The last couple of days back home have been DIFFICULT!
WAY more than I expected!
It is a combination of things, but the hardest is the condition of my heart.
I am broken.
Humbled beyond anything I have EVER experienced.
Between seeing the living conditions of so many, hearing their heart-breaking stories - AND - on the other side - meeting the most extraordinary, self-less people I have ever met (Africans) - more on that another time - - - there are just NO WORDS to express what my heart is going through.
In a way, I feel like I'm grieving - have probably left a part of my heart there...
Also really miss our son Richard there. The scene on our day of departure just about broke me.
He REALLY wanted to see us one more time and said he was going to come to the airport.
He must have been on the road pretty much the whole day (round-trip) just to see us for 5 minutes.
And he almost missed us, cuz his van (public transport) broke down.
When he finally arrived, he was almost running towards me (Rich was already with him, I was watching our luggage) and hugging (you can tell he really wants the touch but is also quite stiff, probably not used to hugs at all) - and he's almost 20 - we've only seen each other for 3 days...
First thing he said was,
"When the van broke down, I started crying.
I miss you so much -
I love you.
After I finish my studies next year (he's learning to be a mechanic) I will get a job, earn money and then I'm going to come and visit you."
When I reassured him of our love for him and expressed how sorry I was that we couldn't spend more time with him, cuz we had to go to the gate, he said, "At least please pray for me."
So Rich and I both took one of his hands, held them tight and prayed our hearts out... trying to hold it together... (at least me, Rich is less emotional)
After a heart-felt good-bye, little 4-year-old Mercy kept INSISTING to go with us. She was adamant, holding on to Rich's hand. In the end her mother (Pastor Lydia, who'd also come to see us off) had to use quite a bit of force to take her off Rich and what ensued was a HUGE scene - with her screaming at the top of her lungs ~ ~ ~ oh boy!
After we'd been through security etc, we had a look in one of the shops - and there was English worship music playing - one of my favourite songs about Jesus - - -
And that's when I lost it ~ ~ ~
Couldn't talk - even to Rich - for a long time - kept crying off and on for hours.
Thought it's a good thing flying to NZ is a loooooong trip. Needs to be ~ to give me time to process.
Just imagining Richard and the parents he'd never had (lost his mom at 8, his father before) - and how attached he was to us - even on the first day we met - just because we'd been sponsoring him and there were a few letters back and forth...
Imagining his sadness to see us go - - - what he must be feeling/going through....
And then he called us - one last time before boarding (we'd run out of money on our local cell phone, otherwise we might have tried calling him)
He is soooo sweet and we love him so much!!!!
Miss him terribly.
He's part of our family now...
After all of the impressions and experiences we've had in Uganda, I feel like I would want to lay face-down in the dirt for a month - cry out to God - be quiet...
But taking up the "mom-hat" again doesn't allow for that - and so I've been fighting back the tears... (changing 7 dirty nappies/diapers in the first 24 hours was quite the reality check - just one of several...)
In a way I feel bad for our little ones - especially Kylie.
I don't have much grace.
Can't handle whining, complaining.
Especially about cleaning up toys or her room, when I see the Ugandan children before me - without toys, without their room, without food, without water, without schooling.
Don't know how I'm going to handle Christmas.
Don't feel like getting any more toys. Puh!
I feel like I need more prayers now than the whole trip.
I am going through grief.
And it's deep.
I look at our living room and realize that 6 widows with their kids could live there (separated by walls) and still be better off than in Uganda - cuz they won't get rained on...
Our house could house an orphanage with about 30-40 kids (like what we've seen).
Without wanting to do so, I do compare - all the time - - -
LORD, please help me!!!
On a lighter note - here's a short video of one of Kampala's streets - as we were loading the van with the food we'd got for Richard's grandmother. You can see him putting the bananas into the van - notice the Christmas-song!