134 more days until we pick up our American lives and move to Uganda. All of the feelings are happening. We’re excited, nervous, joyful, humbled, scared, curious, and anxious on multiple levels. But, mainly excited. For the faces we will get to put to names, the hearts of students we will get to know and cherish, and the soon to be friends that we will get to call family.
134 more days until we use our one way ticket to fly 21 hours to Jinja, Uganda– home for the next 2 years (Lord willing)! Just to reiterate in case ya missed it, Ben and I will be working as House Parents at The Amazima Secondary School. We have been describing House Parents as “RAs” or “Young Life staff, Uganda, except you live with the students!” Secondary schools in Uganda are mainly boarding schools, so like college for us here in the States. We will be with the students any time that they are not in class (Ben and I will not be teaching, lucky for those students). Thus, our schedule will look something like this:
5:30am – COFFEE. Students wake up and begin their morning routine and chores.
6:45am– Devotional with students, then help send them off to school + more COFFEE
7:30am– Students go to breakfast and then school. Ben works out and Laura probably falls back asleep…
Our Afternoon- Time will be spent intentionally with the Lord, going into town to get groceries, cleaning, creating future devos and youth group games/activities, eating lunch, spending time with other house parents, and doing home visits for the students families. Thats another thing I love about Amazima is they are not only concerned with the students, but the entire family of the student. We do home visits to ensure families are taken care of and feelin’ God’s love from us, too.
4:10pm– Students return to dorms, and the festivities of student life team begin!
Evening– There are different clubs (soccer, drama, art, singing, service…etc) that we will do with the students, JAM time = Jesus and Me time (my fave),
6:00pm– Dinner with students!
7-8:30pm– Study Hall with homework help (Lord help us remember high school material).
8:30-10pm– Fellowship with family teams–games, reading, talking, hanging out! Then Zzzzz.
HERE is a Youtube video from Kelly Miller, Dean of Student Life, describing our day as well with some footage of campus and students!
Ben and I will be the “respite” House Parents. This means we will be relieving each of the other three house parents of their duties, one day at a time. Therefore, each couple works 4 out of the 5 days (M-F), and then every other weekend– Saturday and Sunday full-time with students doing community serving projects, outreach, and relationship building. On our current 2018//2019 team are the Macks, Thompsons, and Jones’. We have already had the pleasure of meeting them via FaceTime conference calls, and WhatsApp chats, but are so pumped to meet them in person late October…right after we come back from our Uganda visit!
October is going to be very full and rich. We booked our flight to Jinja, October 9th-18th. During that time we will get to stay on campus with the Dean of Student Life, Kelly Miller and his amazing wife, Danlyn Miller (read more about them here). We will get to meet the current house parents of year one, and current students! Ben and I will explore the town and see where we will call home in just 134 more days. During the second half of the trip we are hoping to stay closer in town with a ministry called, Sole Hope, which helps heal foot-related diseases and provide shoes for kiddos to run around jigger-free!
- Please pray for wisdom and guidance on what to do with our sweet little townhouse. Pray for a family to come soon to either rent or buy our house, so that we can get out by the end of September.
- Please pray for our families to continue to grow in faith and encouragement as we prepare to move to another country.
- Please pray for unity and strong relationships within our 2018//2019 team as we all get together for a training and marriage retreat October 26-November 2.
- Please pray for our future students, that they would feel God’s love for them as they are being chosen to join The Amazima School in 2018. And of course, our relationships with them!
- We are 55% funded to leave for Amazima in January! WOWOWOWOW. I have cried many tears, and have been in utter shock. I mean UTTER SHOCK at the way people have come around us and supported us. It is hard to ask for financial support when you are taught never to do that, and this individualistic culture we live in bleeds independence. But God has been so faithful, and our community has been so selfless. I am completely blown away. Thank you thank you thank you to our supporters. And if you would like to be on Team Dougli and help send us off with either a one time or monthly donation, HERE is our support link.
- Ben let his [corporate finance] job know (very far in advance) that we are moving and working as House parents, and they were also very supportive! They have allowed him to work part-time starting September 1st- November 16th so that we can focus on support-raising and getting out of our house! This allows us to keep our medical benefits until we have to switch over to our RCE coverage.
- God is alive and active, and oh so good.
Something has stuck with us that one of our close friends said… “I’m excited to meet you guys in 2 years.” As are we. 134 more days to go. Thanks so much for reading and keeping up with us. Until next time!
Ben & Lo