...:::When God Speaks; CLEARLY:::...

God still works and the Spirit still moves! 

So, as some of you may have noticed, our blog has been a bit quiet for the last few months. Honestly the reason for our silence has been a lack of something to write about. There's been a lot going on, but we haven't really wanted to write about it because none of it had to do with us getting home! But, before I get into that, let me give you a breakdown of the last few months…

Coryn and I have both been on personal leave from our jobs in the US the whole time (1 year+) that we’ve been here! Since my job is, let’s say, a bit undefined, it’s been easy to take time away. That, unfortunately, wasn’t the case for Coryn. She was blessed with a one year leave of absence from her teaching job, and that year ended in September. That meant that Coryn was on a plane in mid-August, with Nemo in tow, so that she could prep for the coming school year AND keep her job! That was a bummer, but at the time, we thought we’d have Daniel’s visa sorted, and follow in a week or so. That didn’t quite play out as we had hoped though.

We got our appointment for Daniel’s visa at the end of August, which meant a trip to the Nairobi Embassy for me and “D”! We had an amazing time there with our new friends, the Magruders, as we awaited the approval of his visa. Unfortunately, we learned that or case had been sent for an “administrative investigation” for reasons the Embassy would not divulge. They also couldn’t give us ANY type of time-frame. They only told us it could be days or months! GREAT!!! :/

Daniel and I have since been back in Uganda; couch surfing in the homes of our closest friends, dearly missing our wife, son, mom, and brother. All the meanwhile, Coryn has been single parenting Nehemiah, moving into a new home, working a full-time job, and missing the snot out of us! It’s been absolutely miserable!

…and then a prophecy?!

One and a half weeks ago at church, a woman named Nicola was teaching on Philippians and how God is in EVERYTHING, even our times of trials and suffering. As she spoke, she kept getting various spirit inspired words, although she wasn’t quite sure what they meant or who they were for. First she said she felt there was someone there who was dealing with some tough family stuff. That definitely resonated with me, but it seemed like it could with anyone. Then, a bit later, she said that she felt the person was a father who felt alone but God was in this with him. Now I was really listening, but still, it could have been for anyone. As she was finishing up, she paused during her closing prayer. She said “it might be weird” but she felt the Spirit saying, “There’s a visa issue and God is going to bring a breakthrough in the coming week.” Bingo! She hit the trifecta! I was completely wrecked and the whole church prayed over our family and the word we had received!

Throughout the following week, we had a ton of support from our friends and family as we awaited God’s big breakthrough! People were praying for us and even fasting with us and we really felt the love of God tremendously! Each day passed, but still we remained confident in the work and will of God.

As Friday came and went, I started to feel a bit down. At one point, I even swore that I had gotten an email notification from the Nairobi Embassy but when I checked it, nothing was there. I was obviously disappointed that nothing had happened, but more than that, I was disappointed that the opportunity had passed for God to show our church and community that GOD STILL MOVES.

This week, out of pure desperation and frustration, I kept trying to call the embassy to see if there had been any progress on our case. Monday must have been some sort of Kenyan holiday or something because I tried the whole day and couldn’t get a call through. Today (Tues) started out the same way but I finally got through! The lady one the phone told me she had emailed me on Friday (phantom email above) asking me for Daniels passport so they can issue his visa. She forwarded the original email, and sure enough, God came through on Friday morning, just as He said he would!!! OH MY GOD has never felt more right to say than at this very moment!!!

“So now what?” you may ask. Now we come home!
It should take a week or so to get the visa issued, but after that, we’re on a plane, and into the arms of the ones we love!!! We’re excited to get home and begin the next chapter (church plant?) of our lives, but I’m suddenly a bit sad at the thought of having to say goodbye to all the amazing friends here who have fed us, housed us, encouraged us, and just plain loved us through this rollercoaster! But right now, the thought of a big ol’ family hug has me grinning from ear to ear!!! GOD IS SO GOOD

If you’d like to unite with us in this undertaking you may send your financial blessings to: C/O Andrew Galbreath 354 Avocado Street #16 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Please make checks payable to "Jamesdon and/or Coryn Kissling"

..:: The Count Down Begins ::..

