Reflections on life in Jinja

November 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s been a long day at the baby’s home today.   Not so much because I’ve been with the boys a lot, but there’s a lot on my mind today.    I’ve stayed upstairs in the volunteer quarters and read and processed and prayed today – that’s been valuable.

Aside from that, here are some of my random musings on culture in Kampala:

Traffic: Tomorrow I head to into the city one more time with one more paper that must be turned in to the embassy.    We’ll leave Jinja a little later this time – 8am– and I hope we don’t run into Kampala traffic!    I’ve done this trip a few times now and it seems to me that there are very few rules in traffic around here.   Oh, they have stop signs and red lights and cross walks and such, but they are more decorative than functional.   The rule of law is more Darwinian here.   You must be brave to even enter the fray, and victory goes to the clever, the quick or the downright reckless.   I have to choose to remember that my driver has done this for a long time.   He is an expert in this competition and we haven’t hit anyone…… yet.

Morning music: Another thing about this culture that I find different (and somewhat mysterious) is the morning call to prayer from the mosque in town.   The mosque isn’t very near to the baby’s home, so the dogs are the first to hear the faint music and they join in chorus in the dark hours of the morning.     Once they quiet down, if you listen closely you can hear a middle eastern melody coming over the loud speakers.   It is a single voice that sings an entire song lasting as long as five minutes some mornings.    Its minor key is hauntingly beautiful as it disrupts the quiet and everyone’s sleep.    There’s no evidence in the music itself that the faith it represents is void of truth and in opposition to the cross.   It’s odd and sad for something that sounds so pretty to be so empty.    The muslim population here is a minority, but you know them when you see them.   They dress differently.  They choose different foods in the foot court at the mall.   And, of course, they heed the calls to prayer.     What if…. Just what if all Christians wore some hat or special nikes or something?   (I’m not talking about a bunch of rules to follow, but just a visible expression.)   What if our mornings started with the local church piping out an instrumental version of ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ at 6am?   What would that look like to be immediately visible in America instead of blending in so, like we do?    Just wondering.

I hope tomorrow marks the last day of the effort in terms of the process here.   Even once the paper is turned in, we must wait several days for the visa to be issued.   Some families have had no trouble and their visas were issued painlessly and quickly.   Still others have waited for weeks and have struggled.    Please pray that that this final hurdle will be overcome.

I am more convinced than ever that this adoption is of God.   The longer I’m here, the more I see that He has created a situation in time (in the Ugandan government) and in the general process here that is just a slip of an opening.   We are squeezing through the crack for these two specific children and are squeezing back out.    It’s a little like a parting of the Red Sea, actually.    Something incomprehensible and unreasonable and yet, it’s happening so that God can rescue His people and get them to the land of His choosing.    It is yet another act of great grace on His part.  Pray for continued favor as God accomplishes His purposes here.

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