A Gift for You
For you, our friends who have followed our mission, and benefited in any way from our experiences, we have created a keepsake 92-page digital book. You can download it FREE here.
We also plan to print a limited number of these books for family and friends.
When we began this website, we named it Happiest Faces on Earth because we saw in the Ugandan people an indomitable spirit in the face of great challenges. While that is still true, it is not exclusive to Uganda. It can be found anywhere.
We’ve discovered the key to happiness lies in how we live life far more than where we live. Those here who appear to be the most happy have common characteristics, which we can replicate.
1. Faith in God and Jesus Christ, and practice religion regularly and openly.
2. Sweat and work to provide for needs.
3. Care for one another in an extended family model.
4. Avoid materialism, and find peace sitting under a Mango tree.
We do not need to move to Uganda to experience this kind of happiness. We can do it anywhere in the world, and in many cases much easier than our friends living with the inherent challenges of Ugandan culture.
The website has taken time to create and manage, but we feel it has been useful both as a living journal and a missionary tool. We hope our friends and family have benefited from our mission in some way.
So today, with only three weeks remaining, we ask ourselves what we have learned through all this. While a full answer is impossible, we can try to summarize.
Time is measured not in days, hours or minutes, but by how much living we put into them. We’ve done more living in the past 18 months than perhaps in our life. We’ve seen things, experienced things, and felt things that have groomed us for future service.
All things are relative. We should not compare our lives at home with those of our friends in Uganda. In many ways we have it better than them, and in other ways they have an advantage. So we must live our lives as best we can, lift and share with others as we are able, and not inhale the struggles and suffering of others.
The gift of life is precious to Ugandans, because they never know when it might end. This land of poverty, violence, disease and corruption has created a very different perspective on the value of a human life. Being here, I have seen three dead bodies. The life expectancy of 52 years is at the top of the scale, and many families have lost loved ones at a very early age.
Like Ugandans, we now have a biological family and an adopted family. We have our loved ones at home, but have adopted many here for whom we feel great love and compassion. We will not forget them.
The restoration is still going on. Christ’s true Church was restored to the earth on April 6, 1830. But that restoration was only a pinpoint in a small village in upstate New York. Then it began its slow spread over the earth. For over 100 years, it was largely a U.S. Church. It spread slow by slow to other nations until it has become somewhat global. But it has by no means been preached to every people and spoken in every tongue. The Church reached Uganda in 1991, and began a similar growth pattern as it did in the U.S. But even today, there are only a handful of cities and towns where the Church exists, and then only by a very few. The work goes on, but it will not be complete until the second coming of Christ.
I realize that there may be many meanings to scriptures that read the first shall be last and the last shall be first. But in one sense, this could apply to Africa. The African people have been last throughout time in so many ways. But it is my belief that they will one day be counted among the first because of the faith and righteousness of the true disciples. They will outshine many others who will become last because of their pride and Babylonian lifestyle.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ provides the only shelter from the storm. There is no place else to hide and find refuge. Only there. No matter where we live on this earth, there will be trouble. But when we come under the protection of the Gospel, we can find true shelter. See Mosiah 2:41.
Choosing to serve as full time senior missionaries takes planning, commitment, and a lot of faith. It is not an easy thing to do. In all candor, there have been parts of this mission that have truly tested our metal. We’ve had health issues, emotional issues, and great tests of our faith. But it is so very worth the effort, and we would not trade it for anything.
Til we meet at Jesus’ feet. We’ll not likely see our Ugandan friends again in this lifetime. Our hearts have been changed by them. We thought we were coming here to help them, but we have been so tutored by this amazing, humble, and faithful people. We want to be just like them in so many ways.