This morning I delighted in these words: our Lord is the “God of the fatherless and protector of widows;” “the Lord daily bears us up” and is the “One who gives power and strength to His people” (from Psalm 68). It brings me joy to trust these things about God- that He looks after the weak, the poor, those with disabilities- each one of His children. And He is the one I turn to each day- when I am full of joy and thanksgiving and celebrating life, and when I am discouraged, weak and tired, and trying to love out of my own strength. I need His love, His strength, and His presence in my life each day.
I am pleasantly surprised to feel at home in Uganda. I was expecting quite a culture shock, but enjoy living simply and living in community with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I enjoy seeing the wildlife (some wild monkeys live next door and I keep waking up to exotic birds on the lawn), and have gotten to eat incredibly fresh produce (like bananas, avocados, & egg plant).
So far, I have gotten teach the boys some unexpected things: photography, playing guitar (just the basics, like chords, tuning, and some music theory), the card game Egyptian Rat Slap, how to throw a Frisbee, and drawing by putting a few shapes together and letting your imagination figure out what you see. The boys and I are sharing our stories and everyday life together, and I am starting to pick up the native language, Luganda, with their help (Oh-lee-oh-tee-a means hi, how are you?, way-bah-le means thank you, and ka-le means it’s fine).
There are times that have been challenging, like waking up at 4am to barking dogs and knowing that thieves are outside, and praying and quoting verses to myself about not being afraid. The boys are also growing and learning and have tough times sometimes (like a fist fight during football). It is also very warm, and the weather is not unbearable but constantly drains my energy.
Last night I found myself surrounded by 10 sweaty boys and Uncle Eric because I had been gifted with some Internet minutes and Niragire was asking about the score for the Real Madrid game. We all crowded around my laptop to watch the first half of the game, and it was wonderful to see the camaraderie in the house over this common love- football. More powerfully, I love the Bible studies that the boys have, half in English and half in Luganda- and see their eagerness to learn about God and know Him and dance and sing to Him.
This morning our house walked about 20 minutes to Calvary Chapel, Jinja with little Balaam holding my sweaty hand for most of the way. I was forewarned that thieves might try to take my bag on the way, even in broad daylight, but how freeing to know that it would not matter- they could take my Bible and journal, but not what was truly important to me- getting to meet my brothers and sisters in Christ and praise Him together. We sang praise in Luganda, Swahili, and English, with fans blowing during the entire time on the simple pews, and the pastor gave a message in English, with a Lugandan translator repeating each word. It was a very powerful experience for me, feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit as I walked into the building where everyone was singing, and raising my voice to God in another language.
I am headed out now for our weekly football match against Our Own Home, the HIV/AIDS orphanage from down the street. The boys are eager to have an auntie that knows how to play soccer on their team, and I’m excited to play as well!
And a quick edit/update: we won!! 13 to 6. I played defense and had one header and blocked a lot of shots.
May the peace and joy of Christ be with you all!
Love, Lindsey/Smiles ( :
|Yusuf "Pastor," Isaac, Mukisa, and Balaam|
|Jonathan is a rock star!|
|Silly Auntie Lindsey (and Jonathan & Isaac)|
|Football! (and little Calvin on the left)|
|A nice afternoon with the boys and Uncle Eric|
|G-nuts- they are roasted and make a tasty G-nut butter|