Friday, June 16, 2017

A RISKY POST...

In the last update, I shared what God had laid upon our hearts for the future of FNC Academy.  For this particular newsletter, I want to lay out our primary challenge, a way forward, and a way you can be a part of what God is doing here.  That said, it's probably the most risk taking post I've ever laid out for people to read.  It's a big ask, and to be frank, I'm afraid to fail.  But at this point, it's a risk I think we have to take to get the word out.  Someone once told me, if you don't ask, you'll never know...So here we go. 

1.  FNC Academy's current challenge...SPACE


I can write about this all day long, but I believe this one simple picture speaks for itself...and not all of the 22 kindergarten children fit into the photo.  Now while one might believe this to be an overcrowded classroom, which in some ways it is, it fails in comparison to the average student per classroom in Uganda.  Here is the simple fact, FNC needs more space.  We need a home which will provide an environment of sustaining Hope.  Currently, we rent two compounds which sit adjacent to the one another.  Both compounds are full.  And on top of that, we have been warned against building any other structures on the premises.  We have scanned the surrounding community for other compounds to rent.  The responses we have received go something like this: not available, we want this much money (which is entirely out of line), or the compound needs serious renovation, which we've learned isn't a wise investment.  While renting an additional compound is possible, it isn't a permanent or long sustaining solution.   

2.  FNC Academy's Plan of Action...PURCHASE LAND


This piece of land is 17.5 acres and sits along the Nile river.  It has very good access, 2 functioning water bore holes plus a natural spring and power near by.  Fruit trees and room for farming are in abundance.  The cost: $350,000. To give you a bit of perspective in regards to the cost of land in Kampala, one acre can go for as much as 1 billion Ugandan shillings, which at the current rate is the equivalent to $350,000.  Other pieces go for a little less, others more...location is king worldwide.  For those in the real estate world, there isn't a bubble happening here.  Land which was purchased 5-7 years back has now doubled in value. 

3.  Provide Sustainable Hope: BUILD THE HOME FOR FNCA


The picture up, is one of the existing structures on the proposed property...it's small, but it's at least a starting point.  Though complex in detail, FNC's plan for building can be explained in a few sentences.  First, we have no intentions of abandoning our original children and community, just to expand and build on what we have.  Which means at 4th grade, students will enter our second campus, which will be a boarding school and will be able to facilitate around 425 students.  Oh, how I'm hearing the questions and or doubts fly... trust me, I'm one of the first ones to be in line!  Maybe instead, would you join me in prayer, for God to provide a way, the courage, and provision to complete this most daunting task.

4.  How you can help...PARTNERSHIP

 
Years ago, Wendy and I asked a few friends to join in on an experiment called Joy Club.  Since that day, God has continued to expand our little idea into His great plan.  There's an African proverb which says, "If you want to go fast, go at it alone.  If you want to go far, go at it together."  So far, together, we have raised 1/3 of the money for the land.  Our first ask is to those who would want to partner with us to secure the land.  We need to raise roughly $230,000 over the next 120 days...like moving a mountain in some ways, but a mountain which can be moved if God wills it.  Now there's hundreds of ways to break this down.  Below is just one of many ways: 

1  $50,000 gift   =$50,000
2  $25,000 gifts =$50,000
5  $10,000 gifts =$50,000
10 $5,000 gifts  =$50,000
15 $1,000 gifts  =$15,000
20 $500 gifts     =$10,000
30 $100 gifts     =$3,000
40 $50 gifts       =$2,000
50 $25 gifts       =$1,250

183 gifts totaling- $231,250

In regards to what FNC Academy will do in the interim for providing the space needed until we can begin to move our students a few grades at a time, we most likely will need to rent an additional compound.  Though not a long term solution, it will at least buy us the time as we move forward with the project.

For questions about the project, please email me directly...todd@thekissingwell.com
The best way to give...by check to The Kissing Well, NFP...PO box 344, Vermont, IL 61484, and be sure to include in the memo FNC LAND.  If God want's it to be, it will be...and if He has a different plan, we are all for that.            

