Over a year ago I felt God nudging me to consider the opportunity of being Director at Christ School Bundibugyo in western Uganda. This was more than kind of a crazy notion. Here we were, happy as a family of 6, connected deeply to our church community, loving my job as principal at Isom Elementary School (where Beckett and Adrienne attended), enjoying our safe, lovely town of Lynden, and anticipating the retirement of Alexis’ parents, who would then finally be able to move near us. Our life was perfect in many ways, idyllic even. Our kids were on sports teams, taking piano lessons, dancing in theater performances, engaged in regular playdates, and just living a great childhood. And yet God was stirring in my heart a desire to pursue this specific opportunity, giving it all up. Why would we trade all that out for a challenging lifestyle, limited resources, cultural and language barriers, lack of opportunities for our kids, and no paycheck in the traditional sense?
We wrestled with the idea for a long time, contemplating the potential blessings and alternative opportunities. We saw the school and the need for someone experienced in educational leadership, and we saw my skills and passion for students as a great fit. We also saw the opportunity to create a life rhythm for our kids, without simply taxiing them around all year to scheduled engagements, as having its own benefits. The kids could go to school and then just play pickup football (soccer), climb banana trees, make art, explore, etc. Like kids are supposed to do. And we saw the need for Gospel relationships – at the school, in the community, on the mission team – as immensely appealing. We all need deep, spirit-nourishing relationships and we desire to live life that way communally.
Eventually, we just couldn’t help but succumb to the Holy Spirit’s guiding. But how could we commit to moving to Uganda without seeing it? We couldn’t, so we decided to take a vision trip. And we really wanted to see it through our kids’ eyes as well, so we took Beckett and Adrienne with us. Though the trip was amazing, the people hospitable, the opportunity great, it still wasn’t until a few months after we returned that our clarity had grown to the point of being absolutely positive that this was the step we were called to take as a family. It doesn’t mean we aren’t scared in ways, it doesn’t mean we aren’t sad of what we are knowingly giving up (the people, comforts, opportunities). But it does mean that we are trusting in what God sovereignly has planned for us, and that we are excited for the opportunity to serve and lead in a way that will be both overwhelming and intensely rewarding. We truly don’t know what every little detail will look like, and the journey has really just begun, but we’re excited to embark on this journey as a family, for the glory of God and the good of Bundibugyo!