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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Post Africa

It has been quite a journey, going to Africa and all. I've been back for fully a week now. I could have blogged, but had massive Internet problems (still am too). More importantly though, I was trying to process my thinking and figure out what it was that happened with me in Africa. What did God say to me? What did I hear? Was my listening and noticing complete enough to take in all that God had for me? Those are the questions.

What I noticed in Uganda was that it is a country plagued with sin. Years of war, oppressive regimes, terrorism, and other issues in that country and its neighboring countries have produced social calamities that are tragic. The extensive slums and poverty are quiet unlike what we might see in my country. But perhaps the more remarkable thing is how the people make do with what they have. Several families will share a crude toilet facility and one water faucet. And they don't complain. They don't even look forward to anything better. I couldn't help but contrast that with Americans who have three bathrooms in one house and aren't satisfied. I wonder how God sees all these contrasts in humanity. What does God think?

Uganda is a beautiful country. It is highly blessed with wonderful climate, rich soil and plentiful water. Everything grows well there. The people of Uganda have known hardship and strife. They are experienced. The most noticeable thing about them though is that they are truly nice people. They aren't angry or bitter. They're truly welcoming and ready to embrace and engage the outside world. If anything, this opportunity to engage and embrace the rest of the world seems to be what they look forward to most.

I've already received an invitation to return to Uganda for another pastors' conference and to develop a Celebrate Recovery program in the Luzira maximum security men's prison. (I've also had someone offer to fund that trip for me too!) In addition, I received requests to put on a "Difficult Subjects" seminar in Kenya and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This past week, since arriving home, I also received an invitation to put on a conference in Kigali, Rwanda --- from someone who never met me but "heard about what happened in Kampala." It might seem that future trips to Africa are in the cards for me.

We shall have to see what the good Lord has in store here!

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