After traveling for over thirty-four hours, I hear the pilot say “Ladies and gentleman, blah blah blah blah, we will be arriving at our destination, Kampala Uganda, in approximately 20 minutes. The following was my thought process, “What 20 minutes, you’ve got to be kidding me? That seems like an eternity, I need to have my feet on the ground, on the same Continent as my children, like six months ago. 20more minutes, how will I ever entertain myself for that long? Oh my goodness, I am going to be holding my babies today….TODAY!!!!” With my heart racing I quickly realize, I am in Africa. I slide open that puny excuse for a window and take in the glorious view. I see lush green everywhere. Hills and valleys filled with tiny little huts. There running thorough it all is the Nile. It looked proud and regal, a country with a terrible history. Yet filled with people determined to persevere. It was not hard to figure out while Uganda has been called the Pearl of Africa. Uganda is a paradise, really it is. The temperature, while it may be hot for some, for us Texans it is perfect. The colors there are amazing, it is almost like they are exaggerated. Like what you would see in cartoon. The vegetation is the deepest and brightest shades of green you could ever imagine. The dirt, a beautiful shade of orange and red. Dark and rich. I can close my eyes and see it perfectly. The sun shining brightly, warming my body, yet the temperature is a perfect 78 degrees.
I am such a multi-sensory person. For instance, I don’t just drink a cup of coffee, I experience it. I enjoy my coffee best it a glass cup, without a lid. This way I can feel the warmth of it on my hands, inviting me to take it in. I love to feel the steam on my face as I peer into the cup, breathing in the magnificent aroma. Then and only then, can I take a sip and truly enjoy the taste of this rich treat. This is how I experience most things in life. This is how I experienced Uganda.
I feel I have been both blessed and cursed by this way of experiencing life. Blessed because I so easily see the wonder in things around me, enjoying fully the grandness of creation and all the Lord has made. Cursed, because I also see and feel with the same intensity the effects of our fall. On a normal day, it is wonderful. It is exactly what I expect it to be, it is a manageable experience. In Africa, it was overwhelming. Even now as I type, I can feel it. I can smell it. I can see it when I close my eyes. The beauty and glory of this wonderful land. The terrible tragedy of poverty, disease, and death that lies with in it. It takes my breath away.
As I begin the task of unpacking my heart, and laying things out, I feel it is important to share exactly how I viewed my experience in Africa. We sing a song in our church, and in it is the line “Lord take me deeper, into the glories of Calvary.” It is always my prayer, to know God more. Every time I sing this song, I pray that the Lord would grant me this request. That He would show me exactly what my savior endured, and what that means for me. That my dear friends, was the theme of my time in the Pearl of Africa. “Deeper into the glories of Calvary.” Every experience I had, was from the view of my Savior, as He came to earth to make our adoption possible. It is so very hard to explain, but I hope as I write over the next several weeks, it will become more clear. The Lord indeed answered my prayers, and took me much deeper than I ever dreamed I could go. I felt the deepest depths of pain, and the highest of joys, as I began to know my savior more. I pray now, that I never forget, never.