I arrived back to London on 29 May and I’m sorry I haven’t kept up the blog. Things have been fairly busy since I came back.
It’s mid-July and the last few days have been quite cool in London. I have had a couple of job interviews this past week and both were unsuccessful, however, I was unsure about one of the roles in any case. I am looking for jobs in PR and communications or food chain, environment and health. It’s good getting positive feedback on all my interviews, but just need to keep at those applications and interviews!
So, since coming back I’ve applied for numerous jobs, attended four job interviews, celebrated my 40th birthday (I know), visited my father in hospital – he has been suffering with several chest infections since I’ve been away and this developed into suspected pneumonia about a month ago. He was in hospital for two weeks, but after getting really good treatment, he went back to the care home and looked better than he’d looked for 18 months or two years. I’ve also gone back to CMS and had a de-brief about the Uganda placement, on my way back from Coventry, to see my Church friends and lodgers. I have also spent some time with pioneer missionaries in the South East and witnessed their work, bringing the Good News of Jesus to those who attend mind, body and spirit fairs. I have been helping my mum cutting hedges too!
I will be giving a presentation of my experience of Uganda towards the end of the month at Quinton Park Baptist Church (QPBC). The Church as a whole and individuals helped me enormously with financial support and prayers before I left in November 2013. I worked out all the support I received from friends, family and QPBC a few days ago and, it was much more than I thought! I have been humbled and bowled over again and again by people’s generosity, it has meant so much to me and I never would have imagined this 18 months ago! But, in what amazing ways can God work in our shared lives.
Thoughts on leaving the UK
So, just to give you a little bit more of the story, now that I can write with some perspective and with a little more insight.
When I left London in November 2013, I had an incredible amount of things to do before I left. I kind of shut my life down in the UK in two phases, 1) Coventry, 2) London. However, I’m not ashamed to admit that it all got a bit much at times. When you own property and have fairly substantial family responsibilities, the pressures can be immense, when trying to put contingencies in place and also move to different arrangements.
Before I left Coventry I sold my car, moved all my personal things into one space, got a new lodger (who subsequently left 5 weeks later), said goodbye to my Church and work friends, got work men in to see to house things and sort all arrangements for Uganda including vaccinations, flights, insurances, setting up the blog 😉 etc.
During my final week in London, I said goodbye to many friends, made final arrangements for Uganda, formal arrangements for contingencies and darted across the city like a mad woman at the best and worst of times.
The worst of times involved forgetting to swipe my oyster card on a London bus and being found without a valid entry by the bus inspector. I admitted I had totally forgot about it, but I had a lot on my mind. The inspector still wanted to give me a ticket for £40, which would be sent to my home address. I had visions of the ticket turning into court summons and visits from the bailiffs if I wasn’t in Coventry to pick up that ticket! I pleaded with the ticket inspector not to send anything to Coventry as I was leaving the country in a few days. I said I would pay her cash there and then. This incident did involve tears and feeling out of control. Not great, but, I was on my way to seeing my best friend at a local bank and we were laughing about it a couple of hours later! I also noticed that my breathing felt shallower and I would bouts of breathlessness. I suspected bronchitis, (having had it in 2006) but; can see now, it was stress.
I heard a similar story from other missionaries who had left the UK and effectively, were closing up jobs, homes etc. in the UK before leaving. It gave me some peace of mind that this was somewhat normal. My dependence on God at the time was HUGE, I will never forget that. He was faithful to me at every step and gave me all I needed, but I did need to ask! It was an active participation on my part, but God was there. He was there in the midst of stress, loneliness and some anxious moments too, that were ultimately dealt with, by Him who cares, our Loving, Heavenly Father.
On-going links with Uganda
I have also been in contact with some members of staff from the project, my Ugandan friends. It is great hearing from them and thinking about them living and working in the communities I lived in too.
I do miss them very much, but the great thing is, that I can pray for them in their challenges, which are many, just as they have done for me. We continue to lift each other up to God, sharing our lives, remaining faithful to each other in the challenge of letting the Kingdom come, His will be done in our lives, on earth as it is in Heaven.
God please bless Uganda. This blog is dedicated to them and it will be on-going.