Crying Love: found in translationRich Stigall
There are a multitude of tribal languages in Uganda and often some things can get lost in translation. But always, actions speak louder than words. Actions have spoken so many remarkable things to us on our journey here. The act of African hospitality and welcome has been strongly transformational for all of us. I have never experienced more welcome and generosity. I can not count the number of “break teas” that were presented, not to be confused with “coffee breaks.” Break teas are a mid morning and mid day banquet of hot, African tea (a mix of hot tea and steamed milk ), home-made rolls & muffins, and fresh fruit (pineapple, papaya, mango, banana, passion fruit, picked fresh off the trees). Twice a day mind you! Each day our team was introduced to another group of people who wished to give us a “proper” personal welcome to Uganda. There were some days, we just could not fit in another “break tea” as so many gracious new friends awaited to host us!
We all loved learning the Ugandan handshake. A proper meeting means holding another’s hand for several minutes as you look straight into their eyes and greet them!
Gooood Morning! So gooood to see you. How was the night? How are youuuuuu? Happy New Year! And how is your family? God is so good, the warm grasp of hands and gaze of focused eyes indeed teaches us that greeting another is not to be rushed but savored as a gift exchange, celebrating new friendship and promise.
Then there is the welcome of music and dance that spoke to our very hearts; the long hugs and double kisses to each cheek. The children who welcomed us really captured us with their hearts filled of hope and love.
So many welcomes enveloped our hearts to overflowing; there were many times amongst laughing, mingle-mingling, handshake greetings, kisses, warm embraces and singing that tears of joy simply could not be contained. Smiles and tears, quivering chins, our new friends wondered. They shared looks of concern, something seemed lost in translation. They wondered what are actions meant.
Our dear friend Obed helped translate:
Dear ones’ please know that our friends, they are strong, powerful women; mothers from USA. They have been carried here by your prayers and love. They are so very happy and you have made them so very welcome. They are so completely filled to overflowing and deeply touched that they are “crying love” for you! It is love of the deepest kind, as a mother for her child.
Crying love…our hearts are found in that translation.
Photos from the Women’s Retreat held in Kabale: