Life in another culture can be full of unexpected adventures. For instance, I recently had a meal of posho with beans, ‘little fish’ and hot chili peppers. I had deliberately avoided this meal at the mess hall where I am staying, but somehow the calendar was adjusted and I showed up on a day I thought was ‘fish-safe.’ I did attempt to eat the fish with the rest of the meal but chewing the crunchy eyeball/head was something I just couldn’t get beyond. Plus the oily fish taste just put the dish over the top for me. I did finish what I was served minus the little fish which are now cozily fertilizing a local patch of ground, eyeballs and all.
While on the topic of food (not really) I have been noticing a very small black object in the kitchenette sink. I have dutifully cleaned the item every day and every day it is back in the sink. At first I thought I had not done my job properly and the item had somehow reemerged from the drain. So I made sure it was gone and reappear it did the next day. I had gone through all the obvious options (bug, dirt, metal particle, etc., etc.) until in frustration I picked up the 3 mm item and gave it is sniff. Now I know!
I share my flat with three lizards. There is the ‘mama’ lizard about 7 to 8 inches in length, the junior lizard about 4 to 5 inches in length and the baby lizard about 3 inches in length. We do well to share the space amicably, except for the mama lizard is daily leaving a ‘calling card’ in the sink. Any ideas how I can help reform this unruly roommate?
I shared a synopsis of Isaac’s story two weeks ago today. I read him the text before I posted it for the e-world to see, so that I could obtain his permission. He offered a few minor suggestions for changes, then seemed to be troubled. I asked what he was thinking. This was his reply:
You know, dad, you have missed the most important part of the story.
Oh, really? I replied.
Yes, dad. If I had not emailed you, would you have ever come to Uganda?
I didn’t know where this was going, but I gave an honest, ‘no’ in reply. I had never even thought about Uganda before Isaac’s email.
How many churches have you started or helped to start since you have been coming to Uganda?
This question caught me completely unprepared. I had never really thought about it, but then I began counting in my head. ‘Six, at least, I bet, most likely more,’ I replied.
So, dad, I think that lifting us up from the dirt was ok, but starting those churches is much more important. You need to add that in there (the story).
I discovered over the years that my children teach me more about God than any of my formalized theological training. Isaac is right. It was and is a good thing to be family together, but Isaac, Penny and Lionel were all already part of God’s forever family. There are many, many, more I will never meet who will spend eternity with God because of one answered email. People who now follow Jesus because God made those email conversations into much more than I could imagine. That is what is really important.
I humbly thanked my son for wisely pointing out my oversight and promised to give his encouragement space of its own.
Around the world people are ‘giving to God’ in expectation of getting some sort of return: wealth, health, financial affluence. They are missing the real power, however. When Christians give from what God provides, He miraculously multiplies the gift to meet the needs He knows are there.
In a few week’s time I will travel around central and north Uganda visiting with people we have met over the past years and supported and perhaps even shared the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ. I will visit a building for church gatherings being constructed via a gift from the US from someone who has never been to Africa. I will worship with a ‘bush’ congregation led by a joyous man rescued from sickness and abject poverty to go back to his war -ravaged homeland to share there is forgiveness of sin for those who will repent.( Spend 4 minutes watching a summary of his amazing story. )
There will be so much more to share and not because of me or those who have generously shared through me but because of the One who takes even the smallest steps and creates epic journeys for the sake of Love, the increase of His Kingdom.