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Living the Dream

January 30, 2011

Day 06 – A picture of a person you’d love to trade places with for a day

The title of my post may stand at odds with what I’m about to tell you, but the person I would love to trade places with for a day is my very dear friend Shelly Bandelman. She lives in Uganda with her husband Brian and 4 wonderful children (2 of whom I have not met…yet!) They recently moved to a house in a neighborhood with running water, their walkways are packed dirt, they share airspace with bugs and lizards…and they are living their dream.

I first met Shelly when we were pregnant with our firstborns. She and her husband were the youth pastors at the church Jerrry and I had moved to Oregon to be a part of. She had her own opinions and was decidedly outspoken. And once I was over the initial shock, I LOVED HER!

Even as a first-time mother, Shelly was extremely calm and collected in the face of infanthood. She kept me fairly grounded when there were times I might have come out of my skin. She taught me how to relax and let some things roll. I’m telling you, everyone needs someone like Shelly in their lives with their firstborn!

We became very close over the next few years, developing a friendship which has withstood some pretty harsh trials. (Even a summer road trip to Texas with a very pregnant Shelly and 3 toddlers and NO HUSBANDS!) In that time, I learned that not only could she keep a level head, she had an amazing passion to give and teach and minister to the very needy. She shared with me from the very beginning her call to Africa. She didn’t know how or when back then, but it was going to happen.

And now, after a few years of missions trips with her church (a different one than mine now), she and her family are living their calling with the Ugandans. There have been some heartaches along the way as they minister to orphans and the unchurched and the Muslim community there, but there is so much excitement as they witness the Lord’s hand moving mightily in their ministries.

It makes me want to join them there. They are right in the middle of what God wants them to do and it’s exciting and fulfilling even when the bugs are biting and the van is dead. So, for a day, I would want to trade places with my very dear friend Shelly. I think she might be a little lost at my house though!

You can find our more about the Bandelmans and what they are doing on their blog Bandelmans in Africa. Drop by and leave a comment in their guestbook!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. faerylandmom permalink
    February 2, 2011 3:07 pm

    You and me both, Marla.

    • Marla permalink*
      February 2, 2011 4:35 pm

      Let’s go together!

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