Everything Has Its Time
“Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.” Here in Uganda I am confused as to what season it is. I think it is supposed to be rainy season, but it continues to be hot and dry. Also, this is a strange season in my life. I have been Uganda for almost five months and I think I have past the honeymoon season. I find that more and more often I am feeling culturally frustrated, and yet I am feeling more and more at home here.
“There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping,” Last week I was able to meet precious baby Esther just hours after she was born. I have been there for her first bath, many clothing changes since diapers are almost non-existent or huge, and I gave the family my camera for a week to capture the memories.
Death – well, the pictures of the former LRA soldiers and victims that I helped to collect and place in the mass grave still cross through my mind and I am reminded daily to pray for peace in the Teso area.
Planting and reaping is a constant struggle in this area. Due to the lack of rains the crops are failing and famine is winning. I also hope that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will plant seeds in the lives of the people around me and I pray that God will help me also to walk along side of those who desire to follow HIM.
“for killing and healing, destroying and building,” Too often I have heard stories of children who are neglected and die due to lack of love or food. It saddens me. But I also thank the Lord for places like Amecet – an orphanage that looks after some of these neglected or sick babies.
Lately I have made friends with two ladies who run the local corner store. Eunice and Barbara, two sisters, who sell soap, soda, eggs, flour, and a few other basics, now greet me with a huge smile and welcoming hands whenever I go to the store. This morning as I was exchanging my crate of bottled soda I learned that Barbara lost her husband in 1995 to HIV. She also has HIV but with the help of medications, she has been able to continue teaching and looking after her two children. Praise God there is healing and a chance to continue living and learning. Instead of being destroyed by death and hardships, I thank God that they are able to rebuild their lives.
“for crying and laughing, weeping and dancing,” Again, I thank God that my laughter can bring joy to so many of those who weep. And dancing... boy do the Africans love to dance in church.
“for throwing stones and gathering stones, embracing and parting,” Today I went back to my friend Zima’s tiny cement room to say good-bye. Zima is heading back to Kenya after completing a two month internship in Soroti. I will miss her as she understood me well. We prayed together, shed a few tears, and hugged good-bye. It seems that many of my friendships are only for a season.
“There is a time for finding and losing, keeping and giving, for tearing and sewing, listening and speaking.” I continue to try and figure out who I really am in Uganda. I know that I am being true to God and losing myself to Him, but I am praying for wisdom about how to give even more. What do I stand up for? How can I be Christ’s ambassador the best? To what should I give my time and money to? I am grateful for the times that I have been asked to speak – either to children, students, or adult Bible studies. And daily I try to listen to God’s voice – to hear where He wants me to be.
“There is also a time for love and hate, for war and peace.” I just want to say that I dearly love the Ugandans and my team. I am thankful for my friends who are here with me in Soroti. Together we can stand up against the spiritual battles that war against us and pray for the peace of God to reign.
These are just a few of the thoughts I had while reading Ecclesiastes 3. I hope that time is full of purpose for you and that each day joy and peace will be yours also.
In His Time,