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Back to Bundi

In February, after a wonderful home mission assignment, we traveled back to Bundibugyo. Quickly, we were consumed with old friends welcoming us and new friends checking us out. In many ways, the rhythm of life had not changed much. The stifling heat, the bugs, the dirt, and the poverty was the same. However, in other ways we noticed new life. There was more prayer in church, there were newly paved roads in town, more traffic on the street, many new boys coming to sports outreach, and a general sense of excitement. It almost seemed like expectation.

(mommas leaving with strollers for their school age disabled children)

(elderly man traded in his old cane for a more stable rolling walker)

(a choir praising God for providing arm trikes for these two men)

We busied ourselves settling in, cleaning out our termite infested kitchen. We ripped out rotten wood, poisoned, painted and resealed. We are still working on rebuilding and reassembling the cabinets and installing the kitchen sink. Please pray we can get it all wrapped up soon. Then, we will only wash dishes on the back porch when we want to!

For those that follow us on social media, the container saga isn't news, but for our unplugged friends, we had some serious obstacles related to receiving the forty foot container of health care supplies the folks at MedMission helped send over. Currently on the basketball court, we expect the journey of the yellow container to be recounted for years to come. Head on over to our blog for a play by play and more pictures. It is amazing to see how these supplies have blessed this community; and how the local able bodied folks have rejoiced with their friends that are off of the ground for the first time in their lives.

William and Elizabeth transitioned right back into school without any major rough spots. They both missed their friends, but were happy to be back in Bundi life. William said goodbye to three missionary friends all heading in separate directions recently. He said he was exhausted from all the "happy sad things." That was his nine year old way of telling us paradox and grief was hard. Pray for our boy; his heart hurts.

(Miss Alanna, Miss Ashley, and their RMS students on school service day)

It seemed like a blink before we were preparing to travel to our companywide trienniel conference in Spain. We took the opportunity to get away a few days early and have a few quiet days on the Portuguese coast. An experience we will never forget, seeing the turquoise water  lined with golden cliffs and caramel colored sand was spectacular- God's creativity on display. Rhett had the worship filled long runs his soul needed; and our family was able to slow down and rest.

When we reached the conference in Spain, we reunited with all the the missionaries throughout our organization. It was immensely uplifting to hear about the work God is doing all over the world, especially in hard to reach and creative access locations. Our children had a week with kids their ages that understand the unique lives of those living overseas. Scotty Smith and Josiah Bancroft led us through a week of exhortations and encouragements that helped refuel our hearts for the summer ahead.

We returned from Spain to find our guard wall around the north east side of the yard had collapsed. Hard rains and heavy bougonvillea were too much for the old clay bricks to hold. Rebuilding was an expense and distraction we are not excited about taking on.  Thankfully, the process wasn't too painful and William got masonry lessons along the way. 

The most exciting event to report is quickly approaching. In late July the New Testament in Lubwisi will be presented to the people of Bundibugyo. The vision and hard work of many missionaries and national partners is finally coming to fruition. Next week, all the former Bundibugyo missionaries will be arriving to join the community for the dedication of God's Holy word in the heart language of the Babwisi people. This is a huge praise and and event that needs to be covered in prayer. Even now we see the battle lines being drawn. There are three beautiful new mosques along the road as we travel in and out of Bundibugyo. Malaria, snakebites, neighbor disputes, utility issues, team sickness and all of the things that distract us from spending time in community spreading the word that the gospel in Lubwisi is coming have plagued us lately. Please pray fervently this week.

In closing, please pray for this precious little one. Weighing around three pounds and arriving very early, he has an uphill battle here. His parents are dear friends and healthcare professionals that are committed to caring for the people of Bundibugyo. He needs to stay warm, well, and nourished so he can grow. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. It is a privilege to live and serve in Bundibugyo. 

Yours in Christ, 

Rhett, Holly, Elizabeth and William

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