If you find yourself in east Africa, and are of caucasian decent, you will be referred to as a Mzungu – literally translated as “one who wanders aimlessly” (think of the perception of the first European explorers to Africa).
Over the last few years, I’ve given quite a bit of thought to the importance of living in community and intentionally growing relationships with those around us.
Yet my life has been lived out of a suitcase for nearly a year now. Just last week, we traveled from Kisoro to Mbarara, a 6 hour bus ride, stayed a few days and then traveled 5 more hours to Kampala. We stayed 1 day before taking another 2 hour bus ride east to Jinja. Stayed a few days there to celebrate Betsy’s birthday and then bussed it back to Kampala. Two days ago we drove 5 hours with some friends to Gulu (an organization called Tutapona – more on them later) and then the 6 hour bus ride back today.
Although this past week was especially travel heavy, it wasn’t too far out of the ordinary. Our less-than-year-old passports already have several pages filled with stamps and visas for a handful of countries.
Don’t get me wrong, I have loved the adventures we’ve had and the people we have met, but I know there is a deep part of life that has been lacking. I am growing less and less fond of packing and repacking and packing again. But even more than that, I am missing community. We are blessed with great family and friends back home (if your reading this you’re probably one of them – you rock by the way) and have felt tremendously supported on our journey. What we have lacked is a regular church family to grow with, or a place to call our home, or a regular rhythm to life. Our great desire is for God to specify a location soon so we can connect as community members there.
Yet I know I will never fully live up to the Mzugu name. For my wanderings are not aimless. I’m on a journey intentionally designed to bring me closer to the One leading me… not simply closer to a destination.
* Photo taken in Northern Michigan… not Uganda.