June 15   Bus leaving Rogge

Heidi’s quietly sobbing behind me…shedding tears that all of us feel but stay as lumps in our throats and bruises on our hearts.

We’ve all piled in the bus after what seemed to me a triumphal procession of kids and farmers and teachers and our team, holding hands and arms around each other, walking from the school to the well. Rain falls…up and over the hills we go, the beauty of the rich farmland spread before us and the laughter and joy of these beautiful children all around us…and then it ends abruptly, we say goodbye and teachers and our team hop on the bus to leave.

I’m the last in and the open seat is next to Samuel, our beloved Rogge Bible teacher.
So Heidi is crying and Samuel is just trying to hold it together and me, who really only cries in dark places and in private, lets loose the lump and the tears fall too..

Then Samuel starts… Samuel who shared his testimony with us earlier that day with such courage...risking his life and leaving literally everything -  family, home, possessions and the life he’d known up to that point in his 11 years…left all for Jesus who said to him “I’m alive, I love you and I want you to be Mine.”

What do you do with all that emotion and love for Christ and His people, with the deep sadness of leaving a glimpse of heaven where His people are united in such joy and closeness…how do you express that except with tears?

And the Psalm Pastor Mattheows shared with us that morning comes back to me “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, Running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” Psalm 133

I show it to Samuel and we both underline it in our Bibles.  We’ve all tasted this week how good it is when brothers and sisters in Christ live and worship and serve in unity.

Samuel searches for words..points to his pencil, the bus, everything we see…”All this…not matter. Our hope…” and he points up to heaven and starts singing….I join in. It’s what we’ve been singing all week, the song we’ve heard spontaneously on the playground, in the classroom…sung in Oromifa and English.

“Y Jesus nagaleta, Y Jesus nagaleta, Y Jesus nagaleta

Wongela nati hima.

“Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me The Bible tells me so” We sing the truth of Who unites us and our faith in His Word that tells us so.

Samuel finishes and says “Come, Lord Jesus” …he’s sobbing, the last teacher we drop off…he turns as he steps off the bus “Our hope…it is Jesus.” 

He’s coming and we’re going to live in unity for eternity, never having to say good bye again. “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20