When I first felt what I believed to be a call to relocate to Africa, I asked my family to pray about potentially taking an entire year away from life in the United States to live and serve in Uganda. Over the course of several months of praying, we determined that six months would be a better decision for the chapter in life we were currently living. One of the lingering concerns we had, however, was whether there would be others in Uganda who were like us with whom we could socialize and share our lives with during our time in a foreign country. Our kids were particularly concerned. In fact, the primary concerns my kids have had about relocating to Uganda centers around being away from friends and not knowing if they would have any friends in Uganda. Accordingly, we prayed about this for the better part of a year.
God heard our prayers and, as always, has provided.
After reading the Guideposts article I wrote about my relationship with Henry, the Ugandan boy I met while he was in prison, a man from Oklahoma sent me an e-mail and told me that he wanted to connect me with some friends of his in Oklahoma who were also going to be moving to Uganda early next year. We were, of course, interested in finding out what other Americans would overlap with us in Uganda to see if we had anything in common with them. We had no idea we were about to meet our twin family.
We are Jim and Joline Gash, in our early forties. They are Jay and Jill Gregston, in their early forties. Our kids are Jessica, Joshua, and Jennifer, who are 16, 13, and 11. Their kids are Jake, Jared, and Jayne, who are 16, 12, and 11. Are you kidding me? Joline was a school teacher and retired when we started a family. Jill was a school teacher and retired when they started a family. We have a Yorkshire Terrier. They have two Yorkshire Terriers. We were moving to Uganda for six months on January 25th. They were moving to Uganda for six months on February 1st. I am a lawyer looking to use my legal training and experience to serve the underserved in Uganda. Jay is a doctor looking to use his medical training and experience to serve the underserved in Uganda. Our oldest children will be attending school on line, and our younger two will be an independent study/home school curriculum. Both families are deeply committed Christians and looking to live out our faith in Africa. The similarities continue to mount in ways that summon Twilight Zone background music. Earlier this month, both families had a kid injure a toe that required medical intervention.
Prior to learning about their existence, we had secured a three-bedroom apartment in Kampala. After getting to know each other, we learned that the apartment complex where we would be living had one three-bedroom apartment left – right beneath ours. They took it. We were thrilled.
We are looking forward to meeting the other individuals and families God will introduce us to during our African adventure.
Next Post: Doing Shots with the Gash Family