Just two days more and we'll be back under African skies. I am more than eager. It is time for me to wrestle with God, and Africa is definitely a place for wrestling. Every American Christ-follower should face the beauty and tragedy of Africa. We all should spend some mornings worshipping in a mud and tin church in a slum and then go home and remember the obscenity of our own wealth. I think it's good for our souls and good for our churches, if we can be brave enough not to ignore it.
This year we will be visiting a displaced persons camp for the first time. IDP camps are basicaly refugee camps for people who have not crossed an International boundary. They are refugees in their own land. An entire ethnic group, the Acholi, have become homeless in Uganda. They are not safe anywhere. If they stay in their villages their children are abducted as soliders in the Lord's Resistance Army. And if they go to the camps they loose their dignity, become dependent on foreign aid, and die by the thousands due to disease and lack of clean water and sanitation. There are no great choices for the Acholi. Choice is a luxury reserved for the privleged and the elite. Choice is a rare thing in Africa.
I will look for Jesus in the camp. He will not be hard to spot. The cries of the Acholi people must be loud in heaven. Jesus will be there crying with them. Join the Acholi in their suffering and you will find yourself in the company of the living God. It's a surer guarantee of ushering in the presence of Christ than even the best Chris Tomlin or David Crowder song.
Meet you under under African skies soon, Jesus. Back to the genesis, to the place where you began everything. The cradle of life. Word into flesh. Darkness into light. To the place where the earth feels young, as if creation was just back behind the last hill and Eden seems to linger around every corner. I can't wait.