Today was one of the best days, if not the best day, that I (Jennifer) have had in Uganda. Since the accident, I have not been back to Mutai by myself yet. I was scheduled to go this past Tuesday, but the van would not start and had to go into the shop. I decided that since the boys go to Friday Tribe (a special Friday school that I do not have to attend), that I would go spend the day in Mutai with the ladies. I arranged for them to gather supplies for teaching me to cook some Ugandan foods and for us to then share a meal together. This may have been one of the best ideas I have had here. The ladies were thrilled to share what they knew with me.
Today I learned how to make so many new things. Things I had eaten before, but never watched anyone cook. In America, even when we are invited over to someone’s house, I am always helping in some way. Here, it is not customary for you to be invited over and then stand around cooking together while chatting. When I have been to other homes in the village, I have always been put into another room while the host prepared the meal and then served most of the time without even eating with the one who invited me over in the first place. Also, those who know me well, know that I am quite the picky eater….. so when you see the picture of my plate you will think there is no way she ate that. I tell you the truth, I did, and it was amazing. Though, I will also share the secret that I was out-eaten by several 3 year olds. 🙂 It was so much food!
Today, I loved these ladies like always, but they loved me in a whole new way. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:12, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” There have been few times that I have gone into Mutai and felt like one of the girls, but today was one of those times. I was sitting among them, speaking my little bit of Luganda, holding kids, and chopping food all at the same time. There was laughter as we told stories of what I was used to and how we did things in America. There was seriousness as I learned to go without a cutting board for everything while using a really big old knife without a handle. (ok, a little laughter there too)! 🙂 There were stories told and sometimes I had no idea what was said, but I was embracing a culture full of love and getting the biggest blessing in the midst of it.
Today, my cup runneth over because my God is so good. I overcame the fear I had of driving that road again, and boy did God prove that being an over-comer through Him has so many blessings waiting. On the other side of that fear were ladies waiting with arms wide open to greet me and love me; ladies that wanted to encourage me and teach me; ladies that enjoy serving me and anyone else, allowing me to wash dishes with them, cook with them, dine with them, and laugh with them. These ladies felt empowered because I asked them to teach me and I felt empowered because they allowed me to enter their normal. At the end of the day, all any of us need is to feel the love of God in our midst, this way we can fill up our own cup in order to pour out into others.