Thursday, May 11, 2017

MIRACLE IN THE MUD

Several weeks back, our family escorted a couple for a day to Jinja, the source of the Nile.  Dick and Jan have been married for over 50 years.  For me, this is inspiring.  But the couples inspiration doesn't stop there.  They have traveled all over the globe, not for pleasure, but for the soul purpose in serving the church, and on their own dime!  Freedom Church has many locations, most of which are newer church plants.  Dick and Jan have found it their mission to go for an extended period of time (usually 3 months) and simply find ways to live, love, and lead.  They never come with a specific project or their own agenda.  Thus, allowing God to plug them in the way He sees fit.  I believe it goes with out saying Dick and Jan aren't "spring chickens", and that's just part of what makes one inspired.  They are honest, transparent, and about the most encouraging couple you will ever meet.  But the one thing that inspires me the most is their sense of adventure.  In fact, Dick has a tattoo on his shoulder that reads, "Live Full, Die Empty."  He didn't get the ink when he was young, it is very fresh... a challenge given to him by his pastor!  True Story!

So off to Jinja we went.  We did the usual tour, first taking a boat ride on the Nile, then having lunch at our new favorite spot, "The Deli".  The milkshakes are the real deal, and their sandwiches put most American chains to shame.  While chatting and inhaling the feast before us, we discussed a lot.  It wasn't our first time to sit and talk, so the conversation was full on.  Just love when God uses iron to sharpen iron!  I remember sitting there in total bliss.  It must have been apparent because Jan asked me why I seemed so happy.  She asked me, "So do you all love Jinja?"  I couldn't hold back, and in unison, Wendy and I, (and I believe the girls were very much aware) replied "Yes! We absolutely love it here.  What Dick and Jan didn't know, is that we had always said if there was ever a chance for us to somehow relocate FNC Academy, Jinja would be the place.  The pace is slower, life is simpler, and the feel is good for the soul.  The air is cleaner, the traffic is nil, and land is ever available.  I believe God has many addresses in this world, His beauty has no bounds, but one of them surely resides here.


Because Dick and Jan are always up for adventure, they asked us if we had ever looked for property in Jinja?  I quickly perked up and said, "YES, we have!"  Before I knew it, we were off to look at a piece of land we had previously inquired.  Oh, and it was raining off and on the entire day.  As we approached the land, the rains continued, offering us less than ideal conditions to venture out into the red mud of Africa.  After greeting a few locals, we piled out of the van, and headed straight for the Nile.  I wanted them to see the view others before them had seen, also hearing the rapids which appear in either direction. With the rain continuing to fall, our shoes submerged into the earth, I watched Dick and Jan and my families faces as we came upon the ridge.  One could have chosen to be bothered by the elements, missing the fruit God wanted us to taste that moment, but not us.  Not this time.



For most of you, this the first time we are revealing a dream that started to brew years ago, something I'd always said I would do, "only if I could do it all over again."  It seems God is up to something.  The details are daunting, and for now let me just keep it at that.  Moving an entire school to another location isn't easy, but we are finding it to be possible.  And for all the naysayers out there, I would ask you for an optimistic spirit, trusting that God is in this.  What He wants will come to pass.  So let us trust Him together.  Mpola mpola, or in English, slowly by slowly, God is working to see His will completed, no matter where, no matter what.   



Right now, my mother has embarked on yet another adventure.  The training has been exhausting, and at times feels like she's climbing a mountain.  Just the other day, I felt God prompting me to send her a quick note of encouragement.  This is what I wrote: "Mom, wanted to say I'm proud of you and I love you so much.  Your going to conquer the mountain!"  This is what she wrote back to me: "Todd...can't tell you what your texts have meant to me.  I especially appreciated the one I got yesterday morning as I was at an all time low.  There are a lot of people texting me that say, 'You can do it' and that they are praying.  I appreciate them all, but when it comes to believing in me...I guess the ones that have meant the most to me in my life have been the men in my life...my dad, my husband, and my son.  I'm not kidding when I say this is really hard stuff!  In response to your video of the land you sent to our stateside board members...I choose not to be like David's brothers who said, 'what the heck are you trying to do killing this giant!'  I choose to trust like David...yeah it is a lot of money, but if David can slay a giant with God in his corner, just using one stone, we can also watch God provide the power and money it takes to victoriously take this land.  I don't want to stand before Him one of these days and hear him say, 'just why didn't you ask?' Proud of you son!"



