(Posted by Jane)
It’s October, and I’m expecting the leaves to change colour, the air turn cooler and the nights be longer. But it appears to be perpetual late summer here. The seasons change a little – dry and wet being the obvious ones – though I’m yet to find someone who can definitively tell me when these seasons are, or even what season we’re in now! I’ve noticed the odd wild blossom tree lately – a lonely pink tree in a sea of green – and it almost feels spring-like… It is certainly a beautiful climate here, but however much I love late summer I can’t help but miss the seasons, especially the sense of renewal, new life, and new possibility that they bring.
Last week Laurence and I made a trip down to Rakai district to visit Kyotera (pronounced chyo-terra), the town where we will be living this time next year. It is a town of about 10,000 on the main road down to Tanzania. What it lacks in charm it makes up for in vibrancy; bustling trade, roadside vendors, children playing in the dust, Ugandan pop music blaring from old speakers. We wondered around, dodging chickens and motorbike taxis and fending off cries of “Muzungu!” (white person) with our best Luganda responses. As we walked around this unsurprising but unfamiliar town I felt I was treading a fine line between peace and panic. The unknown is daunting; and it is strange to walk the streets of a place that will one day be familiar, but for now feels so alien.
The next morning we went to visit the site for the Cherish school. A piece of wild, uneven land covered in shrubs and trees; nondescript but teeming with potential and the atmosphere heavy with all it will be. Laurence and I stood there and felt that it was the first time we had heard anything approaching silence in Uganda. Only the birdsong. And we stood in the stillness and knew that he is God.
It feels like we’re constantly in transition, us Knoops, with lots of moves and much change on the horizon. And, naturally, such change brings worries, complications and challenges. But resoundingly there is also peace, and the excitement of possibility; for there is nowhere we go where he is not; and there is nowhere he is not working and nowhere he is not moving, and we will simply join him. Kampala, Jinja, Kyotera…
“Though the seasons change, your love remains… your love remains.”
(United Pursuit, Seasons change)