I’ll always remember August 25th, 2008 as the day our family was thrust from all that was familiar and into the unknown. An airplane may have gotten us from tiny New Richmond, Wisconsin, to Uganda, Africa; but it was God who moved our hearts.
At the start, this new adventure was nothing but a mystery waiting to be solved. We knew we had a job to do, given to us straight from God, but how that would look over how many years, we had no clue. So we signed a two-year contract, trusting God would make it clear to us if we were to stay longer.
Eight years later, we find ourselves still knee-deep in communities that are scarred by war, people who still need hope and healing – and here we are, LOVING the work we’ve been entrusted to do. Uganda is home, it’s as simple as that. The people here are our family and friends. We’re in love with this place, and to be honest, less than a year ago I couldn’t have envisioned myself leaving.
But we are. We’ve just left our house, our friends, our Tutapona staff and the country we love. Don’t worry – Tutapona in Uganda is in safe, secure hands with our new country director and his family but as for the Gaede family – God’s calling us elsewhere.
We are excited to announce that come the beginning of September, most of the Gaede family will be moving to Iraq. The work of Tutapona is not ending, but rather expanding as we bring the love of Christ to the broken hearts of the Middle East.
We will be working with Syrian and Yazidi refugees living in the Kurdish region. We are partnering with Samaritan’s Purse and the Refuge Initiative to be able to better bring transformation to as many people as possible. The Syrian Refugee Crisis is the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. Tutapona has always been an organization called to go where the need is greatest. The need is great for Syrian refugees right now.
If you want to know more about this big transition, you can come see Carl speak at one of the Churches in the Wisconsin/Minnesota area detailed in the speaking schedule.
In addition to moving to the Middle East, we will also be saying goodbye to our beloved Judith and Elijah, who will be moving to the States. They will be with family and friends, and we will be able to see them when we next have the opportunity to visit the U.S., but it is still a change that we know will be difficult for the whole family.
With so many new, exciting, and in many ways painful adjustments coming up for our family, we certainly appreciate your prayers. We believe that God has massive things in store, and we’re thrilled to be along for the ride. We feel so thankful that He’s chosen us to be part of His work – to love on the broken Syrian refugees, to speak life into the discouraged hearts of the Yazidi, to help those who have undergone trauma. Join us on this journey. Pray for us, and partner with us. We need your support like never before.