One aspect of missionary life that I was not anticipating is the close-knit community that surrounds us here in Mbale, Uganda. Not only do we live among like-minded people serving God through different ministries here, but we all are away from our home cultures and need to rely on each other for life stuff. Whether it’s celebrating Thanksgiving together, helping a family who needs medical treatment, someone who has to leave unexpectedly, or having a pool party to celebrate the end of the school year, it is a beautiful thing called COMMUNITY. And while being a close-knit community also has challenges, we are thankful because not all missionaries have community like we do. And not all people have relationships that are connected through the desire to follow God to wherever He calls.
One aspect of community that always makes me emotional is Adalyn’s school. It’s a little homeschool cooperative of about 25-30 kids from kindergarten through 8th grade (depending on the year). And it recruits teachers from around the world who volunteer to teach our children. But these teachers aren’t just at the school; they are in our lives and they are here to help our families. They come over for dinner, they join in community gatherings, they play with our kids, they support our kids in activities they are involved in, they pray for and with our kids, they love our kids. And I couldn’t be more thankful for this environment.
Each year has challenges and each year looks different based on the teachers available, and now Covid, government restrictions, etc. But it has been a blessing to be involved with a school that not only teaches my kid what she needs to know in education, but also help us mold her character into who she ought to be as a follower of Jesus. The teachers are role models for our kids, the parents gather to pray over the community (pictured), and I don’t want to take that for granted.