We officially have a week and a half left in Uganda, and when I say we, I am speaking hopefully about our entire family. I am trusting that coming home as a family, which is looking less and less likely, is still a huge possibility because we serve a God of impossibilities. With that being said, we also know that our God is not a genie and He does not just grant us everything we wish, and that He has a plan way bigger than the one we have for ourselves. So while we continue to pray in faith that we will ALL be on an airplane heading to the US on August 23rd, we are also praying for God's will to be done and if His will is for us to not come home all at once, then we know He has a good reason for it! I just look back and think of all the ways God blessed us this year by "trapping" us in Uganda. We were praying for a quick trip from the start, but would have missed out on ridiculous blessings, awesome spiritual growth, and family time that we would never had the chance to experience in our crazy busy lives in the US.

A quick update…Daniel’s visa application has been expedited to the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya! We are just waiting for the Embassy to receive Daniel’s file and then will make an appointment for the visa interview in Nairobi, but like all things on this journey, we have no idea how long this will take (it has already been 2 weeks). Once we schedule the visa appointment we can schedule his medical exam, which needs to be completed at least 3 days before the visa interview, and then book plane tickets for Daniel and Jamesdon to fly to Nairobi for these appointments. Once the visa interview is done, Daniel could have his visa within 3 days! The remaining process could be finished by the time we need to leave in a week and a half or it could take another month, but we are super thankful for progress. Here is to God working an awesome miracle for the Kissling’s!

So, just in case our God does have a different plan than ours, we have to face the reality that I may be coming home with my 3 year old son only and will be starting work 4 days later (August 28th). This would put me in a VERY similar situation to our coming home in 2011, only then Nemo was 2 months old, not 3 years old, which will hopefully make things a little bit easier. Similar to 2011, we will not have a permanent place to live, and without having a permanent place to live it is hard to prepare for child care among many other things! But child care was literally one of the most stressful things about returning to work last time when Jamesdon was not here and I am trying to learn from past mistakes. So here is my plea…to all of our friends in Orange County who work evening shifts, stay at home with their kids, are retired, or any other reason why your days might be free…would you please consider taking a day to add babysitting my little Nemo to your To Do List for a day or two! If you want to volunteer your time please contact Emily Van Herk via email evanherk@rockharbor.org and let her know what day(s) you are available to help out! We truly appreciate all the help we can get! 

..::Down to the Wire::..

Wow, it is almost August…and the end of August marks a year of being here in Uganda. Good news is we are seeing movement in Daniel’s paperwork. Our I-130 was approved in the beginning of June by immigration (USCIS) and we got notice a little over a week ago from the National Visa Center (NVC) that they are beginning to process his Visa, which is the final, though still tedious, part of the process!

This next process involves the NVC giving our case a final looking over, a bit more paperwork, and then they'll send it to the nearest embassy (Nairobi) for final processing which includes an interview and medical exam. After all that's done, we get his green card and come home. Once he's on US soil, he's a citizen. Easy cheesy, right?

All that said, we're getting down to the wire for our time as a family here. We have plane tickets to fly home on August 23rd for the whole family, but processing Daniel’s visa is not so simple and to be honest, Jamesdon and I are starting to lose hope that we will get it in time, but are trusting in God’s perfect timing no matter what the outcome.

As we await review of our paperwork and an appointment with the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, life here remains to be ever busy!

As if dealing with Daniel's US immigration process wasn't enough fun, Jamesdon also has been hard at work trying to keep our status here in Uganda legal. This requires LONG days at the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs, which makes time at the DMV look like a vacation! He's managed to get all of us on some form of legal visa here... except for HIM! Although we're still hopeful that something will happen soon, it does make me a little nervous knowing that I may be leaving him and Daniel soon with out either of their respective visas!!!