Dick and Jan left for home a couple weeks back.  I miss Dick and Jan, we all do.  One of the things Freedom Church does so well is appreciating those that come and serve.  They do this by inviting the person or persons to come on stage to say a few words to us, then we as a church family pray over them.  As Dick and Jan so often do, they left us all with so much hope and encouragement.  They even mentioned our trip to Jinja!  I felt extremely honored.  When the prayer had concluded, Dick and Jan took their seats.  But before they did, I stood up and made my way to one of the isles where I greeted both of them with a hug and a kiss.  It was an emotional time.  As I hugged Dick, he whispered something in my ear I'll never forget, "You inspire me."  I sat down and wept.  Not because I was sad, but because the man that I was so inspired by actually said that I inspired him!  After the service we came together one last time.  Dick had gathered all the photos from the previous day, photos that brought lots of laughter and sincere joy.  Two couples and 3 girls, going for it, no matter the elements that stood in the way.  And there we stood, so glad for our day together, but even more glad we followed God down in the mud.  I knew this was the last chance to gather any last piece of advice from my friend before they embarked for home.  So I asked, "Dick, is there one more golden nugget you can leave me with?" And without hesitation He looked straight in my eyes and held my hand firmly and said, "Keep the vision alive, keep it alive Todd."

From 23 to this...

 
 From 6 to this...


Only God knows what truly will come next.  All we can do is continue to put one foot in front of the other, keeping our eyes on Him, to be expectant of tomorrow, never tripping over today.  The future is bright, and our best days are yet to come.  "Keep the dream alive!" Dick said.  To Dick and Jan and all those pulling for FNC, let me end with a quote from a guy who believed in the impossible.  "Here's to the crazy ones.  The misfits, rebels, and the troublemakers.  To the round pegs in the square holes.  The ones who see things differently...Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."-Steve Jobs.  Whether this dream comes to pass or not, I'll never forget that rainy Saturday in Jinja, where a dream that was all but gone, sprouted wings and became resurrected.  And just in case it does come true, let it be called "Miracle in the Mud".        

Thursday, February 16, 2017

MOMENT...



Tim Keller, a theologian, author, and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York, was once asked why there was a need to plant more churches? His response was quite emphatic:  Because most churches become relaxed after reaching the 7-10 year mark.  When a person or organization becomes comfortable, the willingness to “step out of the boat” becomes lessened.  The risk they once had has now all but disappeared.  Stagnation rears it’s ugly head, and growth doesn’t seem to be as important as it once was.  Every church, organization, or mission starts with humble beginnings.  And to survive, you are willing to risk most anything for the sake of the dream, for the sake of the mission.  Failure isn’t an option.  Then a tipping point occurs, and either you sink or swim.  Those that have had the fortune to swim teach others to swim, and traction happens, which leads to excitement, which leads to growth, which leads to assets.  Assets are a double-edged sword.  On one side, they are good, they are a sign of perseverance.  But on the other side, they can be what holds you back from all God wants you to become.  Anyone that has experienced taking nothing to something knows this all to well, but the majority of us choose not to admit it.  We hold onto dear life the “child” God granted us sometime back, and we are not willing to take any chances if losing it!  The second tipping point has begun, and death will one day be the outcome.  More churches are closing their doors now, than ever in history.  For the sake of Christ, we need more planting.       

But let’s not be to critical.  Can’t the same be said regarding our own lives?  We are born with dreams, and when we are young, we’ll do most anything to live out those desires.  Yet somewhere along the way, maybe it was a father or mother, or close friend, that told you, (with well intentions) “It’s time to grow up and take responsibility of your life.”  They talked to you about topics like retirement, family, and the countless challenges life will bring if you don’t follow the proper steps, steps that provide security.  Security isn’t a bad thing.  Who doesn’t enjoy the comfort of a home, family, employment, and a holiday thrown in every once in awhile.  Good health is also a part of being secure.  Here in Uganda security is something one thinks about daily, especially in the nighttime hours!  But if I spent every waking moment (or sleeping) obsessed with security, God wouldn’t have birthed FNC Academy, at least not through Wendy, myself and the countless souls who continue to make this mission come to life daily.  If security was top priority, Abraham would have missed out on being the ultimate father, Moses would have missed his burning bush moment, David would have missed becoming King, Peter would have missed walking on water, and Jesus would have missed out on becoming the savior of the world.  God gives each of us moments.  Some of us get stuck in them.  Then there are those who grab them, and hold on for dear life because God’s assignments are way bigger than they are.  As of late, God has been challenging me to continue to step out of the boat, to leave what has become “comfortable”, and go where he has already gone, particularly in FNC’s area of growth.     

