Thursday, July 24, 2014

On the Daily // Thursday: SCORE!

I FaceTimed with my Dad and got both the “we need a blog post, baby” lecture and the “take more pictures” lecture once again. I have decided to make Dad happy with the ultimate Dad-pleasing thing…a blog post. Full of pictures. Every. Day. For a week! So at the end of each day, I’ll give my dad (and you, friend reading this, if you are still somehow interested in a blog post about what I did today!) a window into my world and all the tiny moments that often go unshared. Maybe it will make you want to move to Uganda! You can come stay with me!! :)

I wake up as usual to the sound of birds singing outside my window. Truly, if we don’t worship Him, the rocks will cry out. Or if we’re asleep in our beds and not worshiping Him, the birds will cry out. Very. Very. Loudly. They love Jesus. It’s 7:02, and I roll over and fall in and out of sleep for a few minutes before making the decision to be awake for real and start my day. I climb out of my bed and hang up my mosquito net, then grab my Bible and a pen and head to the porch. I make a stop in the kitchen for some tea (thank you, loving sister, who sent me a box of chai! Why is Kroger brand chai so good?) and a banana.

My mornings on this porch have been the deepest communion I’ve ever had with The Father. It’s a knowing in my gut that He is right here. His presence abides deeply with me, and not because of anything I’ve done. He is near simply because He is God and He loves me. I call on Him, and He’s already here. Right here. I breathe Him in. 

After getting dressed and packing up my backpack, I slope down (that’s a common term here, when directing people…”slope up that road,” “slope down that side”) the hill to the main road to catch a boda to Muyenga. The reason this blog post is called “Score” is partly because of what happened right here. I bargained and paid only 3,000 UGX as apposed my normal 4,000! My favorite moment is when the boda guy and I are arguing and he finally says “You sit.” Win! 

I arrive at Eve’s house and call out in Luganda a word that means “the people at home?” or something like that…and I don’t know how to spell it, or I would tell you. She laughs and invites me in. Eve is my very sweet friend who is helping me with all things Uniquely Woven. She is a precious mama, and loves Jesus with all her heart. I sit down on the mat and we talk. 

Please pray for Eve, as she has fallen very sick!

She graciously serves me African tea (my favorite!) and we wait for Silvester to arrive. It seems half of my life in Uganda is spent waiting. Today I don’t mind. But some days I do mind, and those are the times when I have to ask God to take over and win out over my flesh, or else I’ll become a grumpy, bitter missionary…and ain’t nobody wanna be that girl.

Silvester walks in and we begin our meeting. I thank God for Eve and Silvester, their love for The Lord, their passion for this ministry, and their friendship. I could not have come up with a better team. God has been so faithful to provide people to further this ministry, and it seems He started this work in all of our hearts long before we ever even knew each other. And that’s how I know it’s HIS dream, and not mine.

I watch the chickens peck around their food as we talk and plan. There is so much to do and think about, and we’re all so excited, but so overwhelmed at the same time. My favorite part of our meetings is always praying at the end. It is a beautiful thing for a group of friends to pour out their hearts before The Lord in one spirit.

Our meeting ends in a big Amen, and Silvester heads to Namuwongo slum to meet with one of our mamas. There are lots of things to sort out, and he is very good at humbly and gently finding out the truth in a tangle of lies.

I have a lunch date in Lugogo at Good African Coffee with some missionary girls I met a month ago at a women’s gathering. I arrive a bit early, so I spend thirty minutes or so walking around Game. Game is the South African version of Walmart. They literally sell Great Value brand stuff! Isn’t that so fun? And here comes the second reason this blog post is called “SCORE!” I found these tiny bags of almonds on clearance for 1,000 UGX! Seriously! I’ve seen almonds sold here for 50,000 UGX before! Score!

I meet up with the girls for lunch and hear all about their ministry and how they’re settling in to Uganda. They are both so sweet, and I’m very thankful for every friend I make here. It is beautiful thing to sit with someone and realize you are sharing in the same joys and struggles. The phrase “me too!” is so sweet to my ears.

I hop on a boda and come home in the chilly post-rain air of the afternoon and meet again with Silvester to hear about his meeting and catch up on some Uniquely Woven administrative stuff. That is not my favorite part of ministry. I thank him for all his hard work, and the day is done!

With a little bit of daylight left, I decide to go for a walk around the neighborhood. I greet everyone I see in Luganda and love to hear their reactions. There’s a sound of surprise that goes something like “eh-eh!” Priceless. 

I didn’t take my camera with me, but please believe me that I saw the coolest worm ever on my way home. It had a yellow body with red hair (…do worms have hair?) and it was just really fun.

I’m sure that doesn’t sound to you Americans like enough to fill up a whole day. Life just takes a long time here. If I go to the grocery store and the ATM and the post office all in one day, I feel like superwoman. Things move at molasses pace, and I am learning to be okay with that. Jesus is in the slow and steady. He is in the in-between, the taxi rides, the waiting for who-knows-what. When I allow myself to be okay with the slowness, I can sense Him near. God doesn’t reserve deep intimacy with Him for just “quiet time” in the morning. He is with me kneeling on a dirt road, noticing the cool worm, or rejoicing over clearance almonds. When I live in the deep breath of sensing Him near, when I see the divine in the mundane, I am worshiping. 

Catch ya tomorrow! Who knows what it might hold? :)


  1. Natalie, I love hearing all the details of your day. Thanks for sharing with us. Take care and watch out for the "worms! :) I love you very much, sweet granddaughter!!
    Love, Gammy

  2. 1 - You are welcome for the chai! Kroger Chai is so good. But Stash Holiday Chai is the best.
    2 - What is wrong with Eve? :( Tell her that her rug is pretty!
    3 - Who ate that corn so perfectly, and how?
    4 - Is Good African Coffee really the name of a place?
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. So good Natalie! You have wonderfully described how God is Immanuel.