For me, life here has also been crazy busy! As I watch my remaining days dwindle, the work ahead of me seems to grow ever bigger! There's a handful of new initiatives and protocols that we'd like to get in place for Align before I go, to help ease my transition out. I'm also spending my days doing a final run of updates on all of our Life With Hope clients (180 clients + prospective clients). Trying to balance all of this with our everyday family life, the emotions of leaving this wonderful country, and the prospect of leaving 2 of my guys here, all while planning for our move home and jumping back into a new year of teaching is really starting to overwhelm me! Just typing it here raises my anxiety level a notch!

Amidst all this chaos, God still has His way of comforting and carrying us in ways we never would have fathomed! We've made friendships here that are so dear to us, that will carry through a lifetime! We've also continued to be so blessed by the time we've had as a family here, that we can't imagine we'll ever repeat with the demands of western living!

One of the more surprising and encouraging things that we've experienced is our heart towards church ministry. God has continued to stretch us, especially Jamesdon, in this capacity. Jamesdon's been regularly leading worship at our church here in Uganda, which was challenging at first since he's not used to such a "bare bones" worship team.  Our home church, Rockharbor HB, is very worship focused, and Jamesdon said, "it is easier there to hide his inabilities behind a good band!" He's had to instead, step up his preparation and practice since that environment doesn't exist here. He was further stretched recently when he was asked to give his first sermon a few weeks ago! Although I don't necessarily agree with it, Jamesdon would be the first person to say that he's not a "preacher". So what?!?! He's a lover and follower of Christ, and he did an amazing job! With all of this growth, we can't help but wonder what God's preparing us for when we get back to the states!

Wow! Such a long blog post!!!

To keep from writing anymore, I'll just end with a few prayer requests...

Pray for Daniel's Visa to come before Aug 23rd!

Pray for Jamesdon's Ugandan Visa to get sorted out

Pray for our transition out of Uganda (work and friendships)

Pray for our transition to the US (new home/finances/childcare/jobs/culture shock)


..::Hard Truths::..

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! 

When we first started working with Align, I was asked to begin coaching our team through the project management process. In corporate America, this would seem a fairly common skill-set but, here in Uganda, it hasn't quite been adapted. After a ton of preparation (much more than I anticipated) I've now lead two half day classes and the matter. The team here is really beginning to receive the model well, and to be honest, I'm learning a ton through the process too!

Coryn has also been quite busy (way more than me) this month. 

One of her main tasks as of late has been to manage the development of an operations manual for Align's Life Homes. It's been a challenging experience to format their structure since the homes have been running without it for some time, but the team is really making great strides regardless.

Alongside her other responsibilities, Coryn also managed to plan and execute a much needed 2 day retreat for the teachers at Donela Primary School. It was a huge success. The staff really enjoyed getting time to relax, pray together, eat great food, play ridiculous games, and most importantly, there was no work! The leadership really wanted to simply appreciate the staff for their hard work so we made sure there was no training or any other activity that wasn't fun or relaxing. Coryn still hasn't stopped receiving accolades from the staff. For most of them, it was a first time experience, and they're begging for another!

All this awesome work (and a ton more I didn't mention) that we get to be a part of has been such a blessing, and I think there's a big part of us that's sad at the thought of our time here being over. 

But then there's the other part of us... the part that's scared to death that we're going to have to accept the hard truth of us not making it home in August so we don't lose our jobs, The part that's watching our savings and support dry up as each days whizzes by, and the part that is desperately trying to figure out how We can fix it instead of asking, "God, how will You use us through all of this?"

The ridiculous part of all of this (besides our lack of faith) is that we've been here before... MANY TIMES!!!

When we first felt called to Uganda, we had no idea how we'd get here or what we'd do! When God placed Daniel in our lives, we had no clue how to go about adopting internationally or if we were even the right home for Daniel! When we felt God calling us back to the US, we knew we'd be jobless, homeless, and thoroughly culture shocked! When we had to come back to Uganda to finalize Daniel's adoption, and then found out that the process to get back home would keep us here MUCH longer, we were broke, homeless, and emotionally paralyzed by the news!

