Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Fri, 01 Jul 2011 | 4 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Anyone who has received emails from me in the last few weeks will have noticed I have been struggling to overcome the things that make me very uncomfortable here in Uganda.

I still miss my family and friends.

I miss ‘normal’ nights out at coffee shops or the cinema or walks on the beach.

I miss hot showers.

I miss so many food products we cannot get here like good cheese, Brennans bread and strawberries.

And I am tired of mosquito and ant bites, always being hot and sweaty, not knowing what everyone around me is talking about, and the electric going off just as I pick up the hairdryer or the iron.

I was clearly going through a ‘woe is me’ stage. Then last night I read this Franciscan benediction:

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

In Uganda it is very popular to preach that blessings come in the form of riches and success. In the UK and Ireland we are much more subtle about it but we believe the same thing. When we pray that God will bless someone we mean with good health, happy times, a secure future and loving relationships. We do not mean with discomfort, anger, tears or foolishness. And yet is this not exactly what God asks of us?

1 Peter 4:12-13,19: Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed… So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Romans 5:3-5: Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Today I remembered how truly blessed I am. I hope you do too.


For more information about Kiwoko Hospital and CMS Ireland’s work in Uganda, click here

EVENTS: Uganda is part of the Mid Africa Region – Find out more about our exciting Annual Mid Africa Partnership Conference in Newcastle, County Down by clicking here. 2011 Conference: Your Kingdom Come.


rodney neill said Fri, 01 Jul 2011 03:57PM
Very challenging and thoughtful post Paul and Tania.....I must admit I am not a fan of the health and wealth gospel. I very much admire the work you are doing out in Uganda. Rodney
Alan Peek said Sat, 02 Jul 2011 09:53AM
Hi again Tania, Wow, thank you for this challenging and encouraging word! May God's power be evident in your weaknesses too. Bless you both Alan
Gerald Kelly said Thu, 07 Jul 2011 07:59AM
Hi Tania & Paul We are both encouraged by your courage and strength of Faith. You are right on the money. The Lord does not promise us an easy path but he gives us the strenght to endure and to continue our walk. God bless you both. Lots of Love Gerald & Linda
ShellyRM said Wed, 13 Jul 2011 05:06PM
If you ever need a place to rest your head whilst in K'la, please contact me. You would be very welcome.

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