Sunday, July 29, 2012

There and back.

Disclaimer: I really hate making these long because I'm always the one who skips over long posts because I'm not really one for reading super winded blogs. I will do my best to keep these as short and enjoyable as possible, and worth your time all the way to the end.   :)

Since the day I landed back on American soil my life has been go, go, go.  I feel terrible that I haven't been able to give people updates on my trip and forget about this blog because I usually just post everything straight to Facebook.  (Which, P.S. is where all of my pictures are.) A lot of people say, "I'm the worst blogger." As I almost typed that, I thought, well I guess it's just something you are either good at, or not good at...well I'm not good at it and like Facebook better.

It is a weird feeling being back. While I was on the flight back it really only felt like I had been gone for a day and now it never feels like I left.  I don't quite know why that is. Maybe it is because I have seen it before so it wasn't extreme shock when I got back? Maybe it is because we went to Canaan Children's Home last and that really feels like I just visited my second home? I don't know if it is okay to be comfortable when I get back? I will continue processing it all and I can already see how the Lord is still, and will continue to, reveal His purpose for that trip.  (Really praying that He sends me back for a longer time next time!)

So a quick overview of my trip.  It was AMAZING...I mean there are no other words to describe it! I love traveling and seeing different countries and I just love African cultures and the people and places. I felt at home!

Rwanda. It was very modern! I was expecting it to be similar to Uganda and it wasn't. There were mountains and it was all just an incredible sight. Very green and a cooler climate in the mountains. I read Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust, before I left. She did such an incredible job describing the sights and sounds that the whole time I was there I just imagined what it looked like during the holocaust with bodies everywhere.  It was the strangest feeling. At the Genocide Museum in Kigali, Rwanda, while the whole museum was incredibly moving, they had a section dedicated to children (which, you all know are so dear to my heart). There was a plaque at the end that said, "I didn't make myself an orphan." It was so touching to see and of course I was brought to tears by those simple words... That is why God commands us to love orphans!

Uganda. Home. Amaka. I cannot express in words how excited I was to be back! I knew after being in Rwanda for a few days that my love for Uganda was not of myself.  It was a love from our Father. Only a love that He could place in someone's heart.  Even while our luggage was stranded at the airport and I wore "dirty" (the American sense of the word) clothes, I could not imagine another place to not have all of the belongings that I packed. The first morning in Uganda, as we were driving, I was not crying, rather tears were just rolling down my face. I cannot explain it. It was amazing. My next post will be my emotion filled journaling about being back in Uganda. As I try to write more about my experience in Uganda all I can think of is the word, "love." So I will leave it at that for tonight.

1 comment:

  1. I get what you mean about facebook. Not as many people blog anymore. And it looks like I am the only old dude who leaves comments on your posts.

    Thanks for going. When I left Africa for home - years ago, I had the feeling that I didn't really make a difference. So I held babies, hugged some survivors of the genocide, gave money to some needy people and causes.

    Was it worth all of the resources to get me over there? Couldn't that money have been used to start businesses or feed a village for a while. The answer, of course, is yes.

    But when I sat in the Kigali Genocide Memorial, went to the barracks where the Belgian soldiers died, went to the church at Ntarama where 5,000 people were killed in one evening - it changed ME. Those tears that I cried, the understandings that I reached, the sense of what is right and wrong, and power and poverty - all of that changed ME.

    I don't think it is selfish to make myself a more knowledgeable, caring person. Even if I never talk about it with my students or friends - I am a better person for having been there. A better teacher. Perhaps I am kinder, more empathetic. Maybe I have a clearer sense of social justice and have less tolerance for racism or indifference. Maybe, just maybe, I will act a little more like Christ. God knows I could use a little help in that department.

    I hope you don't mind my leaving links to some of my posts here. Perhaps some will resonate with you.

    Thanks for going to Africa, Merideth. And thanks for living out the lessons you learned there. Peace - Tim