On KLM 0562 with consistent engine hum and travelers to my right and left, none with any knowledge of flooding thoughts from the passenger in seat 43d. We have left Uganda. With beautiful Africa in the darkness of night behind me, I have begun the process of transition to life as I knew it just 7 days ago in the states. It is said that “time flies when you enjoy what your are doing” but one week has felt like six on this amazing odyssey….and it was so much more than “enjoyable.” To be candid, transformation is hard to come by lately for me, especially when the rhythmic consistency of daily life in the land-of-the-free seems to reinforce a state of mundane living. I would describe life in the routine appropriately as a consistent punching of the wind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I want to experience the abundant life even in the so called “regular life” I live and am called to.
A cathartic experience is inevitable when one curiously wanders into a child prison. You walk into a place that is bleeding-with-need thinking, “there is so much I can do to help”…egotistical in some ways, but God can still use that in spite of myself. Making a real impact in the lives of these children is going to be a long process. Neglecting my fear of sounding cliché, it is so very true that I leaned more from the “M” kids than they did from me. How can you not when a 5 year old child returns something that belongs to you after it was unknowingly stolen. Many don’t even have shirts on their backs yet they seemed to enjoy the perfectly spherical soccer ball they figured out how to “weave”….(you might not believe this) out of grocery bags, banana leaves and an avocado as the core. The posho (which is offered to them once a day) is hardly edible in my view (I sampled it) yet they seemed thankful with what they were given.
Naturally, I will set foot on Georgia red clay with new perspective. But with knowledge comes responsibility and the self-imposed expectation to NEVER FORGET. On our last day with the children I stood before the 200 orphans, looking deep in their wide-eyes, I told them I will never forget them and will always remember. Sadly, these children have heard mostly broken promises throughout their lives.
I hope and pray my short moment of remembrance from 43D will compel me to do more than remember.