Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thanksgiving




Every year New Hope has a thanksgiving Sunday to remember all our many blessings.  We gather in our family groups and then parade around the big circle singing and shouting and waving branches.  A bit like Jesus entry to Jerusalem and David returning with the ark all rolled into one. 









The highlight is always the singing in various tribal languages and exuberant dancing in which our Iteso brethren jump twice their height (it's a full body workout!).







Uncle Jonnes summed up the reason for thankfulness as he closed our time in prayer.  "Today where twenty-five years ago I saw rows of skulls and skeletons I now see the faces of children singing praise to You."


Monday, July 14, 2014

"Home"

"Home." 













It's a word that conjures up images for all of us and the last few weeks that word has floated to the surface of a few conversations.  Before I left Uganda for three weeks in Canada, many people told me to greet "'those ones at your home place for me."   Indeed as I sped along smooth roads, embraced family and friends (including one who whisked me to London for my lay-over), savoured the taste of rhubarb crisp and Alberta beef, I did feel that I'd come home.  By the way you know you've been away for a long time when a trip to Value Village is a big treat.  Thank you to all my western Canadian hosts who housed me, fed me and brought me along to events like the Scottish society BBQ. How good to share in worship and fellowship with my church family in Calgary and realise again how much we owe to those who are praying and supporting us in Uganda.


Then it was off to Ontario to see elderly ones who told me "you look just like your mother."  One forgets how much those connections mean and how they speak to the "home" of long ago. 












Catching up on lives of nephews and nieces all grown up and sharing cups of tea and conversation with my siblings were all a part of coming "home."









Cap it all off with a weekend in Muskoka, swimming in the lake and a surprise meeting with a former Pioneer Camp director and I can truly say I've been "home."







As my flight landed in Entebbe though I felt excitement mounting.  "Home" for me has also come to mean bumpy dirt roads, beans and posho and countless faces dear to my heart.  "Welcome home" the immigration official said as I passed all those visitors in the visa line and flashed my 'dependent pass.'  I smiled to myself as I waited for David and the kids to pick me up (African time you know!).  It's good to be "home."