My update this week is all about today. Oh, we did the regular stuff that we always do; lots of youth activities, most centered around Jesus and Holy Spirit, our normal Friday night blow out worship under a billion stars, fellowship with the village women on Friday mornings, Christmas clean-up shopping on Saturday, and all that fun stuff. Our typical week stays ever busy and we all drop into our mosquito-draped beds at night falling asleep to the chirping of a thousand insects and sometimes the all night prayer at a church near us. All that stuff never changes. It is how we live and who we are. Sometimes I sit outside, well, all the time I sit outside, and I think, “Can I ever really be happy living inside of places?” In the USA most people are inside of somewhere. Inside the house or the office or the mall or the movie or a fast food place or a car. They are just always inside. Here, I rarely stay inside for longer than two hours at a time. I love God’s great dome of blue sky and the starry host at night. Just love it!
So, back to today. The message this morning was about angels and demons, but mostly about angels. I never like to spend too much time on the darkness. I don’t like to flatter that side with my attentions. As we were worshipping I opened my eyes and saw a cloud or a blurriness? I rubbed my eyes. I took off my glasses and cleaned them. Still there. I already knew what it was as I have seen it in our church two other times. The glory had fallen once again and His cloud was in our church. I love when that happens. I can almost feel the rain inside, but not yet. One day it will rain inside our church! We love the glory of God.
Church ended about two and a half hours later and we brought all of our sound equipment back to the compound like we always do to be put away in our storeroom. I drove onto the compound and straight to the center where our playground is and we set up the sound system and continued to worship for two and a half more hours. My body is so tired from dancing the entire day it seems. We just couldn’t stop. These are the times that I absolutely love spending with the children. Africans have a certain rhythm and groove when we dance to gospel music. We all move together in the same movements. It is so freeing and fun and full of unity, all flowing in the river together. The kids love when us old folk do this with them. They smile so much when we can move like and with them. So fun.
Later in the day two of the village mamas came to ask for help as they have no food and haven’t eaten in five days except for some small bowls of ground corn porridge. I prayed with them and helped them so they can get by for another week or so and we prayed for God’s solution to come for all of these who suffer this economic crisis. I know God will give me a good plan and so I help where I can and wait for His right way to do all this. As I was finishing up with them I noticed one of our older boys washing the feet of two of our younger children. I was shocked, in a very good way! In this culture one never touches another’s feet for any reason. We don’t even mention feet or even look at them.
The older boy is our very own, Data, who was severely abused as a small boy. He can’t go to school because he has a severe learning disability. He speaks excellent English so he is not dumb. He knows his ABC’s yet cannot count money or read and write at all. He has no clue about money or making change. He is 19 years old and the small children flock to him because he simply loves them and plays with them. He is being apprenticed with our Construction Engineer from Uganda now. So he is working and learning how to build. The guys love him and Data is the hardest worker you ever saw. He sings all the time and dresses very nice and takes care of himself. He is the sweetest guy on our entire compound and is loved by all. His maturity level is hard to pin down. I wouldn’t send him to town by himself but I would trust him with a small baby for an hour. He acts real silly sometimes but it is for making all of us laugh and we enjoy him. I wouldn’t have him move into his own house but I trust him to care for our boys when the other older ones are in school.
When I saw Data very gently yet thoroughly washing Henry’s feet in a basin I was so touched by this love act. Henry is 13 years old, not some little kid. He also did the same for one of our girls the same age. It was so wonderful to see this, especially in this culture and to see that the kids were very comfortable with it and not feeling weird. They know all about this act of servant hood. They know their Bible. It brings joy to my heart that all that we teach, it sticks, it finds its sticking point in their hearts. It’s all about today, what we do today, that will be sticking points in the hearts of those that we encounter. Today was a very good day.