Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Enemy: Lonliness--Homesickness!

In all my travels to Africa since 2004, I have rarely experienced homesickness to any great degree. I am a fairly content person. I enjoy solitude after a day's work. My trips are not much longer than 16-24 days. Yet this week, particularly on Thursday and Friday.....I could not believe now homesick I felt. Those of you who know me well, know that I like to be positive and upbeat. Yet, I had a wave of sadness from homesickness. I miss my family very much! From little Teddy, Marie and Zach in Anne on the road interviewing for residency Mark, Shannon, George and Anna Mum at our Lexington home and Dave and Ruth next door etc.  Most of all, I am missing my dear Paul! He is such a good listener and such a great encourager in my work here. Sometimes I just miss being able to hear his voice......of course with my Internet struggles earlier this week, I could not FaceTime or Skype.  Loneliness and homesickness must be such discouragement for missionaries and their families. 
As I tried to make sense of this emotion of homesickness, I was reminded of The Red Sea Rule #3

Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the LORD.

I realized that homesickness and loneliness are normal emotions but they can be the enemy in the assignment that the Lord has called me to at CURE Uganda.  What a huge distraction! Emotions are a part of our make up as humans. My loneliness and homesickness was brought to the LORD for His comfort and encouragement which of course was a huge blessing.  I knew that I had a work to do and most likely the homesickness was related to the death of Pappa, the busy time getting to Uganda etc. It was a great joy that the weekend arrived and the much needed extra sleep and time off hospital property was a huge blessing!

Saturday morning I went to Sipi Falls which is about one hour away from the CURE hospital. I went with two neurosurgeons from Birmingham, Alabama and a man from Wales who is living in the guesthouse too.  I did not hike as much as they did but I did enjoy two wonderful hikes. One hike was to the falls and the other one was to our guide, Sam's home to see coffee being processed.  Wow, what a great diversion from the homesickness! It was lovely to sip a cup of tea in God's Creation and give thanks for the many blessings of being in Uganda! Praise the LORD for His goodness!!

Yes, the enemy of our emotions can mar or obstruct our view of God's goodness and the many kindnesses He provides. I am looking up, looking out to see beauty and looking for ways to count my blessings!!!  Looking to Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.....Hebrews12:2 (ASV)
Jesus is the answer! His Creation and His provision of rest and recreation truly helped me today. Praising the LORD for His grace and mercy in my life in so many big and small ways.
Enjoy the pictures of Sipi Falls Park and community!

Climbing towards the falls

The tallest of the 3 falls....this one was more than 100 meters high

A pot of tea and a good book (written by Julie Johnson's dad)

A pause that refreshed me....I could hear the water falls from my deck chair.

More beautiful vistas....we later saw monkeys in the trees!

Beautiful mountainside that we scrabbled down to learn about coffee
Sam, our guide showing us how to grade and sort the green coffee beans before shelling and winnowing.

I am having a turn at pounding the beans before is harder than it looks!
  I can say that I now feel refreshed and refocused....eyes off of my loneliness and homesickness and onto the LORD Jesus Christ, the beautiful world that He has made and the many dear people in it.....who are so in need of a Savior!

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