The closer it gets to this Monday the more I'm realizing that I'm going to miss this place. I'm not exactly a person who gets nostalgic and gets sad about saying goodbyes, but it's a little bit different when you're quite certain that you won't ever meet these people again on this side of eternity. We haven't started our goodbyes yet, but I'm already dreading it. I have a feeling that when I get home and start to get back to normal life, where everything is still happening here and I'm not doing ministry at home like I am here that I will very easily feel discontent. But all we can do is pray for God's guidance from day to day to know what to do with this experience.
Anna and Judith (our cooks) said the other day that they were feel "much pain" when we leave. Then Judith told me that she wanted me to find her a job in the US. She said she was serious, and wanted to make sure I really would. I didn't know how to respond. It's not that it's a real possibility anyway because it's incredibly hard for an African to get a visa to the US. But she realizes how much more money we make there and that she would be able to provide for her kids and send them to school. I felt that gap between us again. I wish I could take her with me and show her the US, give her money to provide for her children, but that's not the answer. I want them to know that the way people live in the US is not the "right" way to live. We are dying spiritually because of our lifestyles while they have so much life. It just bothers me that people think that our country is a place of deliverance from all problems, where things are like they should be. It's not. The answer is not to help everyone live like us. We're the ones who have it wrong; not caring for our neighbor, living for comfort and success, and always trying to make a name for ourselves. I understand that this is not true in all cases, but our culture probably has more spiritual challenges than theirs.
I'll try to write once we get back to Kampala, but this is probably my last post from Arua. Please pray for us as we are saying goodbye to our friends and trying to figure out what to do with all the things we want to leave behind. It's not as simple as giving it away...cultural dynamics are too communal, so we want to be sensitive to that. Thanks so much for your support in prayer!