Taking my last lap here in Uganda after five-plus glorious months. I thought that I might take a deep breath, rest and relax.
The month of August has been a whirlwind. I have been traveling throughout and have landed in my bed in Bwindi only seven nights. Started with a five-day trip to DRC. A dynamic African nation with wonderful people…and some new friends.
On the way back, I stopped in Kasese, Uganda, to reunite with Cleous and his family and experience more African hospitality. Visited some interesting projects involving women and micro-financing.
Then a week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where Swahili is the prevailing language. Joined ac-af.com again to videotape children’s activities and interviews. I was here last year. Beautiful young people.
Re-entered Kabale to rejoin Bishop Kayeeye and his family. After I arrived on Monday, Phoebe and I drove out to his village where the bishop is constructing a lodge. We inspected the pace of the project, which was impressive. Then we went a short distance to visit the bishop’s brother’s widow and family.
These are the moments on this trip that I cherish. I sit with family in their home and am simply present. There is conversation. I offer some greetings in Rukiga, accept their thanks.
I was first in this home in April when bishop, Phoebe and I visited his then-ailing brother. Bishop and I knelt at his bedside and I was asked to offer prayers. Powerful, beautiful experience.
I returned in July with some nurses to assist the dying man. Within 24 hours, he was gone. Then a huge African funeral. Very, very impressive.
On this day, though, many children, neighbours and extended family gathered around to greet us as we entered. I enjoy to be among these people, who are loving…and curious about me. I come in peace and love…they are gentle. It all works.
I got a text message. Bright, a 14-year-old HIV-positive boy I met, has died. So sad. A brave young man who suffered all his life, through no fault of his own. Yet it is also a glorious thing…for the Lord has called him home to enjoy a life where their is neither suffering nor sighing but light eternal.
Yesterday was the funeral. The chapel was packed with 300+ inside, and another couple of hundred or so outside. The community gathered to pay respects for Bright, his family and caregivers. Prayers, songs, a small casket.
It is an amazing and wonderful thing how God has planned this trip, these adventures, these relationships. I feel so fortunate to have met every person, to have shared every smile and laugh, and to exchange greetings in their local language to their amazement. So much fun. Never have I felt fear or trepidation. I have walked into every situation knowing God is with me and directing my steps.
It never gets old. These blessings, experiences and friendships will flourish until I return home next week.
Then I can rest.