Sunday, January 31, 2016

Eating with my neighbors

On Saturday evenings I usually study the Bible with my neighbors. They have all been very interested to learn more about who Jesus is. I usually check with them on Saturday mornings to confirm if they are still planning to meet that evening. 

This Saturday morning when I was checking in, I asked about something they were preparing to cook that was unfamiliar to me. Of course learning the Luganda word doesn't always help me understand what to associate it with in my brain and how they eat it. After asking many questions, they told me that they were preparing some that day and would have it ready when I returned for Bible study. I told them that I would try just a small amount. I really emphasized that point because I know how they love to be generous toward visitors. I love the very hospitable culture here! Ugandans also seem to eat larger portions fewer times a day. 

When I returned for Bible study, I found my sweet friend preparing a feast! As soon as I sat down they served me all of this food. They told me is was a "Christmas meal" for me. 
They even gave me a spoon although they all just pick up their food with their fingers. On the left is a cup of juice they made for me although they all drank water. The plate on the right has a yellow sweet potato, two pieces of boiled cassava, and the brown stuff is what I had been asking about. They somehow learned the English word to tell me. It is sorghum seeds mixed with dried cassava which is then ground into a flour and cooked with water to make a sticky, gummy mixture. The plate in the middle of the photo has a sauce made mostly of boiled tomatoes. Generally you take a piece of one of the starchy foods and dip them in the sauce to eat. I knew that I wouldn't be able to finish the whole plate, but thankfully there were many children willing to help me after they had eaten their portion. 

After we finished eating, we had our Bible study. We have been reading in the book of John recently. This week we read about the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. It is interesting to see how some of my friends respond with such grief hearing about the death of Jesus. The injustice of it doesn't disturb me as much as it does them. Maybe I have become a bit calloused having known the story for so long. 

I did have the opportunity to turn to Romans, Ephesians and Hebrews and read to them passages about why Jesus had to die. We read that we are all sinners and that sin separates us from God and deserves death. We read that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. We read that Jesus died to take the punishment that we deserve. I also told them that next week we will read how Jesus is raised from the dead. Please pray for these women and teenage girls to put their faith in Jesus and want to live for him.

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