While we look around and see how much we still have to do to get unpacked, yet we rejoice at all that has been accomplished this week. Pictures are back on the walls. New curtains are hung. We are all sleeping in our own beds, and at the end of each day, empty boxes are gathered up. We gave ourselves three weeks to settle in, so we have one more week to put our house in order. Then ready or not, school must start back up.
Everyone has found their way of fitting back in, except for Savannah. She doesn't remember much and has asked several times when we are going to our other home or when are we going to Uganda. This surprised me because she was the one who talked most about going home while we were in America, so I assumed that she remembered it. Although she is excited about the "new" toys being unpacked, I find she is more clingy and wanting to be around me more than usual. Many times a day she asks what she can do to help me, as she wants to be by my side. I find myself saving little jobs for her that will make her feel needed.
Shane and Stanley have been a big help with the painting. Although Keith's patience has been stretched at times, it has been a good learning experience for them. They have also pruned the trees, stained book shelves, and carried the many boxes from the storage room into the house. Perhaps when we pull out the school books, they won't mind it so much.
Something that I have had a hard time with is getting meals fixed. It isn't the fact that I haven't done much cooking for a year, but I have forgotten how much is involved in cooking in Uganda. When I get all of my sauces, mixes, and other pre-made foods done up, I believe things will go smoother. But coming back to nothing at all is a little more difficult.
One of the joys of unpacking our trunks from the States is to remember who gave us what and to pray for them. So many people had a part in us gathering supplies to bring back, and we are most grateful for them. Yesterday our children pulled up a video clip on Keith's phone of our church choirs singing "Here Am I, I Will Go." Keith and I walked away crying. (Pass the tissues. I'm crying just thinking about it.) We appreciate our home church and pastor and are missing them so much. Although we have longed to come back home to Uganda, it has been hard at the same time. My intention is not for you to feel sorry for us, but perhaps to give you a glimpse of how much a missionary's heart is torn in two. I left behind a couple who had just been saved and who someone else will get the privilege of discipling. Our children made an abundance of friends while traveling, then they come back to just a handful of children in the church. In the States I was playing grand pianos, and I come back here to playing a keyboard whose keys don't all work. We ate at restaurants where we didn't have to chew our food carefully lest we break a tooth on a rock in the beans or rice. We washed our clothes in every type of washing machine without thought of whether or not the electricity would stay on for the load to finish. Never once did we have to hang our clothes outside to dry. Our days didn't begin with the checking of rat traps or cleaning up eggs that the rats had gotten into. We bought what we needed at one store without thought of whether or not they would still have a product next month. Facing the foreign field after living in America IS difficult. But while we live each day, we lean not unto our own understanding of "what am I doing here?" but "what more can I do for Christ?". Everyday frustrations are so insignificant when compared to our neighbor's eternity after death. Because He lives, I determine to live for Him and to please Him.
I would like to ask you to pray for two ladies. Victoria is the wife of the man on our dvd that spoke Luganda. On Wednesday a cup of hot tea was accidentally spilled in her lap burning both thighs. When I visited her on Thursday, she showed me the pills the doctor had given her for pain and for infection. But when I asked her what the cream was on her burns, I was shocked when she showed me the container. It was fungal cream for athletes foot, ringworm, etc., that had salicylic acid, benzoic acid, and menthol in it. I advised her to wash it off immediately and use what I had brought her. Today she is in much worse pain, and I believe it could be from the fungal cream. The second lady is our fellow missionary Kristy Applegate who has come down with malaria. They had been living in our house while we were on furlough and moved to the village to be near the orphanage upon our return. It has been tough for them as there is no running water or electricity, added to the fact that their house is not finished so they have been staying in one of the orphan cottages. I know both of these ladies would appreciate your prayers.
Thank you for praying for us. We truly value your love for us. Have a great weekend!