I cannot even believe what just happened. Cannot even believe. It still doesn’t seem real.
But it is real, very real. So I must steal a precious minute or two to tell you.
Background story- In December of 2008, what seems like an eternity ago, I was blessed to be able to go to Uganda. One of the most life-changing experiences on that trip was to visit a refugee settlement on the borders of Uganda, Sudan and Congo.
The last morning we shared with the local church. I remember telling my story, and how I was going into medicine. I was approached by a young man- Jonas- who told me that he, too, wanted to go into medicine...
I smiled. “Would it happen, Lord? Is that type of education possible, this young man and this place?”
As with every other second on the refugee trip, that moment was brandished on my heart...
Present night- I’m leaving a chic lil Starbucks downtown- hop in my Benz, weave through the bright city lights and paved streets, and buzz on back to our little townhome. I’ve been studying a subject that has been getting on my nerves a bit, and I feel behind. I’m tired. I’m achy. Overwhelmed. “Boy is life rough.”
I flip open my laptop and pull open my email. An email in my inbox is titled “Greeting.” I open it.
I would like to thank for the great work you are doing- my GOD bless you.This is JONAS from the Africa Kyangwal Refugee settlement, but am in Hoima studing Bwikya ss S3. I still remember you the time you came to vist Kyangwali. We met at the Baptist church and I am one of the worship leaders. Everyone is missing you and pastor GAKURU JOHN.
And I am studying hard for my community, because everyone in my community is suffering due to lack of food and etc.
Many youth in my community have no education because they have no school fees and mostly very young girls and young boys.
I would wish always to share with you.
LOVE YOU - JONAS.”
Oh dear goodness. Oh dear goodness…
The images of the camp, the intense pain and severe poverty, came flooding back to me.
The Ugandan refugee camp.
Where 89% lack food and water.
And here one of their OWN was working SO hard, because HIS people...
Were sick. And dying. From malaria. And AIDS. And starvation, and rape, and torture.
All these images came flooding so painfully back to me- in the midst of my own “pain” and “anguish”- pain and anguish these people would give their lives just to experience for one day.
The irony of it all STUNG. Tears and sobs flowed over. What a gracious and timely reality check.
And it hurt so good.