I called today and it was already evening in Uganda. It was nearly nine pm when Scott picked up after a lot of ringing. In fact, I was just about to hang up and try again later. When he did at last answer I knew why it took him so long. The background noise was deafening. He probably didn't hear the call. Thankfully the chaotic sound coming through the phone was clear as bell to me. I knew exactly what it was, and it was music to my ears.
Each night before they crawl into bed, the children at Ranch on Jesus convene together for a special time of prayer and praise. From where I was sitting at my dining table the sound of it was similar to a derailing freight train. Scott held up the phone, though, and I was able to make out the scratchy words "Holy, holy, holy. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord almighty."
The drums were beating and the children's voices were echoing inside the room. I shut my eyes and pictured their shining faces and swaying bodies.
"Does that make you, homesick?" Scott asked. Of course, he already knew the answer. "Do you want to say anything to them?"
"Just tell them I love them," I said.
"Wait-here..." He held up the phone again and all at once the children shouted together "Mama Jamie, Mama Jamie, how are you?!" Then they shouted "Kyamagero, Kyamagero, how are you!?"
Kyamagero is our daughter, Vivian's, Lugandan name. She looked a little confused at first. Then she said quietly, "Hi, kids." Scott held up the phone so the children at Ranch could hear her. I prompted her to speak a little louder. When that didn't work I urged her to sing a Ugandan song. Then clear as a bell she began singing, "Higher, higher! Higher, higher, higher, higher." The kids erupted into cheers and laughter. They were delighted. So was I.
Then Vivian started to cry, "See kids! See kids!" She wanted me to turn skype video chat on the laptop so she could see the children in the screen. Unfortunately that wasn't going to work today...but maybe tomorrow. We said our goodbyes and I was reminded once again of how very odd and blessed her little life is. I am also reminded of how blessed I am. What a privilege to be a part of the lives of so many children. They fill my heart with joy. May really can't get here soon enough! Then we'll truly "see kids" Viv!