20 March 2019 – Time and Distance

Not including travel and the day in Kampala, today marks two full weeks being in Bombo. Today is was also the first day in 18 days I had a real cup of coffee a thanks to the Carroll’s, not just instant Nescafe. I have not missed coffee too much. Instant coffee with the right amount of cinnamon and sugar is fine and the sunrises make up for it.

Time and distance are strange concepts. I simultaneously feel I have been gone for a long time and not at all, far from what is familiar but also close to familiar things. When I arrived in Uganda, I got a SIM card for my phone and a few days later I realized I was not receiving iMessages to my computer or phone. Initially I worried I was missing important texts but then I realized I really wasn’t. A few days later my USC email was corrupted likely due to my sketchy VPN use and I couldn’t access it for a week. Although I was stressed about what emails I could be missing regarding graduation and my final project for my Master’s and things related to the magazine I’m editor of, I regained access to find very little missed.

It is so easy to stress about these things like where we are going, what important thing we are doing, who is paying attention to us. These are consuming points of focus in our hectic world. Being in Uganda reminds me of how unimportant this type of focus is and instead how important the focus on people is.

For the last few days we have been driving to different schools to train teachers on the feminine hygiene education materials we brought. Each time our car ride has had a few guests, people from BPC who are traveling somewhere near where we are going. So, they tag along, we drop them off and wish them a safe journey as the continue on. One day we stopped so the man driving us could buy milk as it was on his way and then drop charcoal at his house since there was another man along for the ride who could help unload.

My go go go Western mindset says, don’t stop for them, I want to get back and bathe. But then I decided to view these journeys speckled with sojourners differently. Instead of it being about my time, it became a tangible expression of loving others. Their needs were as important as my own, especially since it was of little inconvenience to us. It simply required me setting aside my own plans and to focus on loving others.

Today we taught our third of four feminine hygiene classes. One of the activities Laura has the women do is pair up and say something encouraging to their partner. In doing so, Laura emphasizes we have the ability to make one another not feel shame, but joy in who we are. The women’s faces light up every time, the energy in the room increases, and it is hard to get them to stop talking. They love loving one another in a tangible way.

Sometimes I think the success of missions or development projects is measured by how much we bring. In reality, deeply loving one may set of a chain of events with impacts far greater than we can measure, ask for, or imagine.


“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

 

-- Brooke Adams


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