I slept under the mosquito net; a slightly different experience. I am very happy to have running hot water for a shower. I spent the morning requesting room service for breakfast only to have nobody show. No breakfast this morning. I also hand-washed my dirty clothes in the sink. (Thanks for telling me to bring detergent, Cat.) My breakfast this morning consisted of several handfuls of Kirkland Fruit & Net Medley and half a PowerBar (Thanks for telling me to pack these, Cat). Patrick agreed to pick me up to attend a worship service at the University here.
Patrick has been a true blessing in so many ways. I spent Sunday with him and his wifre Barbara first worshipping at St. Francis Chapel at Makerere University (www.stfrancesmakerere.org). Afterwards, he took me to his home for Sunday lunch. His was prepared a very good meal while Patrick and I discussed business and how the US and African society and business culture differ. After a fantastic meal, the three of us went to visit Jonathan (their eldest son) at a top boarding school. He is about to take his exams which will determine his university options. After patiently waiting, he showed and talked with his parents. He’d been so eager to see them from many text messages to his mom during the previous days and since his parents showed up later than normal this day, he was disappointed (thinking they may no come) and was taking a nap when we arrived. I was truly impressed with the character of Partick and Barbara. They consistently reinforced the face that God was in control and has always blessed them. Before Jonathan left, they prayed as family for God’s blessing and provision, but were also very thankful for all He has done for their family.
Today, I leaned several amazing things. These people are very joyous and grateful. Coming from the US, I am appalled at our selfishness. These people, whom have less than your average homeless person in the us, are so friendly and giving. They are incredibly grateful for the blessings they have in their lives. These people are constantly thinking of others and caring for them. Their mentality is not as self-centered as ours in America.
During the worship service this morning, there was a reading from the Bible about how God provides and is to be praised through hardship – suffering, persecution, famine, lack of clothing, etc. To us in American, we know that we will never face that – so this verse is lost on us. However, hearing these people praise God through this reading was humbling. These people run this risk every day – famine, lack of clothes, suffering, disease, etc. Yet they are so joyous and are praising God for everything in their lives. They choose to praise when we American would choose to complain. How selfish we are.
Patrick has shown me everything about his business and has agreed to give me all of the materials he uses to run his internet cafes. How amazing is that? He is going to give out his propriety knowledge, processes, and templates which have taken him 6+ years to develop with many pitfalls for no reason that I can figure out. He is truly a diving gift of God. Even though I’m going to competition for his business!
We sang songs today that were community-centered. That may seem small, but it different to hear these people create songs where they proclaim the hope they have in God (astounding when contrasted with the opportunities in America). They sing songs where they ask for God to bless their land – not for God to bless them! They sing songs that say, “All we can do is say, I love you Jesus.” I only heard these people asking for God to bless them as a whole and them proclaiming that God is good, sovereign, and constantly blessing them. Yet, as an outsider from America, I see difficulty and hardship. I wonder if American will continue to be blessed by God with our self-centered complaining attitude. I wonder if our wealth separates from the joy of God. I am almost said to hear that these people want to go to American to experience the “American Dream.” How I do not want these people to become dull Americans living the unfulfilling and monotonous suburban life. They have too much energy and love for that.