Hi family and friends,
This week I travelled to Rwanda to renew my Visa, which means I have been here for 3 months! I praise God for the smooth adjustment and deep contentment and peace He has given me. What a gift!
One of my favorite adventures while being here is travelling to my friends’ villages. There’s no better way to get to know someone than by visiting his home and meeting his family. The first journey was to my brother Ably’s home in Kaharo. Four of us crammed into the taxi and set off down the winding roads for a day away from town. Once we reached that one tree past that one hill (since there are rarely signs or street names), we got out and walked the “only 1km” (more like 3 miles) deep into the hills. While walking, we pointed out all the different crops growing, like potatoes, onions, pumpkins, cassava, matoke, maize…. the list goes on and on! The sun was shining bright, the birds were singing and our hearts were content. Once we reached our destination, Ably’s dear mother and other family friends greeted us. We took naps, ate a meal 90% from their garden and just unplugged from the world. That’s one thing that I love about this place… the fact that I can unplug from social media and all connection to the outer world and be completely present.
The following day, March 17, was my birthday. I woke up missing home and my family and all I wanted was to be at 4950 Stevely Lakewood CA. The day was hectic going up and down in town and helping friend’s host 20 people in their home. So we cooked and cleaned and it didn’t really feel like my birthday, although I was given hugs and a few birthday greetings. As I was heading home for the evening, a friend asked if I wanted to watch futbol with him. Although tired and drained, I for some reason said yego (yes). Long story short, his house was full of friends from church and they threw me a surprise party! One friend made American pancakes and we had cake and watched a movie. It ended up being a lovely evening and I left feeling so thankful and loved by my friends.
On March 24, Allyson and I celebrated our March birthdays on an island at Lake Bunyonyi. We had 27 of our dear friends all together on an island at the same time… it was so special!! I will never forget that day. I’m already forgetting the stress and chaos it took to transport everyone there (imagine African time to the max…), but God is good and everyone was happy and it was a day to remember for sure. We played volleyball, ate enkoko (chicken), sang worship songs on the lake (yes… literally on the lake while rowing) and purely fellowshipped with each other.
Other highlights from the month include running with a group of friends every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 6:30AM. Rain or shine, we run. When we reach a hill and it gets challenging, we help each other to the top. Then after our run we circle up and pray together and then continue with our day. I then proceed home and take a cold bucket shower and prepare to work at the hospital. It’s a lovely routine for sure.
At the hospital, I’ve enjoyed finding fetal heartbeats and seeing the fathers listen to their unborn baby for the first time. In Uganda, women are encouraged to attended prenatal checkups with their husband and then they will be seen first. This week I shifted to the immunization ward and enjoy squeezing newborn cheeks to give certain oral vaccines :)
|Easter with a wonderful mix of friends and family! Story will come another time... it was such a beautiful day.|
What makes your days productive?
In America, I would feel productive when my laundry was done, meals were prepped and my work schedule organized for the week. However, I have been thinking about what is at the root of all this productivity. Since I am in a completely different place (couldn’t be more opposite than California), I often felt unproductive because my routine and setting was different. No more meal preps. No more laundry to throw into the machine and press start. No more needing to fill up my car with gas. So how do I feel productive? What am I even doing? Where am I going? Why am I here? These are all questions that have rolled around in my head more often than once.
I’m productive when my ears are tuned to hear God and when my heart is ready to listen. The days are productive when God reveals more of Himself to me and when I am doing His will for my life. It's okay to make lists and to have plans for the day, but when things don't go as planned, just shake it off. This is something that I struggle with, but am getting better at. John Piper writes, “...Then walk in the peace and freedom that, when it shatters on the rocks of reality, which it will most days, remember, you’re not being measured by God by how much you get done. You’re being measured by whether you trust the goodness and the wisdom and the sovereignty of God to work this new mess of inefficiency for his glory and the good of everyone involved, even when you can’t see how” (Desiring God article).
Love to you all,
Thanks for your continued love and support.