Marbella is probably only about 3,000 miles from Uganda. But it might as well be another planet. As is usual on trips to Europe I feel disoriented – it’s almost like an out of body experience! There is always electricity, always running water, the shops are full of delicious things and every car appears to be roadworthy. The people are fat in comparison to their African counterparts, the young men and women impossibly well-groomed, the leisure choices endless…….and I have no idea what the point of it all is.

Today is Friday – one of the days that Michelle, the precious, damaged and beloved child of God who we have responsibility for lives with us. It’s her physiotherapy day so she will be tired and a little fractious at lunchtime. My beautiful wife will be comforting her and entertaining her all afternoon. It’s also a harvest day in the Passion for Jesus orchards. And the day when we hold a prayer and worship meeting at the J10:10 House after school. To be a honest? I’m a little home-sick.

I know why I’m here – to earn money to fund it all and try and show Jesus in my life to a society that doesn’t talk about Him at all. And I will also be doing a good deal of peace-making. (Another story all together). But it doesn’t stop me missing the people I love (especially Hildah my wife and Michelle) or being painfully conscious of the fact that I just don’t fit in here in Europe any more.

And it makes me sad. Because I see people living somewhat meaningless lives of quiet desperation. Desperately and frantically trying to fill the hole that exists within them with activity, noise, money, possessions, status, reputation or objects. And I remember so vividly what my life was like before I allowed God to become my friend, companion, guide and reason for being.

The hole inside most people’s souls is small. But it hurts like hell and it throbs constantly. And until we allow it to be filled with the Spirit of the God who created us……there is no peace. And I want this peace for all of the people around me because NOTHING compares to it. Come in power – gentle Lord Jesus.

Next Friday I will be on an aeroplane back to Uganda. Thank God. Back to power cuts, water problems, illness, chaos, need and abject poverty. And to my missus. And to Michelle. And to a life that I understand and that has a purpose that is not centred solely on myself as it used to be. THANK YOU GOD.