The team is all here safe, in Uganda. We were definitely tired. It took us 3 flights to get here. There were 7 different mission teams on the plane. We had two flights surrounded by teams some with their own with matching t-shirts. It was unusual to have a flight with so many different teams. Each team will deboard the plane and head out to aid different areas in Uganda with one team going as far as Ethiopia. As I write this all my teammates are currently sleeping. It is about 4:41am in Uganda. In a few hours we will head to Bethany Village for the camp. Pray for safe travels, God’s will to be done, in the musicians and within us all.
As planned the night of our arrival I preached at the City Church in Luzira after traveling for 23 hours. What beautiful faces! We laughed together and sang together. They were responsive. We were responsive to one another. Nothing short of a miracle after that many hours in transit. At the end of preaching we danced our praises and I can honestly say this joyful celebration strengthens me. After praying and greeting new faces it was late. Service had ended and all the greetings were complete so we headed back through the streets in the dark to Adonai house. I love it here, the geography reminds me of Hawaii. The temps are like summer in Eastern Washington. Currently it is still dark. I am listening to the rain and the roosters as I am writing from the light in the bathroom on the second floor.
Brooke, Maggie and I had our first ever encounter with squat toilets and it is definitely a story to tell. I’ll see if I can get Brooke to write about it.
In the line to purchase our Ugandan visas we met a man, who lives currently in Malta. He was traveling back to Uganda to visit his father who is sick. The visa line was long and so we struck up a conversation. In a short block of time as we stood under the weight of our bags and the humidity he began to share. It was remarkable, a word I will use many times to describe this tour of Uganda. When he was 10 he had moved with his mom out of Uganda to Britain. He openly identified his Muslim British combination expecting an American attitude or some resistance. We offered none, we are here to learn and to listen. We did just that and in turn answered his questions AND (smiling) he had quite a few on political matters in America. He asked us other questions about why we came. He said he had always wanted to know about aid/mission workers about what motivated us. He wore a fedora and had dark sunglasses and a round face. His reaction to our reasons for coming to Uganda to demonstrate selfless love were honest. And like a flip of a pancake he spoke about how he would after our conversation spend his time in Uganda. First he began to tell us how he would have approached his return visit down to the very detail of how upset with our wait in line he would have protested the lack of efficiency. He spoke of change. He spoke of joining us in our object to love. He spoke of visiting the orphans at a local charity he was acquainted with during this stay and give back to the country. Maggie and Brooke told him we could go home satisfied because of his reaction to our conversation. The first conversation on Ugandan soil made our long hours of travel worth it.
In our daily debrief as a team we are leaning into flexibility, trust, and humility. Pray for us.
Good night to those at home, from Charity
Day 1 in Uganda.