Faith, Goodbyes, and Terror Alerts

I am going to board a predawn flight this Saturday to Uganda and I’ve been totally absorbed with preparations for this trip. This morning one of the other pastors on our staff sent me the following clip from a Yahoo! News article:

Uganda on terror alert, 1 year after last attack

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP)  Ugandan police are issuing a terror alert, days befoore the one-year anniversary of the East African nation’s worst terror attack. Police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba says police have learned of “credible fresh terror threats” from Somalia’s al-Shabab militant group. She says police fear an attack between Thursday and next Tuesday. She urged citizens to be vigilant.

Al-Shabab, Somalia’s most dangerous militant group, whichh has ties to al-Qaida cclaimed responsibility for the double suicide bomb attack in Uganda’s capital in last July during the World Cup final. The blasts killed 76 people. Uganda is a major contributor to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which supports Somalia’s weak government in its fight against al-Shabab.

I shared this concern with my family at the dinner table to ask them to pray for me. My children immediately asked me with worry on their faces why I still had to go, and couldn’t I just stay home? I reminded them that risk is sometimes part of following God, and I sensed in my heart that I had accepted the risk.

Yet as I make final preparations and put my kids to bed, I can’t help wanting to savor each moment. I suppose even walking out the door each morning to go to work could be my last goodbye, so I’m trying to prepare for my departure with a bit more sobriety this time in light of the news.

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here. It’s just that early on in my marriage I used to say to Jeannie as I was leaving for work that I wanted a proper goodbye because you never know if it might be our last. She thought that was weird and morbid but I think I need to return to that real sense that my life is in God’s hands each day and every goodbye really could be the last one.

If you think of it could you pray for me and the others I’ll be traveling with in Uganda?

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