Saturday January 22, 8:30 a.m.
Waiting for Pastors Paul and Hummer to come pick us up. I wonder how late they’ll be today. They’re so funny…they tell you what time they’ll get here, “be ready at 8:00 sharp,” but not a single one of them owns a watch. It’s 8:00 whenever they decide that it is.
I had the worst night last night. I felt so miserable and I seriously considered staying in bed today instead of going to the baptism, but I wouldn’t miss the baptism even if I was about to die. Anyway, back to describing my crazy night. I think I was having crazy dreams and stuff because of having a fever, but my malaria pill might have had something to do with that…hallucinations are listed as common side effects…anyway, I woke up at about 2:30 and was coughing and wheezing and tossing and turning. And in my half-sleepy state I was having these fuzzy dreams that all of the orphans were in bed with me, piled up on my chest. But that’s really what it felt like–in my state of mind that scenario wasn’t entirely out of the question. It felt like there were 10 people’s worth of body heat, and like I was suffocating under the weight of a small herd of children. So today I feel pretty bad, and I hope I can push it out of my mind like I did yesterday.
6:30 p.m. Well, it worked, I stayed busy enough that my sickness didn’t bother me. Today was wonderful. A ton of people were baptised, and I got some awesome pictures, and then everyone wanted a picture with me and I’m so glad I went because I would have really missed out if I’d stayed at the hotel. Then on the ride home from Lake Victoria, it was so dusty we could barely breathe, and everyone was orange because of the dust…I love it (: And when I got out of the van and tried to talk my voice was completely gone.
Well, I can now say that I have set foot in Lake Victoria. (I dipped my toe in just so I could say I did.) I’m pretty happy about that (:
Now I’m really hungry. I couldn’t eat my breakfast and then we didn’t have time for lunch, and now I’m ravenous. The food here is so good! Tonight I’m having fish and chapati and probably beans. Yummo.
I want to have a nap now, but it’s late enough that I should wait…so hopefully I can sleep tonight.
Sunday January 23, 8:00 a.m.
I am DREADING this day. Today is the day that we say goodbye to the Busia people, because tomorrow morning we leave for Kampala. So this day will be very hard. I really need God to give me strength for this day, because I’m not ready to say goodbye and I never will be. Today will be a day filled with tears and I’m already anticipating the dull ache in my chest that always accompanies saying goodbye. It’s an ache that never really goes away. It’s an ache that time cannot mend. It’s an ache that keeps me up at night. I know this ache all too well, because I’ve felt it too many times before. It’s what love feels like. Love hurts.
But even beyond the pain, I’m so thankful. Despite the inevitable heartache, I’m glad. Because a life without love is no life at all. And no matter how much it hurts, I consider it a huge blessing to be able to come here and love these people. I thank God for the opportunity to give my heart to the poor and needy. I thank him that there will be no more goodbyes in Heaven, and that I’ll see these people again some day. Knowing that takes some of the edge off of the sadness.
4:30 p.m. I’ve done it. I’ve said goodbye to my Busia kids. Now I only need to do it 2 more times—once in Kampala and once in Swaziland.
Sometimes love is made of joy and all smiles…the mountaintops…and that part is so easy to embrace and enjoy and cherish. But sometimes love feels like this…sad hugs and tear-stained journal pages.
One of the things I’m learning on this trip is that I need to embrace both sides of love. The happy side and the sad side. Right now I am trying to embrace the sad. Because I shouldn’t hate any side of love. I should learn to be thankful for love and every emotion that comes with it.
I’m sure that sometimes it was easy for Jesus to love people. He enjoyed their company and had long talks with them and gave them hugs and laughed. But I’m also sure that there were some times when love was a sacrifice. I’m sure that when Jesus was hanging on the cross for us, he was feeling the painful side of love. Jesus shed tears for the sake of love. And I’ll never share in the full extent of his pain, but I count it a privilege to be able to feel even a small part of the sacrifice of Jesus’ love.
Love is not easy. But Jesus loved like I wish I could. And I’ll do my best to imitate him, loving to the point of agony if that’s what it takes.