I don't know why I resonate more with an African culture than I do my own, American one. I so wish I was born and raised here b/c of the deep sense of joy and freedom at the roots of their culture. Today we experienced it first hand in two very different yet similar ways. First we went to church again at Watoto Church. It was amazing as always. Its funny b/c if you have ever worshiped with me, you know that I don't stand still. I jump, clap, bounce, etc and I'm not pentecostal. People comment on how I worship which seems strange to me b/c it feels so natural. Watoto is a church filled with thousands of people just like that- natural worshipers. They don't care what they look like, how its perceived or how it sounds, just WHO it is for! I feel comfortable in American churches but I feel at home at Watoto. I am just one of many here. I love getting to worship next to my husband too. He is so passionate! While I am blessed to be led by him each week at our home church, it is truly a special gift to honor God beside him. But no matter where you are, God is the same God. I am so thankful to be in submission to a God that cares, loves and provides for all His children. The least I can do is turn that thankfulness into praise and worship. I worship b/c of who He is, not b/c of where I am!
After service we enjoyed the buffet lunch at Mwenzo - our favorite place to go on Sundays. This week we brought Claire, Natasha and Deborah with us for company. Something really funny happened, or at least its what we are assuming happened, after we finished eating and were chatting around the table. We were all talking when all of a sudden we hear a thud and look over and Jaydn is on the floor. Apparently she had fallen off of her chair. Our assumption is that she fell asleep in her chair and as her body started leaning, she slipped onto the floor. Instead of rushing to her aid we all just kind of sat there, trying to process what just happened. The waitress was the first one to assist Jaydn back up which caused us to laugh b/c we not only didn't know for sure what took place but we didn't try to help Jaydn either. She just kept rubbing her eyes and seemed confused as to why she was on the floor which only made us believe even more she had fallen asleep. This girl just amazes me with the ways and places she will sleep-love it!
We came back to the apartment from lunch and took a nap all together. We had made plans to go to the Ndere Cultural Center at 5:30pm so we jumped in a special hire car and headed out that way. Apparently where I thought it was and where it really was was very different so even though we arrived a little late, they hadn't started yet (Africa time works in our favor too). We sat down at a table and enjoyed an evening of a variety of tribal dances, stories and costuming. It was really cool. The MC talked a lot so the transitions between dances were painfully long at times. But over all it was really enjoyable. They had a time where they invited the children down to the stage area and Deborah carried Jaydn down with her. They had the kids get in a circle and basically they just copied the movements of the MC. Then he had individual kids come to the center of the circle and lead the others however they wanted. He kept saying to the children, "Dance in your own style." It was such an inviting phrase. It was such an inviting culture. Jaydn just stood there the entire time as the kids played and danced around her. At one point they even separated the boys and girls and she stood right in the middle next to the MC without going to either side. He acknowledged her to the crowd and then went on with the program while she stood there. It was so interesting to hear the many layers of African culture (kingdoms, regions, tribes, families etc) The deeper you go the more heritage there is. We also learned that we are in Buganda but they don't pronounce the "B" as I would, its softer. B/c it is hard to hear, the people who heard the Africans say it back in the day, interpreted it as Uganda and thus it has become known. We watched them portray love as the attraction of energy and strength instead of the romantic version we tend to think of it these days. It was quite entertaining. We ended up leaving before it was over b/c Jaydn was getting tired and our ride had arrived. Nathan had to sit in the front seat on the way back and said it was really scary riding at night b/c the lights are coming right at you and people cross in front of you and you didn't even see them coming. We promptly laid Jaydn down when we got back and then settled in to our nightly rituals.
We crave any moments we can get with Jaxon and Jovie on Skype and though they get bored fast, we love just watching them interact and talk and blow us kisses. We are missing them so much. We are holding on to the faith that a miracle is possible and we can to leave by Thursday. Please pray that we find out Jaydn's passport has been approved tomorrow so that when we get our ruling Tuesday, we can try for a Visa appointment Wednesday. If that happens we will need another miracle of getting her Visa before they close Wednesday b/c they are off for Thanksgiving, like most of you are, being that its the US Embassy and all. We pray fervently for this b/c if we don't get it, Th-Monday are basically blank days of being stuck in country just waiting for the Visa to be given. But we have hope! Hope most of all in the truth we were reminded of today at church and at the cultural center: no matter what happens, if we commit to "dance in our style," God will be pleased. That is the most important thing of all. To Him be all Glory, Honor, and Praise.