..::Urgent Prayer Request::..

I want to start by saying that we serve a God of impossibilities! I am going to get right to the point…as a family we need some serious prayer. As many of you know, Jamesdon and I have been trying to work out our immigration paper work so that we can remain in Uganda. Because of new laws that have passed, this has not proven to be an easy task, more like one of the most difficult ones we have dealt with since being here. One of the main issues is that because of the new laws we will have to go home to reapply for our new visas instead of having them issued in Uganda. This may mean that we will need to remain in the US for an extended amount of time for the paperwork to be processed. Today we went to the Embassy to get Daniel’s visa to go home for the summer and they will not allow us to travel home with him unless we can prove that we are coming back which means that we need to have current work permits before we leave Uganda. Also without current work permits, we will not be permitted to stay in Uganda. We are confident that God’s plan is not to separate our family and that one way or another God will make it possible for our family to stay together. I am not sure how or what that is going to look like, but we are trusting that God will pave the way and give us strength through the process. We are just asking that all of our friends and family to join us in prayer! We pray that God will make a way for our family to stay together and that He will give us strength and wisdom and an overwhelming trust in Him. We love you and miss you all and pray that we will see you this summer! Thank you for your continued prayer and support.

If you’d like to unite with us in this undertaking you may send your financial blessings to: Align Ministries, 27562 Sweetbrier Lane, Mission Viejo, CA payable to Align Ministries and include "the Kisslings" in the memo line. You can also give online by going to wwwalignministries.org/donate. Just select Missionary Support and write Kisslings in the memo section.

...:::Rants From a Crazy Prego Woman:::...

I said I was going to do this…so here goes another one!

In my last post I said that “God has been working, not always in the way I want or in a way that I understand, but everything has drawn us closer to Him”…and within a  week after that I started to question everything. So like me to have so little faith!

A quick (well not so quick) background…
When we initially came to Uganda, we came under the umbrella of Africa Renewal Ministries (ARM) and worked with them for one year, which was our commitment. When that year was up, Jamesdon began working with a very small and new organization called Remnant Uganda. This was a bit scary! We not only had to take care of ourselves, but now Daniel and we had to make a decision of whether or not to move to Gulu for Jamesdon to work voluntarily for Remnant full time or stay in Kampala. Because we were only staying for one year initially we had only raised support for that year and knew that we would have to go home and raise some serious support in order to stay here and work in Gulu. In the meantime I had been praying about what I could do here and since we had Daniel, I felt like he was our first ministry, so I started to look for jobs that could help provide for us financially. After many promising leads and a couple of great interviews, all doors seemed to be closing! This led me to believe that I was looking for something that God did not want for us! So we began to plan for Jamesdon to go to the states to visit family and friends and raise support for us for the upcoming year.  Right before Jamesdon left I got a job offer at an international school in Kampala and felt like this was the way that God was going to help provide for us financially, so I accepted. Because Jamesdon really felt led to work with Remnant, he committed to work with them in Gulu and that meant we would be spending A LOT of time apart…this has proven much harder than I would have imagined! We knew that the job I accepted would not provide for us completely but would contribute substantially to our financial situation, so that still meant a little bit of support raising. Oh and did I mention that we decided to let my 13 year old niece come to live with us for a year and go to school where I would be working!

In the meantime...
In October of last year, Uganda immigration laws changed so that expatriates are no longer allowed to apply for new work permits while in Uganda, but only from the country in which they come from. Since Jamesdon and I are up for renewal of our work permits and are both working for new organizations, this seemed like it could be a problem. Initially, we were trying to work it out so that I could bypass this new law because I was already in country, which looked promising! One of our biggest concerns was having our niece come back to Uganda after Christmas break and then us having to leave to go back to the US to reapply (which can take anywhere from 3-6 months, depending). Because things seemed to be going in the right direction, we decided to have our niece return. God blessed us with an amazing Christmas, despite being away from home, and soon after blessed us with a much needed car. The day my niece left the US to return to Uganda, I was informed that I would be unable to get a visa through my current employer and because of that would lose my job when my work permit expired. This did not seem so bad at the time, other than financial concerns, because we had found a way to get a work permit for Jamesdon and I could apply for a dependency pass under him. This is when we began making plans to move to Gulu and it all seemed very clear. God was providing for us in so many ways and seemed to be showing us a clear path of where to go next.

Where we are now…
This past week we found out that Jamesdon is not going to be able to get a visa, at least not the way we had planned. As of right now we do not have a clear solution as to what to do about this. If it were just me and Jamesdon, the solution would be easy…go home right away, apply for new work permits, have the baby at home, and then return when everything is settled. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We have a niece who is in the middle of a school year with an entirely different curriculum from home, and Daniel, who we do not have full adoption of yet and getting his paperwork to leave the country for an extended period of time will take a while to process. Also, I currently have insurance through my current employer that will cover all of our medical costs for the pregnancy and delivery here in Uganda

Although I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster (pregnancy does not help), I know in my heart that God is in control and that His ways are so much bigger than ours. So I have been praying and asking everyone we know to join us in prayer. I pray that God will show us the path to take next and that we continue to look to Him for wisdom, guidance, and strength. God has surrounded us and blessed us with some amazing people here in Uganda, who have been encouraging us and praying along side us! He knows what we need and when we need it! Also I have been praying that God will continue to provide for us financially, so that we can remain here at least until the summer, but longer if that is what He has planned for us.

With me losing my job and Jamesdon’s position being purely voluntary, our primary source of financial provisions will be gone at the end of April. While we are starting to make adjustments now to account for this loss, we realize that we have to look to God to fill this large deficit, especially with a baby on the way. God has slowly been revealing to me that my pride has prevented me from talking about financial concerns to just about everyone and that I need to be honest with myself and others. God has a way of humbling us even when we don’t realize we need to be humbled.

