A Gift for a Season


After 4 years, we lost our first dog here at the camp.  Nala (which means “gift” in Swahili) was such a blessing…a village puppy that was thrown out into the bush and ended up at our place one night about a month after moving to the camp.   From the beginning, she just seemed to know the lay of the land…or she would learn quickly what was appropriate.  She was a faithful companion in those early days when we were the only ones living out here, and she was really good with guests that came…even sleeping outside of their tents at night.  She was great at guarding and the Lord definitely used her to give us an extra sense of protection in those first vulnerable years.

Anyway, we left for the weekend to bring my uncle, aunt, and cousins to the airport and pick up Syd’s sister, Keisha.  The World Racers (who were taking care of our house while we were away) called Sunday morning to say that she really seemed at her end.  We had heard from our co-worker, Mwanje, the day before that she seemed really sick and we had asked himto call the local vet.  It was all so fast and our definite suspicion was that she must have been poisoned…whether or not intentionally we will never know.

I definitely shed some tears…sad that we had lost such a great dog, sad that we weren’t there with her at the end, but also sad that that “chapter” of our life was done.  As we stepped into UCF (a church that we like to go to when in Kampala), my heavy heart was turned to the Lord as we sang “He Gives and Takes Away—Blessed be the Name of the Lord”.  I smiled through my tears, thanking the Lord for His provision in such a seemingly small gift as we started our lives at Musana Camps.  This might all seem a little too melodramatic for the loss of a dog (and this will probably be the only time that we will post about a dog!), but we see God’s hand in the little things.  And Nala was just as much a part of the pioneering of this place as any of us.  We are thankful for God’s “gift” that He gave when we were unsuspecting and took away when we were also unsuspecting.  It makes me think how all of life is a gift—what are we doing with our limited time, this precious gift?  Thanks Nala for your friendship, protection, and lessons taught.