Craig took a plane home tonight. I admit it was a little more emotional for me than I thought it would be. I always feel so protected and held up when he is at my side. When he goes, I have to be so much stronger, and summoning that strength doesn’t happen unless I get on my knees, so that’s how I spent most of my afternoon.
The team enjoyed church at Watoto. We had more troubles getting our transportation sorted out straight so off they went late late for church, but it’s better than not at all. Kira and I stayed behind because she was in great need of a good nap. I can push her for a couple days, but she needed a good nap or we would all be in trouble.
I reclined in the bed while she tried to go to sleep and listened to the ipod shuffle that Donny put together for me of his favorite worship songs. The team went to lunch with Julie and the kids and then met us in the evening for a night at Ndere. This is the outdoor dinner theater where they perform traditional dances from all over the country. Ndere is fun, and I feel an important experience for short term mission groups. The Master of Ceremonies is a comedian and gives some cultural education about the differences in the cultures here. They also invite the children down for a dancing/playing session, then finally at the end after ladies dance with eight clay pots stacked on their head, they invite the whole crowd down for a dance. He says “we don’t like to postpone our happiness, so come dance with us”.
Kira loved the dancing, and was perfectly content to go down with the children and feel the stage lights on her skin and hear the crowd respond to her movements.
Meanwhile at the guest house Herb and Ellen threw an enormous party with tents, decorations and lots of Harriet’s delicious food. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with all of their friends and there were over a hundred people here. Herb said let’s stay married for eighty years, and Ellen said, who wants to live that long?
There are many things I love about being in Uganda, and a few I could live without. I love the community where people work together to help one another out. I especially appreciate that if they have three fish for the day whoever asks for some is given it even if it means when they go to bed that night there will be no food in the house. Sharing and caring for one another’s needs here is so deeply ingrained they are quite shocked to learn that in our culture we just take care of ourselves. I also enjoy how Sunday is the day for church, everyone still dresses up here in their finest clothes, and spends the day having a Sabbath. The worship time in church is powerful. For our team after a week of working, and sometimes struggling, it is not only good, but critically needed to stop and connect with God, remember who he is, what he has done for us, and what we are meant to do for him motivated by the love he pours into us.
The things I don’t like so much about Uganda seem to slip into a dark corner after I have had enough time with God. There’s no doubt wondering which person is lying can be a drain. Who can you really trust? Tracking receipts is tedious. Why would the doctor make three calls to the house? We become weary of being asked for things. And keeping a stink eye on our security isn’t relaxing. Then we remember a few important truths. America has problems of its own that we can see more clearly by comparison to what we experience here. (entitlement, pride, self sufficiency, selfishness) We remember that doing the good work for God’s children is always going to invite the enemy to jump on our back and hold on with sharp claws. It’s not our responsibility to get the enemy away from us, God will protect us. If we turn behind and look at the wicked we are not looking forward and keeping our eyes marked on the prize God has set out for us. The children deserve our focus and attention and it’s really just that simple.