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Early Summer 2017 Update

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Personal Update (Don't miss the ministry update at the bottom, below all the pictures!)
This has been my heaviest travel year yet since I joined EMI, with 3 international trips in the first 5 ½ months of 2017. Looking ahead, I have 2-3 more before the end of the year – possibly a trip somewhere in August, then Nicaragua in September, and a multi-office stop (likely in Africa) in November.
If you know me well, then you know that the travel is both the best and worst part about our ministry work with EMI. It’s the best part because it allows me to be directly involved with our ‘front lines’ work around the world and because I get to interact with people from any and every culture. But it’s the ‘worst’ part too because I am wired to be a home body, so leaving home and my family is never something I yearn to do. I know that to some who love to travel, this may not be a relatable trait. But trust me, for who I am, it’s a significant challenge – one of the bigger ones I routinely face. As…

Dubai

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On our trip to Uganda earlier this month, Alisha and I passed through Dubai for the first time. For those of you who don’t know Dubai very well, it is the capital city of one of the 7 emirates that make up the country of the United Arab Emirates. In recent times, it has become one of the world’s foremost economic powerhouses and centers for international trade due in large part to its central location near the entrance to the Persian Gulf from the Arabian Sea (the northern portion of the Indian Ocean). Over the last few decades, Dubai has been surrounded by (but largely uninvolved in) many of the world’s most difficult political and military challenges that have been spread across much of the Middle East.

Seeing this place was an eye-opener. At one level, the extreme wealth of the city is unmistakable. We had an overnight layover on the way over, so to help us stay awake and get a jumpstart on our internal clocks adjusting to Uganda time, we decided to take a short tour of the city e…

March 2017 Update

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(Note: If you don't want to read this - just skip to the very end for the "Summary".)
Sometimes, working for EMI out of the Global Office in the United States isn’t the most gratifying work. We often look back on our time overseas in Uganda and the UK as times where we ‘felt’ more a part of the ministry work we set out to be a part of just over 9 years ago. I would like to say that’s not the case, but that wouldn’t be true.
And actually, that’s ok to admit. It’s not a terrible thing to want to ‘feel’ like you’re doing something important. I think everyone wants that.
But we can’t let those feelings confuse us into ignoring what the actual facts are. Because while sometimes those feelings serve as an important ‘nudge’ to get us to consider making a change, other times they will deceive us into believing that we need to make a change when in fact that isn’t the case.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that our family hopes to move overseas again at some point in our work with…

December 2016 update

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Well, our trip to Senegal and the UK came and went, and now we’re staring down Christmas! I’m sure you can relate to not keeping up with the busy-ness. Here are some recent highlights…
Senegal We had a busy 5 days, but it was a great chance to spend time with our staff who have newly arrived in that country to set up life and the office. You can only imagine the challenge of moving your family to a West African nation that speaks no English (French and the local languages only) and is 90% Muslim. It’s a friendly people and generally a safe and open country…but it couldn’t feel more foreign. We were able to talk through a whole bunch of things with the team, both personal and EMI work related, and by the time we left I think the team was encouraged. It’s a tough place…but we saw a lot of potential for that office become a major hub for EMI! UK On the way back from Africa, we stopped in the UK for 5 days as well. I attended the end of year board meeting for the office there (I’m on that …