It is hard to describe my feelings right now… really excited to be getting to see my family in a few short days but also deeply sad to be saying goodbye (for awhile).
I can’t wait to get to stop in London and visit (the now married) Tiffany and then head on to Texas to see my family, whom I have not seen in 1.5 years. I can’t wait to catch up with friends whom I have only gotten to watch their life through facebook and the occasional phone call. I can’t wait to have all the yummy food and ice cream I can dream of, anytime I want, without spending hours making it from scratch. I can’t wait to enjoy the festive Christmas spirit with all the décor and atmosphere that makes it feel like it is really the season.
But at the same time I feel really sad to say goodbyes. I feel sad to leave Lulwanda before the secondary children have come home for holiday and to know that some of them might be back at school when I return to Uganda. I feel sad to hand over many activities that I would normally have a leading role in. I feel sad to know that I will be missing the 10-year anniversary celebration of LCH and the Christmas party. I feel sad that my house will host visitors but I will not be here. I feel sad to say goodbye to the missionary community here and to miss the fun they will have at Thanksgiving. I feel sad knowing that the Palmer family and all their laughter will not be part of my everyday life for a while. I feel sad to be missing the longest holiday for the children and the time that I have the most fun with them because they are free from school responsibility.
It is the tension of having a “home” and “family” on two different continents that has remained one of the hardest parts of being an overseas missionary. Wherever I am, half of my heart is missing.
But isn’t that tension what we all should feel? If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then this world is not our home. This tension heightens my awareness of this truth.
So I ask you to pray for me and with me. I leave Mbale on Wednesday to fly to London for a few days and then onto Texas until the beginning of February.
Pray for the Lord to be my joy and my portion.
Pray for easy transition and adaptation to a “new” culture.
Pray that I would trust the Lord with the people and things I have left behind.
Pray for new opportunities for me to share the great work the Lord is doing in Uganda and in me.
Pray for rest and refreshment.
Pray for rest and refreshment.
I debated whether to share these more personal things from my heart, but concluded that it is better to have more people praying more specifically. So, here are some specifics, I am asking in faith, to see the Lord move in:
- * I am just getting over having malaria. Pray that I do not have a fever while entering England or America (because I know there is a heightened thought that Africa + fever = ebola. The reality is that I am 4000 miles away from where the outbreak is, so though I am not worried that I have it, I am worried that others might be ignorant of Africa’s geography).
- * My parents have recently moved to a new town and a new house. So, though I am going “home” it will not be the same home or city I have called home my whole life. This means not only will I now live in the “village” instead of the big city, but I also don’t have friends, a church, or any of the other norms I am used to. Pray that I can easily adjust and enjoy the slower pace of life.
- * Pray that I can get plugged into a small group with other people my age.
- * I would like to see a Christian counselor while I am in the States, ideally if they have some experience in missionary work. BUT I have no idea where to look for this connection or how much it would cost. Pray that God brings the perfect connection in Burnet, Texas or nearby.
- * Please pray for quality time to connect with my sister and fun memory-makers with my whole family.
- * As furloughs go, I also need to do personal fundraising to cover my living costs for this next year in Uganda. I never want to feel like I am trying to “prove my worth” to those I share with, but sometimes this takes the Holy Spirits intervention to remind me that all my provisions are in the Father’s hand. Please pray for a proper perspective and wisdom in my fundraising.
- * Pray for the Lord to inspire big dreams and hopes for this next year and beyond.
- * Pray for perspective, clarity, joy, and identity in the Lord and where He continues to lead my life.
- * I have already seen the Lord providing some practical needs, like a car to drive while I am in the States (Thank You!). But some other “wants” I am hoping for are: to attend a Christian conference and/or concert, a plane ticket (or two or three) to visit dear friends in Midland and other states, a new smart phone (since mine seems to be on its deathbed), a new camera (since mine has gone missing), amazon gift cards (for the random things that help make life in Uganda a bit more comfortable).
I recently read this article and thought it was pretty accurate (surprising how many things in this article have already been things I have asked the Lord to provide). Have a read if you are interested.
Thank you for praying for me. I am so grateful. Maybe I will see you in Texas soon :)