Sunday, September 28, 2014


Grocery shopping. It's just something that becomes routine, right? Some people have a day each week that they go shopping, others just know that when the food is gone, it must be time to run to the store! Well, grocery shopping is going to be something that will take getting used to as we shift our life to South Sudan.

There is a very limited amount of food/ toiletry items that can be found in Mundri. If you want to eat only like the locals do, then you would obviously be fine purchasing your rice, beans and veggies all in town. However, if you want anything that resembles food we are used to making (pizza, chicken dinners, bacon, etc.), it all has to be purchased in Uganda and brought in with us on the plane to South Sudan. The former team in Mundri learned that it is important to have at least some food that you are used to and that helps you feel more at home.

Yesterday was our big grocery shopping day here in Kampala! Larissa took us to a store called Capitol Shoppers. She talked us through everything that you can get in Mundri, and everything that you need to purchase in Kampala. We were so glad she was with us because these are things like: you can get baking soda there, but you cannot get baking power. You can get vegetable oil in Mundri, you cannot get olive oil. You can get gross margarine, but you cannot get butter. There was so much to remember! I'm sure this will get easier with time, but this time, my head was spinning a bit! I was trying to take mental notes and didn't want to forget anything!

We will freeze all of the cheese and meat that we purchased and bring it on the plane in a cooler. We then have two other boxes of dry items that we will bring in.

One thing that has been difficult to get used to is the exchange rate here in Uganda. $1= 2,600 Ugandan Shillings.... that's a lot of math to get used to! When your groceries end up being over 1,000,000 (see pic on right of Larissa pointing to the amount), you get a little nervous! But then you do the math and realize that it's not to bad considering you are shopping for 3 months of groceries! That's right, we will shop for 3 months at a time. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it, but just imagine Will counting out over 1,000,000 worth in bills to pay for all of these groceries... it is quite a sight! You just hope no one else is looking while you count of all of those bills! Haha. One day we will get used to all of this...:).

Friday, September 26, 2014


We landed in Uganda on Wednesday night. It is great to be here! We got more and more excited as we got closer to landing. As soon as we started interacting with the people here, we were reminded of our love for Africa. The people are incredible, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to be in Africa again.

Theresa on the patio of our guest house
We did some errands in town yesterday and then walked to dinner at a restaurant nearby last night. Uganda has a decent amount of variety in restaurants and food available. The restaurant we went to was an Italian place. We split a pizza and it was surprisingly delicious.

Today we were able to meet up with one of our team members, Larissa. She arrived in Uganda late last night. It is so helpful to have her here because she has live in South Sudan for several years and has spend a lot of time in Uganda. She went shopping with us today and was a huge help with directing us to what to buy and where to get it. It was really fun to get to know her more today! We're excited to live life with her in Mundri and join the rest of the team next week.

Exhibit A that jet lag is no joke
We are still recovering from jet lag. Let's just say that on our first night here, I (Theresa) ended up in the bathroom with my headlamp at 3am... doing squats.... while eating a Clif bar. Yep, that pretty much sums up how jet lag has been so far ;). My motto is, do what you need to in order to go back to sleep. At that moment, my body needed exercise (from all of the sitting on long plane rides) and food. Last night, I ended up reading at 3:30 in the morning after sitting awake for 2 hours prior. Here's to hoping that tonight will be a little better.

We will be running more errands for the next few days before flying to Mundri on Tuesday morning. We are enjoying being here in Uganda, but are really looking forward to starting life in Mundri. Thanks for all of the prayers that have gotten us to this point! We are very grateful! Please keep them coming :).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hard Goodbyes

Today is the day. It is when we had to say goodbye to my (Theresa's) family and it was our last day at Red Door before we leave. Man, no matter how you cut it, this is a hard day.