With all of that said, we are really looking forward to coming home this summer to see all of our friends and family. We are excited for everyone to finally meet the newest 2 additions to our family and are confident that God wants us back here in Uganda to show those around us a little glimpse of Him!

We're truly thankful for your continued prayer and support.

Please check out the Remnant Uganda website to learn more about what Jamesdon is doing here at remnantuganda.com

Align Ministries has also been an amazing blessing to us since coming to Uganda. You can learn more about their ministries here in Uganda at alignministries.org

If you’d like to unite with us in this undertaking you may send your financial blessings to: Align Ministries, 27562 Sweetbrier Lane, Mission Viejo, CA payable to Align Ministries and include "the Kisslings" in the memo line. You can also give online by going to www.alignministries.org/donate. Just select Missionary Support and write Kisslings in the memo section.

The better half...

Okay, so I know that this is WAY overdue, but here goes!
We have been in Uganda about 20 months and this is the first time that I am actually posting something on our blog (usually it is Jamesdon)! All I know is that God has been working, not always the way I want or in a way that I understand, but everything that we have gone through has drawn us closer to Him!

When we first arrived here in July 2009, we were ready to serve Him fully for a year, and I know that I still had every intention of returning home to the US after that year was finished. Had I known that God had an entirely different plan for us, I might have just stayed home. With that being said I am so glad that I didn’t know what He had planned because I would have missed out on God’s biggest blessings yet!

Many times since being here there have been times that I wanted to write and boast about things that God has been doing and the ways that He has used us. Other times I have wanted to write and complain about how difficult things are and how I feel like I am so far from God and what He wants for us! I finally feel like I can share what we are doing here without doing either of those.

When I first came I started journaling (that didn’t last long!) and early this week I went back and read through what I wrote, which mostly pertained to how much I cried and felt completely lost and asked why I was here and what I had gotten myself into! It is amazing the things that were shocking to me, which have now just become normal and would never think twice about. I wrote about my first boda boda (motorcycle) ride and was so proud of us for going into town by ourselves, a town that I have now taken hundreds of boda rides in and can navigate with out many issues, after all I am talking about Kampala! I wrote about how sad I was to leave Bombo and Wobulenzi and our family there, and now I feel sad that I have not been better about keeping in touch with those who gave me so much comfort when we first came! I wrote about our introduction to ARM and how I thought it was going to be impossible for me to ever know everyone’s name and understand what they were saying, the same people that I now call friends and can understand perfectly fine…I even find myself changing the way I speak when I am around them. I wrote about how sacred I was to teach classes of 60 plus students that all spoke a common language that I did not speak. Tthese are the same kids that I have developed great relationships with and miss teaching so much (it helped that I learned some Luganda too!). I also wrote about working at LHBH and how I first met Daniel…if only I would have known then that I had just met my son and possibly the whole reason why we came to serve here. How different that entry would have been had I known.

When I first found out that, not only would I not be coming home, but that I couldn’t come home, first during summer 2010 and then again for Christmas 2010, I felt trapped! I wanted so bad to go home and was so angry at God for not making it possible, but after I finished throwing my temper tantrum, and looked at God I realized that there was a perfectly good reason for it! Had I gone home at either of those times, it is very possible that I would have done everything in my power to stay there and would have resented having to come back here. I finally allowed myself to trust God and be at peace with the fact that this is our home for awhile and I am content with that, it only took me a year and a half! Don’t get me wrong, this past year and a half has been amazing, lots of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change anything about it!

Here we are in February 2011 and it is amazing to think about how much has happened in the past year and a half. In two weeks we will have been Daniel’s mommy and daddy for 1 year (CRAZY) and we have our next little guy (Nehemiah) on the way (due May 10th). We left the US just me and Jamesdon and will come back two years later a family of four, just for a visit though!! (Just pray that everything works out this time!).

God has some huge changes in store for us this year. Not only is our family getting bigger, but God is moving us to Gulu, in northern Uganda, where Jamesdon has been working with Remnant for the past 9 months. I have had the blessing to finally watch my husband do something that he absolutely loves with a group of women that God has given him a huge heart and passion for, but it has come at the cost of our family being apart way too much, hence the move. Remnant is growing and the need for Jamesdon to be in Gulu full time is becoming greater, so God has opened up doors for us to move as a family so that we can all be together. Jamesdon has already established a good base in Gulu and this week we had the chance to go there and move into the new Remnant compound, which will soon be home for our family!

God has also blessed us through our relationship with Align Ministries, and used them to bless us with a car (the more pregnant I become, the more necessary that is). Align has also now become the ministry that we can call our “sending organization” in which we can receive financial blessings from all of our supporters.

As for me, I’ll go on “maternity leave” in April and plan on staying home with my boys and helping out where I can until I find a school in Gulu where I can get back to doing what I love…teaching! Because the school year here starts in February, I will have a little while to figure out exactly where God wants me to be and will have the opportunity to be at home full time as a mom, which I never pictured myself doing!

There is so much more that I could and want to write, but I will start with baby steps…this is the first one!

If you’d like to unite with us in this undertaking you may send your financial blessings to: Align Ministries, 27562 Sweetbrier Lane, Mission Viejo, CA payable to Align Ministries and include "the Kisslings" in the memo line. You can also give online by going to www.alignministries.org/donate. Just select Missionary Support and write Kisslings in the memo section.

Christmas #2 in Uganda

If you’d like to unite with us in this undertaking you may send donations to 3012 Herrington Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92405 payable to Africa Renewal Ministries and include "the Kisslings" in the memo line.


A window into our adventure that is UGANDA