The first day we arrived in Ogongora, the kids were a little afraid of us … by the end of our second day – they trusted us more and wanted to join in the fun with us (especially having their picture taken) – and we trusted them more with our gadgets! So #lentphotos today on Trusting:
As we move onto The Horse and His Boy this kind of line appeared from then onwards:
“Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.”
and this really seemed to chime with John 21: 22
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
and just to be clear, I don’t have acres of Bible/Theology knowledge – I joined the dots by doing searches on various Bible sites online!
As someone who is interested in stories, particularly other people’s stories (why would I be out in Uganda otherwise!), it’s an interesting conundrum … but then I’ve been told part of my “skillset” is a journalistic/reportage style so a good fit for this kind of job – with the skills that God gave me. It makes sense to me as we focus on our own stories, concern ourselves with the well-being of others, but we don’t refuse to do x, because “they” have refused to do y – we have to make our own choices independent of the choices that others have made – but in following Jesus, we take care of others. As the thinking point and the prayer indicate – it’s when we become so nosy we’re not concerned with our own discipleship (e.g. wearing ourselves out in Ministry because we want to ‘fix’ someone else’s story) – but that our responsibility (a word we’re hearing a lot this week as it’s given back to the rural communities – who were waiting for someone else to come along with a ‘fix’) is to give the best stories that we can do the world through our own actions (people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care).
Today, James Catford of the Bible Society suggests we seek to share the Bible with someone, particularly by focusing on your own story – which bits you love/find particularly helpful etc. He also makes reference to the Poverty and Justice Bible created in 2008 – with over 2000 references to eradicating poverty in the Bible (slightly more than some other issues that seem to concern much of church discussion time) – with the most in Psalms and the Gospel of Matthew.
One really interesting comment we’ve heard over the past couple of days is the inspiration that those in the village of Ogongora took from the Bible passages on the loaves and the fishes – if Jesus would feed so many from so little – so also can then – they can turn their harvest into some to eat/some to sell/some to plant, and gradually move on from a subsistence lifestyle to something approaching ‘pleasant’ was how it was described today!
Oh, hah – well this just socks you in the eyes again – I have spent many years like this, although have started to rely on some others – but every time people disappoint (as they will) we have to take another risk … a risk worth thinking about taking I think today indicates:
Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that the way we live reflects the level of trust we invest in God, and in each other. Shane’s resolution reminds me that I often seek security before God’s kingdom (Matthew 6) - trying not to rely too much on anyone, including God, just in case.
The people in Ogongora have many reasons not to trust others, because of civil war, poverty, etc, but they put huge trust in God, and the organisations that God has sent to support them.
I managed to do 10 minutes of this before breakfast, and in many ways the silence in the car (unable to do anything but look out the window/chat .. travel sickness is not a great affliction here!) has offered extra time. Ugandans just take longer at everything, take time together, chill out a lot more – and in chatting to our driver Joseph, he can’t understand why people would want to live in the UK – all looks too frantic – all looking for ‘stuff’ – he’s not too far wrong!
We’ve also been talking about the power of community today – though people are trying to better themselves personally, they are also concerned that their neighbours benefit too. Seems to be little need for padlocks, etc… so maybe they wouldn’t need this:
And just because I like this bit from @pamjweb
When I think of God, I often have a picture in my mind of sitting in the palm of his hand. That to me feels like a safe and secure place – very much what Spencer gives the image of here. Jesus’ focus is entirely on what he is holding. I like that.