|My Beautiful Family - Sister Leah, Mom Bonnie, and Dad Fred.|
They say “home is where the heart is,” which means “home” can be any number of places.
For the first three decades of my life, “home” meant one place, where I grew up, where my family lived. But, the last seven years have broadened my definition of “home,” to more closely match my opening sentence. Where your heart is, is where home can and will be.
Last Saturday, Jan. 21, I returned to one of my “homes.” Landing at Uganda’s Entebbe airport in the wee hours of the morning, the sweet smell of charcoal fires and the warm moist air greeted me. A short two-hour drive (compared to the four to six hours it can sometimes take), brought me home to Jinja to the Peterson family. They welcomed me back with open arms.
The phone calls, message, and hugs from friends here have let me know I was missed – and I missed them as well.
This week I spent three days with my Shepherd’s Heart ministry family during our annual retreat. I relished the time for hearing testimonies, for reconnection, more hugs, and missed conversations.
|The dear SHIM Family (minus a few dearly-missed members).|
I savored my three months in the U.S., in my other “home,” and thank God so much for the connection times with family, friends, churches, and supporters. And, to be honest, having easy access to sour cream, American cheese, and Taco Bell wasn’t bad either. ;)
I left the U.S. feeling refreshed, renewed, and reminded that I belong to several homes – where I came from, where I am, and a third – where I am going. I was incredibly blessed as folks throughout my time in the U.S. welcomed stories and reports about the ministry in Uganda, and offered encouragement and support for myself and my teammates in Uganda.
|Sharing at The Bridge Church in Longview, Washington - one of my greatly-loved home churches.|
While America and Uganda often seem worlds apart, I sensed an invisible, but real thread tying the two worlds and homes together – a love for God’s work and His people. I was amazed as I listened to people, with tears in their eyes, expressing their desire to be part of what God is doing in the islands. I marveled at how people who had never nor may ever visit my second home would feel compelled to listen, pray, and give toward the work.
It is a miracle in how God unites His work and His people around the world. As children of God, we have the blessed privilege to witness and join this global vision and plan that began before time and will likely continue after many of us are gone.
And, knowing God holds and weaves the “invisible thread” brings me much joy, an abiding peace, and an eager anticipation for what is ahead.
Professional family photograph taken by the talented Jennifer Selberg, http://www.capturingcreationbyjenniferselberg.com/
As far as I know, only one of my messages was taped, but if you are interested in listening, you can go here and look for "Don't Give Up" shared at The Bridge Church on Oct. 30, 2016.