On The Way: A Reflection on Numbers 21:4-9 and Meeting Refugees
After many years or wandering in the wilderness, in verse four of this passage, we learn the people grew impatient on the way and they spoke out against God and Moses and asked, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness where we have no food or water?”
In Kampala, Uganda, I had the privilege of meeting many people who are “on their way.” These people are refugees from The Democratic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia, Eritrea and more. In contrast to the Israelites, these people are being very patient and thanking God that he has brought them to this this beautiful respite, called the Center for Refuge and Hope. Here, Muslims and Christians, side by side, in harmony are learning English and new skills to hopefully one day, when the conflicts are over, return to their home countries. They have dreams of eliminating poverty and empowering their people by becoming leaders, teachers, social workers, politicians, missionaries and mentors through their opportunities at The Center for Refuge and Hope.
Here are some words they shared with me what life was like before they were a part of the Center for Refuge and Hope:
“God took me away from my family, so he could form me into something different and something new.”
“I was just living without a dream and without God.”
“Before the Center for Refuge and Hope, there was no signpost for my life.”
“Most of my life I’ve been broken, but from that came good.”
As all of us are “on our way” in our lives. May you learn, as I have, from these precious, hopeful and very hospitable people to live with hope and anticipation understanding that God knows exactly where we are going.