So life here in Arua is going on the same, but people are definitely paying attention to what is happening. Our supervisor with Africa Inland Mission just came up from Kampala to visit us and check on how we are doing. Apparently the guy from the US, Nate, who died in the bomb blast was staying in her home, so it hit home for her quite a bit. It appears that this might only be the beginning of more things to come, rather than an isolated incident. The Ugandan government seems committed to adding more troops in Somalia, and completely destroying these terrorists. In response, the leader of this terrorist attack has promised to hit more places in Uganda. These people in Uganda already have enough issues, enough hardship, and now they are faced with this. My friend who runs the internet cafe told us that his birthday was yesterday, but he didn't go out because of being worried about the terrorists threats.
We aren't all that worried, and it seems like for the most part life goes on as normal here in Arua. The US Embassy has given some advice on how to handle ourselves though, suggesting to stay away from large venues and such, as well as other things. I just know that Jesus is needed here, and He is very much here. There are many solid believers here, including those whom we work with like Leviticus and James. Please pray for us as we preach the gospel of hope that overcomes death, suffering, and pain.
I was just saying how my faith is deepening, I am believing and trusting Jesus more, because we are face to face with the brokenness of the world. When you are in situations like these, surrounded by poverty, pain, hopeless situations, war, terror, etc., you begin to see the need for redemption, for Someone to set things right. So much in the US we deceive ourselves into thinking that things are great, that we have control, but the reality is that this world is very broken. In Uganda, you see your need for Jesus much more than you do in the US. One of our cooks has four children, her husband is a drunk, she sleeps on her kitchen floor, and has little hope of much more than that in this life. As we speak at schools and churches in villages, we hear many stories of people who have had their father die, or maybe both their parents, and don't know how they will get school fees for the next semester. Kids are walking around in rags. Some women walk quite a way with water on their head, or a pile of branches, or various other heavy things.
Yet there is hope. These people have great love and hospitality. They always receive us warmly, and rarely complain. To them it is just life. We pull out a futbol and kids come to play with us with torn clothing and no shoes, yet they are all smiles and enjoy to just play. It's not that they don't have issues, or that they are unaffected by them, but they deal with it and move on. For those who know Jesus, they understand what it means to long for the return of Jesus, for the time when things will be set right, for when Satan and his evil ways will be done away with and the earth will be renewed and set right, for when God will dwell among His people and He will wipe away every tear and their will be no more mourning or pain. This is what they hope in. But in the US, we hope in so many other things. And we wonder why Jesus says blessed are the poor, blessed are those who hunger now, blessed are those who weep now, etc. Personally, I think that the King of the Universe knew what He was talking about, and that we should stop ignoring these statements. And if we really believe them, shouldn't we want to enter into poverty? Shouldn't we want to identify with and be among those who Jesus says are blessed? I just don't get why we don't take Jesus seriously. He gives so many warning to the rich, and yet we continue to hoard, continue to keep big bank account, continue to live on more than we need. I don't get how we can say that this homeless guy is our Lord when we only listen to the things He said which we like, and ignore the ones that we don't like. This Jesus actually says that it is really hard for rich people to get into Heaven, and then we shrug our shoulders and continue to live lifestyles that 98% of the world can't afford... and we don't think we are rich!
I am tempted to go on about how things here don't make sense, how people shouldn't suffer here and we need to fix things here... but honestly I think it is life in the US that makes less sense. It makes no sense that we live the way that we do when we know how the world lives. We aren't ignorant, as hard as we try to be. So what is stopping you from selling your stuff and moving into an inner city, or an Indian reservation, or some poor rural community, or somewhere overseas where people are suffering? We say that God hasn't called us there, but we never checked with God to see if He had called us where we currently were in our comfort. I'm more convinced than ever that it's time to go to the ghetto, and so Watts/South Central area is on my sights for January, but we'll see what the Lord wants. But for the time being, please pray for Uganda and that they would hope in Jesus, not in armies, bombs, soldiers, or whatever else, but in Jesus. And pray that we would do the same in the US.