Back to Uganda

I got an email today. This is what it said:

Shown below is the e-ticket flight confirmation for Beth’s flight. The paid invoice is attached.

So, the question of course is where is this flight to?

Right here:

We are going back to Uganda (just for a little while, don’t worry mom, we’re not moving there…although one person at church did give Beth money to help pay for our trip “to help you get home, not to help you get there”).

It was not that long ago that we in Uganda last, and in the last year Uganda has been in the spotlight (at least on facebook), our friends from Jinja had an epic trip across America, and we have just been living life. It seems crazy to me that we are going to have the honor of visiting a far away place again so soon.

Last time we went to Uganda was very much about learning. We had meet people who worked for Kibo, and it seemed that for us all roads lead to Jinja. We wanted to go talk with people who live in a village and face big hard issues of poverty and who live in towns and face hard issues of broken systems. We wanted to meet the people who have joy and see communities working to solve the problems they face. We wanted to try and understand a little bit of their lives, to visit the Church in Uganda and see God’s people in a different place and context. We wanted to experience and see how Kibo Group works “with communities in East Africa to reach their full potential, tackling poverty and injustice.”

We got to do this. The ripples from our trip continued once we got home. From our group one person is now living and working in Kampala, Uganda and two are working to support Kibo through their business Full Cup. All of us continue to be advocates for Kibo and sustainable development not only  in Uganda but in our own towns and lives. We all  saw and learned a lot. And we still have a lot to see and learn.

For my part, I feel like I have been able to speak with people about Africa in general, and development in Uganda with a unique perspective, and hopefully challenge them with some new ideas because of my experience last year. And I think I have been able to be a small help to Kibo Group as they work to communicate what they do.

When we got back one of the things that we were sure about is that it is important for other people to get to go and visit Jinja, to go and learn like we were able to. Kibo Group sees it as important, strategic, and core to what they do to have people come and experience Jinja, and we thought we could help make that happen for a few more people. So we committed to helping organize another trip. Our plan was facilitate the preparation, wave goodbye at the airport, and come back a few days later to pick them up and hear their stores. In the end though the staff of Kibo felt that it was important for us to be part of the trip so we could be part of what happens in Jinja in whatever roll they need.

So, now we have plain tickets.

Of course this time around is much different, we are not just going along for the ride, but actively planning the ride. And I’ll fully confess I am excited, nervous, overwhelmed and stressed out about the whole thing, and not acting in confidence that God has prepared us for the adventure we are undertaking. So, here is some good’ol online transparency for the whole world to see.

There is a lot to this. I am confident that what we are doing is important. That the long term fruit will be real and significant. But…

  • Soon we will start fundraising, and I worry about how much it is costing us to go. I’m tired of asking people to fund parts of  the work we do. Only a year ago a lot of you reading this helped us do this for the first time.
  • We are trying to challenge the people going on this trip to think in new ways about missions, poverty, and development, these are ideas that I am only starting to understand, how can I invite people into these new ideas that i am just starting to grasp?
  • There are plenty of people in our group older, wiser, and more experienced then us. How can we be leaders to them?
  • I have never done anything like this, the biggest thing I have ever lead and organized is probably a weekend camping trip or something like that. Trip to Africa on the other side of the world? Not so much.
  • oh, and that house we rent and live in? It might get sold soon so we will have to move. (sound familiar?)

So, here we are, on the edge of another adventure where we have to trust God to equip us, our community to support us, and the people around us to be open to what God will do through us.

I can’t say its a simple place to be in, but I am not sure there is a better place….

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