I have been in Uganda for one month now. Nothing is how I imagined it. To the people, the sights, the smells, all of it. I have been thinking a lot recently about why it is that we long to have someone in our lives. Someone to make us feel loved, and safe, and important. I have been reading Donald Miller's "searching for God knows what" and CS Lewis. Both of them touch on this issue. The Lord created as beings that thrive off community. When He created Adam He saw that it was not good for man to be alone---so he created Eve for him. They are the only people to ever live in perfect community with God. Since the Fall all of humanity has been searching for that "someone" to fill the void that they were feeling. I have always understood that the Lord created us to live in community and to need an other in our lives. Honestly it did not until recently cross my mind that the "someone" I was created for, to fulfill all of my needs, is God. I have been down the path numerous times of looking for that in other people, and the truth is that other people will always fail you, because well--they are people. God is the only one who can fill the deepest longings of our souls. I believe [although I have clearly not experienced it yet] that marriage is meant to be the closest reflection of God's perfect love for us. I have seen this play out in many of my friends marriages and it is such a beautiful thing. You may be asking what in the world this has to do with my time in Africa. Well, the other week we had a VERY frustrating conversation with 2 random Ugandan men about the importance of holding and showing love to their children. [don't ask how we got on that topic..i promise it will just make you mad]. They were saying that children didn't really need to be held or shown affection when they are young. Oh how wrong they are. I have seen the pure joy on children's faces when I hold their hand, or kiss their heads. It is apparent that many of them to not receive love or attention on a daily basis. They are taught from a young age that the way to handle any mistake is with violence. If a child gets a homework answer wrong, does not use a ruler to do their math problems..they are caned (beaten). Not always, but sometimes. One of the babies homes we go to does not allow us to hold the babies that are able to sit up unless we are carrying them to class or feading them. They may get fussy when you put them down. These children are already going to have abandonment issues because they are orphans...and now they only get shown love and affection if a volunteer sneaks in a kiss or two before they leave!?!?!?!?! As Christians we are called to show Christ's love to others...I have never understood how important that is until now. Also being here I have seen the need for male missionaries. These people need to have good male examples to follow...because they are lacking. So men, this is a challenge to you all too. These babies need love from you too! There are so many games and sport things that the men just connect on such a better level. So come on over!!!!!
Today I got to meet with the family that my church, Vintage 21, is partnering with to start a church plant in Kampala. They were soooo amazing! They have 3 children, 4,6, &9 and I think they are so brave to uproot their family and come here. They took me to lunch and I got to have coffee!!! YUM! I also got to video chat with my wonderful girlfriends back home!! It was so great to see their faces and I miss them so much!!! Last night we had a rat in the house. Yuck. We don't know if it is gone so I am REALLY jumpy if I think I feel anything on me. The rats here are HUGE!
We are headed north to Gulu on Monday! It will be so nice to get out of the city and see the villages. I am not quite sure what we are doing there but I am sure I will have GREAT stories when I get back. Love you all!