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I am sorry that you are going

12919916_10154689527704428_1825771222496041129_nConnie with her friend

Despite having had plenty of them over recent years, the goodbyes never seem to get any easier. After 4 busy months back in the UK the time came to say farewell to family and friends and set off back to Gulu.

Dealing with the emotional upheaval ourselves is hard enough, but trying to navigate the stresses and strains with a 2-year-old is a whole different matter altogether. “I don’t like goodbyes” has become a very familiar phrase.

As Connie has started to develop her own attachments and friendships it’s been heartbreaking to see them disrupted by our itinerant lifestyle. One of Connie’s most precious friends asked her parents to help her write Connie a note, which read: “I am sorry that you are going.”

The sacrifices associated with doing what we’re doing are various and shifting. The rewards aren’t always obvious and the thought of putting avoidable emotional burdens on our children is difficult to take.

We’ve been back in Uganda for almost exactly one month. Consumed by the prospect of being apart from loved ones and leaving behind the ‘easy living’ that life in the UK offers, we weren’t exactly looking forward to returning to Gulu.

We’ve been reassuringly pleased therefore that being back ‘home’ has been fine, and Gulu seems to be happy to have us back. We have more and better community here than we’d remembered, plenty to get our teeth stuck into and have been reminded of God’s call on our lives, for all of us as a family, to serve Him in this way.

There’s still plenty of settling-in for us all to do, particularly figuring out new family rhythms and routines now that we’re 4. But we’ve arrived well and will continue to seek God for what He has for us in this place, for this time. And it’s nice to know that the next round of goodbyes are a while away yet.

Joe.