During orientation, we talked about things you must do to maintain a close walk with Christ. We listed prayer, Bible memorization, accountability, meditation, devotion, fasting, healthy eating and rest. Personally, I never really thought about healthy eating and rest as being aspects of my relationship with the Lord. The speaker said it is most vital to our effectiveness that we continue all these aspects of our faith while we are on the field. He described it by asking “Would you ever give up playing in the middle of the championship game?”
My first few days in Uganda were quite busy. I was getting acquainted with many new people, new responsibilities, and a whole new culture. After getting my feet wet at Heritage, I had the absolute blessing of going to Murchinson Falls National Park with the Hallahans. We got to our hotel Thursday afternoon just in time to relax a little before an afternoon drive with a guide. The safari was amazing! It was so exciting to see the beauty of God’s creation (outside of the cages of the zoo). We got so close to several giraffes and hippos! It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Friday morning we relaxed by the beautiful pool. It has been a very long time since I have actually relaxed. As a college student, my days at school are pretty swamped with work. I took all of my finals early so I could go to orientation in Marion, Indiana. I flew out of Indiana to Chicago to London to Entebbe, Uganda. It has been a busy couple of weeks. However, Friday was spectacular! I began reading “Blue Like Jazz” just soaking up the sun by the beautiful pool. We enjoyed a lovely lunch went on a boat tour of the falls. The boat ride was so peaceful. The falls, of course, were magnificent. After the boat tour, I had a few hours to myself. I decided to take my Bible onto my balcony for some quiet time with Jesus. After about ten minutes, I understood why during orientation, we were told that rest is a necessary component of our spiritual walk. It has been a long time since I could hear God speaking to me so clearly. Many times, I get distracted while I am praying or reading my Bible. As much as I try to concentrate, I often find it hard to not think about the tangible things I need to do. However, after this resting time, it was like there was no one but God and me!! It was incredible! I definitely needed that relaxing time so that I could really focus on why I am in Uganda right now. As I prepare to really dive in to teaching this coming week and cannot help but be grateful for everyone here and at home supporting me and making this trip possible! The two nights at the safari made me stop looking for God in the thunder, but simmer down enough to hear his gentle whisper. Just as an added bonus to everything God was showing me these last few days, as we were driving out of the park we saw this beautiful sigh:
If you did not know, elephants are by far my favorite animal in the entire world. We saw one briefly in the distance on our first drive. We saw so many amazing animals through the trip that I was not too disappointed about missing my elephants. Jesus must have just been smiling down on me as we were leaving though! We all thought we were done with the short vacation, but oh no! I felt like this was a reminder that I need to be relying on His timing, not my own. Through these three days of rest, I feel so rejuvenated and ready to serve this week!!