Laws of Relativity

Laws of Relativity

Jon is a neighbor in our compound from California. He recently returned from a visit home. We visited with him and talked of the dramatic differences between life at home and life here. He told a funny story about working at a Starbucks after having been in Africa. He was amazed when a female customer came and yelled at him because the amount of foam on her latte was not up to standard. He said to himself: Are you kidding me? You are upset about the amount of foam on your coffee? Do you know where I’ve been and what I’ve seen? And this is a big deal? We talked of how everything is really relative after all. To one person, foam is a crisis while to another, death in the family is a regular occurance. As we talked, it was apparent that everybody has challenges within their realm of experience. It is not fair to judge any challenge based on the yardstick of others and we must withhold judgement because someone’s world crisis pales by comparison. How will we look at issues at home upon our return? Will we be able to make the jump from Uganda to the U.S. without mental whiplash? Even here in Uganda there is great disparity in the circumstances people are handed. I shared how I hate it when I get my socks wet when I go to the bathroom if the floor was not property dried after using the shower – while others use a hole in the ground (called a long-drop) for their potty and feel fortunate. So, your challenges are big to you regardless of those of others. Look...
An African Family

An African Family

Yesterday we took Reagan and Joyce to the village of Pakwach, on the Nile River, where they are from (they are seated on the right). We went to appeal to Joyce’s father for permission to marry without paying bride price, which is a very difficult tradition here in Africa. It causes most couples to live together because the payment to buy the bride from her father is about 3 million shillings ($1,000 U.S.), which is unreachable. Reagan and Joyce are strong members of the Church, but are not legally married. They must be married before they can be sealed in the temple, which is their greatest desire. During this trip, we saw a wonderful African family and were so impressed with their culture. Not all African families are this strong, but many are. We first met the man who raised Reagan. In virtually all cases where a child has relatives, they can look to them for help if their family dies or can no longer care for them. Because of war, poverty and disease, this happens often. When Reagan was ready to leave home, this wise uncle sat him down and gave him this advice: Know what to do for your business and work hard. Do not borrow money. Do not steal. Do not pay back when someone hurts you. Find a woman to love and cherish and be completely faithful to her. Give your life to your wife and family. Never despise your wife or she will poison you. Bride Price I represented Reagan’s father for our meeting with Joyce’s dad, John. (pictured with her step-mother Julia on the back row). Here was my...
Peter’s Quest

Peter’s Quest

Today we took our friend Peter into the village and deep into the bush on a quest to get three key signatures for his passport application so he can proceed with his mission papers. We left at 9 AM and returned tonight at 7. He achieved his goal for the three signatures, which were unbelievably challenging to get. But, oh, what fun we had. Come join us here for another photo adventure! We can’t believe they call this kind of fun missionary...