“We saw that coming!” is the typical response we have received as we have slowly been announcing to our family, friends and church that we believe God is leading us to Africa as full time missionaries. That response has been comforting and confirming. It’s nice to know that people around us can see our heart for Uganda and the Lord’s leading in our lives to take this next step of faith.
So… what now? Brian is no longer a part the pastoral staff at BridgePoint Church. We have already begun focusing our time and attention on connecting up with the churches, families and individuals that God has graciously placed in our lives over the years. God is building a team of supporters who will be on mission with us through supporting us as He leads them. We have begun by following up with people who supported our trip this summer. (If we have not contacted you yet about a time to meet up, we will be soon! If you are interested being part of the team please feel free to contact us whatever way is most convenient for you. Thank you in advance!) We have already had multiple families commit to monthly support once we get our fundraising system up and running within the next couple weeks. That is so exciting!
We are also spending a good bit of time getting our house ready to sell.
What will we be doing in Africa? Brian and I will be working with East Africa Outreach, the organization we have partnered with for the last 6 years. Brian will be teaching in the Bible Training Schools for Pastors, working with teams who come in to do various short-term missions, pastoring/counseling as part of the eldership of Acacia Community Church and various other responsibilities that come with being part of a cross-cultural evangelistic ministry. He has a great desire to see the Bible schools expand into other East African countries. I, Jerilyn, will primarily be helping out administratively for the organization. We are excited to come alongside of Terry and Debbie in all of their efforts.
When are we going? Our goal is to be in Uganda around June. If all works out before then, we’ll go sooner. We placed our goal in June mainly because it’s a realistic goal that will keep us motivated as well as allow us to finish a school year.
What does this process look like? Well we will have to sell practically everything we own, including our house. We will need to fundraise our monthly living expenses as well as our monthly ministry expenses. We will also need to raise start up costs which include at least 3 months rent, work visas, plane tickets, furniture to start a new household, etc. All of this will take time and the Lord’s leading in people’s heart to join us in this ministry. Looking at our “to do” list has been overwhelming but Brian said to me one day, “You can either be overwhelmed or chose to see this as an adventure. God has asked us to do this, so let’s see what He’s going to do.” So I’m choosing to watch what God’s going to do.
What about the children? We shared some of the children’s experiences in previous posts, but a good summary would be that they thrived there. They are excited about the idea that we will be moving back at some point. We will continue to homeschool there as well.
What about the recent threats in Uganda? That’s a legitimate concern. We don’t take the threats lightly. Nor do we take lightly that we truly believe this is the plan God has for us at this time. We are learning to trust the Lord each step with our path and with our family. The truth is, terrorist threats are no longer abnormal. They are the new norm in the world that we live in. That doesn’t mean we want to go tramping around looking for trouble, nor will we be lingering in high threat areas. If the threats continue to grow during the time we are fundraising, we will have to take that into consideration, but we do not believe that it changes what or where God has clearly called us to at this point.
How can I help? Pray for us. Pray for our family, especially grandparents. Consider joining us. We are looking for monthly partners as well as people who would like to give a one time gift toward our start-up costs. Currently, we are working with Macedonian Call, our stateside non-profit missions organization, to set up a way to begin receiving monthly donations. As soon as this is available we will let you know.
We love you all! Thanks for being a part of this adventure with us! We are currently setting up visits with people who are interested in learning more about what we are doing. If you would like to get together with us to learn more email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.