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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation

Filling my Subaru with four other Ugandans, I drove down country to Jinja, where Lake Victoria becomes the Source of the Nile.  We spent more time talking about the potholes and humps in the road the road than anything else, especially since I'm being refreshed in driving a stick shift (manual) with a sticky clutch.

Arriving at Mto Moyoni Retreat Centre, we are introduced to the most lovely gardens and quaint sleeping quarters that slope down to the whirlpool waters of the Nile.  Hundreds of birds entertain us with their call, or incredible diving feats as they catch their dinner from the rushing waters.

Sitting down at the water's edge my Ateso friends watch some Lugandan tribesman try to catch fish with their rugged wooden boats.  My Ateso pals started to recognize that they are on a retreat to a new land just as much as I am.  The two tribes speak different languages and the landscape in Jinja is so different.  Soroti is about a four hour drive north, but the land there is flat and grassy.  There are many more trees and rolling hills in Jinja area.  I chuckled as I watched my friends struggle with greetings, or even how they had trouble with their footing on the "steep" hills.  I taught them how to fish with a hook and work on a string wrapped around a plastic water bottle.  I rolled with laughter when I introduced them to a trampoline for the first time ever.  Geoffrey seemed to manage somehow, but both Sam and Benjamin took about four jumps, then fell down on the mat and held their heads from the strange sensation.  They looked half afraid and half giddy.

At Mto Moyoni there are two dogs that are called "ministry dogs".  Sniffy (a German Shepherd) and Drop sit beside you to offer peace and comfort.  And they show love when they lick you with their cheerful tongues.

Another stretching point is that people from many nations have gathered together to have their hearts transformed.  Kenya, Canada, Uganda, UK, Netherlands, and USA are brought to this place in the Spirit - to seek God's face and forgiveness.  Since so many nations collect in one beautiful place, the lunches provided are western.  Wow, if you could have seen the faces of the Atesos as they tried tomato soup, or shepherd's pie, or even fresh cucumbers for the first time.  They miss their atap, which is local mush (bread) made out of cassava and sorghum flour, but delightfully they only need to wait until supper when they once again receive local foods.  Gnut (peanut) sauce on matoke (mashed plantian bananas) or sakumawiki (collared greens) on posho (white cornmeal mash).

It is a true blessing to be in prayer with people and dogs from every tribe, tongue, and nation!

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