As we hear of Abraham, the Christian life if a life of sojourning, a life lived in an alien land, but a life lived in purposeful journey, following after the city of God. To think of the city of God here in Karamoja is an odd meditation indeed, one that would have probably been familiar to Abraham, a man who followed God into the wilderness and was promised that a chosen nation would spring from his family tree, but who saw no nation, no city and who died with nothing except faith in the promises of God.
Here in Karamoja, the missionaries have come to the wilderness and must toil in faith that God’s promises to bring the nations to himself will be fulfilled. Here there is no visible city—physical or spiritual—and what we are presented with is instead the picture of the ere (Karimajong for village)—small, scattered, and too often impermanent. Pray that we, too, would be faithful as Abraham to long for and follow after this city, Zion. Pray that it would be made manifest even here.
Chloe and I are living particularly as nomads as we are house-sitting for the Tricaricos, who are on furlough until January. But even as this place can be alien and uncomfortable, it was interesting to reflect on how familiar it has all become. The color of the road, the rhythm of the towns that we pass through on the drive up, the rituals and habits of mission life (opening and closing gates, turning lights off obsessively, walking the road to church) are all shockingly unshocking, and contribute to making this place feel modestly, for the moment, like a home.