Grace Notes

Dance Fever

September 11, 2007 by Lissa Eggleston | 0 comments

March 7, 2004

Hey Lady,

PasGerMikNCBC (Small) It is the end of the day Sunday and I am trying to get this typed before the generator is cut off at 10:00.  The electricity has been off all around Kampala for most of the day.  We picked two visiting mini-missionaries from Entebbe this morning.   They were not completely exhausted so they agreed to go to church with us. We took them to the church we go to in the city called New City Church.  Pastor Gerald is a fabulous preacher. We are very blessed to have this partner church to attend.  His congregation seems to be mostly young Ugandan college aged folks.    IMG_0080 (Small)

Since we have found out that Sophie’s blood test was clear we have been anxious to go and pick her up. We were told to come pick her up Monday. The magistrate approved her placement with P1010007 (Small)us but Sanyu’s Director has suddenly refused to let her go. When Carolyn called to make an appointment to get her, Joyce said, “You come for her in a month, she is not ready to be released yet.”  We are both in deep confusion, Carolyn pressed a little and emphasized how well the children do here when they begin to balance the diet over 3 meals a day.  The Director could not be budged.  So, with heavy hearts, we wait.

spiritofuganda.jpg Yesterday, Carolyn and I went to Entebbe to the grand opening of the SOS Children’s Village there.  They have 12 cottages built and President Yoweri Museveni was coming to speak and cut the ribbon on one of the cottages.  He was to be there at 2:30 but actually arrived at 4:15.  We did not mind the wait, we sat in plastic lawn chairs under a big canopy tent drinking sodas and watching different groups entertain; it was no hardship to wait.  My favorites were the dance troupes doing native dance. To be in such an entertaining, relaxing environment was a great gift.  49709999._MG_8786

The dearest part of the day was when a group of 12 little seven to eleven year old girls from the war torn Northern area of Gulu danced.   These are little girls who watched their parents be tortured and killed, they are children who wandered aimlessly and Uganda_067were left to fend for themselves until an SOS center was set up to house and care for them.  SOS is a humanitarian organization and I am so grateful for their work.  They are able to tap into big corporate money gifts, mostly from Europe, to help the needy orphans here and all over the world.

Tonight, as I type, there are the familiar all night drums playing again.  49709991._MG_8652  We wonder when Ugandans sleep–they seem to stay up all day and all night.  Pray for us here, there is much community discontent since we had to lay off so many construction workers.  The buildings that were funded to this point have been completed and that means men have no work here. This is hard on everyone as we live among people whose stability has been disrupted by this work completion.  The necessary lay off has left the community outside our gate feeling betrayed and disgruntled.  Girl the lights are going to go so I better too.  00000196-photo

Until later–I love you–lissa

P.S.  Jane, I am asking God to continue to help me be one who can receive help without feeling like a slacker. God uses you to help me release pockets of destructive independency.  Thank you.

A New Day, A New Opportunity

August 25, 2007 by Lissa Eggleston | 0 comments

January 6, 2004

Dear Friend,

kampala02This morning I am tasting the mercy of God helping me wait for word that James has arrived in the States safely. We left the village early so that we could enjoy a final farewell dinner with him.  Since our arrival in Kampala, he had wanted to try this Indian restaurant that was on the top floor of the “mall” in Kampala. 291576110_2503a25d66  We decided that would be the place to celebrate our time together in Africa and his beginning again at Grove City.   The view was spectacular, and the setting of the restaurant was very festive.  We had the whole restaurant to ourselves since we were eating so early no one else was in the place.  James seemed a little nervous but was intent on being upbeat.  It turned out to be a lovely, lingering time.  The food was excellent but scorching hot– we compensated by ordering the large bottled water to help douse the flames on our tongues!   That was a great idea until we faced the reality of what it would feel like to travel for 40 minutes to Entebbe Airport, over potholed roads, after consuming 2 liters of water!  Casey was seriously uncomfortable on the trip and I think her pain allowed me to forget the unavoidable pain that was ahead for my heart.  We had to make one of those quick good-byes because of the airport security in Entebbe.  uganda3 I longed to be able to sit with him until time to board but it was not to be.  I thought I caught a glimpse of fear in his eyes and I almost grabbed him and said, “Don’t go.”

