Saturday, January 13, 2007

(maybe National Geographic will hire me ;)

Heading up to Gulu tomorrow and then Kitgum after that. This is where the real stuff starts so keep us in your prayers. I'm taking my Ugandan pastor friend Edgar up with me as well as a photographer who is willing to take pictures for Zion Project. We're expecting big things. We're staying at the Favor of God house like I stayed at last year where every morn you get roused to the wonderful sound of drums and Ugandans dancing in worship. And yes, I do get up for it :) They're a great organization. Check them out at

I'm excited. I reserved Zion Project's name in the registrar here in Uganda so I' m pumped no one can steal it now. :) I've got a letter we're going to be taking to local leaders to let them know about the project and have them sign on, so we really need favor with them big time.

Oh and send me some love on the comment line folks.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

This week so far in Kampala has been really good. I was able to take the Ugandan family I just love and support the items that Barcroft school and others sent. It was so cute because kids from Barcroft school wrote letters to my kids and the kids thought that was just the best so they read them and responded and I cried just reading the notes. I need guidance about what to do because their American mother is nearing 70 and needs help taking care of the kids. She works 5 jobs in the US to try and support them but school fees are high. We figured she sends about $600 a month to support them which is a huge amount and she is struggling. We want to set her up under Zion Project as a special thing b/c she is worried if something happens to her there will be no one to take care of the kids. But it is hard to have my heart torn between the North and between them in Kampala. But we are dreaming of a way to bring it all together, perhaps two homes, one in the North and one in Kampala to promote reconciliation between NOrthern and Southern regions since there is so much hatred between tribes. I believe that revival and restoration will come from the children. God has really been impressing that on my heart lately.

The other great thing that has happened is my friend Edgar has been helping me get set up as an NGO. Today I just reserved the name Zion Project at the Registrar's office. I'm still praying through whether I will start off as my own NGO or partner with another one in Gulu, but either way I think it is good to begin the process so when that time comes I will know how. There have been so many just God-given appointments with people. Edgar knows a woman on the NGO board who makes the decisions about who becomes one and who doesn't.

I go out to the Ndjee community tomorrow to visit Linds and see the projects they are working on with the refugee community there. And on Friday I head up to Gulu again on a rickety bus :) I've been enjoying the hot water in Kampala but am ready to get up to Gulu, even for the freezing showers and bad food :) I'm taking a photographer up with me who just volunteered to come with. He might want me to write captions for some of his photos. Talk about crazy opportunities :) I'm so excited. Since I brought cameras with me he is going to teach some of the girls how to work them. It should be a great time.

I need prayer for discerning which IDP camp to begin working with. Awer has been heavy on my heart and I have connections there but its really up to God. I appreciate all you who have been praying. I have felt them in the last few days.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The sun sets a stream of red over a long horizon above the deserts of Sudan. As I fly over I feel my heart sense that I am coming closer to home. I have always said God was in sunsets. He is probably in sunrises too if I could ever wake up for them. From the air there is no landscape just the black shape like a backbone rising out of the African dust. This is Africa. A strong back lit up by the sun. Always breathing, always rising.
She rises still.

I do not know what will become of me here, only that I am drawn here as the wild geese to a warmer spring, the trout who swim upstream, and the wolf to the studded moonlit darkness. There will be many failures but maybe there will be one life utterly transformed, catapulted into redemption. I used to think that I could bring something, that I could save the many, but I think more now that this is about God doing something in me.

Some say God left Africa a long time ago. The tribal wars clash on, the governments steal and crack the backs of children in mines for money they will never see, Aids spreads, malaria consumes, and girl child soldiers seem beyond repair. But I find God in Africa---in the midst of the most destitute of places, in the least ones whose lives have been given up on, in tiny acts of grace and raw human need. He is close to the poor. His world order is very different from our own. Here is where revolution will not come through the wise or powerful, but through the children who stretch their arms to the sky. And I realized that all I can give is Him through love that never says enough is enough but cracks on through the middle of the most painful places. Its not that they need Him more than we do, but its because He is at home here, He flourishes here, He is making a way because he is wanted. Here we live close to our desire. Close to want for more in life and close to disappointment. We befriend the lack of things meeting up to our expectations. We sleep with dreams of possibility in our heads.

It is never as we think it should be. It is harder than we thought it would be. But here we are being born and baptized over again with light and with fire.