It’s late Tuesday night in Gulu. As I write I’m curled up on my top bunk, wet hair, yoga pants, and being lulled to sleep by the sound of thunder rolling in the distance and the soft pattering of rain drops hitting the tin roof above me. You have no idea how welcomed this rain is. It’s been a HOT week, but thoroughly enjoyed by this heat-loving girl.
I really feel like I’m home again. Really I can’t describe what coming back to Uganda, and Abaana’s Hope has meant to me. Don’t get discouraged Alabama friends…AL is certainly my home, but this is, too. 😉 Reunions with Acholi friends have been far sweeter, hugs tighter, and laughs louder than I ever imagined they’d be.
I’m so impressed by the progress that has happened at AH in only a year! The construction on missionary homes is now complete, so we are able to live out here in the bush among those near AH instead of in town (the contrast between bush life vs. town is indescribably calm and refreshing!!). The kindergarten at the new Living Stones Christian School is running smoothly, and is a huge success with over 40 students enrolled. And in the last 10 months the Child Development Program has been launched for vulnerable children in the area.
So I’ve pretty much spent the my first week in country familiarizing myself with the place all over again, and getting over jet lag.
Here are a few random phone snapshots from these days. My big camera hasn’t come out of the bag yet, but believe me, it will!!
There’s no denying that it’s a delight to be back. Pam, who is manager over the jewelry program here, said to me today, “Hannah, you are always smiling! That is why you are called Lanyero.” (Lanyero is the Acholi name that means happy or joyful). Really and truly, I’m SO happy I can’t contain it! I’m so content with God’s direction in my life and excited for this opportunity to walk through life and love with the Acholi people for the next several months.
Even amidst the joy there remains a shadow of grief looming over this time because Myron is still in the hospital and unresponsive. Medically, there seems to be little chance of improvement for him. But as believers in Christ we know that this isn’t the end! We still hope and pray for a miracle. God is still in the business of doing unexplainable, medically impossible things, and we sure believe He can do it now for Myron! But more than we desire that, we pray for His will and not our own, whatever the outcome.
I keep remembering what Peter wrote in his first letter, that suffering is often times necessary to refine our faith and bring highest praise to God. Like any other humans we still grieve and feel the burden of our brother’s suffering but in Christ we have living hope, comfort and strength to get through this.
God may never reveal His reasons for his plan regarding Myron’s sickness and the pain his family and friends have felt, but we know that His ways are ultimately higher than ours. And He is good…so good. Through this trial everyone is being drawn nearer to the Lord. And the world is watching in wonder, seeing the faith of the Wests, hearing the name of Jesus and taking interest! It’s something to rejoice in! If we could only see the great eternal result of this trial I’m sure we would not be so eager to pray it away!
Anyway, I just wanted to get a little update out. It’s getting late and there’s a busy week out at the land ahead.
I really believe that God brought me here for such a time as this, to support so many friends through mixed emotions and transitions, to point them continually back to the Lord, to serve the other missionaries by helping taking on greater responsibilities, and to be a witness and light to those who don’t know of the hope of Christ yet.
All for the Lord and His glory!
prayer requests for June:
- God’s glory in all that we pray, think, say and do
- unwavering faith
- a miracle for Myron and continued comfort & peace for the West family
- Mobbs & Moody families, missionaries at Abaana’s Hope
- Holly B. Alex, and I, interns for the summer (+fall for me) to serve in whatever area is needed
- team from AL arriving on Thursday afternoon and productive week of sports ministry