Wednesday, January 26, 2011

East Africa Stretchable Time

So here in Uganda the concept of time means nothing at all.  Our lawyer calls it "East Africa Stretchable Time".  For instance if you ask for a driver  to pick you up at 10 do not be surprised if he rolls up at 1:30.  Or as in our experience at church this past Sunday church starts and 9 and nobody comes (beside us) till 10 or after.  So the service began with a reminder to tell their neighbors that church starts at 9.  It is really funny but can ny pretty annoying. 

I can't tell you how amazing this church service was.  I am the type of church goer that gets very bothered by the service going past it's one hour promise because it cuts into my lunch plans.  This service was F-I-V-E hours long.  Yup, five hours!  It was long but I have never in my life felt the presence of God more then in those five hours.  It was in both English and Luganda so we could  understand what was going on.  The praise and worship was just unbelievable.  Tim and I both just cried the whole time.  I have a video that I will post when we get back home!

Moses all ready for church

My little Micah James
Moses took mine and Tim's picture


  1. Amazing!! I thought the Haiti service was long! :) Keep sharing....LOVE feeling like we are there with you. :)

  2. Love it! Thanks for sharing :) Sounds like an amazing experience.

  3. We have even tried to stress to the pastors the importance of being prompt, but only until I took a class on Worldview did East Africa Stretchable Time make sense in the context of their culture.

    When people have to travel long distances on foot, or when fetching water and firewood is a daily chore, or when we live our lives valuing experience more than minutes then the whole East Africa Stretchable Time thing makes a lot of sense.

    Imagine if you had to fetch clean water and firewood so that you could have lunch after church. How might being "on time" be less of a priority?

    Imagine if you could have met Mother Teresa or what if Abraham Lincoln came back to life for one day and wanted to just meet with you how might experience trump minutes?

    It took a couple of years of reflecting on experiences in Uganda for me to make sense of how they treat time, but I find myself often longing to live life more like a Ugandan when it comes to time. I need to treat time less like a commodity that is spent and more like a gift that changes with the movement of the shadows.

    Selfishly, we'd like more about why court was just "okay" and the source of your tears. :-)