Today we are at a local coffee shop. I must say that Uganda has the best coffee I have ever tasted, cheap too. They have WiFi here and it is pretty fast, almost up to cable type speeds.
Yesterday I got to do my first teaching, it was a 30 minute devotion. The audience was mixed with Africans and Americans. The Africans were Sudanese men, 6 of them, 5 who are in the South Sudanese Army. All have been in the army 20 + years and only one is over 40 years old. You see, they all joined the army before they were 15 years old, one joined when he was 9 years old. As I sat around the room, these were the most kind and gentle men that I have encountered while here in Africa.
All these men have been in over 10 years of war and all have fought in many, many battles themselves. Most of their brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers have all died due to the war. The thing that amazed me the most though was their love for Jesus. They had this unconditional love, a love that you read about Christ having for us. They didn't love Christ because they had nice cars (for none of them had a car), because they had nice clothes (they had to buy new clothes when they got to Kampala) or because they are rich (most make yearly what we make in a month). No, for them the love was only predicated on the fact that Jesus loved them first, that's it.
The text that I taught from was in Philippians 3, speaking of our citizenship in heaven and our identity in Christ. These men don't have much, but they know their scripture well. I couldn't help but wonder how much better off we (Americans in general) would be if we didn't think that every bad thing that happened to us was God turning His back on us or that when we really, really needed something or things went bad we prayed. These men said nothing without mentioning Jesus, and one carries a literal cross with him wherever he goes. I was simply awestruck at the faith, compassion and dedication I saw yesterday. They really have the "God is good all the time" attitude and when they need something, they know that God will always provide.
For me, I pray that the Lord would continue to show me people with this unbelievable faith, unwavering faith. It truly is a blessing to be around people like this. I will be posting some of the chaplain profiles over the upcoming months. I would like to introduce you to some of the men who are changing my life.