Oh Boy

17458138_10208758771263027_3560278701239805331_nI mentioned a few days ago that Ben and I have some exciting/bittersweet news. And I’m finally finding the time to write about it!

The other House Parents we will be working with are our team. So, if you hear us refer to our “2018 Team”, we are talking about the other House Parents coming for the 2018-2019 school year– a.k.a. the “Student Life Team” as well! (Basically we’re really cool.)

Our team started with 5 couples:

  1. Denny and Sandra Thompson
  2. Trey and Amanda Mack
  3. Tyler and Molly Broomer
  4. Tyler and Krista Jones
  5. Ben and Laura Douglass

In June, The Broomer’s found out that God had blessed them in a different type of parenthood– not Ugandan House Parents, but biological parents of their own little seedling. Molly is an incredibly talented writer, and her blog moved me to tears. They have a long story with growing their family, and God’s timing in this really came as a shock. It is not a simple YIPEE WE’RE PREGNANT, but a lot more emotion to that with having to say goodbye to a house-full of Ugandan students.

At the beginning of this month, The Jones’ found out some life-altering news as well, which will keep them from coming in January 2018, but possibly allow them to come at a later date. I am leaving this vague because I’m not sure they have had time to process with family and friends yet, and I want to respect that.

But now, our 2018 team is down to 3 couples. Ben and I are excited to see what God has planned for the Broomers & Jones’, but also selfishly sad not to be able to work with them on a daily basis as they seem like really awesome folk!

So, where does this leave us? Last post I described our “Respite” House Parent role, relieving each main House Parent couple so that everyone works 4/5 days per work week + every other weekend. Going to every house and spending time with all 72 students– one house of 24 girls, and two houses of 24 boys. That respite role is no longer ours. Lord willing,

Ben and I will now be the main House Parents to 24 fearfully and wonderfully made Ugandan teenage boys.

Our initial thoughts: Oh boy…(s)

Then fear and insecurity, then excitement and confidence, and now pure joy. What a blessing and honor it will be to intentionally pour our heart and souls into these 24 boys that God has hand-selected for us. I know with my whole being that Ben will come to life each day getting to spend time with these boys, and I will be right there with him. It will obviously look a little different for me, but we have had a lot of encouragement from the current House Parents (2017 team). Specifically, they shared that being the opposite gender, and simply being present everyday means the world to these kids. Always greeting them when they come home or leave, being there for clubs or events, giving lots of high fives and love…etc. So, you best believe I’m gonna be present like my life depends on it! And still give proper space, of course 😉

Ahhh so now no respite couple, that means no breaks for you guys, right?! Wrong! The Amazima School has it covered. Our Ugandan partners will fill in the respite role and we will still have breaks to refresh and recharge.

Prayer Requests:

  • Our house is officially on the market for both sale or rent! We decided to make both available and see who bites first, plus whatever would be most convenient. Yet, after cleaning/painting/packing/staging our home Ben and I are so ready to have this puppy sold. So, please pray for a buyer and fast! We’d love to be out of here before we go on our Ugandan visit October 9th-18th, and then training 26th-Nov 2nd.
  • Pray for the Broomers and Jones’ as plans they reorient their life back here in the States.
  • Pray for unity, trust, and love over us and our future 24 boys. Pray that the joy of the Lord would be our strength, and that God would guide us and give us wisdom each day interacting with them.

Praise Reports:

  • We are a little over 60% funded to go in January, the 10th the be exact! Praise God for selfless and giving people in our community who are making ALL of this possible!! Thank you guys so much!
  • I started using Young Living (YL) Essential Oils, and along with that selling them with all proceeds going towards our support-raising! Ben and I have surprisingly loved the oils so much, and have been amazed at how well they work with our health and home. The Amazima School even uses YL oils in the kids dorms and medical clinic! I’ve had 3 people verbally commit to buying a starter kit, and with each purchase $50 goes towards our support-account! Thank you girls! Feel free to message me if you’re interested in one as well 🙂
  • Again, we got our house on the market! PTL.
  • God is alive and active, and oh so good.

Next time I write to you will most likely be after October when we get back from Uganda and training! I have zero idea what to expect, how we will feel, how we will be changed from 10 short days, and all that God is going to do. But when I know, I’ll letchya know too. Thank you so much for reading and being a part of this journey with us.

Here’s the part where I say “Mweraba”, meaning Farewell in Luganda, but found out that nobody actually says that there…So, good thing my ignorance is already kicking in.

LOTS OF LOVE***,

Ben & Lo

 

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