Our friend Dan took us out to his parents’ village Nyenge across the Nile yesterday to show us where he’d grown up and introduce us to his family. We stopped for lunch at a GORGEOUS resort on Lake Victoria first, where I got to dip my toes in the mighty, and warm!, largest tropical lake in the world for the first time! My God’s world is so big and so wonderful… Gabs and I travelling on one boda, and Dan on another, we drove in caravan through the gorgeous hills surrounding Lake Victoria, the sun kissing our shoulders and the breeze from the moving boda keeping the heat down to only sweltering rather than scorching ;)
It truly felt such an honour to arrive in the village and be welcomed by Dan’s gorgeous elderly auntie. He said she is older than 86 years old (people often don’t know the years they were born here). I found her simply beautiful. Her wrinkles and laugh lines could tell so many stories. She spread out a little bit of cloth on a bench for Gabs and I, and sat next to us, speaking to us in her language with Dan translating, making us feel as honoured guests. It’s overwhelming, the hospitality here! Even her neighbours came over to shake our hands and make us feel welcome :)
From there, we walked up the dusty village road to Dan’s parents’ land where he grew up. He was once one of the little boys running to the edges of their gardens and shouting happily, “Mzungu! Mzungu! How are you?” :)
His parents and sister came out to greet us, the women giving hugs. They brought out chairs for us to sit in the shade of a tree in the garden and again, treated us as if we were royalty come to visit. So humbling and beautiful! His sister had her 3 children there and introduced them to us one by one. Her youngest was an absolutely gorgeous, chubby 4-month-old named Bethany who completely grabbed my heart. I have been missing loving on His littlest ones (bring on this next month at Acacia Tree, a baby home in Entebbe!) and the way He speaks to me of His heart in them. We chatted with Dan’s very wise-looking dad and anyone else who came to join us. His mother hugged us each about 3 times. Hehe :) And shortly before we got up to go, she came over and simply laid Bethany in my arms, as if God had whispered to her heart directly how much this random Mzungu would be encouraged by a cuddle. It was only the quickest bit of time, but they were moments that spoke to me of His heart which I can’t get enough of… Then Dan walked us back into the land to see genuine coffee beans growing on the trees! And to tell us of his and his fiance’s plans to build a good school here on this land and give the children of the village a real chance in the world. The Lord moves through people like these, so willing to be His hands and feet!
They wanted to make food for us but we’d just eaten and Dan had somewhere he had to be, so they insisted we come back again another time to eat :) And they sent us away with loads of peanuts and bananas they’d grown themselves!
This may have been one of my favourite Ugandan experiences yet, being welcomed in to a genuine village home where we hardly have to speak the same language to communicate grace and love and hospitality. My God blesses me through these kind people every day.
May God bless Dan and his fiancé and his family! The friendships He provides in His generosity warm my heart…