...but in each of these situations, we prayed! We prayed for God to reveal Himself and His plan. We prayed that our family would be fed, clothed and cared for! And we prayed for our faith to increase! Every time we did this, God responded in some ridiculous way!

So where does this leave us now, amidst another seemingly impossible dilemma? You'd think it's be obvious by now but we're not always the sharpest tools in the ol' shed!


We need to lift our silly heads back up to the heavens and ask our provider to do what He does best! 

So as we've come to this realization and prayed the last few days, we feel the thing that God's showing us right now is to be real! To share our "hard truth"! We feel spurred to let our community know what our situation is and humbly and honestly ask for help! 

So here goes... 

We're low on funds, running short on time, and scarred for what the future holds. We'd like to ask you to think about supporting us financially as we continue to partner with Align Ministries. We'd also like to ask you to SERIOUSLY CONSIDER remembering our family in your daily prayers as we're seeking God's direction through this season. These are some of the most humbling words we've ever had to type, but we feel that this is what we're being called to do, and know that God will do with it what He's intended for good!

We absolutely love you all, and can't wait to get back home to continue doing life with you!

...:::The New Normal:::...


I can't belive I've already been home (Uganda for now) for 3 weeks! It feels like I was just in the US a few days ago! Luckily, that feeling doesn't still include the jet-lag I came back with!!! Although it's felt like a blur the past few weeks, there's actually been a ton of stuff happening over here...

To start with, we're finally in a home that we can once again call our own! As many of you may know, God has been a bit of a showoff for us since this whole "we're going back to Uganda" thing happened. One of the ways He's reminded us of how big He is, is by giving us a free house to stay in! Not only is it free, but it's BEAUTY~FULL!!!

We share a compound with an amazing family of missionaries, The Carrolls, and are blessed with a daily spectacular sunrise and a constant cool breeze (unheard of here!). We're also only a 5 minute drive from where we now serve (Bombo). To keep things exciting, we've got no running water or flushing toilets! We rely 100% on collected rain water and are getting quite adept at pulling buckets of water from our well/cistern, but honestly, we kinda love it!

The past few weeks have pretty much been a time for us to become better acquainted with the work being done here through Align Ministries and the amazing volunteers and staff that work tirelessly to make it all happen!

Coryn has spent most of her days getting better acquainted with Align's "Life With Hope" program. LWH was established to accomplish exactly what the name implies by coming alongside individuals in the most dire situations (most affected by HIV/AIDS) and providing immediate and long term care. This is done through monthly support and food donations, as well as medical care, and in extreme cases, admission into a "life home". 

Coryn has also been spending a lot of her time teaching and developing leaders and programs at Align's school, Donela Orange Primary and Secondary School.

I, like Coryn, have spent my days familiarizing myself with the projects, ministries, and processes that Align is involved in here. I've also had the opportunity to begin looking into new ways of impacting the communities we're planted in.

One of the first projects our team tackled here was installing "Tippy Taps" for our LifeHomes. Running water is rare in most of the rural parts of Uganda, and because of this, good hygiene is not always an option. This leads to an increase in disease and illness which, in many of our HIV/AIDS infected clients, is detrimental! Tippy Taps provide a great hand washing solution for areas where water conservation is a must! So far, they're a great success, and we're now planning on installing them around our schools and communities!

Daniel and Nehemiah pretty much love it here! They've really taken to their new school, and put up quite a fight on days
when they can't go! They also really love living on the same property as the Carrolls because they've always got kids to play with! Both boys have been hit with a myriad of different infections and bugs (like any kid at a new school) but are hopefully on an immune system upswing!
Lastly, we've got some exciting news...

We're once again "Real Missionaries"! Align Ministries has added us to their easy to use support page! If you're one of the many people who've wondered how you can partner with our family, now you can!
alignministries.org/donate/All you have to do is go to alignministries.org/donate/ and select "Uganda Missionary Support". Fill in the required fields and, Boom!!!, it's like you're right here with us, loving and serving the Align community! You'll notice that there's also a ton of other great ways to learn about the ministry and support Align on that same site!


A window into our adventure that is UGANDA