In Uganda there’s a big difference between now and now now. Now means pretty soon, and now now means literally this second. Ben and I have found ourselves asking similar questions the boys ask, “Auntie Lo, we go now or now now?” “Uncle Ben, we have a meeting now or now now?” It actually works nicely.
The grateful sticky notes written on our guest room wall so far read:
- The most delicious mangos and mini bananas
- Hugs and hand holds from Ruth House girls
- Kayz singing Justin Bieber on the front porch even though he has had a hard week
- When the coconut oil on your kitchen shelf finally hardens because the weather has cooled off
- Shopping with new friends and buying cute skirts for 30 cents
- Worshipping on top of Bugembe Hill when the town lights begin to come on
- Honesty, reconciliation, and trust between our boys
- Speaking and learning a new language
- Dance parties and back flips on the veranda
- Smiles that translate across languages
All things we will not see, taste, or experience together at some point in the future. But right now we do. Right now now I am grateful.
As I tell God how hard it is to be away from my family and friends, to be in an entirely new culture, to be looked at like I have 5 heads everywhere I go, to be in a different time zone from everyone I love…He tells me this is not forever, but it is now and you are going to miss it by focusing on the challenges.
I listened to a message from Christine Caine today. What a boss lady. I needed to hear this message that Jesus plus nothing is everything. Nothing needs to be or should be added on to Jesus for us to feel sustained and satisfied. For us to feel passion about who we are in Christ, if you are in Christ.
His spirit speaks to us: You can’t look back in your past. You can’t look forward to your future. I need you to look up. Look up at me and learn what it means to be so utterly dependent on me. That’s where I have you right now. Look up at me. Stop trying to strategize and plan your life and FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS.
Caine shared, “God is not some sugar daddy to make me happy. Sometimes what we really need is obedience, submission, and death to self.” I’m not feeling happy or I’m not getting what I want? Obedience. Submission. Death to self. Fix your eyes on Jesus who sustains you not those temporary things you’re trying to make sustain you.
We are a little over two months in. Ben is in complete heaven and I am having a harder time. It is difficult to be on different pages, but also beautiful to see how God is working in our marriage. I’m not fixing my eyes on Jesus every day. I’m not doing a great job obeying, submitting, and dying to my selfish ways. And I need to. That was my prayer going into this and God is answering me. He is good like that.
So each day I’m praying for God to help me not look back nor look forward. I’m going to look at and be present in the now now. Rejoice in the now now because that is what God has given and entrusted to me. And one day it will be gone. One day my grateful sticky notes will never read about Amazima student hugs, singing, or dance parties. I will miss the sweet mangos and mini bananas. The chaotic central market shopping, and speaking Luganda.
Friend, I don’t know what you are currently struggling with. I’m sure it’s hard. But I’m also sure that when we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ He will show up. He will help us to see the light. To see all there is to be grateful for in the now now. Because one day it will be gone. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss it.
Now now is a good time to rejoice– a good time to realize Jesus is enough.
Lots of Love,
Ben & Lo
Ps- All 24 boys are present and we love them all so much. Each one is so unique and different from the next. They are beginning to become very comfortable with us and test boundaries. Our first weekend “off” two of them got in a fight. Everyone is okay, but we’ve had to have many hard conversations. Detentions and punishment have been given to a few. Last week was the hardest week so far, but this week has already started off on a better note. Sometimes it takes hard weeks for the good weeks to feel really good. Sometimes it takes disunity before there is true unity. Each time I am with the students I feel so full. Their smiles and laughs are forever etched on my heart. God is doing a wonderful thing here at The Amazima School. Thank you to our supporters who have allowed us to be a part of it, and are praying for us through it. We love you ❤