I’m going to start this off on a not so serious note: I STRONGLY dislike driving in Uganda. I can’t think of anything that stresses me out more than driving out here. The roads are pretty terrible, its like a minefield of pot holes and Collin likes to think that he needs to dodge and swerve between every. single. one. of them. I haven’t driven yet and I don’t think I plan on doing it. There are absolutely no rules to driving, none whatsoever, but they do have a type of communication that they do with their lights and its pretty fascinating. I am in the car right now trying to type out this blog for this week and it’s a good thing I’m distracted because we almost got driven off the road. We are headed to Kampala to get some stuff for our car to keep it safe (lifted, and bigger tires), where we are at in Rukungiri its just too small of a town to have the kind of parts that we need so we have to drive about 8 hours to the capital city. On this trip we decided to take the long route and take a look at some animals in Queen Elisabeth’s Park (pictures are on our facebook). We have been in Rukungiri for about a month now so we decided to take a mini adventure and see the parts of Africa that make it beautiful.
Anyway, I’m going to give a little update on where we are at and how were feeling. The culture shock is starting to wear on us a little bit. Being practically the only 2 white people in town we get stared at A LOT. Today we were eating lunch and this woman just stared at us the whole time we ate. At first it doesn’t bother you but then it slowly starts to make you feel awkward and it is such a different feeling than being at home. Here we get so much attention, a man even asked to have his picture with me…that would never happen at home. The attention is good at times, but I miss the intentional attention that cares more about how I am doing as a person and not just the way I look. The people here are incredibly kind but I find myself missing conversations of depth, like really getting to know someone. I am constantly being reminded how important friendships of depth are to me and how special it is to have people in your life that invest in you and you invest in them. Here we are just mizungu’s but at home we are much more than that, we are a sister, a brother, a daughter, a son, and a friend. Which leads me into the thoughts that I have had this week, how is my friendship with Jesus? How good of a friend have I been to Him?
Being here it is hard to keep up with people back home, we are on a completely different time schedule and sometimes people are busy and they just don’t respond, and that’s okay, but it made me reflect on my friendship with Jesus. How often do we invest in our friendship with Him? I think that a lot of us see Jesus as our savior, Jesus Christ, lover, Father, redeemer…you get the picture. We see Jesus in all of these different ways and in each way He is still the same Jesus but I think we fail to see Him in a much more simpler way, as our friend.
Last week Collin’s blog was about distraction and even being here I still feel distracted, like I am not investing in Jesus as much as I could. I find myself expecting a relationship to and not investing. How often do we expect things from Jesus without building our friendship with Him? Expectations can be a very bad thing because if someone doesn’t live up to our expectations we see them differently and I question if I have ever done that with Him. Building a friendship with Jesus is so important and it has been good for me to see it that way. Being here God has really challenged me to become a better friend and to be honest with you it is not that easy for me, which is surprising to me. Sometimes I don’t want to be a friend and when I am in those moments, I hear, “Well I’m sure Jesus didn’t want to be Judas’s friend, just knowing what he was going to do, but Christ calls us to love, and we are vessels of God’s love here on earth and we need to step outside of ourselves sometimes and pursue friendship even when it hurts.” Whenever I try to play the victim with myself that’s when I really feel God trying to teach me something and it’s hard because we don’t like being reminded our faults. Satan wants us to live in that frustration and anger but Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could live that way; He died so that we could have freedom in Him.
Pursuing Christ more intentionally and building that friendship with Him has been good for me. I am still learning how to be a better friend towards Him and to others, and I am far from being perfect but by His grace He continues to invest in my so by golly I’m going to keep on investing right back! Friendship is a powerful relationship and if we’re all honest we don’t have that many friends but the ones we do have we keep close. That is how we should be with Jesus, we need to hang out with him, take him to coffee, or have pillow talk till 2 in the morning. Christ is right there and He is eager for us to get to know Him and all we have to do is be present with Him. He will be the best friend we have ever had if only we would let Him, but He needs to be invited. So for all of you today I just ask that you think about this question, how is my friendship with Jesus?
Like any relationship you have in your life, you have to be invested to see it grow and challenge you. Christ desires to spend time with you, grow deeper, and see you acquire the wisdom that only comes from God. Spend some quality time with Him, you know what that looks like for you, and if you don’t start praying and God will reveal it to you. Once we begin that journey that level of friendship spreads to all the relationships we have in our lives and He strengthens us with His joy. Some of the most attractive people I have ever met in my life ooze joy that comes from Jesus and it all starts with building that friendship with Him and being the kind of friend that is a constant reminder of the love of Jesus.
Thank you all so much for walking this journey with Collin and I. God has already revealed himself to us in so many ways and he continues to each and every day. I want to ask that you keep us in your prayers for a couple things: we have been under some demonic attack and I know it is because Satan is scared of what God will accomplish here through this ministry, please pray against His efforts and that Collin and I can remain in the peace that only Christ can bring. Also, we are working really hard to make this airstrip happen and we could use all the prayer for that project to work out. This project could change the lives of so many people and it can bring life, both spiritual and physical, here to Rukungiri. The culture shock has also started to set in so we could use some prayer on that too. Thank you all again and we are always ready to pray for you all too so if you have any requests send them our way, we are here for you!