Thursday, January 25, 2007

Scrambled thoughts...

So Michael is now on his way back to Afghanistan, he flew out of Windsor yesterday. He'll be staying in Dubai for a couple days as they wait for their the rest of their team to return from leave, then he'll be back on his mission for another month or so. The next set of troops going to Afghanistan is now in the process of being sent out from all over Canada. It sounds like there will be a month or so of transition between the troops coming to and leaving from Afghanistan. Please keep the families of all the soldiers in your prayers... both for the ones coming home and leaving. It's a hard burden for a lot of these parents, wives and family member to carry and they need all the love and support they can get. My extended family has been so wonderful to my parent's during this time and it's made a huge difference. Thanks!!

This past Friday I took Franco to the Wheels Inn in Chatham for his birthday. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a large hotel that has an indoor waterpark, waterslides, a bowling alley, arcade, mini golf, etc. We had a great time! Friday night we played some arcades and bowled (we've never bowled just the 2 of us before... man does the game ever go quickly with just 2 people!). Saturday, we slept in and relaxed.. then had lunch and played mini golf (which Franco kicked my butt in!). All the amenities of the hotel were great... we had a great time playing all the games, but the rooms weren't all that great. The first room they gave us smelled like cigarette smoke, so they happily gave us another one. This room was ok, but it seemed to be very outdated. The hot tub was heart shaped (which was more funny then anything else) but some of the tiles around it were coming apart. And the bathroom was so old looking, it only had a single shower stall and the doors didn't even close all the way. I think if we ever decided to go back, we would probably rent a room at the Comfort Inn down the street and buy a day pass to the Wheels Inn. But it was a great time to get away and celebrate my husband's birthday just the 2 of us!

On Sunday after church, we had a "birthday brunch" with friends from church (very yummy) and then went to Franco's mom's house to celebrate with our families. It was great that Mike was still down and could be there, also Franco's grandma from the States came with his aunt and uncle. So Franco had a full birthday weekend which was awesome!

On a different note, Franco and I are looking to head to Africa for a couple weeks within the next few months. We had been looking into going back on a long-term basis and met with the International Director of Christs Hope Organization to discuss the available opportunities. After "interviewing" us and finding out what our experiences were, our skills, etc., he told us about a position in Uganda that he would like us to fill. Christs Hope will be building a Children's Village, which consists of 5 homes (each home houses up to 35 kids). The kids that will be living there will mainly consist of kids that have escaped from the Lord's Resistance Army. The LRA has been kidnapping and killing kids for the last 20 years in Uganda and Sudan and have come to a peace treaty within the last year or so. If we accept this position, then Franco would be the project manager and oversee the construction of the homes. I would be taking care of the administrative needs and both of us would be working hands-on with the kids and the running of the homes. However, this position would be a 5-year term which is a big commitment. We want to go for a couple weeks to see first-hand what would be required of us and whether or not this is a position that we want to fill.

It's a big decision to make, lots to think about and consider. It's an amazing opportunity... hopefully we'll have a better idea of what our decision will be once we go for a couple weeks and see first-hand. If you would keep this in your prayers we would really appreciate it!


Anonymous said...

Holy cow!!! A five year commitment! Yikes! (Does that help with your decision-making?) Is there a possibility of taking a one-year at a time term?

Even though I wasn't home to see Mike, I felt a whole lot better knowing that he was there. I hope this next month goes quickly...

Talk to you soon,

Jocelyn said...

Hi Dana,

Apparently, the cease-fire has only been in effect since August 2006. They have also been hampered by the fact that the LRA refuses to acknowledge that they have kidnapped women and children and turned the children into "combatants".
I would suggest that the two of you make sure that you and the village will not be a target if the cease-fire suddenly ends. That cease-fire is so new, that I don't really trust it. Particularly because the LRA specifically targeted NGO's and international workers in 2005.
With all of these considerations aside, it sounds like a very exciting opportunity to do some good work. I agree with aunt Beth though. I think that agreeing to a shorter term might be better.
Anyway, good luck with this tough decision.
Talk to you soon,

Dana said...

Buffy - we've been back and forth over this so much. 5 years is definitely a long time which is why this decision is so hard to make. We are still considering a 1 year term, but that would probably be in Kenya or Tanzania.

Jocelyn - we don't trust the cease-fire treaty either. Especially since it gives the leaders immunity from their crimes. This "army" tends to keep from going in cities. The children's village that they are building will be in the capital city, Kampala. There is a lot more security and protection in the cities, they even have "displaced persons camps" and places for street kids to sleep at night for their protection. We are taking all of this into consideration and would not go in blindly to something like this. The organization that we're going with would not build their orphanages in a place that would put these kids in danger. Of course there's no way to completely eliminate any danger, but they're taking all precautions possible. We've been researching the LRA and it makes us sick to our stomach. Especially since most people aren't even aware that these things are happening. It's horrible.

We'll keep everyone up to date - we appreciate you sharing your thoughts and concerns!

samfabio said...

Praying for you guys and your trip to Uganda. Be blessed!