Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Recently, many members of our team have had things stolen. As you may recall, David had his phone stolen in Jinja. Other team members have had laptops, phones, kindles, ipads, and money stolen in Jinja and Kamapala. With David's phone we found that it was highly unlikely that the police would be able to recover anything. Mostly, they just asked for money to help look for it. Thankfully in all of the recent theft, no one has been personally in danger.

It can be very frustrating and discouraging to have things taken. When it is a device that you have grown accustomed to using for work and communication, missing that device creates many challenges. Even though many years ago, we did not have such conveniences, these "things" have become very important to us.

While I personally have not had anything taken yet, I have been learning from my teammates and husband as they have dealt with these situations. When David's phone was taken, he decided to just wait and to not be in a hurry to replace it. For a little over a month he did not have a phone until our nephew generously donated his phone for David to use. Out here in the village there are no land lines, so David just had to use other people's phones when he needed to communicate. He was also not able to check email very often because opening a full website on a computer takes much more bandwidth than getting an email on a mobile device. I have also heard other team members talk about not being in a hurry to replace a stolen item, rather just being willing to go without for a time.

At times I can get caught in the mindset that I need these "things," but living in a rural village in Uganda is teaching much about what I really need. Many of my neighbors live in mud huts and eat what they can grow. As we are building a house here I often struggle with wondering if I am living with much more than I really need. Our house will be very modest from an American perspective, but it seems so big compared to the one or two room huts of our neighbors. This is an ongoing struggle for me as we make decisions regarding the house.

As all of this has been mulling around in my mind, I am often reminded of this passage of Scripture.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)
Even though people do not have as many things here as in America, it is still so easy for our hearts to seek after things that do not ultimately satisfy. It is interesting that the prosperity gospel is just as popular here in the midst of poverty as it is in a wealthy country like America. Whatever we have, it is so easy to always want more. It is so easy for us to be discontent with whatever we have. I am praying that God will teach me to be more like the Apostle Paul who "has learned in whatever situation I am to be content." (Philippians 4:11) This contentment does not come from comparing myself to others but through looking to Jesus Christ who has given me eternal life and has made me a beloved child of God. What more could I ask for?

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