By: Nancy Ladenburger (Sara's mom)
We had the joy of making another trip to Uganda in February, three years after our first visit, to see Sara and Anthony. We had a great time. Sara and Anthony planned a nice mix of things for us to do: ministry, meeting friends, work, plus we went to Murchison Falls for a fun three days of vacation together.
As the mother of a missionary, it meant a lot to me to see where they live, how they do things, and spend time with their friends. That helps me so much to know how to pray for them, and I can now envision where they are when I think of them.
During our 13 day visit, we got to experience some of the ups and downs of life in Uganda. We didn’t have hot water in our shower, but that wasn’t so bad, since the temperatures were in the 90s. Some days the water was off, and several times the power went out. Sara and Anthony adapted very well to these inconveniences. They got out the candles, solar lights and generator, and made the most of every situation.
It was so nice for us to get away from the cold Michigan winter, so the Ugandan heat was a nice change for me. I really enjoyed the tropical fruits and fruit juices we were served. A friend shared a pineapple with us, another friend shared part of a jackfruit, I tried passion fruit, and we ate several papayas.
They have a few papaya trees in their yard, and Mike and I had fun picking them. Their day worker was able to knock the papayas out of the tops of the trees with a stick, and we did our best to catch them in a sheet…with varying rates of success.
I enjoyed cooking and shopping with Sara in the market, and seeing the ways she is communicating with the sellers, negotiating prices, using kilos as weight and shillings for money. I admired how she managed the gardens, fruit trees, ducks and ducklings. It reminded me of the Proverbs 31 woman who sews, shops, and manages the vineyards!
I was very proud of my daughter, who is living so comfortably in another culture and doing things I have never done, like butchering a duck and preparing it for dinner. She showed me how to roast coffee beans on the stove top with beans she brought from Kenya, and I helped her make a birthday cake with carrots and fresh pineapple to celebrate her 34th birthday.
Since I like to entertain, I really enjoyed the afternoon they invited friends over for tea. We sat on the porch drinking tea and eating cornbread, and talked about our faith and the Bible. What a joy it is to travel to the other side of the world and find Christ-followers who share our faith and love for the Lord.
I spent a lot of time looking out the window as we traveled. I was humbled by the hard-working women I saw walking along the road with a jerry can of water on her head, a load of sticks or reeds, and often with a baby strapped to her back. My life is so easy by comparison.
I am pleased that Sara is finding ways to help women with some of the difficult tasks of cooking. Sara has always been artistic and crafty, and God is using those skills in interesting ways on the mission field. With the benefit of the internet, where she can read about rocket stoves and clay ovens, she has the creativity to reproduce it and teach it to others. I see so many of her projects as a way of empowering women to improve their lives.
Anthony did a great job driving us from the airport to their home, and to the national park. He is a safe and careful driver, but it was clear that there are many hazards on the road that create driving challenges. Safety on the roads is one of the things I am often asking others to pray for them. As if potholes, trucks and motorcycles aren’t enough of a problem, there are people walking along the shoulder of the road at all times, and many of them children.
Saying goodbye was not an easy thing to do. As you pray for Sara and Anthony, please pray for their families too, that God will give us grace and peace as we release them for His purposes.