Thursday, March 14, 2013

Airport Stories



In light of being a short term missionary I am at the mercy of being a “tourist”.  So, every three months I have to leave the country and re-enter in order to stay “legal” (Hence the need for a week of vacation in another country). Customs intimidates me. Seems like I get harassed every time—especially in September when at the London airport the lady told me that “I don’t trust you in my country”…Seriously?! I was just wanting to tour London for a few hours since I had a 10 hour layover before my flight to Uganda. Anyways, in December I also had a difficult time renewing my tourist visa and ended up with a 2 week pass with instructions to go to the immigration office. Thankfully after a significant amount of money was paid and several days later, they issued me a 3 month visa. Needless to say, I was nervous about returning from vacation and re-entering Uganda. I had spent a lot of time praying about it and also had many other people praying for me too. On the plane I kept praying, I think I was trying to give myself a sense of “calm”. All the while I sense God saying --
God: “Do you trust me?”
Me: “of course God, but don’t you remember what happened last time?”
God: “Don’t you trust me?”
So, I keep praying—for wisdom, for courage, and for removal of fear. Maybe somewhere along the line I accept that God has heard me and I should stop worrying… which lasted for about 5 minutes because now I’m walking off the plane and filling out the custom’s form and writing that I intend to stay for 2 ½ more months. I’m standing in line, heart pounding, hands trembling. At last it’s my turn, and I approach the counter, smile, and greet the man.  He responds “You are looking very beautiful today!” I grin, flashing another smile at him and politely say, “Thank you”. He responds with “Ah!  I wish you was my girlfriend.” Again I smile at him, amused at the situation, and thanking God that he isn’t going to question me and that he doesn’t seem to mind stamping my passport for another 3 months.  He replies again “I will miss your face.” Yet again, I smile, thank him for his kind words, take my passport and proceed to pick up my bag from the baggage claim; all the while praising God for allowing me a simple hassle free entry back into Uganda!  Guess I could have saved myself some worrying if I would have trusted God from the beginning. 

It’s hard to believe that I am almost at my 6 month mark with only 3 months left.  Today I presented a lecture on malnutrition to two P.A. students – not that I really feel qualified yet to be teaching, but amazed at how much I have learned over the past 6 months. I continue to pray for wisdom, knowledge and grace; as I continue to learn, treat patients and also make many mistakes. 

Enjoying some Mexican food in Kampala before the long drive
 back to Bundibugyo the next day
(with Jess and Chrissy)

Re-fueled.


Vacation is always a welcomed visit. I am very thankful for a time of rest, relaxation, and renewal. I was able to be filled up so that I can continue to pour out again.