Packing, sorting, packing, sorting, flying, crying, leaving, arriving –it’s all a part of a missionary life. When we landed in Uganda after being away for 7 months, I noticed Noah had a grumpy look on his face. When I prodded him for his explanation, this was his answer: “Mama, why did we ever have to leave?” “Leave where Noah? (thinking he was going to say the USA) “Uganda”. I tried my best to answer his “complaint” with my tired mind, but I had to think about it for days to come. This child loves his Ugandan home, and to him all he could do when we finally arrived was ask the question, “WHY would you ever make me leave?” We slept that first night in Entebbe, hearing people blow off fireworks and celebrate the beginning of 2011. When we woke the next morning, rain was falling. Now, this was Jan 1, the heart of rainy season. Rain - it cleanses, purifies, heals, and brings growth. All I could do as I took my first deep breath of the divine scent of rain hitting a dry and groaning land was smile. Smile at God’s providential blessing. For the next few days, each morning was vibrant. I’d wake and hear the birds singing and sing with them. As I’d peak my head out the window and see the sun making it’s way into the sky, standing strong with deep shades of violet and auburn, my heart would swell with pride in the God I serve. Oh, and all the greetings! All the hugs, the comments, the “we missed you so much!” choruses! Nothing is like knowing you’re where you’re suppose to be and that you’ve arrived home. All my senses were touched by my God and in this I rejoice!
Sometimes I wish it was always this easy. To wake up, hear the birds singing and smile. Simile at the fact that you ‘hear’ them, rather then loathe them, or can’t hear them at all. The celebration of life and His creation is what I speak of. To see life as vibrant, exuberant, vivacious. Why can’t each day be like this? I will be honest, the vibrance of life here also had it’s negative effects on my mind and heart. To already be told I wasn’t parenting right, the strong smells (that aren’t pretty…), the cultural frustrations of communication with people that might not just understand what you meant, a thing or two that is brand new ruined already, etc. These were vibrant feelings and situations as well, just not the kind I like to feel over and over. It’s in these little things that I face a choice. The choice to turn my face like flint to the wind and say “Lord, your arm is never to short for me and Your grace is enough to give me grace for others today…” Or to complain, and miss out on the beauty I’ve returned to. Really Laura, what do you choose? There’s so much joy in this path of serving Him in Uganda, that it’s quite miserable to chose the latter. Miserable to focus on myself, on material possessions, on well-intended comments. Have you faced a decision such as this? One where you knew what was best, but can easily be distracted by small, negative, fleshy things that rob your heart of worship?
He is worthy of all our worship! Today I choose to rejoice in Him. Now a few pics to show off last night’s cultural celebration! We had a big dinner, made by the people of the western part of Uganda! It was amazing, full of rules how how you should and shouldn’t eat, sit, talk, wear, etc! The kids did pretty well with eating on the mat and with their fingers. Keith, lucky dog, got a stool to sit on along with all the men!
Here’s our western cultural night, all on the mat before the meal.