I can’t decide if it’s harder to believe that it has already been three weeks that we have been in our new home in Uganda, or that it has only been three weeks since we left our home in America. Maybe it’s the weather that makes it seem like snowy and blustery North Dakota is years in the past.
I am writing this having just completed my first week at my new job. For two weeks we took a look at our surroundings and tried to get accustomed to life at Musana Camps. Not that we were necessarily ready, but this week I headed down to the office at 8am on Monday to see what adventures awaited me there. I walked into all kinds of work. We talked through relational issues in the community and amongst the staff and contractors, similar to the things that I managed at my previous job. I worked on and produced a first draft of a church constitution for Musana Community Church, similar to what I had been a part of in our sending church. We walked the boundary of the property at Musana Camps, and prayed over the issues that we currently face, issues not so different from those that we faced in our home church and business in the United States. This week I learned of the struggles that some of the women of local villages face as they try to maintain Christlike behavior and submission in the home of an abusive or alcoholic husband. Is it so different in the United States?
It was a busy week, and I finally started to dive into my job. As I did, one thing really stood out to me. Not one thing, but one person, I suppose. While I moved to Uganda to pursue God’s mission for our family, I essentially just changed the location of everything I was already doing. Life is different, maybe a little bit harder, but essentially my responsibility and functions are the same.
This week I was able to see who went through the most change and now faces the most challenge. My wife is my hero. I could face downsizing our lives, because so much of my life was spent at an office, anyhow. She had to figure out what was necessary to stock her new classroom in Uganda. She had to figure out lesson plans and structure for our children in a new country, and with a growing 4 year old who can be quite a distraction. She is the one figuring out how to process new foods, and doing it without the help of the many electrical appliances we had in the U.S.
During the first week in Uganda, Cassava was our staple for food. Staci had to figure out where to buy it, how to peel it, and different ways to cook it. We ate amazing food, and invented meals that I don’t think have ever been seen in Uganda.
The second week, Matoke was the staple. We purchased a huge bunch of them, and they became the mainstay of every meal. Staci cooked up breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, all using this one base. Once again she got local produce at a great price, helped us to form relationships with local farmers, learned how to process the fruit, and invented meals to satisfy every member of our family.
As she was breaking down a jack fruit the other night, it occurred to me just how fully she has poured herself into our family. She is tired from all of it, but carries no regrets. The love she has for our new life is greater than her frustrations. She gets up every morning to kill a dozen or so ants in the kitchen, check the floors and counters for lizard waste, look for bats in the rafters, and boil water for coffee. She preps food while teaching so that meals will be prepared on time, and somehow she thinks ahead to have Sunday’s food ready so that it can be a day of rest. We go to bed every night with flashlights so that we can watch our two favorite spiders catch lake flies on the ceiling.
This woman is amazing, and God knew what He was doing when He joined us as one. I’m such a better person because of her. On my own, none of this would have ever happened. With her, and as God wills, we can do anything.
This woman is my hero. I only hope that I can live up to half of the expectations placed on me to love her as Christ has loved me, and gave Himself up for me. If I desire Godly children, and if I love her as I profess to love her, let me always honor her and serve her in disregard of any perception of authority I might possess. I have so far to go, and so much to learn.
Malachi 2:15: Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.