Thursday, March 28, 2013

Speaking of Africa

I have been back a month now.  Already spoken at two churches and seen many friends and supporters. Can you guess the number one question I am asked?! Been gone for a it make sense people want to know "How was Africa?"

This is a hard question to answer. Hard to answer because there is a lot I could reply with, just never sure who wants to hear what. Everyone wants to hear I am good and God is amazing (like He always is) but not everyone wants to hear about the hard and dark days. Often people do not even really want to the truth. It is the same thing when people ask you "how are you," as you pass them in the hall at work.  You say "good" or maybe even "fine" but in the back of your mind you are thinking "do you really want to know how I am?"

Come know what I am talking about. Everyone has been asked the question and then formulated a response that they thought the other  person wanted to hear. To be fair I was like this when I lived in the States. Yup, asking "how are you," is what you say was you pass people you know.

Here is where it gets hard for me. For a year and a half I have been in a culture where you stop and talk to people. No matter if you are late for work, a meeting, or whatever you STOP and chat with people you pass.Time is not what is important, it is more the relationship with the person you are talking with that takes precedent. Time is spent with others thinking about them, not about how much time has passed.
Some of you are thinking how odd it is to stop where ever you are to chat with someone. Some are even passing judgement, because time is valuable.  Trust me I once thought the same way. Over time and learning more about Ugandans and the heart of my heavenly father I come to see things in a new light. There is a phrase I have learned and say daily in Africa, it just might help with this. "It is not right or wrong, it is just different." Without understanding why something is done or not done how can anyone make a judgement call?  You can't. You would be assuming, and we all know what happens when you assume.

This is a lesson the Lord has taught me over the years and now as I am back in the States for a while; I have to re-learn this lesson with in American culture.  So, I often take a breath and pray when someone asks me "how was Africa?" Not because I am tired of being asked that questions but more so to invite the Holy Spirit to come and give me words. I do not want to answer as others want me to. I pray I answer as the Lord is asking me to. To be honest and open about what He is doing in Africa. 
I ask you help me never open my mouth to speak about Africa without your words in my mouth. Please touch my heart when it is time be still and wait on your for answers. Give me the answers you know other people need to hear, even if they do not want to hear it. May you also tell me when to shut up! I pray everyone will be genuine and honest when they ask others "how are you." Help me to care less about time and more about my brothers and sisters. Help me do this here in the States as well as Uganda. Thank you Lord to loving me and taking your time with me! -Amina

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