When I returned home to Mukono and back to my house, my Mama was off at a catering job. There were kiddos in the house, but they were watching Jackie Chan and the house was so toasty. So after unpacking, I cruised on over to Mzungu’s and Janet’s place next door. Unfortunately, Janet was away in Kampala, but Mzungu was around so I hung out with him.
While waiting and waiting and waiting for Mama, about 3 1/2 hours passed while I was next door. Eventually when business died down around the shop, Mzungu and I got to talking. We were talking about rural homestay and I was telling him about Onesimus and his language barrier with Becca and I. After Mzungu had heard the first half of the story about how Onesimus barely greeted us at the beginning of the week and certainly didn’t hang around with us at first, he chose to tell me a story of how he used to do the same…trying to explain the potential behind Onesimus’ actions. Mzungu told me how many a time Ugandans will choose to please their fellow Ugandan over the Mzungu they know is bound to leave sooner or later. I knew this already, but it reminded me of the struggle I had during this past week with investing in relationships that I know are bound to come to an end at some point soon.
Thus reverts back to my journal I wrote at the end of the trip and then got to share with the group at Sunday morning fellowship before we departed from Sipi Falls:
“On our drive to Sipi Falls yesterday and away from all rural homestays, I was thinking about my life. I have a great life. I was thinking about the involvement I get to have in ministry, my close friends and some of the great experiences I’ve had with them, my family and how no matter what they’ll always be there for me when I return home, continuing with life yet loving to hear about my adventures. I was thinking about school and how the Lord has used it to grow me, my health and the fact that I can still run, hike, wrestle. I was thinking about my church and the many mentoring and peer relationships I’ve been able to grow there. And the great thing was that it wasn’t a homesick feeling, but rather an overwhelming joy and, dare I say, confidence that I can have for the time when I do return home. And not just a confidence in life that I’m returning to at home, but a confidence knowing my time here was set by God and there is not going to be such thing as not enough time. No relationship or experience will have to fall short because I left too soon. My time here in Africa was planned in advance by the Lord and He saw every relationship I was going to develop and every experience I would have. And that is definitely a matter of releasing that control to the Father because I certainly don’t feel right in myself about my limited amount of time left in Uganda, but the Lord knows better than I.”
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”
So in continuing that conversation with Mzungu, I related my frustration to him in feeling as if there is never enough time and how it can be tempting to just seclude myself and not invest in relationships here because I know I will have to soon turn away and lose the main core of those relationships. I was telling him how that mindset that a Ugandan would sooner avoid a Mzungu and please a fellow Ugandan instead doesn’t help me when it comes down to relationships.
But as I presented this, I told Mzungu what comfort the Lord gave to me… that my time is not my own and what time I am granted in certain places with certain people is ordained by the Lord and set exactly the way it is for a reason. That will always be comforting. And while I have realized even in my first day back from Soroti how much I am going to miss my family and friends here in Mukono, I have come to terms with the fact that the time I have left needs to be valued rather than clung to out of desperate state of being.