FNC is celebrating 5 years, and the school has entered its’ fourth year.  We now have the awesome responsibility of 170 students and 32 staff.  Space is becoming not just an issue it’s becoming a fact that can’t be ignored.  Lord knows we have been through tough and gracious times.  We’ve seen God work.  He’s moved mountains and He’s led us to still waters.  Risk taking has been threaded through our DNA.  Mistakes have been made and lessons learned; God continues to receive the glory.  Here’s why…none of us were ever equipped for this…none of us!  Which means only one thing, God has done it, not us and not you, just God.  But in order for us to allow God to continue to receive the glory, we have to continue to take risks.  Otherwise, the glory begins to go to our heads.  God doesn’t bless such.   

The more I read about the Hero’s of the Faith, the more I see a continuous death to self, and an ever growing desire to become closer to the Messiah.  For me, they’re not just Hero’s of the Faith, they’re more like Faithful Hero’s.  One may be able to step out on faith once, but continuing to step out is an entirely different matter.  Perseverance is a key element, no doubt…but being faithful, God fearing, ever loving, and obedient children will produce fruit beyond our hearts’ desire.  When God created me, when He created you, he didn’t set up an assembly line.  We weren’t all made to be Maytag’s.  He hand crafted each of us, like a one of a kind painting.  Each of us have been given an assignment.  At the moment, God has placed me in the middle of Africa loving on a bunch of students and leading out the best I know how.  It’s a humbling experience, and at the same time awesome.  Humbling because I still have no idea how we got here and awesome because I get to wake up each morning and literally say, “OK God, you’ve got to take this one, cause I’m in no place to handle.”  Worry and the fear of failure drives most people to do what they do, whether good or bad.  From a guy who still has no idea what he’s doing, failure has defined a lot of my life.  Do I ever become concerned? Sure.  Does it consume my thoughts? Not any more.  After all, at the end of the day, God’s got this thing.  And the moment He doesn’t, then I’ve certainly got some worrying to do. 


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Work To Do...


At precisely 6:17 in the morning my phone, which sounds like the horn of an old car, abruptly awoke Wendy and myself.  I ignored it at first, but then it rang once again.  A good friend of mine (stateside) wanted to chat, so I messaged him to give me a few minutes.  He immediately realized he had called me a bit early in the morning here, but I was up so we talked for a good bit.    

It’s been sometime since I’ve attempted to write a general update of how things are going here in the UG.  Can’t say it’s been intentional, but I can’t give you a solid reason why I haven’t as well.  Maybe because it’s been that kind of a year, or at least 7 months now, or maybe it’s because we’ve chosen silence when others have chosen a lesser road.   Instead of updating, allow me to share a few thoughts going around in this head of mine. 

A friend of mine recently gave me a book entitled “Chase the Lion”.  Mark Batterson continues to pound out one great book after another.  Let me not give the book away, you should pick up a copy for yourself and for Mark.  As noted before, I was up, so why not grab the coffee and read.  As I was reading, one phrase jumped out at me, and in fact it wasn’t even a phrase Mark wrote, it was one he was quoting.  Here it is.  “Sometimes the greatest opposition to what God wants to do next, comes from those who were on the cutting edge of what God did last, R.T Kendall.”   I don’t want to admit it, but I think that phrase applies to me.  I need to work on that.   

This past Sunday, my family and I were at church, our new church home called Freedom Church.  The entire service focused on unlocking or unleashing the dreams God has laid upon our hearts, and the key, gratefulness. Mary had a choice when the Holy Spirit announced her destiny.  Instead of becoming embarrassed (an unmarried woman whom was now with child), she sang a song filled with gratitude, which we still read after more than 2000 years.   Through out history, God continues to challenge his people with “Red Sea” moments, He continues to give us a say into his glorious plan for our lives.  Through Mary’s obedience, God unleashed the Savior of the world.  Being grateful is a battle, one I seem to fight, one I need to win.    

The conception of our family’s decision to relocate to Uganda didn’t begin in 2012.  It began with a single phone call from a complete stranger back in 2002.  That phone call led us to move from Nashville to Chicago, which led us to a man who asked me to escort his son to Uganda late in the year of 2004.  That single trip led me to Uganda time and time again, and years later led our family to do the unthinkable. 

More than 4 years have passed.  Stretched would be an understatement when describing how our family feels.  Challenged doesn’t come close when thinking back on what God has seen us through.  Some of this has been self-inflicted.  It would be a lie to think otherwise.  Poor planning and a lack of faith, I’m sure has played a role at times.   Being more hands on, or hands off, helping when we were actually hurting, and missed pivotal moments can’t be overlooked.  But the redeeming factor in it all, God still continues to work despite our finite minds, hands, and feet.  He continues to show his face and faithfulness in every “Red Sea” moment.  God desperately desires us to trust him.  I have some work to do in this area. 

