I’m over halfway done with my time in Africa and that blows my mind. Sometimes it seems like life on the other side of the world just isn’t there. It’s like even though I’ve spent my life in it, I can’t even imagine it anymore. It’s kinda a strange feeling.
God is good. God is active. God is so caring. Glory to God.
The testimony of God’s power I am about to give is something I have wanted to scream from the rooftops because it has blown my mind, yet one that in no way can I even begin to wrap my mind around. It’s something God is still revealing things through and using to teach me…but I am going to share it this far…..
I can’t remember when exactly it first slipped out of my mouth or really why, but I just know it was a while before hoping on the long flight to Africa. Before my heart and eyes could ever imagine this place. But in my prayers, instead of praying “Dear Heavenly Father” as I have for years to begin my conversation with him…I simply said “Baba”. I wrote it in my journal. And then as if someone else had written in my journal, I said “what???” What in the world is Baba. Seriously, I remember just staring at it. It was W.E.I.R.D.
I decided although it was weird, it was special and just something between me and God. I love a good nickname, especially one that is personal, so being the sentimental person that I am…Baba became the beginning of every prayer. To me, it was just that…just a nickname. A nickname that made him more personal to me.
I had no idea just how special this “nickname” would become. I had no idea the weight and the lessons and the mind blowing power that would send chills all over my body and shock in my face that was waiting in store for me.
So for a month or two or more, “Baba” is sloppily stained on the top of my notebooks.
Fast forward to two Thursdays ago…..June 22…
I have found “my place” here in at Abaana’s Hope in the middle of the bush of Uganda, Africa. & it happens to be the LAST place me or anyone I know or anyone who was preparing for me to come thought I would serve. I have fallen in love with the people who serve relentlessly in the kitchen. Who serve two meals every day to every worker at Abaana’s Hope and to all the school kids. A team of seven who are the hardest working people I have ever met. I could go on for days about my love for those seven, but I’ll save that for another day.
So everyday, this girl who a few months ago almost burnt down her parent’s kitchen just trying to make a simple breakfast casserole, spends her time in and around the kitchen. There are three workers at the kitchen who can speak a little English. (We spend most of our time laughing and dancing because being silly has no language barrier.) I was sorting beans with one of the guys who knows some English. His two year old little girl was close by singing a little song. He was talking and teasing back with her as we worked. A few minutes of silence passed and he said “Do you know what she is saying?” *To which the inside of me laughed because ABSOLUTELY NOT THE ACHOLI LANGUAGE IS TOO MUCH FOR MY NOGGIN* I simply responded with, “no. I don’t”. He said, “she is saying ‘Daddy, what are you doing? What are you doing?” To which I said “Awe, Simon, you’re such a good daddy.”
The next words have forever changed my heart. He said “Her Baba.”
My fingers, which have become strong and quick at sorting the good from the bad beans, froze, my eyes snapped to meet his eyes. “What did you say?” was all I could make my mouth say. He said “Her Baba.” Yall….my mind and heart were racing in a way that I can’t even describe. I still had not fully accepted that this was all truly happening so I said “Write that. Write that in the dirt.”
I watched as his fingers, dirty from the beans, wrote out the letters “B A B A”.
Was this really happening????? That’s all I remember thinking.
I remember him looking at me as if I was crazy. And I probably looked it because I couldn’t logically explain what was taking place. After a few seconds of silence, I finally muttered the words “what does that mean”
Simon, still looking at me like I had twelve eyes, said “It means daddy. It’s the Acholi word for daddy.”
Y’all…….I don’t think I moved for like three minutes. I totally freaked Simon out and he finally just kinda decided to let me sit there and he went to make the posho. I remember thinking….God….what in the world? How did you? How did I know that? WHAT????!
I clearly couldn’t function anymore at the kitchen because I was completely rattled. So I told them I would be back in a little while and I came back to the compound.
“God, what are you saying? God, how?” Those were the thoughts racing through my mind with every step on the red dirt trail back home.
And as I was walking, the most precious words and voice told me “I am your Baba. I not only walk with you each day, but I have your future in my hands and I am standing in your future waiting on you. I stand here now, and I stand there. Trust in me. Your future is perfectly planned. I have every step. I’m there every step. It’s all planned by me.”
I wish I you could see in my heart just what this MIRACLE has taught me. I think about how I rebelled against coming to Africa for months because I was terrified. I think about how I laid in a hospital bed not knowing if I’d make it. Not knowing if with every pain there was a blood clot or a brain aneurisms because those words became all too familiar. I think about laying on the couch with my feet in my daddy’s lap not knowing if my legs would ever work again. I think about all that fear. All those what if’s. All the tears. And I think about how I wrote Baba so many days ago. And how in each of those things, God already had the plans and the works that I just needed to trust and walk into. That I couldn’t see and didn’t know existed ahead. That I was so unaware of what would happen and why things happened the way they did and yet LOOK….God was already preparing and standing in my future.
I know that God did this to tell me to just trust in his plan. Just trust in his goodness. Just trust.
Just put one foot infront of the other even when things don’t add up…even when words like Baba appear in your journal…God is working them for your good…for your future. He stands in your future. Walk to Him.
“Be still and know that I am God”
KNOW that He is God…standing in complete control!!