Thursday, May 13, 2010

Last Day

As far as last days go, this one could not have been any better. As some of you may remember, on my last day in Kampala back in January, a group of my friends got together and made a great lunch for me at one of their homes. It was an amazing gesture of generosity and friendship that I will never forget and today I wanted to return the favour. Oh how I would love to pile them all on a plane and have them over to my place for lunch but, since that’s a little bit out of reach for my budget, I decided to take them all out for lunch instead. So, this afternoon the eight of us met up at a nice little restaurant in the middle of an absolutely gorgeous park, right in the center of the city. The food was great and the company was even better. We sat there eating and talking, making fun of each other and laughing so hard that this time I thought I was going to be sick! It was great but let me tell you what really makes my African family so special and why I love them so much… As the laughter died down, one of the guys suddenly suggested that we go around the circle and tell everyone what we appreciate about each other. And so for the next hour or so we did just that, every one of us appreciating and affirming each person seated around the table. I was touched to hear all the wonderful, positive, encouraging things that they said to one another and so blessed for the opportunity to really share with each one of them how much they mean to me. After everyone had had their say, we simply began worshipping together, right there in the restaurant. We sang one of my favourite Ugandan songs, We Are Together Again, as well as another song that I didn’t know yet was so fitting – Bind Us Together In Love. Finally, our time of worshipped flowed into a time of prayer as we joined hands and lifted one another up in the presence of our Heavenly Father. If you have never had the privilege of being prayed over by a group of African brothers and sisters let me tell you, there is nothing like it. Then, the inevitable came and it was time for us to go. And so I hugged my friends goodbye and fought off tears as my taxi, quite literally, drove off into the sunset.

Of all the transitions I have experienced over the past few months, this one is without a doubt the most bittersweet. With all the travelling I’ve done, over the course of this trip I have experienced homesickness for the first time in my life and for months I have been longing for this day when it would be time for me to return home. Yet, if home is where your heart is then Africa is also my home and as much as I want to go back home, I don’t want to leave here. The last time I said goodbye to Africa three years ago, God gave me a promise that He would bring me back here one day. This time I have received no such promise and so I must say goodbye, not knowing when or if I will ever be back here again. Even now as I look at all the things on my bed that need to be packed, the whole thing just seems surreal. I would appreciate your prayers over the next 48 hours as I deal with the flood of emotions that are bound to surface.

Anyway, I’m off to pack and then try to get some sleep before my driver comes to pick me up at 5:00 tomorrow morning to head to the airport. Thank you. For everything. See you soon.

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