in the middle of Uganda, Subsaharan African bush. You would never find it if you don’t know where to look. It hasn’t always been a great house, in fact it’s owners had to move out because it had some mold. They pulled off the roof and gave it a new attic; redid the kitchen and both bathrooms (very nicely), and re-roofed it, so the mold should be done away with. Of course living in the heart of Africa, any house that has been through the wet season will always have some mold, it is just an inevitability of living on this side of the world.
This house can do a lot of things that most houses can't, in fact, I have a lot of friends back in the states who dream of building some of the systems on this house into their own houses. It’s fully self sustaining. It has its own solar electrical system and water collection system! It even has a well planned garden out back that has the ability to give food year round. For me, it’s a pretty great house.
We’ve been living here for a month now, and lest you think we are flushing money down the drain, this house is only costing us 150,000 shillings a month; that’s $44. I don’t think anyone could say we are getting ripped off; I believe we are getting a steal. And yet, what that money ultimately covers is the workers from New Hope that this house employs like the gardener and maintenance workers. So even in the rent that we pay to live here, we are really just supporting the ministry we are training at by keeping them from spending money on an empty house. It’s amazing how God works out every detail like that.
But even just for our ministries, this house has been invaluable. We have a discipleship group 2-3 times a week where we have seen a ton of growth in a few people already. It’s funny how being on fire for God will ignite everyone around you. We’ve had a relationship counseling session, our first ever (officially) that went really well. We have even gotten to throw a surprise party for a friend who turned 37 and has only celebrated 1 birthday his whole life. We’ve had worship days, juice squeezing parties, group homework nights, and have even gotten to offer hot showers for our friends.
The best part of this house though is when we walk through the front door, we are walking into a sanctuary. It is not just a house it is a home. Yes, because of the comforts, and that is important, with no comforts we would burn out on the mission field immediately (it is not the elephants that turn back missionaries, but the ants). But even more because we rely on each other and lean on each other, and even more than that because we rely on God with each other, and when we do He gives us peace. No matter what chaos is going on in life, in God there is always peace and rest waiting. That is what makes a house a home and what makes a home a sanctuary.
Isaiah 32:17-18 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
If you would like to take a look at our house and I know this has been highly requested by our friends and family, take a look at the video below.