Tomorrow we bid goodbye to the Pearl of Africa. It has been a wonderful month, and I hate to leave. When Winston Churchill visited Uganda in the 20th century, he dubbed it the "Pearl of Africa" because of it's rich, natural beauty. Uganda is beautiful. It is temperate, green and lush.
But Uganda's physical beauty has been largely marred by scars of poverty and disease. Garbage litters almost every roadside. Poorly constructed buildings and shacks are tossed together haphazardly. Pollution fills the air. Shabbily dressed children roam aimlessly through the country side.
Uganda is not the most convenient or comfortable place to call home. But for those who love her, she is irreplaceable. Underneath the scars lies something priceless. The beauty and charm of the Pearl lie in what cannot be easily seen.
Love covers over a multitude of things. When you love Uganda, even the garbage heaps begin to take on a certain charm. There is something almost endearing about the potholes, cows and smell of burning garbage. Like a beautiful woman, the charm and glory of Uganda shine through the scars. Her spirit and the spirit of her people remains compelling. She has a hold on me, and even when I am miles away I will think of her and long for her.
Yesterday we said goodbye to most of the children at Ranch on Jesus. What I feel for Uganda cannot begin to compare to what I feel for them. I will think of them everyday. My only comfort in saying goodbye is the knowledge that my return to the States will do more to benefit their lives.
But above all others, I will miss the Kamaras. For this loss, I don't even have words.
As time in the Pearl runs short, I doubt I will find any more opportunities to post. We are frantically packing bags full of woven bowls, nativities and paper beads. I am searching all over our room to match pairs of tiny socks and locate any crayons that are missing from their box. The last day is always a whirlwind, and I need to be focused.
Please be praying for us as we travel. I wish I could say I wasn't dreading the flight. I am, of course. I have come to accept the fact that I may never overcome this fleshly fear of flying. Nevertheless, I do not have to let that fear dictate my actions. I fly when and where God bids, knowing...even if not feeling...that I am safely held in His hand.
Pray also that our umbrella stroller survives the trip. KLM (our airline) broke one of the handles on the first leg of our journey as they tossed it under the plane. For the last few weeks it has been weakly held together with duct tape. What little life it had left in it has been sadly abused by Ugandan soil. Traveling internationally for 22 hours with a semi-walking 30 lb. toddler doesn't seem possible without this stroller. So please, pray it holds up!
Thank you, for taking the time to pray for and love us. Once we are home in the States I hope many of you will continue to keep up with the work at Ranch via this blog. Mukama bulungi nyo. The Lord is very good. He is in this place. He is with us everywhere.