November 10, 2003
I have typed about three messages to you this morning and deleted each as I read and was sickened by the self pitying that I was willing to type. I think I would just plead that you pray for my soul to be satisfied in Christ alone this week. I especially need God to strip me of the need to feel “successful” here and show me how to help these mamas without hindering their care of the children.
Auntie Janet is out today and so I will assist Jenipher in her cottage–Monday is bed linen, serious cleaning day and she will need help.
Yoweri has arrived to live at Rafiki village! He is our oldest and a little boy who has memories of parents and has understanding of the unsettling shifts in his surroundings. He was pitiful looking when we picked him up at the restaurant. Gone were the fancy clothes; he was sent looking like a street child–in fact that was what he was. Overwhelmed, he did not know what to make of his new clothes and toys but he clung to them just as he did the peanut butter sandwich! He had trouble settling in and wanted to cling to me because I was the most familiar. I introduced him to Mama Flavia and he resisted going to his cottage. I know that he will respond quickly to consistent care and kindness. I never tire of seeing these children go from dull, expressionless faces to smiles when they sense that they really are safe. Interestingly, he is drawn to the cows that help keep the grass down here in the village.
When the cottage door opens, he bounds out of it grabs a long stick and begins to join our gardeners in herding these huge beasts. He is the only child here who is not terrified of the “Nte” which is the Lugandan word for cow. He races across the grounds shouting, “Nte! Nte!”. Mama Jenipher says that he does that because he is from a western Ugandan tribe who herd cattle. I think he will be happy here with the cows and maybe soon with the people!
Mother selection committee meets Thursday and we have a birthday celebration for Robert and Chloe Friday so there is much to tend to to get ready for these. I talked with my folks yesterday and they sounded very good–I pray the winter is not severe and they can get out to church each week.
The most bizarre thing happened yesterday while I was elbow deep in dish water at the Dining Hall. With sweat dripping and bright sunshine beating down outside the kitchen window, I heard the strangest thing!
Juliette our cook had the radio on listening to Lugandan praise music, then all of a sudden I heard the first notes of “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”! Here in the middle of Uganda on a day that looks like June I was more than surprised to hear such a familiar song in such “un-Christmasy” surroundings. I thought, “What the heck, I like this song so I sang along but it just doesn’t feel the same when you are sweating! Have a great day and give my regards to Judy when she comes.