Leaving the Village

We left Kishanje this morning.  It is sad…but different than in the past.  This time I know that I am staying in Uganda for some time, and so I can expect to see my friends here again sometime soon.  I don’t expect to travel to this far village often, but I know it is possible.  I love getting to know students and staff better when I am here.  Yesterday I joined in the potato peeling for dinner preparation, learned some new words in Rukiga (that I will hopefully remember), and had time dancing and singing while hanging out behind the house.  Last night we read through John 14 over dinner—I love discussing Scripture together as a team, and learning from each other.  Afterwards I called in any of the JAM staff that wasn’t already in the room and we had a time of prayer.  I asked for prayer requests, then we took several minutes to pray together.  As others were praying, I sensed God wanting me to read a Psalm, so I quietly flipped through and landed on Psalm 40.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened[c]
    burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

It was a sweet time of prayer together.  We ended the night (before some of them walked up to their homes) singing the song My Friends that we have been singing.  Our team introduced it in 2011, the last time we came to Uganda, and were happy to see some students remembered it when we arrived.  I like singing it where we do ministry, just before we are leaving.  Here are the words:

My friends, may we grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

My friends, may we grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

To God be the glory, now and forever, now and forever, amen.

To God be the glory, now and forever, now and forever, amen.

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