There’s always mixed-emotions with our trips back to America. While we love seeing friends and family, it is also busy and exhausting. Yet it is also life-giving and refreshing. And then we also have to say goodbyes, which are always hard. Our life as missionaries is “both/and”, a paradox of emotions (yay ducks and yuck ducks). And this trip was a whirlwind! We stayed for 2 months, so a bit longer than home assignments pre-Covid. With visiting more churches this time, it was busier, with even more travel. But it was also SO GOOD! For those who are interested and don’t already know, here is a recap of our summer travels in the U.S. We left Uganda at the end of May, spent a couple days in Istanbul to break up the long travel back to America and to adjust back to “western culture”, then continued to Dallas and Houston for a couple days to get over jet lag and see our parents.
At the beginning of June we were off and running, starting with a visit at Western Hills Church of Christ in Temple, Texas. We got to share about the ministry with the church family on Sunday morning and we were able to spend time with many groups of people, sharing about our life and work in Uganda. We also had our “Team Sawyer Gathering” for others who are connected with us in the Central Texas area. It was a great reunion of friends, family, former youth group students, and so many more. We are very blessed by the people who surround us and love us.
From there we traveled to Lubbock, Texas to visit with Quaker Avenue Church of Christ where Leland was honored to preach and give an update about the work in Uganda. We spent some great time with the staff, missions committee, elders and the group that traveled to Kenya and Uganda in July to visit the different works in both those countries. It was a wonderful time of relationship-building and getting more connected with the church family.
We continued to Boulder, Colorado where we got to spend time with the newly merged church, Legacy Church (formerly Boulder Valley Church of Christ and Rock Creek Church). There we met the staff and elders, and built connections with many new faces. We also enjoyed spending time with our family and friends who have known us for more than 15 years. It was a wonderful time catching up and sharing about the work in Uganda. From Colorado, we took a road trip across the U.S. towards Wisconsin and stopped to see some sights along the way: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and many others. It was a great adventure (with too much car time).
We enjoyed our visit with Onalaska Church of Christ in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Once again, Leland was honored to preach and share about the work in Uganda. We spent time with the elders, missions committee and other ministry leaders, building relationships and getting to know a church family that is new to us. And we enjoyed sharing about what God has been doing in Uganda and our prayers for how He continues to expand His kingdom work, both in Uganda and through the partnerships around the world.
We had some great family time in July before heading back to Uganda. We celebrated July 4th with lots of family in Dallas. Then we celebrated Gina’s 40th birthday at the beach with our parents, and we got to see more family the weekend before we left for Uganda. Leland wrapped up the church visits with a quick trip outside of Nashville, Tennessee to visit the Harpeth Christian Church. Harpeth is also a long-standing partner of the ministry in Uganda and they had very good discussions about continuing and growing that partnership.
Overall, it was a GREAT summer trip.
We also returned to Uganda with a visitor in tow. Gina’s mom came to visit us for the first time. We loved showing her our life and ministry here in Uganda. It was a sweet time together and we are so thankful she was able to come visit us.