- 1 – New Member (Evelyn, born March 24)
- 15 – Wells drilled
- 5,000 – Approx. number of people served by WET
- 25 – People employed (8 full-time)
- 16 – Large-scale solar power systems
- 2,000 – Approx. number of people served through small-scale solar units
2019 has been a year full of transition. We came back to Colorado in the Spring for the birth of our daughter Evelyn, who was born on March 24th (see our April 2019 blog post for photos!). After returning to Uganda, Rachel’s father suffered a severe stroke and we quickly returned to Colorado. He passed away a few days after our arrival, and we are grateful that Rachel was able to be with him and her family during that time (see our August 2019 blog post for information). We stayed in Colorado to help settle his affairs before returning to Gulu again.
Lumi had to move offices due to increasing rent prices and WET also learned that it would need to find a new office in early 2020 due to needed building repairs. Additionally, the year ended with the news that we would need to move out of our home due to severe termite damage. Unfortunately, we could not find another home to rent in Gulu, so we are house sitting for another missionary family who is in the US for 2020. Their home is a big upgrade for us and full of toys for Evelyn.
Learning to juggle two businesses with a baby in a developing country has been a big challenge, but we have had lots of support from friends here and we are making it work. We are so lucky that Evelyn is a very friendly, happy, and healthy baby. She loves greeting everyone with a smile and a wave. We are also fortunate that bringing a baby to work meetings is common practice here. I (Rachel) can’t tell you how strange it felt the first time I had a meeting with her! As we look into 2020, please be praying for wisdom, health, and that we can shine the love of Christ to those around us.
Jesse continued managing Lumi while we were in the US and caught up on large-systems installations once we returned to Gulu. Lumi’s office manager did a great job of handling the small-scale sales despite our absence. At the end of 2019, Lumi decided to discontinue selling the pay-as-you-go small-scale solar as the revenue was never able to fully support the cost of operating the payment collection system. Lumi will continue to provide large-scale solar power systems and retail sale small-scale solar units to serve the community of Northern Uganda. Since the pay-as-you-go small-scale systems was the more missional component of Lumi, Jesse is considering transitioning Lumi to Ugandan management in 2020. Please be praying for wisdom for Jesse in making decisions regarding Lumi’s management.
Rachel’s colleague Tim has done a great job managing WET while Rachel was in the US and has continued to manage all field work since our return so that Rachel could be in town near Evelyn. Rachel focused on transitioning WET to a new accounting system, filing WET’s annual taxes, and doing design work for water pumping and storage projects. WET has decided not to purchase an additional drill rig, and redirect those funds to the subsidized community boreholes (wells) instead. Additionally, WET was able to send two drill team members to a training in the capital city for borehole drilling supervisors that has expanded their capacity to manage large drilling jobs. WET will continue to move into larger drilling jobs this year as well. Please be praying for more communities to hear about our subsidized community borehole program.