In the living expenses budget for our family (to be) in Uganda, I estimated that Aggie & I would spend around US$1000/yr using local transport to get around. Every day we’ll be going from place to place in Kampala – between our house & the IMFC ministry centre, house churches, discipling groups, as well as to go shopping etc. Most of these trips involve multiple routes, and although the individual routes are pretty cheap to travel, it all adds up over time. If you are going to have a car in Kampala, you really need a meadium-heavy duty 4WD vehicle because the roads are pretty bad. And when you have one of those, you’re hit with US$4-5/gallon (AUS$1.50/litre – probably what you Australians pay now anyway) for fuel. A boda like this one (Indian made “Bajaj” brand, 100cc engine) costs about US$1400, and would get excellent fuel mileage. If we bought one ourselves, the money we’d spend on transport in just the first year would almost equal the motorbike cost.
When I came home from my 3 month trip to Uganda, I brought back lots of Ugandan hand-made bead necklaces – purchased from ladies in one of the house churches there – with the idea that we could sell them here in the U.S. and raise money to set aside for a boda. But God had other plans! Every year in Huntsville, a well-known suburb has a neighbourhood-wide garage sale, and people come to it from all over the place (even from other states!). Some wonderful ladies from my church decided to have a garage sale to raise money for a boda for me & Aggie! Two families from the church who live in that neighbourhood let us use their houses, and people from the church donated all sorts of (quality!) things to sell. Through the work of one wonderful lady, the Huntsville Coca-Cola factory donated 300 bottles of drink, and a local “Publix” supermarket gave us HEAPS of high-quality bakery goods (cakes, muffins…*mouth starts watering at the thought*)!
At the time of all this, it was early spring here, so the weather was oscillating between cold & warm, rainy and dry, so we weren’t sure what the weather would hold for the Saturday of the garage sale. As the day drew neigh, things weren’t looking good – a cold front was forecast to move through that very morning, with rain & thunderstorms, and the heaviest rain in the middle of the sale! God was sitting by wringing His hands saying “Oh no….this is a disaster” – not! Everything works out according to His plan, even if things don’t LOOK good. The morning of the garage sale came and it was overcast and looked a lot like rain. A few light showers went through, but the people came – and bought! Bought garage sale stuff, drinks, and ALL the bakery stuff. At about 11am, close to when most garage sales have usually seen their greatest flow of people, the heavens opened and it poured & thundered & lightninged (learnt that term during my Master’s degree work) and we packed things up. The money was counted at both houses, and put together it came to ONE THOUSAND AND EIGHTEEN DOLLARS!!!! wOw! I knew that was a lot of money, but I (an inexperienced garage sale person) was also told that this is amazing and pretty atypical for a garage sale. And put together with money my church has given towards support for Aggie & I, the total came to right around $1400! So this amount is set aside for Aggie & I to buy a boda when I get to Uganda! Amazing story #3!!
Again God has done exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or imagine. And I’ve felt so loved by the people who have come around me (and Aggie) supporting us and being excited for us and enthusiastic about all of this. Honestly, I don’t think Aggie & I can do this (or could have come to this point even) on our own, so thankyou to all of you who have been and are there for us. We love you and cherish you!
Our projected (and hopeful (and prayerful!)) date for me to return to Uganda is October. This has started to look more likely in the last few weeks. We’re currently focussing on logistics (lots to sort through!), and the financial means. It looks highly possible that I may be able to work 1-2 days a week in my current field of work from Uganda (via the internet)! If this works out, it will go a long way to providing what we’ll need financially there. If I do arrive back there in October, Aggie & I will likely be married in December, so anyone who has even vaguely considered coming to our wedding, start thinking more seriously about it! December is one of the cheapest times to fly to Uganda (at least from the U.S. anyway), which may just be great timing for anyone who might come.
By the way, Aggie now has electricity in her house, complete with a small colour TV! This is awesome for her! She also has the glass in the windows, so the place is almost complete. God is good – He provided this for her (and not through me!).
Well until Amazing Story #4 (which took place in the last couple of weeks), siiba bulungi (good-day!).