It's sobering, there from the wicker couch my husband bought for me, gazing out on a slice of the city waking up for another day. I never really see the city change, apart from the weather. It's been a year now. So I admit to some discouragement that has washed over me as I continue to pray (or in all honesty, sometimes fail to continue) when things seem the same as before, despite a year of hard work and some personal heartache and costliness. In fact, they seem worse, because I'm more aware than ever of their depth, I think--which is still deeper than I'll ever really know.
I want to pray big prayers, because I think God works through them. I think of Daniel, and how his apparently "delayed" answer to prayer was actually deal to an intense spiritual battle. I think of Samuel, and his words in 1 Samuel 12:
For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you...
I also can't count the times I've looked over the chaos and pain in the crush of Kampala and thought of a reaction of Jesus': When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. At any rate, the one-year mark has been a bit of a reality check. I've been convicted of my own lack of faith when I'm slogging through moments of discouragement.
But a cool thing happened at my rather long appointment at the embassy (which, BTW, is not really the little slice of America I was hoping for. Well, except the extensive security measures. Even the TV was a Chinese channel). I introduced myself to a couple I'd seen at church. Turns out the guy's working with International Justice Mission, specifically with judges and lawyers to work against corruption in a 10-year plan. It was almost as if God had His hand on my shoulder, a knowing smile on His face. And You thought I didn't hear you. Pretty cool for the couple and me, I think, to find out that God had us working together before we'd even shook hands.
Tonight I'm thankful for a God who keeps working, seen or unseen.