Our Own Africa

After six years of growing relationships and other-worldly experiences in Africa, I am planted back in the USA. Am recreating the simplicity of life that fed me on the other side of the planet. Fortunately, I have a lot of Africa here with me.

Am happy to have my lovely companion and wife, Evelyn Akiiki, with me. Together we are raising Divine Camilla, now one year old.

We live along Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in Seattle. Our neighborhood is wonderfully diverse and looks a lot like those places we left behind in Uganda. Somalis and Ethiopians are our neighbors, A Vietnamese woman cuts my hair just right. An African-American pastor leads the nearby neighborhood church.

Ours is a bilingual home. Evelyn is frequently on WhatsApp catching up with news from family members and friends in Uganda. Her conversations in Rutooro or Luganda are conducted too quickly for me to keep pace. We’ll trade greetings in her dialect each day, whether we’re standing side by side or conversing via iPhones. The baby babbles in an attempt to mimic both tongues of the her parents. She gets a daily earful in Mom and Dad’s native languages.

Divine is a walking dynamo, driven by curiosity to get into everything. She and Mom slow down and sit on the floor at meal time, sharing potatoes, rice, millet porridge, vegetables and anything else we’re eating. It’s a beautiful thing to see a healthy baby with an adventurous appetite.

For all the joys Evelyn brings to my life, her love of the Lord and her grasp of appropriate scripture lifts my spirits time and again. It is what really attracted me to her. We share fellowship with the Holy Spirit throughout each day and night.

We thank God for the provision made for us here in America and for what has been built for Team in Faith and ourselves in Africa.

Shared Sorrow

The women come. They walk. They sit. For hours. Honoring the dead.

Last week I witnessed a beautiful cultural spectacle in Uganda. A community leader, and a friend, was killed in a bus accident. The sudden tragic loss of the Rev. Canon Enos Komunda shocked and mobilized the community,

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Above, Bishop Dan Zoreka looks out over mourners gathered outside home of late Enos Komunda

I arrived at the family home with my wife hours after receiving news of his death. By then there were several hundred women and men sitting quietly inside and outside the home, in a vigil of support.

Hundreds more were preparing for the funeral service and burial the next day. They would come on foot from their villages and homes, a trip that would take hours, to participate in this community send off. Committees were formed to provide chairs, tents and food for the huge crowd.

Life in Uganda is simple and hard. There are few distractions to daily subsistence living. The people value family, community, fellowship, sharing sorrows. It is something to behold.