I do not take for granted the friendships the Lord has given me. Some go back as far as I can remember and others have just come within the last few months, all of them have shaped me in some form or another.
I have met so many incredible people and made great friends since I have been living in Jinja. It is not very often that people who live here go home. All have different reasons but one I have heard more than once is this, ” I really have no reason to go back. Friendships have changed and my life is now here”. To be honest this always scares me. It goes back to the core of my biggest fear when I said a simple, “yes” to come…I didn’t want to leave behind my friendships. I knew that everyone’s life would continue on at home and I fully expected it to and desired for it to. At the same time, I desire to go back home and pick up where I left off in some way. I want to find my friends doing what they do daily and join them in that because I love where He has placed each of them and I want to encourage them in where He has placed them.
Community looks the same no matter what culture you are in. Community that is found in Jesus Christ is one that encourages, protects, loves no matter the costs, forgives the unforgivable, celebrates, mourns and when one leaves the welcome home is so sweet. I think about my community at home from my family, to those who are a wiser generation who pour into me, to those who have been walking this journey with me since I was a child, to those who He has brought into my life recently, and I am overwhelmed with His goodness to me. I know that when I return home things will be different, even His word says “there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven” and I am thankful for the different seasons. It is what sanctification is all about…we are forever changing. I do know though that I have been blessed with a community that will embrace me and love me no matter how long I have been gone and no matter if the Dacia they knew when she left is not the Dacia that returns.
Every single person I have met along my journey of life has played a part in this story. Before He created the World He foreknew every detail of my life and He knew who I would sit next to in class, who would walk up in my teller line, who would be in my life for a brief time, be my neighbor, my teacher, my best friend, every encounter, every friendship has an eternal weight. It has purpose in something bigger than myself…if I let it.
Here I sit in Uganda. A new community is being formed, one with those who face the same trials I face daily, ones who have stained feet like myself, and those who know the highs and lows of saying “Yes” to something greater than yourself. It is sweet. I am so thankful.
Still, deep in my heart I cannot wait to sit over coffee, with home around me, Texas stars, cowboy boots, familiar faces, familiar laughs and share what He has done in all of us over this past year.
Dear brothers and sisters, I love you and long to see you, for you are my Joy and the reward of my work. So please stay true to the Lord, my dear friends. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Jesus Christ. I pray that your love for one another will overflow more and more, and you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding.
I love each and every one of you.