Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lazy Days of Summer

Nyankunde Hospital

Nyankunde airstrip

July 2015

Greetings family and friends!  We just returned from some much needed time to relax in Uganda.  The DRC and Uganda are neighboring countries but are different in many ways.  The roads in eastern DRC are for the most part rugged and the most common vehicle one meets on the road is a motorcycle or an overloaded truck.  We passed several overturned, overloaded semi trucks.  In DRC woman carry mostly everything on their heads, however in Uganda weight is often carried on the back.  Attire is different too.  Clothing is very colorful and patterned in Congo, whereas in Uganda the colors and styles are more neutral and western.  Congolese eat lots of foo-foo (ground cassava) and dried fish whereas Ugandans eat lots of chapatis and bananas.

Vacation in Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park is a national park situated right on the Nile River with lots of wildlife to
behold.  Going on safari with a baby is interesting to say the least.  Emmanuel wanted to hold the steering wheel and stand up to see out of the windows the whole time.  He was not able to see the elephants and giraffe in the distance like we were, but spotted an antelope up close.  I think he thought it was a big goat.  We slept in a safari tent, enjoyed great food while watching the monkeys play in the trees and hippos surface on the water.  Emmanuel enjoyed swimming for the first time (in a pool, not the Nile).  He liked getting his face wet and drinking the water, as well as floating on his back.  It will be fun teaching him how to swim.  For me just being outside and seeing wildlife was so relaxing.  Uganda is a great place to go on safari.

Next onto Kampala for some supplies shopping and good food.  We were able to meet up with a couple of Warren’s old friends and have fellowship together.  In some ways all big cities are alike, lots of people, traffic, and noise.  It was so convenient to walk into a store and buy many things all in one place.  What might take a day of searching around multiple shops here in DRC, we were able to do in just a couple of hours.  I was encouraged by our visit to Ambrosoli International Church.  I told Warren that hearing the message on Sunday morning was the most important reason we were in Kampala.  The pastor started out by asking when the last time was that we had had a serious discussion or thought about heaven.  Our lives on earth account for such a small percentage of God’s plans for us, so how is it that we never talk or think about eternity?  This is a very poignant question.  He went to challenge us to keep our perspective on eternity and not get lost in our daily trials.  He posed the question, if you catch a fish and take a photo to show it off will people appreciate its’ magnitude?  Probably not.  But if you take a picture of the same fish relative to your body, will people then appreciate its’ size?  Definitely.  Just as it is difficult to appreciate the size of a fish alone, our lives in isolation don’t make a lot of sense.  We may find ourselves discouraged by daily frustrations and fail to see the larger picture.  If however we see our lives relative to eternity as God has made us to live with him, our lives make a lot more sense.   He does not want us to lose heart by our daily experiences and troubles, but to be renewed on the inside in our relationship and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  It is this relationship with Christ that we need to cling to in this life.  Our lives do matter for eternity so we must fix our eyes as Corinthians says on “not what is seen, but on what is unseen.”    We must not lose heart and lose this perspective.   

2 Corinthians 4:6; 16-18
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ…Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

An Interesting Anecdote

Today the local radio station announcer came to our house to talk to Warren.  He and Warren are good friends and help each other out from time-to-time.  Warren advertised a reward for anyone who could help him capture a swarm of bees.  For days we had people stopping in with a bee sighting.  Next we announced our escaped goat and sure enough we were able to recover him.  So tonight our friend came by to see if Warren could help him find “hidden treasure”.  He had been told that a certain rocky hillside contained treasure and wondered if Warren had any “machines” that might help him.  I had to smile because my husband does know a lot about a variety of things AND has plenty of “machines.”  Therefore he was a reasonable consult for such an endeavor.  Life is always interesting here.

Our Baby is Growing Up

Our little baby is officially crawling and walking with assistance.  We alternate adjectives between busy,
active, and trouble!  Our house has undergone a progressive childproofing.  Warren removed the handles on the lower cupboards in the kitchen.  The bird cage as been elevated.  Electrical cords are concealed.  Our kerosene refrigerator has tape blocking the flame adjusting knob.  He opens every door and cupboard just because he can.  He loves to play outside with his puppy and goat.  My handy husband welded him a swing out of rebar today.  He is making so many sounds and waving “hi” and “bye.”  He loves people and often extends his hands to everyone.  As you can imagine everyone loves
this.  I can’t make a trip to the local market without multiple people asking me about Emmanuel or being called “Mama Emmanuel.”  In this culture you are who you are because of your relationships to others.  Warren and I hope that we will be able to handle him once he starts walking! 

Thanks again for your interest in our lives.  Pray that we would be encouraged in our daily work and have more opportunities to share the hope we have in Christ.

Lindsey, Warren and Emmanuel