Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Back to Uganda in Summer 2013

On a bus in Uganda, summer 2010

This last semester in Arkansas has been so good for us, but sadly has gone by so quick.  I graduate in 31 days and we leave the country in 36 days.  Though those may be great things for us, I can't bring myself to really thinking about them because of all that must happen in that short time.  Part of not wanting to think about that time is that we are sad to leave Siloam Springs.  We love this little town, our community, our workplace, our church, our friends.  The relationships that have developed over the last 4 years are so important to us, and we are saddened by the fact that we will be leaving.  However, it is a bittersweet feeling because we are so thrilled to be going back to our home in Colorado.

As for a life update...

Families at Canaan Farm, summer 2010
Many of you reading this have received a graduation announcement and/or support letter about our upcoming trip to Uganda and general life update.  Before I go in depth with that, I want to clarify a few things.  Some of you have heard that we will be taking a short stop in Norway on our way to Uganda. 4 days.  This is true.  Marlena and I are very interested in Norway as a possible home some day so we are taking this time as an opportunity as to discover and see.  We want to spend time meeting with locals and praying about our possible future there.  It is important for us to let you know that the support we are raising for our Uganda trip does NOT INCLUDE Norway, we are paying for this ourselves.  We desire transparency with this whole trip, and we know that giving money for a trip involves a lot of trust in those being supported.  Regarding this, if you have any questions, concerns, or possible advice for Norway, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We would love to hear from you.

Now back to Uganda...

Canaan Farm, Summer 2010
Our plans are becoming more set in stone, and we have our plane tickets! Praise the Lord! This part is always such a hurdle, but it is also always so fun to see how He provides.  We will be arriving in Uganda on May 16th and partnering up with Yobel International out of Colorado Springs.  Their team will arrive a couple of days after us.  We will join Yobel in leading a business training course at Canaan Farm in the Kiryandongo Dirstrict (formerly Masindi) of Uganda.  The course was a curriculum developed by a ministry in South Africa, and is specifically tailored to apply to rural African village business.  Yobel taught this curriculum at the farm last year and the response was so good, that the farm leadership asked if we would come back and teach again to an entirely new set of aspiring village entrepreneurs.

Marlena with 2 of Sera's boys, summer 2010
We plan to spend roughly 12 days at the Farm and we are so thrilled to be going back there.  Some of you may know this already, but Canaan Farm is where our relationship began back in 2010.  This will be our third time going back, but our first time as husband and wife. We finally get our own hut! Both Marlena and I have many long standing friendships at Canaan Farm, and we are so excited to go back and pick up where those left off.  After we leave the farm, we will head south to Jinja, Uganda.  Here we will connect with our dear friend Sera Kasonga.  Sera is a foster mother to 27 girls and boys, all of whom were either "street kids" or abandoned by their families.  The month of May is the children's holiday, so it will be a perfect time for us to visit and spend time with the kids.  After we spend time in Jinja, we will leave Uganda on June 4th to return to Colorado.

Why now?

I will be graduating college in early May and we will be moving to Colorado 2 days later! From that point, we have until June 10th before I start my job.  That gives us an entire month of free time, and we believe the Lord has called us to use that time to be in Uganda.  We hope that he continues to send us there in the future, but we feel this is may be the last opportunity for a while for us to serve for this amount of time in Uganda.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  We will be updating it regularly with information about our trip, and also plan to publish many stories of our time once we return.

If you are interested in supporting us, you can make a tax-deductible donation by writing a check to:

Grace Episcopal Church, memo: Christian & Marlena

and send to:

The Outlaw's, box 3272
2000 W. University St.
Siloam Springs, AR 72761

Have a wonderful week and enjoy this beautiful spring weather!
My great friend Jackson and I, Canaan Farm, Summer 2010