Our lives are filled with choices. How we make those choices determines the path our life will follow. Nelson and I have been in a season of making choices. Almost a year and a half ago, we chose to spend the rest of our lives together. We chose to start our lives together while living in Boise, Idaho. Together, we chose to step out and make a big move to Uganda, Africa. We were very unsure of what life would look like in Uganda or what exactly we would be doing, but we were sure that God had called us to go. So we went. Nearly nine months have passed since we made the decision to move to Uganda. Nine months of growth, challenges, and everything in between. We have loved every step of the way.
We’ve also made a choice that some people know about, but not everyone. So, that is what we are sharing with you today. As of January 2017, Nelson and I made a commitment to work and serve with Show Mercy International in Uganda for the next two years. We are so excited and incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to serve God while doing what we love!
You might be a little curious as to what exactly we will be doing for the next two years. I’ll try and break it down for you.
NELSON (full-fledged farmer): For those of you who know Nelson, it probably doesn’t surprise you that it didn’t take him long to fall in love with the simple life of Uganda. As of February of this year, Nelson was given the opportunity to manage our agriculture department at Show Mercy. He is working hand-in-hand with five of our Ugandan staff. They are working to implement a new method of farming that intertwines principals of agriculture with Biblical values. It is called ‘Farming God’s Way.’
Nelson keeps very busy between farming and also helping to oversee our base operations here at Field of Dreams (the name of SMI’s base). He is becoming rather famous around the village as the ‘mzungu’ (what they call westerners in Uganda) who farms! Our staff members are constantly telling me how impressed they are with Nelsons work ethic (thankful for that mid-west upbringing!) There is a long-running joke between us and a few of our staff members that Nelson is going to be the next chairman (local government) of Nawanswa (the village we live in). Needless to say, we have a lot of fun around here!
BETHANY: As some of you may know, I have been working with SMI since 2013. My main role has been doing communications (website, emails, social media, etc.), but that has shifted! Since we will now be here long-term, I wanted to be put to work where I could make the most impact while here in Uganda. As of this last February, I was given the role of Sponsorship Director here at the base. I am working alongside six of our Ugandan staff members, who are truly incredible! I have always been passionate about the work we are doing in the lives of the children here in Uganda. I am so blessed to have my passions align so perfectly with my new role. My days are spent either in the office working on the administrative side of sponsorship or out in the field doing home visits of the children in our sponsorship program (and everything in between). I have been thrown for a BIG learning curve, but it has been a great growing experience so far.
What else are we up to? We are continuing to learn more about the coffee industry here in Uganda and enjoying delicious Ugandan coffee daily. We are continuing to explore possibilities of clean water projects in the area. We have begun taking Luganda (the local language) classes with a teacher, which is challenging to say the least. We also help to oversee the missions teams that come to serve with SMI. We just welcomed a team of 19 from YWAM Kona to our base. Oh, and I can’t forget….we’ve recently purchased a radio so we can listen to BBC news while sitting on the porch in the evening. If we are feeling real wild, we will challenge each other to a game of rummy (despite our lifestyle, I promise we are actually in our 20’s, not our 80’s).
Most importantly, we are constantly growing and being challenged in our Faith. God has been so incredibly faithful to us during our time in Uganda thus far. We are so expectant for what God has in store for these next couple of years!
SO, that is the update for today. Thank you all for your love and support as we continue to adventure with Jesus!
P.S. We would LOVE for you to join us here in Uganda for a short or long term missions trip. Please contact us if you would like more information about missions with Show Mercy.