It is my personal fascination to observe Mary Beth take in the lifestyle of Africa. She’s not here on a short term mission trip for a week. She’s here to absorb and understand what it will be like to live and work in this forgeign culture alongside Kirabo Seeds children’s home. She will develop significant relationships with our team of caregivers. She will love each of our children as her own and they in turn will love her children as their own. She will do ministry alongside her husband again, and that is the very way the two of them fell in love and determined God wanted them to build a family and a life together that would last until they take their final breath. She’s eager to shed the materialistic life of suburban America and embrace the idiosyncrasies of doing life in this developing country. Bravo girl.
Already she has flipped for our children and gained the confidence of the staff. We had a short team meeting where I spontaneously asked her to share how she sees God has called her to this ministry. What compels her to sell what she has in America, separate from friends, work and family and come here to serve? I purposefully did not give her time to prepare a speech. It’s so much better when it is gurgled from the heart and God is always faithful to give us memory for what he finds important to share. That’s how it happened. The both of us welled with emotion and tears telling about our history together and the way God used each of us in our lives for his purposes in the past. And we can only marvel like it’s a miracle as we consider what he’ll accomplish through us now that we are again on the same team.
As Mary Beth expressed her heart about being able to minister and share Jesus for her job she couldn’t hold back the tears. It has been her heart’s desire long before she went to law school to serve Jesus with her life. She’s managing a telemarketing company now. This is preparing her to understand how to bring out the best in her employees and juggle the scope and minute details of an organization. God has been preparing her for this work with Kirabo Seeds.
I asked each team member to share a word in response and we sat in silence for a long time. It is excruciatingly difficult for Ugandans to speak in a group. After some time everyone shared how thankful they are to have her family come. Their response was honest, authentic and peaceful.
Mary Beth giggles a lot and the joy in her soul bubbles through these giggles giving her an aura of approachability, fun, happiness and calm. Humor mingles with all she expresses in word. That’s what I think draws me to her. And then “kapowee” we are struck unaware by an intellect that is sharp, quick, fearless and direct though shared in away that is tender and considerate. Most highly intelligent people I know struggle to rein back their arrogance. This is not so with Mary Beth. She’s perhaps one of the smartest people I know (right behind my husband) but it is coupled with a godly humility. This is her personality super power and God is going to put this to use for his purposes here in Uganda. What will be possible for Kirabo Seeds now has no limits.
After two full days of initiation with lifestyle here in Kampala Uganda Mary Beth is overwhelmed. This is only the second time she’s been outside of America. In January she and Darren traveled together to have an educational tour of Isreal. (wow.) Besides that she’s a Texas girl through and through. The shift in culture and the necessity to adapt here and find it pleasing is a bridge she is beginning to build in her mind. She’s wondering, “How am I going to settle my family into this culture, not just survive but thrive, and minister for the organization?” So off I drag her to every grocery store and walmart equivalent available to her here. She can see if she needs something she can find it. We show her the area where her apartment will be, and I will have one in the same complex, and it is down a hill from the house we are buying but steps from the supermarket where she can go for diapers and coffee. The bare necessities are the foundation and she can see it is all far better than she imagined.
Safety is an obstacle but first it is necessary to understand the real threats. I’m thinking this is an entirely separate blog post. Safety in Uganda with two beautiful little mzungu girls would be a significant stress for me too. So I’m going to explore my ideas about this and share when they are ripe. I have a basic understanding of Ugandans and I believe life here is not like what we hear in the news about Nigeria, Sudan, Congo, or Somalia, but with our Americanized cultural and geographical ignorance it is what we assume. I’ll do my best to dissemble those faulty ideas.
I’ll leave you assured Mary Beth is in her element. She is grappling with culture, ministry, life, and love while merging with her work and purpose for life and it is giving her good reason to bang the drum and break into dance.