As 2016 comes to a close, my hope is in the lessons learned, and still being learned.  To be vulnerable and teachable are attributes I desire.  Unfortunately, there are times pride sneaks up, and takes a front seat.  Wendy and I recently had a conversation.  We have those frequently, but this one was at length.  Roughly 5 hours later, we came to a conclusion, and our girls needed our attention.  We concluded one of the most difficult acts we as a couple face, or have faced, is the ability to forgive. (It reminded me of a simple yet profound statement a friend once shared with me.  God never commanded us to forget, but to forgive.  For me, that was a freeing statement, revolutionary in the way I now look at the topic of forgiveness.) Much like a gift, forgiveness is a two way street.  One has to take the initiative, and the other has to be willing to accept it.  Wendy and I both admit, we have struggled in this area.  During this season we want to begin the process of gift giving, seeking forgiveness from those we have offended, and offering forgiveness to those who have offended us.  It’s true that time heals, but far too often I allow too much time to go by.  Maybe I’m not the only one.  Love always wins.                   

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pics from the latest FNC trip...

Doughnut Eating Contest...
Diana keeping the children in line!
Day Care...afternoon nap
Not sure what to say about that guy...but the lady on the left looks cute!
Brad and Debbie Hunt...on a home visit with one of the children they sponsor.
Connie Benson, a long time supporter peaking out the gate of FNC
Some more doughnut eating contests pics...
Students studying hard!
End of school day assembly
Nice smiles!

Pre-K rehearsing for Christmas program
Thank you La Harp Christian Church for the Flip Flops!
Just 7 left to Sponsor this year!!!
Ag Day with Brad and Debbie Hunt
Connie Benson loving on Teacher Aggie and Teacher Celina
Brother Derrick and some of our students
Connie Benson and the boys from 5th grade!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

REST


My ears are ringing.  It feels like I’ve lost 20 years of my hearing.  Just this morning I had to ask Wendy to read to me Acts 9, but to please read it with a bit more volume.  Yesterday, the Ugandan Cranes were in town (that’s our national soccer team).  They were playing a match to qualify for the African Cup…kind of a big deal.  In the past, I have experienced such things (whether music concerts or major sporting events), which I considered extremely loud and electric.  But this was a whole new level, one of chaotic decibels I am suffering from at this very moment.  The Cranes won, so you can imagine the pandemonium.   For less than 30 US dollars, 3 guys and myself, plus 45,000 others were victorious, even if it was just by a goal, and even if it was just for the day. 

And to me, this is what Uganda feels like.  I know it doesn’t sound biblical or at all culturally correct.  One day you feel superhuman, and the next it seems you can’t do a thing right.  Most would say, but that’s life, and they’re probably right.  But as a leader, we try not to show our bad days.  My father’s always said I’ve never been very good at that.  He’s right. 

I recently visited a friend.  I had heard her father had stage four cancer.  I wanted her to know Wendy and I were there.  My intentions were to encourage her, to make sure her eyes were still on her Heavenly Father, in the midst of it all.  After I was done asking how she was coping, it was like God began to speak through her directly to me.  Her dad had been released from the hospital just two days back…his treatments continued from home.  As she described to me the physical state her father was in, it was almost too much.  But then, this woman’s faith began to shine.  She said she was done being sad, done being helpless, done being restless, done saying to her self, “What happened???”  Her attitude changed from “what happened” to “let’s make it happen!”  And that’s when the switch occurred.  Instead of weeping and worrying, she began to worship.  She worshiped at her workplace, she worshiped at her home, and she worshiped while spending time with her father. “Dad accepted Christ”, she told me with a smile.  “It’s all worth it Todd, our reward is coming, and for me, it’s come.”  But the one comment that stuck with me through out our conversation was this one, “I chose to rest in God.”  Jesus wanted me to hear that. 

Working hard is something we take pride in.  But resting well, that’s another issue.  If I were completely honest, I’ve never been able to “rest well” while on holiday.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getaways, different scenery and environment is good for the soul.  And as our daughters have grown, Wendy and I have been able to enjoy holidays even the more.  (Though that 3rd child in the room, and the fact that two of our children are 12 and above, the discounts have disappeared!)  For me, I’ve found, resting well, has little to do with vacations, holidays, or weekends, though I’m not giving up on those.  Real rest has more to do with focus, being intentional about how you spend your time, and who you spend it with.  Balance has never been my forte.   The older I become, the more I see its importance, and the more I’m striving towards it.   But resting one’s heart in Jesus, that takes trust, it takes perseverance, and grace from the One who provides each heart beat. 

