NEW FEET (death became a second birth).
Every Sunday evening around six a group of Acholi men and women in a nearby village dance. This past Sunday after the meeting a few of the women, a few of the volunteers, a million children, and me walked to Soweto. Everyone circled around while a few of us stood in a line in the middle of the circle. Barefoot, kicking up dust, and laughing -- we danced until dusk. It was more freeing than I ever thought it could be. It seems that whenever I let go of not just the bad but my wholeness as well I find some sort of newness. I think that I honestly only know a fragment of who I actually am. But when I let go I think I know a little bit more of who God intended me to be. When I laugh I think I can accept His presence a little bit more. Choosing to laugh and to be free is a daily decision.
”The saints (and artists) are those who not only accept, but rejoice in incongruity and so learn that laughter is holy. The infinite disparity between God’s love and man’s deserts is an indubitable fact; the saint embraces it for joy. The greater the incongruity, the more wonderful love and mercy of God…” - unknown
I hope everyone is doing well. I miss you all a great amount. I love you all a great amount also. I pray that you will not forget how to laugh today. -Melissa
I sat in a small room inside of a house in Danida today and listened to a 17 year old girl named Doreen tell the story of how she became paralyzed, unable to do almost anything for herself. I will pass this story on to you:
About six years ago, Doreen and her family were fleeing the rebels in northern Uganda, in a district called Lira. While hiding from the rebels in the bush, Doreen was run over by a military vehicle owned by the Ugandan military. The soldiers took her to hospital hours away. Meanwhile, her family continued to flee the rebel forces, unsure if they would ever see their daughter or sister again. They eventually heard what had happened. Doreen stayed at the hospital for over a year and was operated on a few times over. Most of the surgery was concentrated around the joints on her arms and legs. With little money or possessions, Doreen and her family came to Jinja/Danida.
This story is many things to me. It is overwhelmingly sad and hopeful, desperate and beautiful. Doreen and her family have faith in God. They have faith in themselves and in each other. I wish you could experience the joy as we laugh together. For now, this picture will have to do: Please continue to pray for the people here and for Melissa and I. Love you! - Joseph
ps: We are getting married on January 30th!!!!!!!