Uganda Trip and moving home

Probably one of our family's highlights here in the UK was
visiting the Harry Potter Studios.
Tomorrow morning at 5:35am (BST), I head out on the train to the airport to catch our late morning flight to Uganda for my next project trip. On this trip, I'll be working with a ministry called Show Mercy International (SMI). SMI was started a few years ago by an American couple who were captivated by the orphan situation in Uganda. In 2009, EMIUK led a project team to design their 'Field of Dreams' orphanage site.

This past Friday, we were invited to attend a 'Burn's Night'
celebration from our dear Scottish friends David and Fiona
Prentice. It was such a fun night and a great chance to experience
a little taste of Scotland. We had fully intended to make it up there
while we were here, but sadly time ran out on us. Someday...
That site is now partially constructed (we'll be staying in the EMI-designed guesthouses on the site), but they've discovered they have an urgent need to provide adequate schooling for the 150+ children they serve (as well as some of the nearby local children). So our team will be master planning and designing a new primary school on a 14-acre lot they purchased just a few minutes walk from the Field of Dreams site. This team is 15 (+ a toddler) strong, so Mike and I are co-leading the trip. I'm looking forward to that, and to seeing what our talented team of architects and engineers come up with for the project design. Stay tuned...

We've mentioned it elsewhere on Facebook and Instagram, but
my sister Traci and her family of 8 came to visit us over the
holiday break. We had such a great time with them - what a
great memory we'll have of rainy walks, touring London, and
experiencing life in the English countryside for a week.
Also, as many of you now know, we are moving back to the USA  at the end of February. Alisha and I felt God led us to this decision, and that ultimately the work I came to do in the UK is now largely accomplished (though the outcome of that work is still to play out). We have enjoyed our time here in the UK, but are looking forward to returning to the EMI office in Colorado Springs to play a part in the newly developing EMI International office (having split off from the EMI-USA office, which will continue to function as a project leading support office for our field offices). My exact role in the EMI-IO office will be finalized after I return, so I'll update on that in the weeks and months ahead.
The Colchester Zoo is actually very highly regarded - generally
considered one of the best in all of Europe. We loved going to
the zoo - thanks to Alisha's folks for buying us an annual pass!

Feeding some old friends of ours from Africa - what were the
chances that we'd meet up in the UK one day?
Obviously, with me leaving to Uganda for two weeks and our move home date just over two weeks after I return, our live is a bit upside down at the moment! We've already been getting rid of tons of stuff and packing up our bins (stored from our move here) - we're determined to leave here with less than we came with...not an easy task to accomplish. We didn't think we had very much stuff here, but it's amazing how things accumulate in such a short time.

Brodie recently passed his level 5 piano test - some friends loaned
us a keyboard here so Brodie could practice at home.
Anyway, I'll be posting some updates about the trip after I get home, so keep on the lookout for that in mid to late February. But otherwise, if you think of it, Alisha could use your prayers as she will be largely completing our packing and moving out process while I'm gone. We've got a good jumpstart (7 of 15 bags are packed!), but it's still going to be a monumental task. Fortunately, 4 days before I get home, her parents arrive for a pre-scheduled visit and we'll actually be flying home on the same flight with them back to San Francisco.
Fellow EMI'er John Agee came for a visit this weekend. John
is in France for a year learning French in preparation for the
launch of EMI's West Africa office, hopefully sometime in
the next 12-18 months!


Ryan Williams said…
Safe travels Brad to you and your family! Really excited to hear about the EMI-IO office. Interesting idea!

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