This morning we woke up to the sounds of rolling thunder and a smattering of rain – such a welcome relief after months of heat, dust and dry air. The rains have not yet come in the east of Uganda (although Kampala has already experienced some heavy storms) but the promises of rain are so encouraging.
The game of today has been “Can You Spot the Mountain” with the ridge covered in a haze – a mix of cloud and smoke, I think. The cloud cover and murkiness has been a lovely relief.
So…can YOU spot the mountain?
Some other achievements of the past week or so:
My first effort, with Sarah’s help, to use our outside oven. Electricity is so unreliable here (we say that Umeme- the ‘provider’ – is a good back-up for the generator!) and we just never got around to getting a gas oven. So we had a fire oven built, and after about 2 months of drying time, it is ready to use!
It takes some skill: getting to 180C (350F) is a wild guess, and the helpers told me it is ‘very ready’, when I could put in the cakes. I discovered ‘very ready’ means “very hot”, and instead of a lower heat for longer, this was more like an African microwave: put it into a blazing oven and it will take just a short while to cook! Aaai. It was too complicated to explain the concept of slower baking, so I pushed the cake to the cooler sides of the oven, checked regularly, and it turned out JUST FINE (with a darkish crust below…!)
Another achievement is finishing the big cloth for a set I have been stitching for a while.
These were such fun and I do want to make some more.
My big meditation for the last week was of how God has sent His special reminders of love to keep us going. They have literally been falling from the sky and lie about everywhere for me to see – little love notes from an adoring Father to let me know He IS here, He IS faithful and He keeps on loving.
Since we arrived back home in January the seeds of the Uganda Flame tree (Spathodea campanulata) have been flying about, thanks to the brown parrots’ untidy eating habits.
This tree gave the glorious red blooms months ago, and now the pods are full of seed. The wind catches the seeds so easily and after a number have escaped from the parrots’ claws, or have been flushed from the pods by the wind, they scatter across the lawn, or lie in corners of concrete or get into flower beds. Or a number of other places, like the message finally getting to MY heart:
So know that the Lord your God is God.
He is the faithful God. He will keep His covenant of love for a thousand lifetimes. (Deut 7:9, International Children’s Bible)
Even in the dry spaces, between stones, rocks and thorns, the message I see:
And so we know the love God has for us, and we trust that love.
God IS love. (1 John 4:19)
And if the falling reminders are not enough, seeding themselves in my heart and beginning to take root, God has given another visible reminder. Each time I pass the kitchen window sill, there in the corner I see the stain.
Since we moved into our house it has made me smile, deep in my soul. The stain has remained through terrible rain storms, cleaning sessions or any other rigours of daily African life. God’s heart of love, everywhere, if we will just see it. And nothing can remove his love, even when times are rough.
Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from the love that God has for us… nothing… in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38, 39)