Grateful for my 2020 life – believe it or not

Many of you had little to be grateful for last year – my heart goes out to you. To those who lost loved ones, your jobs, or even your motivation to keep going, I pray that this 2021 brings renewal and joy. We mourn and laugh together.

I was fortunate enough to have much to be grateful for despite the challenges. I express this gratefulness with some trepidation. Not out pride or competition, but perhaps to spark at a little joy and hope for the year ahead. I am grateful for so many things in 2020. Here are 7.

Grateful for our home, – simple by New Zealand standards, while opulent in the eyes of many Ugandans. Just being at home can fill our cup. “For the homeless and the cosseted, may your home be simple, warm and welcoming”

Grateful that coronavirus largely spared the poorest region on earth. Here in sub-saharan Africa (besides South Africa), coronavirus hasn’t wreaked havoc. It’s rare to have a global tragedy where the poorest suffer less than the rich, but the respite is welcome.

Grateful that we launched 11 OneDay Health Centers this year, and extend healthcare to tens of thousands of people in remote places. I’m Especially grateful for Emma in Gulu, Josephine in Kitgum and Innocent in Lira who overcame dead months and transport challenges to achieve remarkable things.

Innocent and Fiona launch Chwagere OneDay Health center, which in just 3 months has treated 500 patients

Grateful for my inspirational wife, who will again tomorrow bike 100km on dirt roads to help remote communities both keep their only home, and aspire towards an unlikely but beautiful peace. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”

Grateful for the overflowing generosity of people who thought beyond themselves during a crisis to give even more than we needed to live here this year, and to support launching health centers, building health centers, peacemaking and co-vid relief. You know who you are.

Grateful for our nurses Elec And Acire, who overcame enormous odds to work with the community and build a beautiful new 4 room health center in Pwunu Dyang. The community now boasts the most remote health center in the Gulu sub-region, more than 4 hours travel from town.

Grateful for one of the best holidays I’ve had in years, with a bunch of fine people who both think and care deeply about the people around them.

Grateful for discovering John Mark Comer, a spiritual teacher who has sparked new insights into our world, our culture and the sorry state of my own heart. I’ve realized more than ever the need to work first on myself, before I leap too fast to judge others.

love your enemiesbless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you

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14 Responses to Grateful for my 2020 life – believe it or not

  1. Thank you Nick and Tessa….lighting the darkness.

  2. Philippa Rodley says:

    Thank you for opening up about these things, we have had it very easy here in NZ , for most of the last year, comparatively. I give thanks to God for the work and the many blessings you and Tessa are bringing to your community, you are always in our prayers at St Tim’s,too. God be with you ,and keep you both safe.

  3. Delwyn Shaw says:

    Great reflection, thanks Nick. It’s good to get a different perspective on the work you’re all doing in Uganda. May God bless you & all the OneDay Health staff, keep you safe & well so you can continue to serve the communities you’ve been called to help.

  4. Peter Hill says:

    Beautiful and inspiring. — Loved the holiday pic!

  5. Rachel Geiger says:

    Praying for you all in Gulu. Grateful for the light in 2020.

    • ntlaing says:

      Thanks so much Rachel. We are missing you in small group this month focusing on prayer – no-one there organising us 😀 😀 And just yesterday we got your fantastic postcard – so encouraging thanks so much XOXOXO

  6. Alison Jephson says:

    Hi Nick & Tessa. It’s great to recognise God’s goodness in spite of what is happening in the world around us. You are both inspirational in the way you are so open to God using you in Uganda. I would find your circumstances incredibly challenging! And yes, you continue to be in our prayers at St Tim’s so it’s great to hear of the answers to those prayers. Glad you had a great holiday. I pray the benefits set you up for all that 2021 holds.
    God bless you both. Alison Jephson

  7. ntlaing says:

    Wow Alison that’s so encouraging. Definitely still reaping the benefits of the holiday :).

  8. Ray Hollis says:

    Hi Nick & Tessa.Your summary of ways you are blessed was incredible. You are both blessings to your people in Uganda, and those of us over here..
    Love to Both of you

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