Hard to believe, but we only have one more week here in Lukodi. After that, we say goodbye to our mud huts, spend 1 1/2 days on safari, debrief in Kampala, and head home.
I have to admit, I hit a low point this week. I have had other "low" moments: times when I was feeling discouraged about our students, or times when I was sick or worn out. But this week, it felt like all of those factors met at an intersection.
I spent pretty much the entire week feeling miserable in bed (or technically, in hammock). I honestly don't know if there's any way to keep a healthy tummy with the sanitary conditions here. Thank God (really) for the medical clinic nearby. A quick (& free) dose of medicine and we're on the road to recovery-- but it's still a long and bumpy road. So, after spending 5 days staring at the grass thatched roof, I found myself missing home for the first time-- wishing that this whole thing could be over and concluding that I'm not cut out for this whole Africa thing, after all.
Why am I here? I asked myself and God. Why did I think I could handle this? I get sick at home all the time-- why did I think I could make it in Africa? Is this what I came all the way across the world for? I thought it would be a life changing experience, but my life hasn't been changed, so far. Has anyone's life really been changed? We only have a week left-- will it just be more of the same? Is it my fault that something spectacular hasn't happened? Could I have done anything any differently?
Like I said, I was feeling discouraged.
I prayed about it a lot. I journaled a lot. I talked to Chris. Should we come back next year? Should I just stick to the inner city? The inner city is so much better for me. I belong in the inner city. I wish I was in the inner city.
But as I prayed, God reminded me that He really did call us to be here. I believed that before, and I need to continue to believe it. I need to fight for it-- pray for it, trust that it will happen, expect it. God reminded me that He changed my life in one week, that first Spring Break I went to Mexico as a freshman in high school-- and He can change our lives in this last week, as well.
One way I have really seen Him working (even today) has been in the lives of 3 of our non-Christian students. They have all been coming to an optional Bible Study I have been leading, and have given such great insights. One of the days I was sick, one of the girls led the Bible Study for me, and on Sunday, another will lead it! Claire (the one who led it earlier) was asked if it was her first time leading a Bible Study, and she said, "Yeah, and my third time attending one!" She did a great job.
Leah (the one leading on Sunday) decided that she was going to start praying for specific things, expecting God to answer-- and all three things she prayed for has happened! One of her prayers was that God would heal Claire, who had been really sick, and because of a medical condition, unable to take the antibiotics she needed to heal her tummy. They prayed together last night, and this morning, Claire was better! It is beautiful to watch them open up to the possibility of Jesus, and to feel God working in their lives.
So, I feel a renewed sense of hope-- even urgency-- and desire to pray, to push through, and believe that God really has called us here to change our lives. Please, please, please keep praying for us. Pray especially for my brother, who has also been feeling burned out & discouraged as well (but increasingly open to spiritual things).
We all appreciate your prayers!