In our training this summer, they told us about saying "good" goodbyes. They discussed that if it is easy to say goodbye to someone, then there probably isn't a lot of depth to that relationship. We discussed how the harder the goodbye is, the more meaningful that relationship probably was to you. When it is painful to leave someone or a group, it shows how much life and love was given through that person or group of people. Well, I'll tell you what, we are blessed with some VERY deep relationships, because we have had to say some VERY hard goodbyes. 

Will and I are both blessed with incredible families. We both have families who support us and send us back to Africa with their blessing. With that, we are very close to both of our families and although they send us in love, it is very painful for them to see us go and for us to leave them. We have 6 beautiful nieces and nephews whom we love and have loved being able to watch them grow up over the past two years. Saying goodbye to family is a hard goodbye. 

In the two years that we have lived in Bloomington after returning from Nigeria, we have been blessed with great friends. Will has remained in relationship with friends from Bloomington that he has known most of his life and I have met new friends as this has been my first time calling Bloomington, IN home. I was blessed beyond measure by the teaching job that I had last year and the year before and met incredible people who are now close friends. We also had the privilege of living with a sweet, sweet friend last year and walking through life with her. We have been blessed by the love of many friends in our church and our community. Saying goodbye to these friends and friends in other cities are hard goodbyes.
Will and I with our good friends, Andrew and Daniela

Our church community praying over us
We have an incredible church community. Red Door Church started when we were living in Nigeria. We have had the privilege of not only attending this church on Sundays, but claiming the people of Red Door as our community for the past two years (and even before we returned from Nigeria). This is a church filled with incredible people from all different backgrounds who love the Lord and are working to love Him well and follow His call in their lives. They are people who love each other well and care deeply about those around them. They are honest with their faults and quick to forgive and offer forgiveness. We love this community and are so blessed to have their support and love behind us as we go to South Sudan. Saying goodbye to the Red Door Community is a hard goodbye. 

We are grateful that our goodbyes are difficult because this means we are blessed by great relationships. We have so many incredible people in our lives and are blown away by the love and support everyone has shown us. Although it is incredibly painful, we will walk through all of these goodbyes well because of what they represent. These hard goodbyes represent relationships that we wouldn't trade for the world. We are blessed beyond measure by the people in our lives. Thank you, family, friends and church for making our goodbyes painful. We love you and know that in reality this isn't goodbye, because you all are going with us through your prayers, love and support, and for that, we are grateful. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's Worth It

The first time we moved to Africa, we were naive. Rightly so, we had never lived there, so we had no idea how difficult it would be just to live- much less try to make any kind of a difference. We had no idea how much energy it would take to keep up with the daily demands of cooking from scratch, dealing with constant powers issues and coping with the major cultural differences on a daily basis.

As we are preparing to move back to Africa, I am realizing how much of a gift naivety can be. Before we have experienced the full weight of how difficult something is, we hope for the best. This is a great blessing and something that I think is a gift from God. It's like childbirth. Every mom is told, "giving birth is going to be the most painful thing you will ever experience", but they do it anyway. Why? Because when you haven't experienced it, you like to think that it really won't be as bad as everyone says. But after experiencing childbirth once, when a mom decides to have another baby, she knows what the pain will be like. She's experienced it. But, it is still worth it to her. She is willing to deal with the pain again, knowing that the joy that comes at the end of the pain is worth it.

This is how we feel right now.

I have moments of, "Why would we voluntarily do this again? We've been here. We know how hard it is. Is it worth it?" But you know what, we always end those thoughts with the reminder that it undoubtedly is worth it. Following God's call is always worth it. No matter what the cost it.

So as we go to South Sudan (in one week from today!), we go knowing what we are getting ourselves into. We go knowing that God has called us and that makes everything worth it. We don't go in the name of helping or even in the name of loving the African. We go in the name of Jesus Christ. We go because we are being called and being obedient to that call. Yes, we hope to eventually be able to help and yes, we do love the people of Africa, but above all else, we are called to love God and follow Him. So, just as love-struck mothers, we welcome the pain of childbirth because we know that in the end it is worth it.