“Want but do”-ing
I’m not sure if you have seen them, but some people have these magnets on their fridge that are all small words, etc and they use the magnets to make sentences, notes to each other, funny phrases, poems and other fun stuff. When we started cleaning our newly rented house, I found one of those magnet words on the floor. It had been a bad day. I had spent the day trying to figure out how this place would ever feel livable, let alone like HOME. I kept thinking I wish it was a new house, so that it wouldn’t have so many cracks that bugs can get it. I wished it was smaller so that there wouldn’t be so much to clean. I wish the kitchen had been remodeled so that the cabinets would feel clean enough to put food in. I was wanting a lot of things to be different.
Then, I found the magnet word “want” on the floor. How a magnet word got in this house, I’ll never know, but I felt like I was basically being called out. I immediately realized that I was being ridiculous. Seriously?…I’m going to sit here in a HOUSE complaining about how it isn’t like an American house? Really? I’m not living on the street, or even in a hut (yes, we know expatriates who choose/need to live in a hut). I’m not hungry. I’m not thirsty. I’m not in danger. I don’t even have to share my house. Jesse and I get to have it all to ourselves. I’m living better than most people on the planet, and I’m going to complain and whine about some small, manageable, even repairable inconveniences?
I remembered Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Or the way the Message Bible writes it, “God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.” The rest of that chapter talks about how God leads and it wasn’t the following: “God gives me a perfect house and no bugs.” It is stuff like “he refreshes my soul” and “he guides me along the right paths.” We’ll I’m not really letting him lead me anywhere when I’m sitting on the floor of an empty house whining.
But the words continued.
Over the next 2 days we found “do”, “but”, and “ing” magnet words inside door jams and in used furniture we had purchased. Then it stopped. I’m not superstitious, but I’ve kept the words up on the fridge (yeah, we even have a fridge!). So it reads “want-ing-but-do-ing”. I think that’s the right attitude for us for now.
We find so many things that we miss/want…to be near family, clean water from the faucet, constant power, no bugs, grocery stores, paved roads in town (on their way!), understanding people (whether they are speaking English or not!), even winter. But we must continue to “do”. Not meaning that we should stay so busy that we don’t feel our wants, but that we acknowledge them, cry if we need to, then keep following God.
Basically, our theme song has become…
We started renting a house in early-November, and we able to move in in early-December (after some much-needed work). Since then, we’ve only been able to spend about a dozen nights in the house as we had a Kampala trip and then Christmas traveling. We spent our Christmas in Mbarara (Southwestern Uganda) with friends from WorldVenture. We even got to spend two nights at Lake Bunyonyi for our own little get-away.
At the house, we still have very little furniture, as pretty much every piece is made to order. We have gotten a desk and coffee tables made. We found plastic table and chairs (think patio furniture) for our dining area, and we very lucky to find a used couch and hutch for the kitchen. We are borrowing a bed, and our mattress that we ordered in Kampala has arrived in Gulu! We are hoping to get a bed and some kitchen shelves in the next 2-3 weeks. Otherwise, bugs have been our most consistent issue in the house. We even had Army Ants try to nest in our roof one night in December! I wont expand on that much except to say that I am extremely grateful for pesticides and everything is totally fine now.
In Lumi news, Thomas (Lumi’s founder) has returned to Uganda and we are growing! The Electrical Engineer who visited back in September has decided to accept a position as our Chief Technical Officer and has already been very helpful, especially for Jesse and me!
Jesse has been busy with more large system designs, technical trouble shooting, and managing work on the house/car. I have been able to finish the interviews with the Lumi customers who tested one of our sample products, have been figuring out where to buy food (can’t just run to the grocery store, but I’m figuring it out), and will begin standardizing a lot of Lumi’s processes and procedures next month.
In February, we will be joining an Engineering Ministries International (EMI, http://www.emiworld.org) team for a design project in Gulu. The project is to develop designs for a school (Hope Alive!, http://www.hopealiveafrica.org) that is run by another WorldVenture missionary. What a cool way for us to merge our history with EMI (I was an intern for a year, and Jesse has volunteered on a project) with our new roles with WorldVenture. In fact, someone has already offered to financial support our participation on the team, before they even knew we were accepted by EMI!
– Grateful that we are adjusting to life here and finding community!
– Grateful for safety and protection during our Christmas travels, and for that to continue.
– Grateful for a home that is slowly starting to feel like home!
– Please pray for Lumi, and it’s founder, Thomas. Right now, prayers for wisdom in how to best fill some openings, for our coworkers who have lost a lot of their families from disease and wars (and are especially reminded of their loss at Christmas), and for clear and effective communication across cultures, time-zones, and continents.
– Please also pray for wisdom, confidence, and peace for us. This month, we had our first “I can’t do this anymore.” moment. I know these are a part of missions and living somewhere unfamiliar, but they are hard and I know that prayer makes a difference. At the same time, I am SO grateful that during those moments, we received some very encouraging emails form friends and supporters back in the US. I can not express enough how much those mean to us.
Thanks so much for following along with us on this journey.
Please let us know how we can be praying for you!
~Rachel (& Jesse) Geiger