Thursday, August 22, 2013

arrival and settling

I’ve been back in Africa for close to a month now, and it feels like only days!  I got to spend the first week here in Jinja, my old stomping grounds, soaking in time with friends, seeing my foster baby and precious ones I love at Ekisa, and being in a place that I know, that is like home, that is easy and good and comfortable. It helped ease back into Africa life.

 sweet baby loves at Ekisa

reunion/sendoff dinner with many of my dear Jinja friends

In some ways, it definitely made it harder to say another round of goodbyes to friends there after all the goodbyes from America, but it was also such a time of encouragement and blessing and sending out from this community of brothers and sisters.  It was a sending out with deep encouragements from them for leaving the comfortable and known and choosing the unknown, the risky, the far-flung.

In early August I met my team in Kampala (the capital) and spent a few days there getting groceries, going to an English-speaking church (Watoto, which I LOVE), and spending some time getting to know my team.  The team who is here now is comprised of people I had not yet met, and whom I had been praying for good connections and community early-on between us. The Lord richly answered those prayers, even from the outset with sweet conversations and connections! I am thrilled to be here with these current teammates, they’re the bomb!  They are deeply rooted in the Word and the Lord, and they are working for the Kingdom, each in their own ways.  I am blessed to know them and serve alongside them here.

The drive out here was long and!  So green, full of little villages and people all along the road, going who knows where, carrying all kinds of things on their heads, their backs, their bodas, or their cars. Men standing on top of cows in the backs of trucks, women and children carrying jerry cans of water, school children on the way home, and so much life happening outside our windows.

driving through the green-ness

Then we got to Fort Portal, the closest larger town, and had a little breather in the clean mountain air. Then, onto Bundibugyo, toward the mountains!  Oh how beautiful they are! So high, so green, so different than anything I've ever seen in Uganda. The clouds are so close you feel like you can touch them, the road so curvy you feel like you might find the cliff edge around the next turn.  The mountains spoke deep to my heart of His majesty and creative heart and mind.  They are magnificent!  

early view of the glorious Rwenzori Mountains

We drove around the top edge of the mountains, then cut back down toward Bundibugyo town and then toward our homes.  I was stunned by the drive. It's breathtaking and awesome.  It is His handiwork on display.  And I get to live at the foot of these mountains and see His glory day by day. 

daily view...this doesn't even begin to do it justice

These last few weeks here I have been seeing the town with Ann, who is my mentor for the time here and also does new team member orientation.  I’ve been to market, we've been around visiting friends of hers, beginning to learn the language, seeing town, getting to see Christ School where I'll be focusing (SO exciting), and doing some orientation for the bundi life! I have begun making some friends here, and for that I am very thankful!  Two girls, Edith and Ida, are becoming sweet friends. They took me touring around town and to their homes yesterday, and we have plans for getting together this weekend as well.  Thankful for relationships happening already!

It's been fun, exciting, tiring, good, full, and just much.  There are moments I can't believe I'm here, that this has actually happened and all come together and this is my home for two years.  And then there are moments I feel totally inept and ill-equipped for learning a new language, building a whole new community and life, and living out the gospel before those I meet. So thankful that He is faithful to meet me in each of these and be truth and life and joy and peace, equipping me for what He has asked for today, for this moment, and asking me to trust Him with the rest.  It is in this that I keep walking, knowing He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that He has given me manna to feed upon for today, and that is enough.

More to come on Bundi life, what I’m learning, and all kinds of fun…stay tuned