Yesterday, just before Solomon, Ivan and myself began our Tuesday bible study, I received a simple but tragic text message…”Dad passed away today”.  All of me wanted to focus on the message, but my friends were there and after some encouraging words, we set our focus on the Message.  This morning as I sit here and write these words, I’m glad we did.  We chose to focus on Life and not on death, to keep our eyes and hearts on the prize, which awaits all who are in Christ Jesus.  After visiting the families home, yesterday evening, trying to provide any comfort one can at a moment such as this, I remembered the words Ivan and Solomon said, “Todd, you’re here to love, to provide guidance. We need you to stay strong.”  When I reached home later that evening, Wendy and the girls were waiting.  I was bombarded with questions from Lucy.  I didn’t mind.  Wendy loved on me.  It was a beautiful, yet sad moment.  Today is the burial.  Ivan and I are about to set off to the village some two hours from Kampala to lay to rest a man, a husband, a father, and grandfather, but must importantly a child of God.     

Sunday, June 12, 2016

WELCOME


Part 1
It's the 2nd of June, 11:43 pm, Uganda time, as I start our first of many blogs to come.  We began our journey with the traditional goodbyes from mom and dad's house, followed by a 4 hour ride in the Prather's Expedition.  Kent, Sandy and Allison Prather have seen us to the airport and picked us up to many times to count. Each time I tell Kent thanks, his reply is classic Kent with a great big grin, "Wouldn't have missed it!"  Let me tell you something, when your leading your immediate family to a developing world, and saying farewell to family and friends, it's people like the Prather's that keep you going.

In fact, let me brag a little bit more on this family.  After checking in all 15 totes, and crossing our fingers the airline wouldn't weigh our carry-on’s (which they did, but had an extreme amount of mercy), right before we stepped into the never ending line at TSA, Kent grabbed my hand, and said, let's gather round and say a prayer.  Yep, that's right, it wasn't, "We'll be praying for you"...it was, let's do it NOW.  I honestly have no idea what must have went through the minds of the hundred's of witnesses that surrounded us in one of the countries busiest terminals on Memorial Day, but this I know for sure.  For just a moment, the Church parted the seas of people, and Christ was truly glorified.  Thank you Kent for being mindful of Jesus in the midst of the storm.  Thank you Sandy and Allison for standing with us and being there...you'll never know how much that prayer meant.

Besides our first flight being delayed by one hour, the rest of the journey was quite pleasant.  A few bumps, but God truly had us in His hands.  With all 15 totes surviving the journey, we arrived in Uganda, early in the afternoon, and were greeted with the traditional Ugandan welcome, which is always a good thing.  A huge thanks to Michael, Solomon, Derrick, Alfred, and Dicky, for assisting us home.  I believe the entire staff would have come, but someone had to stay behind and care for the children of FNC.  

Part 2
We’ve been in country now for 12 days… One would think it could take at least a month or so to come across some challenge.  I wish that were the case.   But funny enough, we were prepared.  In fact, the day we landed, the one and only road, which leads from Entebbe airport to Kampala was all of the sudden closed as we were making our way back.  Why you might ask?  TIA, (this is Africa).  After a slight diversion, only about 3 hours, we arrived at our home well and good, and a bit tired.  

Jet lag has begun to ware off, and our sleeping patterns have just about become normal once again.  I don’t know this to be a fact, but I think the older you become, the longer it takes the human body to make these kind of hemispheric adjustments. 

FNC Academy closed, for our normal 2 week holiday the following day we arrived.  I believe it took all we had to visit the school, before the students and staff took their break.  But we made it, and what a greeting it was!  After literally being bombarded with hugs and kisses, each class had prepared a special dance and song, followed by gifts and cards.  I told Wendy, they had never greeted ME like this!  She thought it was humorous.  In all seriousness, I was completely taken a back.  Their welcome was not only respectful but, sincere, and heart felt.  Thank you to all the FNC staff, teachers, and students for welcoming us back with such love and care.    

Let me conclude this update, with a simple, but sincere word of thanks to all of you who helped us get back to our 2nd home.  So many of you helped us not only get here, but prepared us for what God has in store.  Your prayers and support truly continue to sustain us.