Monday 11 June 2012

Home Assignment

It’s still rainy season, but the temperatures have dropped steeply – which may be because we’re now in South Wales and not south-west Uganda!

We arrived back in the UK on 30 May after a busy final week of finishing off various bits of work, re-packing all our belongings for travel/secure storage, and preaching at our church on the final Sunday.   The week was made more challenging by a 36 hour power-cut and all three of us suffering from a D&V bug at three day intervals – with Bethan the last to be afflicted on the day that we got an hour-late and hair-raisingly fast taxi ride to Entebbe and then flew back to London Heathrow.  We were quite relieved when we got back to my Dad’s house in Buckinghamshire!

Our first week back in the UK was also pretty busy with medicals in London, speaking at our home church in Cambridge, briefings at BMS HQ in Didcot and visiting both sets of parents in Bucks and Herts.  It was lovely to be back in time for the Jubilee, to enjoy the festivities – especially all the fine food – and to see Britain at its best!

We will be back in the UK for four months, based at our home in Cambridge, and should return to Kasese in early October.  Our second child is due in the first half of July, so most of July and August will be holiday/parental leave.  June and September will be spent visiting some of the many churches who support BMS, without whom it would be impossible for us to live and work in Uganda.   We’ve just completed our first link visits to two different churches in Caerphilly in South Wales – not far from where I was born in Llanishen, Cardiff.   Despite the rain and cold we’ve enjoyed a very warm welcome here from our Welsh churches and it was a privilege to be able to share some of our experiences with them, to worship together in English, and to put friendly faces to the names of people who’ve corresponded with us in Uganda.  The community fruit and vegetable garden at Bethel Baptist Church, Penyrheol, which was supported by a BMS Eco-fund grant, is a reminder that although there are obvious differences between the needs of communities in Uganda and the UK, and the ways in which churches can Minister to them, there is also much that they have in common.

For those who are interested the remainder of our Link church programme is as follows:

16th/17th June – Pantygwdr and Mumbles Baptist Churches, Swansea.
23/24th June – Llanelli Baptist Churches.
1st July – Earl’s Hall Baptist Church, Southend.

1st/2nd September – Markyate Baptist Church, St Albans.
8th/9th September – Nottingham Baptist Churches.

15th/16th September - Haddenham & Little Kimble Baptist Churches.

30 September – St Andrew’s St Baptist Church, Cambridge (our home church).

Obviously we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to spend quality time with family and friends, and particularly for Sam – and the new arrival – to spend time with grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins.  We love Uganda, it is now our home and there are close friends there who we will miss, but here is an A-Z of things we will really appreciate about this time in the UK:

Anonymity in public.
BBC Television.
Direct-debits instead of spending hours in a bank.
Electricity 24/7.
Family & friends.
Going to a pub.
Hot & cold clean water on tap.
Immunity/Isolation from tropical diseases or infections.
Jealousy will not be aimed at us.
Kelloggs cereals.
Living in our own house.
Meat! – especially sausages & bacon.
No mosquitos, bednets or DEET spray.
Orderly queues in shops & traffic jams.
Punctuality (well, up to a point...)
Quiet nights.
Roads without large potholes or excessive speed-bumps.
Sea, especially the beaches of South Wales (if the rain stops...)
The National Health Service.
Understanding conversations without translation.
Visiting different places.
Worship in English.
Xtra help with childcare/babysitting.
Yes meaning yes and no meaning no, without ambiguity.
Zebra crossings where drivers actually stop.

Prayer Requests:

·         For a safe delivery of a healthy baby in July.

·         That our link-church visits will be successful and bring glory to God.

·         For our Ugandan colleagues, especially the project staff and the members of Kasese Baptist Association of Churches – Development Committee (KBAC-DC) as they manage the skills training and daycare projects independently.