Why am I going back to Africa?
When I was 16, I felt the Lord call me to full-time missionary work in a foreign county. This call lead me on two short term mission trips (Indonesia and Russia) when I was still single. I have continued to follow God’s call throughout my life. For a time the Lord allowed that to be with my husband, Frank, and I am so grateful for that time. After Frank died, God brought me to serve retired AIM missionaries in Florida. My children and I have been blessed to serve these saints, and they have even been part of the help we needed to heal from our grief. God’s call remains and now we are prepared to move forward as a family back to the field in Africa.
What will I be doing as an AIM Team Leader?
My responsibilities in leading the AIM Team will include:
- Helping these new missionaries adjust and learn to live in a new culture
- Guiding the team through a training curriculum that will cover prayer, orientation, language learning, team building and outreach.
- Oversee and lead weekly Team meetings
- Provide one-on-one mentoring to Team members as needed
- Reporting to the AIM field leadership in Kampala
- Facilitate relational growth between the Team and the leadership of Smile Africa in Uganda
- Support Team members to enable them to keep their two-year minimum commitment to the team and it’s mission
How will I home school and lead this team?
I will be overseeing the education of my children, but not home schooling them in the traditional sense as most understand home schooling. I will be using teacher-directed curriculum with the lessons taught by a teacher in video format (DVD or PC). This engages both visual and auditory methods to enhance learning, and most are graded by the system to streamline progress and relieve me from some grading.
Each morning I will have time with the children to discuss their schoolwork and help as needed and to correct and grade any work not done by the curriculum. Since I have been home schooling three of my children this year, this will be a smooth transition.
Aline will be attending Rift Valley Academy, AIM’s boarding school, for her senior year.
AIM leadership has worked extensively with me to ensure this important area of need for our family is ready and sufficient. I appreciate their insight and concern for my children’s educational needs, and also for my needs as a mother/missionary.
My mission responsibilities will begin after lunch each day.
Is Uganda a safe place for us to go?
We all live in a fallen world with sin and it’s affects, and safety is often more of an illusion than a reality no matter where we live. Just a few months ago, most would have agreed that children in an elementary school in a small Connecticut town would have been safer than being in Africa. Recent history teaches otherwise.
While there are some indicators that would give us cause to believe an area would be safer than others or vice versa, AIM history indicates the eastern region where we will be living (Tororo, Uganda) will be no less safe than the area in Kenya where we previously served.
AIM leadership has been very careful to ensure our placement is no where near the predictably unstable area of northwest Uganda or the Sudan. We are able to say that we are ready to entrust our safety to the One who lived and died on our behalf. We will welcome your prayers for safety and appreciate your concerns.
What kind of support will be in place for us in Uganda?
We will get support from:
- Foremost, the AIM Leadership Team in Uganda, based out of Kampala
- Other missionaries that live in the town of Tororo
- An American that works with Smile Africa living in Tororo
- Short term missionaries that come to serve
- Special education teachers, counselors, and doctors in Uganda
- Other Team Members we are directly working with on the mission team
Is this to much stress for a widow with four children?
It will be stressful to meet the needs of my four children and serve as an AIM Team Leader. I admit this reality and I have prepared for it.
While we cannot avoid stress completely, we can grow to limit and manage the stressors of life. I have grown over the past almost four years since my husband Frank’s death, in the face of new and terribly difficult stresses. The AIM Leadership Team and a Christian Counselor have worked with me to give me the knowledge and skills I need to limit and manage the stresses I encounter now and will face there.
Affirmations of my growth in limiting and managing stress have come from my family and friends, as well as the AIM Leadership Team and my Counselor. These people know me very well, and their affirmation of my readiness to move forward into the mission field of Africa provides assurances for me, and I hope it will you as well.
Is this move really good for the children?
This question could be answered many ways by different people, for many different reasons. But my answer for my children, is yes this is a good thing. Each child is looking forward to going back to Africa. We have talked about and prayed through each place and opportunity that has come up over the last year as a family. They have all given input and we have agreed that this is the place for us as a family.
The majority of my children’s lives have already been lived on the mission field in Africa. Apart from the memory of their father’s death, their experiences have been positive and have led all of them to desire a return to Africa and to once again serve as missionaries.