It is about 5:45AM on July 7th, 2016. I have been back from Africa for about 56 hours. This morning Jet Lag is taking a toll (still), but it is more than worth it, because this morning I am in the mood to write again.
People told me coming back would be hard, they said, "everything will be different", "it will not be easy", but I do not think it is possible to wrap coming home up into a few words. Every little thing in the US is almost opposite of Gulu. I practically miss seeing chickens with their little baby chicks wandering around town but I for sure miss seeing the baby goats walking by, but most of all the people. The people in this place were the most inspirational, beautiful, and welcoming hearts I have ever come across. I miss the community that came out of just two short weeks.
I do not think I could wrap this place up into one blog post, so maybe this will not be the last. But this morning I am just going to talk about things I learned from being in this place, with some really great human beings.
The most outstanding and evident thing I learned from the start is that Jesus is the root of their lives. He is not a seed lying on the ground to walk by every now and then, he is the root. Jesus is their everything, they wake up and pray, they worship with more power, energy and rawness, than I have ever witnessed in my life. In Orange County, we have everything, we are distracted and I personally tend to lose sight of what actually matters. Why is it that I wake up and scroll through social media rather than opening my Bible? Gulu taught me that without Jesus at the root, the tree will just fall, there is no other material item that could stand in his place.
Further more, being in Uganda taught me to value community much more. Even being there for what now feels like the blink of an eye, this loving town opened their hearts, meals and voices to us with the most welcoming hands. In Gulu, they love visitors and they showed us this day in and day out with their shouts of praise and impeccable dance moves. This is something I have for sure learned to take home with me, welcoming others more than I have in the past.
I knew this place was going to change my life, I heard that about a million times. However, I do not think I imagined it completely flipping my views of the world all around. Coming home is weird, I wish there was a better word to grasp it but theres not, it is just weird. It is not bad, it is not happy, it is just weird. I feel a whole lot more full in terms of Jesus, he just used those little children there to fill me up with his love. However, I almost feel guilty for the things we have in the US, I now know that so many of these things are not necessary and that is something I am working through and coming to terms with on my own.
So for now, there is a huge jumble of my first time thoughts on Gulu and my hope and prayer is that these people would always be safe, but I know one thing for sure, they will always rely on Jesus because he is at the root of their lives.