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The Journey Home

Four and a half years ago Mark & Laura Guthrie spent a little over a month in Jinja, Uganda while they finalized the adoption of their two youngest sons. In a few weeks, they’ll return to Uganda as Amazima staff. Mark will serve as Head of School at The Amazima School and Laura will serve as the school’s Curriculum Coordinator. This is their story.

She always knew we’d be back someday. Laura says she knew it when we were standing there four and a half years ago, preparing to leave Uganda and head back to North Carolina. We had been there for six weeks finalizing the adoption of our two youngest, Pius and Brian.

When we brought our sons to the US from Uganda, we thought we were taking them home, but what we didn’t realize is years later they would take us home, too.

Our family’s journey back to Uganda began last year when a friend told me about Amazima Ministries, Katie Davis, and their plans to open a secondary school in Jinja. I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of, so I made myself available. Before long, I was bouncing around in the passenger seat of Katie’s van as she drove us to a meeting with potential contractors for the school.

The drive to our meeting was familiar and soon we pulled into Good Shepard’s Fold, an orphanage outside of Jinja. Within minutes of arriving, the children my sons used to play with and the people who loved them before we did surrounded me. Amazima’s team scheduled our meeting there simply because it was a central location. Little did they know, Good Shepard’s Fold was the orphanage we adopted from.

Two of the greatest adventures of our life began at the same orphanage: the adoption of our two youngest children and a meeting that would initiate our saying “yes” to a great and costly vision.

Three weeks from now, Laura, Pius, Brian, and myself will move to Jinja. Our “yes” to God is becoming more and more real. Do you know what it feels like to watch all of your furniture being hauled away, never to be seen again? We didn’t know what that felt like until a few days ago. It is a strangely freeing feeling, yet difficult nonetheless. It was hard, but it will not be the hardest part. Leaving behind our two oldest who are in college will be the hardest part.

Soon this journey will come full circle. We will return to the nation we love and call it “home.” Some days, it seems the adventure is only beginning. Other days it’s apparent the adventure began long ago, and we are simply becoming more aware of it. The truth is, before The Amazima School was ever an idea in Katie’s mind, God was already writing the story. Years ago He was preparing people like me for a vision yet discovered, and now He is preparing us for a school we can see in our hearts but can’t touch, and for students we love but don’t know.

Each of us has the opportunity to play a part in a story that’s much bigger than ourselves, and I look forward to continuing to watch this story unfold with you. To learn more about The Amazima School, hear the latest updates, or get involved, visit The Amazima School website.

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