Risky New Year

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Wed, 02 Jan 2013 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

I’m writing this while sitting at the top of a cliff overlooking Lake Albert. We have taken 3 days away from Kiwoko to rest, think about the past year and consider what might be achieved before we go home in 6 months time.

At the other side of the Lake is Congo, where they drink the famous fruit drink. On a clear day Congo is visible from here but not today as there is a storm on the other side. Lake Albert is massive. It could be the sea. One thing I have missed in our 2 years here is the sea. Being from Bangor means the sea is part of daily life. You can hear it, you can walk beside it, you can impress your wife by making flat stones bounce across it, the salty sea air makes your car go rusty…

About an hour ago some fishermen started shouting up at us from their wooden boat about 50 metres below. They wanted to sell us some of their catch. One of our Ugandan friends from the lodge climbed down the cliff face, taking absolutely no safety precautions. He returned with an impressive Talapia (a Ugandan fish that looks like Perch). The fishermen told him to give it to the mzungu (white man) for free! That’s tonight’s dinner organised. Our friend went back down again with 15,000 shillings (about £3.50) and bought another 4 Talapia.

This never happens in Bangor. Many of our experiences here would never happen in Bangor.

During these few peaceful days I’ve been thinking about the chain of events that brought us here to experience such things. I can trace back to a tragic event back in 2005 which made Tania and I look at life differently. We started taking what some people would call ‘risks’. We began challenging ourselves to do difficult things – to push our personal boundaries – to do things that in our human minds didn’t make sense. Now we live and work in the African bush. We experience good days, bad days, cultural differences, lightning storms, dry seasons, driving over crumbling wooden bridges, camp fires, dodging snakes and dodgy Policemen, bike rides in the jungle, telling people about Jesus…

I want to challenge you to take some risks in 2013. It may seem more sensible to eliminate all risks from life – to have insurance policies for insurance policies – to only do things which are safe – to aspire to own a Volvo with 76 airbags. I believe God has already written the story of our lives – we just need to let him be the Director. I can understand how that could seem irresponsible and too big a risk. But, eventually you should find that not putting God in control of your life is a much bigger risk to take.

Tonight I will eat Talapia which is really nice. I could have had cod and chips sitting on Bangor Pier, which is also really nice, but, I couldn’t have blogged about it and would you have bothered reading? God’s stories are better.

Happy New Year!



Jenny Christie said Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:56AM
Thanks for that totally necessary message, Paul - it was one which I will be passing onto my hubby, one from which we both will draw a lot of encouragement! Blessings to Tania and you for the New Year!! Jenny at the office :o)
Gillian Maganda said Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:59PM
Amazing blog guys, sitting in my office supposed to be studying and greatly challenged by your words. I smiled and tears came to my eyes at the same time, as I reflected how far God has taken you both, and I just don't mean the distance from Bangor to Kiwoko. Have a wonderful New Year and may others be challenged and inspired by your lives and example, to be obedient in stepping out of their comfort zones. Gillian xo

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