There are a thousand reasons not to move to Uganda.
Don’t believe me?
Ask our brothers and sisters how they feel about our kids not growing up together. Perhaps you’d like to ask our moms about their grandkids growing up an ocean away from their warm embraces or how we feel about missing birthdays, Christmas’ and holidays with family.
If you’re still not sure then just turn on the news and learn about the worldwide travel alert for American citizens. Violence in this world is near an all time high.
Moving to Uganda does not give us a ladder to climb or even the security of a paycheck. There are no end-of-year bonuses, no stock options and no chance of promotion.
So why are we going? We get asked that a lot and we have many different ways that we can answer the question.*
Experiential- God’s providential leading in our lives is absolutely undeniable!
Biblical- Scripture is replete with examples of God’s heart for the vulnerable, children, and for the nations. We are called to “go and make disciples.” We have been doing that for the last 10 years in Omaha, Nebraska and we will continue to do that in Uganda.
Missional- The kids we will be working with are currently and effectively un-engaged, un-churched and un-wanted.
Preferential- We love Ugandan people, culture and land.
Social- Uganda has been devastated by the AIDs crisis. UNAIDS reports that in 2014 there were 1.5 million people living with AIDS and 650,000 orphans due to AIDS in Uganda.
Theological- For the glory of God amongst the nations.
Vocational- Working with kids is what we do! The opportunity perfectly fits with our education, passions, abilities, and experiences.
Personal- We desire to live in Africa (at least most of the time!).
Statistical- 51% of Uganda is under the age of 15.5 and just 1% of the churches in our target window are doing anything to work with children or youth.
Individual- The kids in Uganda are not just statistics to us; they are individuals. They have names, histories and the potential for bright futures.
There are many reasons to move to Uganda. Though each one of them is compelling in their own right, together they are too great to ignore. We are compelled by need, lead by love, fueled by compassion and propelled by education and experience.
It will be difficult to leave our church, friends, loved ones, family, security and comfort behind but we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity that awaits us in Uganda.
Thank you for your prayers as we leave behind something incredible to pursue something far beyond our imagination.
Caleb and Suz Smagacz
*List partially adopted from a blog post by my friend Jamison Pals on his website JoyofJapan.org