Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mama Jane

Mama Jane….ahh…I love her!

She works in the kitchen here at the New Hope Institute.

She is an older woman…how old I am not quite sure…not old by US standards but old by Ugandan standards for sure….Anyways…our interactions are so sweet.

Why do I love her...I'm not sure...I just do! She gives the best bear hugs…and for some reason we have taken to each other…strange since we really don’t understand what each other are saying…we speak totally different languages and so the extent of our conversations are:

"How are you?"
"I am fine."
"How are you?"
"I am fine"

at that point we bear hug each other and smile. Most of the time I have spent with her is just sitting down next her in the kitchen. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen with her…just sitting…not saying anything but spending time with her…

Today was different, she didn’t come to work…which is not like Mama Jane at all…

I found out later, that her father in law died last night and was being buried today. No one knows if he was a Christian or not…which made the event a sad one indeed.

So I went to the funeral ceremony…I went straight to Mama Jane and gave her a bear hug…knowing that I could only communicate my sympathy that way…I embraced her tightly for a good 2 or 3 minutes…the simple conversation that transpired was sweet…

Mama Jane: how are you?
Me: I’m fine…how are you?
Mama Jane: I’m fine…
Me: I’m sorry
Mama Jane (in her best English she could muster): My daddy dead
Me: yes…I know...I'm sorry
Me: I love you
Mama Jane: I love you

That’s it…

You see...I had to be there…There was no choice to stay home...because here in Uganda, it's all about relationships…it’s all about spending time with people…just sitting…not even talking necessarily but just spending time. I have spent time with her over the last few weeks…and she knows that I love her…even in this short 3 weeks of time that I have known her.

Pray for her…pray for her family…

The one thing that stood out to me during my entire time at Mama Janes home…is that there was not one tear shed. Not one person that came to the ceremony cried…not when they sang, not when the pastor spoke, not when they carried the casket to the backyard, not when they lowered it into the newly dug hole, not when they filled back the dirt, not ever…

Now I am one who understands the whole “not gonna cry” mentality…But there are two times that you are pretty much guaranteed to see me cry…during sappy movies and during funerals…so this response was one that I just didn’t and still don’t understand…

I can’t wait until I know more lugandan and I can ask Mama Jane about it…

For now…please pray for her and pray that as I sit with her, I can continue to be a good friend to my dear sister in the Lord.

2 comments:

Ed said...

Hi Lena, and thanks for this. AHFT will pray for Mama Jane and her family, and for you. Blessings.

Joe and Tracy in Ecuador said...

That is such an amazing entry. You are truly in the exact place God wants you (not that you needed me to say it, but you are)