Goodbyes are never easy

I’m taking a moment to write you from Oxford, UK.  On the morning of the 8th our team landed in London and parted ways.  As we’ve been blessed with flexible flight plans from our travel friend, I’ve taken a moment to visit the sites of one of the most influential minds in my own life, C.S. Lewis.  This has been such a treat, walking, thinking, and praying on the same roads of ideation and revelation for Lewis, Tolkien and many other incredible authors.  Though the place is crowded with tourism, it seems like I’m back in Latin America, where I can be surrounded by crowds of people yet feel perfectly alone the entire time.  Simply amazing.

Our last days in Africa went by too fast, but then again the whole trip seems to be that way.  Saying farewell in Africa is a timely process.  You are not just a visitor to a family, but you’re adopted by everyone in the community and every community you stumble upon. 

Though it feels about time to be making our way back, all the unknowns we are left with still make the moment heavy.   It is bitter sweet for sure.  Trying to filter through all of my experiences, things learned, and relationships formed are too much for me right now.  I love Africa.  Well I love Uganda, I’ve never been anywhere else in Africa yet but I probably love those places too.  I love how simple life in the village is.  You fetch your water, cook over a charcoal stove, and the only electricity you have for the week is the cell phone charge you have when you leave Gulu and the batteries to power your headlamps and lanterns.  Life slows to a crawl when the sun goes down and is quick to respond the moment the sun rises.  Just when you feel like logic would suggest life should be one way; God reminds you he is not bound by rules or logic, just love.  

As different as life may appear, you are also reminded of the heartbeat of humanity which is without borders.  People everywhere long for the same things, they desire to love and be loved, and life without purpose is simply hell on earth with no escape.  Where in one country you wake up and work your nine to five every day, in another you’ll wake up and dig in your garden to feed you family and pay your students school fees.  Yet in both areas people can be trapped, with few distractions or many.  People misunderstand and misrepresent truth wherever they are, simply because the pursuit of truth and understanding is an exhausting process and many times people don’t know where to start because there is either too much information available or none at all.  

It is a crazy world we live in, but chasing after the life Christ calls us toward is the only thing I believe will bring us the peace we are looking for.  I learned there are people everywhere looking for things of Jesus, some people have infinite resources and others only understand the things they’ve been told because they’ve never had access to a Bible of their own, let alone someone to walk with them as they try to understand the countless mysteries of God.  

I’ll continue to process my time in Africa for quite some time, if not forever.  But as we pray and wait for the Lord to reveal his will and his timing, please continue to pray with us. 
  •  Pray for the development of our community projects in Lalogi, there are always obstacles regarding resources and land, as well as helping in a way that empowers.  Pray for wisdom and discernment as these develop.  Currently we help with community gardens, poultry farms, shelters, church plants, an orphanage and have distributed mosquito nets and Bibles through the community.
  •  Pray God continues to provide the written Word of God to those who long for it.  Continue to pray Isaiah 55 for the five hundred Bibles we distributed through the churches in Parwech.  That God’s word would fall as rain on those who read it, causing their lives to grow and sprout giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.  That the fruit of the word would make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that will not be cut off.
  •  Pray for the leadership and direction of Switchboard as we continue to grow.  Pray for Walter, our Uganda Director, and his wife Jennifer.  Pray that Jesus would continue to touch their hearts and give them hope and direction.  Pray for us in the U.S. as we pray for the growth and development we feel the Lord will lay on our heart, pray for the provision of any needed resource but the leadership and wisdom to work with the things God gives us. 
Friends, thank you.  Thank you so much.  I will be writing many more thoughts about our time in Africa.  As we do we will send them out to you via this blog and you can read them as you please.  But for now, please know your prayers have been heard and they have been felt.  Your support has not only greatly encouraged us, it has greatly impacted the lives of those in the communities where we work and live.  God has been moving, and he will continue to move, of this I am confident. 

Looking forward to many more updates and adventures to share with you, thank you again.

Grace and love to you all, always…                                                                      

Cyrus and the Switchboard Team 
(Jana, Nicole, and Josh)

“For the love of Christ controls us…”   II Cor 5:14-21