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)