They were the very first smiles I saw when we pushed through the Entebbe airport doors. Two very white faces in a sea of Ugandan community. October 1995.
Their hugs were warm and their welcome was enthusiastic. Friends.
Together we tugged and pushed our baggage towards vehicles they had secured. We loaded and hauled our treasures and eventually settled into their guest room.
We’ve loaded and unloaded many things since then. (Literally, but mostly figuratively.)
We are marking those shared experiences as we pray for their impending departure.
We are remembering. We are thanking.
*sharing your home for three whole months (and still loving each other at the end!)
*delivering food to Iki Iki church
*sleeping in a sweltering, mosquito infested tiny mud-hut room
*mental health food at Quality Cuts
*conversations late into the night
*navigating Kampala’s traffic with Cheryl as driver and Jana as navigator
*debriefing and decompressing with those who truly understand
*sleeping until noon (ha!)
*calling Jana from restaurants so she could tell us what to order
*the blessing of each child added to our families
*book titles for our memoirs
*soul healing laughter
In a few short hours their hauling will recommence. Across an ocean. Again.
We won’t be physically present when you push your luggage through customs and the Rwandan airport doors shut behind you.
But from this distance, we honor the treasures you’ve tucked away. Memories. The overcoming. The gifts.
Especially those riches known only to you. The hidden, sacred gifts given by a Father Who knows you so very well.
Each treasure matters. Because they are yours. (Just like a tin of blue band in a child’s grasp--smile)
He has given (and taken) from the deepest love we will ever know.
Shared history. We are thankful for this.
We won’t belabor that difficult, weighty word we all despise. (goodbye)
Instead, we pray with joy. Confident.
That the doors you push through next will bring you to spacious, blessed places.
God promises this.
His abundant provision awaits those who trust in His Name.
It is an honor to serve around His throne with you.
Our God is Faithful.
We are witnesses to that redemptive truth in our shared journey these two decades.
Travel safely, Jenkins family.
Until we meet…