One of my favorite things about living in Uganda for the summer was, of course, the people I got to meet along the way. Each and every individual shaped my life and changed how I view the world...if even just a little. I LOVED being surrounded by such high-caliber Christian missionaries, such incredibly welcoming and gracious Ugandans, and such loving and passionate Sudanese.
The Aid Sudan family is just that...family. It was very difficult at times to be so far away from Blaise and all of my friends and family for the whole summer, but having Kerrie was awesome! There were some days when I was just very frustrated or very discouraged, and her answer was always an on-the-spot prayer, which was always the perfect response. Then Neltia and Kerry were just incredible about encouraging and supporting us as we tried to navigate a culture and lifestyle very different from our own. When Peter came out in June, that, too, was an awesome time of fellowship and vision for the future. I could not have lasted three months without such an amazing support system, and I would not be going back if I didn't know that we were becoming part of an incredible, Christ-centered family!
Then there is Daniel Lual, who is so passionate about seeing his Dinka brothers' and sisters' lives improve through the lessons we were writing. He is also incredibly eager to see them come to Christ, which is why he sacrifices so much of his time and energy to record all of the Bible stories and lessons in English and Dinka Rek. Getting to work with him and know him over the summer was so fantastic...especially having him there to answer all of my cultural questions like, "At what age do boys begin working in the cattle camps?" and "Explain to me how teachers handle incorrect answers in schools in Sudan." (The answer to the latter is that they cane the students for incorrect answers, just fyi!) In addition to Daniel, his family is also incredible. His wife, Angelina, was so incredibly gracious and loving to Kerrie and I when we visited their home.
Then, of course, there's Prossi. She is the Livingstons' house helper and she is just a lot of fun! She LOVES to shop, and when we took her to Friday Market, well, she did some damage! She laughs easily and she always has a great word of encouragement. Oh, and the woman is so cute! I asked why she wasn't married (not rude in Uganda, don't worry) and she said that you cannot trust the men...smart girl!! =) I MISS her smiling face...
Grace was my unofficial Ugandan cultural guide and photography mentee. I really enjoyed getting to know him, learning SO much about Uganda and the culture, and spending time exploring un-mzungu parts of the city! He and Blaise also really hit it off, and they spent a decent amount of time laughing at my expense! Hmmm...maybe not such a great friendship for me!! =) In all seriousness, I was so blessed by Grace's friendship and complete graciousness at teaching me a lot about the culture.
Simon is the Livingstons' day guard at the compound, and he is so sweet. He's really quiet and shy, but I was really touched numerous times at his desire to know God. He came to our Tuesday night Bible studies, and several times his only prayer request was for him to better understand God's word, and to really know God and let Him lead Simon's life. It was so amazing to see his silent perseverance toward a closer relationship with Christ, and I pray for him very often that he would continue to seek that intimate relationship. On a side note, when I asked Simon why he wasn't married, he said that you cannot trust the women! Hmmm....
I don't have pictures of our whole expat Bible study group, but they, too, were incredible people that I was SO blessed to get to know! Each week we met up and studied the book of Job, which was a really great study. I enjoyed hearing their own journeys as missionaries and just being surrounded by people with such a huge heart for God and a huge heart for Africa. I MISS that feeling of being surrounded by people who get it...who understand why we're all there. Incredible, incredible people!
Well, not that I'm all teary-eyed from reminiscing...have a great Thursday!