Lord, why have we found such favor in your eyes?
In the swirling dust following the recent tumultuous community meeting, we have been reminded that the loudest voices are not always the majority or the most true. We received texts, phone calls, even visits from neighbors wanting to tell us they didn’t agree with what was said, and to encourage us to come back after the baby is delivered. The two days preceding our departure were filled with visitors wishing us well, praying for me, and sharing their own experiences of the facilities and staff in Matany. It was humbling and frustrating at the same time. None of these would stand up publically against the verbal abuse the mission receives. Yet, it was a reminder that the Spirit continues to move in the quiet of people’s hearts even as the devil shouts hot air.
After much prayer and research, we decided not to go to Kampala for the birth of our third child. We cancelled housing reservations, told visitors not to come and friends that we wouldn’t be getting that meal together after all. It felt like another loss. Instead, we travelled to Matany in northern Karamoja. There is a Catholic hospital that has served Karamoja for over thirty years. Christopher made arrangements with the hospital administrator there for housing and help. I knew there would be a place to sleep, but I had no idea beyond that. The day we arrived, I was surprised by how easy the trip was! A trip to Kampala usually takes two days with 8-10 hours of driving (3 of which are on bumpy dirt roads), unpredictable traffic and more unknowns with COVID restrictions, including a 7pm curfew. It only took us about 2 hours to reach Matany. We stopped in Moroto along the way to have a leisurely lunch with a friend. Upon arrival we found the house to have screened windows, in-door plumbing and drinkable water – none of which were a guarantee. Power has even been there most of the time. Between the friend we brought along to stay with the kids while I’m in labor and a lady who is helping cook some meals, we are being well cared for. The hospital administrator and head maternity doctor both took the time to greet and welcome us. We’ve been given multiple tours of the facilities and everyone delights that our children have Karimojong names (Carmel is called Moru and Zion is Acia). We’ve been spoiled to be within walking distance of the town where we can buy most basics for an African diet: beans, rice, blueband, sugar, flour, bananas, tomatoes, greens, oil, tea, and mandazi (fried bread snack). We’ve even been given the special privilege of purchasing from the hospital store such luxuries as cheese and frozen fish!
A few weeks ago, Pastor James reminded us through the book of Ruth how privileged we are to have found favor in the sight of God to receive salvation and be His children. In the midst of swirling unknowns, uncontrollable circumstances, external and internal conflict, seeing a fellow believer struggle to live a righteous life and the incessant needs of everyday life, I have found myself being reminded of God’s favor.
You may do your best to choose the right spouse, but you don’t know how years and trials will change them. Or you. You may do everything you can to protect your children, but the unthinkable still occurs. You may scrimp and save and work hard but still find yourself in financial difficulty. We like to think we’re a major player in our own destinies, but the reality is we’re as powerless as newborn babes. I would not have chosen to deliver in Matany without exterior pressure. And yet, God continues to show us His favor by protecting us, providing for us and giving us a peace that can only come from him. It reminds me that I am at home wherever my Lord leads me, whether it be in deep Karamoja or San Diego, California.
Lord, why have we found such favor in your sight? Lead us in the way everlasting!
(More to come on the birth!)
Oh how I rejoice (with tears) at your litany of God’s favor shown through this “adventure” of God’s leading. Your final summation of encouragement to trust in God’s providence and protection even though the path is unknown, are words timely written for your brothers and sisters here in San Diego. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! May we all continue to trust Him for His grace and favor in the days ahead.