! (Unless God shows me something else I should be investing in more locally.) This means that someone else will be following up with students from my class who showed so much interest in Jesus last term.

All in all,more is "shifting" than our boxes. Just as our last return from the U.S. marked a tangible chapter--a blooming of sorts--into such a fullness of ministry here, God's good plans following our next return remain to be seen. It's time to step out of the boat again.

And much as my heart is grieving the richness from which we are stepping away...He has yet to disappoint us. Bring. It. On.