Tuesday, August 21, 2007

curt's journal from Uganda-Aug. 21

Tuesday Morning:

Well, it’s 6:30am and I didn’t sleep very well. Sure the dogs barked a lot, but there was something else. After a great morning with the girls, shopping at the open-air market by the taxi park, the afternoon delivering a package to Compassion International, and the evening relaxing and talking, I got ready for bed. As usual, I made sure all the camera batteries were charged up and ready for the next day. I wanted to put the video camera in its dock so it would be charged up too, but I couldn’t find it. I hadn’t used it since Sunday morning at church when Julius sang a solo. I looked in the normal places where it might be and found nothing. Panic swept over me as I thought of all the footage of the choir that we needed that hadn’t been backed up. Soon everyone was searching our whole apartment for it. It was gone. We tried to retrace our steps and we realized that it never made it home from church. We called Hopkins and Straxy to see if anyone had turned it in. Sam checked the bus that we rode in and couldn’t find it. They told me they would call all of the ushers and see what they could discover. We waited up for quite awhile, but finally decided to go to bed. We never got a call.

So, right now, we have no video camera. Hillary seems confident that it will show up at the church, but I don’t know. I’m really frustrated with myself for not being more careful with it. I’ve spent the whole trip packing around all of this equipment and trying to get great footage for the promotional materials and for our own memories. I know there is a lesson to be learned, but I can’t figure it out right now. Last night I laid on my bed and just let the tears come out. I felt like such and idiot to not take care of the camera. I’ve never been one to tightly hold onto my possessions and it has cost me several times in my life. My response is usually, “It’s just stuff. Things can be replaced.” But this time, those video clips cannot be replaced. I’m not sure where to file that in my brain. It’ll be hard to make those payments on a camera that doesn’t exist.

The thing that kept coming to mind, as I struggle to sleep, is the passage in the Bible that says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I’ve been saying that to myself all night. As I’m typing that verse, I realize the hardest part for me is the “with thanksgiving” part. I really wanted a visual record of our memories, but I’m thankful, I still have my memories and a LOT of photos. We didn’t lose all of the footage. I’m thankful for every moment that we’ve spent in Africa, and I’m not about to let this ruin our trip. I’m thankful that God knows exactly where that camera is, even if I never find out. I’m sure all of this will eventually bring me peace. It always has.

Tuesday Afternoon:

Well, we had a bunch of leads today, but nothing concrete. We’re still hopeful, but definitely leaving it in God’s hands. Courtney and Leslie reminded me tonight that everything we have is God’s anyway, including the video footage that was lost. He knows what we need to properly promote Matsiko and doesn’t need all of my hard work to get the job done right. I just need to trust him to provide the results, it’s not up to me. This is a lesson I’ve relearned many times, but needed a refresher. I was lamenting a little about making payments on a camera that we don’t own and Courtney said, “It will just be a good reminder that even if you have something that is of really good quality, it can be taken away in a moment, so we shouldn’t hold on tightly to our possessions.” She’s a smart kid.

We were talking tonight about how great this trip has been for us as a family. Our relationship has changed to a more adult friendship. We’ve had the best time together and had very few moments of strain between us. I feel very thankful for that. This trip has really come at a good time for us. I’m so proud of my wife and kids and how hard they work, how much they care about others, and how wise they are. I have much to be thankful for. I think the peace I was talking about this morning is growing stronger.

Today we said goodbye to the kids in the choir, but not the REAL goodbye. We’ll be seeing many of them tomorrow too. It was still really hard though. I talked to Eric alone and told him Leslie and I are going to pick up the other half of his sponsorship. The choir kids have a choir sponsor and a school sponsor and Hillary thinks he only has one. I call “DIBS!” on Eric. He lit up when I told him and said, “I just LOVE the Sell family!” He’s such a great kid. Every time he saw me the rest of the day, he gave me another hug.

Video camera? What video camera?

As I'm typing this, the song "It is Well" is playing in the coffee shop.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I got goose bumps while reading this :)

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the latest on the sells

As of May 27, 2009...

Wow, it's been almost a year since we've updated this. Our family had a wonderful experience traveling to Uganda two summers ago, which prompted us to keep a journal on this blog. You can read our daily journal from our month long trip

This year brings new adventures. Our eldest daughter, Courtney, after graduating from George Fox University with honors, left for her third trip to India to spend nearly a YEAR to work at Happy Home for the Handicapped in Shimoga, India. You can read about her first trip to India and the impact it had on her life here. She'll also give us new updates from her current trip on this site (here). As of this writing, she is just starting to settle in and is very excited to be there. She has been looking forward to this for a long time!

Meanwhile, Hillary spent all of last year
touring the western U.S. with Matsiko, the choir of children we grew to love as our own in Uganda. She journalled about her experiences in Uganda if you'd like to see what that was like. At some point during this tour, she felt led to join the U.S. Army. Quite a big decision, and one she didn't take lightly. After moving through Basic Training with flying colors, she is now at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio training to become a combat medic. It's a very intense training, but we're sure she'll do well. Our whole family was able to travel to South Carolina to watch her graduate from Basic Training. What an awe inspiring experience!

Leslie is having a great year of teaching 5th graders. She's also in a Master's program, which takes a good chunk of her time. She's still finds time to read a TON of books. Literally, a ton!

Curt was overwhelmed by his experience as a first time overseas traveler and kept up his journal here (you can also read his random posts on everyday life here). The busyness of life and keeping track of his traveling kids has slowed down his writing, but he hopes to begin writing on a regular basis again soon.