It killed me to look on that but he pressed on and said he would call as soon as he could.  We didn’t have an international card to give him so I think his plan was to call you and ask you to give us a quick call to let us know he has arrived at Dulles.  We have learned that Mike’s Honda was not starting and so Cindy and her husband are trying to get that repaired before James has to head back to PA.

Jane, James has a very tender fondness and respect for you.  I think he would truly appreciate knowing that someone was thinking about him and willing to give him a call to let him know that. The truth is, I would appreciate knowing that someone closer than me is watching out for him.  This is hard.

As we have shared before, I can be as miserable as I want to be and there are times when I give in and get pretty miserable. More often I am thinking,

“Lissa is God still God?”

“Can He care for James in your absence or not?”

“Can He care for Him better than you can?”

“Is the joy of the Lord my strength or did my joy go with James?”

“Lissa, are you so faithless that you consider yourself mistreated in this separation?”

“Lissa, do you believe that I will never leave you or forsake you?  Do you believe that for James as well?”

I find the rehearsal of truth moves me on and brings to my aching heart strong comfort that I need.  You and I have often talked about how there is no help in sitting around describing the pain–it only gets deeper and worse–I know this is a grace from God and I am thankful.

Today I will go to SOS to get 2 children immunized.  There I will encounter Sister Immaculate.  She is a heavy set Ugandan woman who dresses in the old style white nurse’s uniform.  When I think of my past encounters with her, the words “gruff” and “severe” come to mind. Her way is to sort of bark orders at you but she will smile every now and again if she feels so inclined. I find myself trying to coax a smile from her!   I hope the day at the desk will bear much fruit in lesson preparation my friend.

I love you bunches–lissa

For God so Loved the World

August 4, 2007 by Lissa Eggleston | 0 comments

October 22, 2003

Good morning friend,

The rain whipped through at 4:30 this morning and I got up to close windows and decided to stay up. You cannot believe how hard it can rain here and the ground, like a huge sponge, receives it all and grows everything into lushness! morning sky Some have said, “If you throw plastic on the ground in Uganda, it will grow!”.  Early morning remains the sweetest time of all the day for me–it is quiet and the sunrises are worth getting up for!  The heavens announce the glory of God morning and evening–it is a humbling display.

Today we leave for Jinja and I pray we will see things that are delightful and enjoy each other’s company.  Jinja is about an hour and a half from Rafiki village and it is a place run by a Dutchman who planned it to cater to missionaries.  There are very modest bando style cottages to stay in but the landscape is gorgeous and refreshing.sunrise4 uganda-map.jpgThe pace has been nonstop since we landed so it will be great to have some time to think on all that is and has gone on.   DSC00161 (Small) I know it is God’s help to me that my work here allows me very little time with James–I sense that there is a weaning of the heart going on.  I’ll miss his help with the kids, I wonder how I will pass his room and know that he may not return to this place.  JDSC00693ane, I am beginning to wonder how I will put him on a plane in Entebbe and let him go–there is an indescribable ache in my heart as I consider that. DSC00385 DSC00376 Yet even as I think that thought, this fresh wind blows in and I am reminded that the same God who pushed me off of one continent and onto another– and who provided for all that I have needed (can you hear Robert’s hymn influencing me?)  will not leave me standing comfortless. You can make yourself so sorrowful by rehearsing what causes your heart to hurt!  So, I am most grateful that this gift of get away time has come to us so that I can savor this young man’s company a while longer.

DSC00506 (Small) I began thinking this morning about Psalm 102:18–about the “people not yet created that may praise the LORD.” I thought about the children He will bring here over the years–they are not yet created but to Him He already has the plans for each of them in place.  How marvelous is this God?      DSC00518 (Small) dsc00427-small.JPG My friend I have had you in my thoughts and prayers today as well.  I have prayed for renewed strength for you now that He has seen you through ACTP and you will be refreshing the retreat talks for Myrtle Beach.  dsc00381-small.JPGI trust that there was much that He let you see and enjoy in the prayer retreat.  I hope there were people who sang from the same sheet of music with you and that God Himself stirred up hunger for more prayer in His people.  jamesgettingdirty.jpgJust think –if we were not so captivated by Christ and kingdom work–we’d have to occupy ourselves by taking bus trips to Branson, Missouri!  We have been rescued –we are set free to enjoy our Maker!  You are a cherished friend–until later, lissa