Never Coming Home

Never Coming Home

We left our mission exactly 10 months ago today, yet we have never actually come home. Our hearts and minds are still in Uganda in so many ways, though we love being here with our children, grandchildren, and wonderful surroundings. But part of us will never settle down again.

Our lives are different. Our gratitude for our many blessings is profound compared with before our mission. We find great joy in the simplest things, like walking out our front door to exercise without locking our door, and finding open space to walk and breathe without armed guards, walls, and razor wire. We love the seasons. We love our neighbors. We love life and find great peace here. We love the plenty, yet cry every time we walk into the cavernous big box store and observe the monstrous shopping carts filled to overflowing with all the stuff.

Personally, my biggest challenge is watching the veracious appetite of consumerism here in the West. The insatiable hunger for the most delectable foods, the latest model cars, toys, and electronics, boggles my mind. It is like a starving man who eats and eats but can never be satisfied, or a thirsty man who drinks but remains parched and dry inside.

RaNae and I constantly think of our loved ones on the other side of this planet who deal daily with all the challenges they face, yet of which we here in the West are scarcely aware. So we cry and pray and express gratitude to God for clean water, indoor plumbing, plenty of clothing, transportation, and a cozy roof over our heads. We spend very little. We’ve lost our appetite for stuff. It doesn’t matter any more.

Just last week we were discussing our future, and how we might venture again to serve another mission. Some critical things will be required to allow this, and it will not be soon, but we yearn to be truly needed by those who are struggling to come into the Gospel net for safety…the only safe haven left. We want to lift and bless others in some corner of the world who may be helpless to rise on their own. We want to do God’s will and are willing to surrender our comforts again to do it. We want to be instruments in His hands in these last days while separating ourselves again from the frenetic hunger for more that swirls all around us here.

8 Comments

  1. Beautifully written and we share so many of these feelings and thoughts along with you. Being with the wonderful people in the UKM has changed us and we will never be the same.

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  2. Bernell, I really appreciate your comment’s here. It is so hard to see how much we have and how little others have and yet a mentality of entitlement other than gratitude to our Heavenly Father who has given us all. Are we all not beggars? Thank you for your inspiring message today.

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  3. Love this and so proud of my sister&”brother”You have done a lot of good for these wonderful people.You are BLESSED for doing great work.love you

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  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bernell. We are truly blessed to have served in Uganda with you and the other senior couples. We think of Uganda almost every day. Looking forward to seeing you again very soon.

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  5. thanks for the memories that you have yet kept about Uganda
    Much Love

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  6. Thank you, Bernell. Janell and I feel the same. We have so much, yet some even in their plenty are still lacking. Things will never satisfy! We love and miss our friends in Uganda greatly, and we are grateful for modern conveniences that allow us to communicate with them regularly.

    We hope for your best.
    Rick and Janell Phelps

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  7. This pulls at my heart strings. This is exactly how I felt for the first year. I could hardly walk in a store or shop, but somehow I have managed to somewhat return to my old ways, wanting more toys, shopping, etc. But I continue to want to build a school, want to help the girls go to school, want to help with those in poverty have a little better life. I am still very grateful. And we plan to serve another mission. It was so life changing.

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  8. Hi Taylors, it’s so lovely to hear from you always, I just can’t express my joy that you still love and think about Uganda like another home, I never shared alot with you but the the light moment we had before your departure still brings a smile on my face, I remember when you made the animal voices and the dinner, it was super delicious. Thanks a lot for loving Uganda and keeping me as a friend. Warm greetings to the whole family. Uganda loves you so much

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