Well, this is week one of the Uganda Update and to be completely honest with you, it has been so exhausting! Between having about 40 hours of travel and dealing with a 10-hour time difference it has been hard to feel fully rejuvenated in the mornings. We first arrived in Rukunjiri at about 3:30am on Wednesday the 25th, after a long and grueling 8 hours car ride over rough pot whole filled roads and the unique Ugandan way of driving. There really aren’t any road rules here; cars are all over the place along with boda boda, which are motorcycles. We made it to our destination and as soon as we laid down to go to sleep we were out like a light. I don’t know of a better feeling than to just lay down horizontally to go to sleep no more planes, airports or cars, just a nice welcoming bed.
The first day here we walked into the city and went to the market and the supermarket to pick up some supplies we needed and run to the bank. While in town Collin ran into some friends he made on his previous trips and it was such a pleasure to meet them. Ugandans have to be some of the most kind and welcoming people I have met in a long time. They are all so joyful and you can’t help but fall in love with that kind of joy. Being here is a good reminder that we should never forget about people or treat them in a way that makes them feel unloved or unwanted. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and we should treat each other as such. I think that I have forgotten that at times and that’s something God has been teaching me while being here. We may have different backgrounds or experiences or cultures that have shaped us into who we are but the same loving Father designed us all in his own image. “ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27.
The next day I woke up sick, which wasn’t really a surprise to me, I always get sick, it must be some weird type of gift I have because it never fails. After struggling to get up out of bed, we walked into town again. We met up with Seth, who is Enoch’s son, the reverend who is working with Collin and I while we are here. Seth was so incredibly helpful to us and I am so grateful to have him to help us translate and understand what is going on around us. He speaks amazing English and it really makes me wish I knew another language. In the schools here they start leaning English in primary school (like elementary), which is amazing! How cool would that be to be bilingual?!?!? Speaking of bilingual, it would be nice to understand their language because they are always cracking jokes or coming on to you, specifically the Ugandan men. They love a mizungo (probably spelling that wrong) woman, mizungo means white person. When we were walking Seth started laughing and he said that one of the men said I looked nice today and that I am the perfect size! You cannot walk down the street without someone saying hello to you and waving, they are so inviting and welcoming. So far we have really enjoyed our time here so far. The weather is almost as drastic as Lynchburg, one hour its bright and sunny then the next it is cold and rainy, Uganda always gives you some surprises, you never know what to expect!
On Thursday we had our first ministry day with the all boys high school. We met at 7:30am and did their assembly with them. As far as the ministry goes, we have not had a lot of opportunities yet since we have just been settling in and adjusting. On Friday we had a free day so we decided to do some administrative things for Unified in Mission. We are so excited to see what God is going to do here with this ministry. We have already seen God move in so many ways, more than we could have ever imagined.
During the weekend we have a friend visit from Kampala names Winner. She arrived very early Saturday morning and she later joined us for our ministry time with Cherished Life Ministries in Kebisoni which is just a small village located about 9 miles away from the diocese. With CLM we shared with 10 single teen mums. We all gathered together and shared the Gospel with each other, just encouraging them that though their situations may seem bleak, there is a God in heaven that has a plan for their lives. They can never escape His love and He is always with them. After fellowship with them we all had lunch together and just enjoyed each other’s company. I will say that the language barrier was very difficult with these women, you just want to be able to talk to them and have conversations with them but a lot of them don’t know English. In fact in every district they have their own kind of language so it makes it very hard to communicate even for local Ugandans. Our friend Winner spoke 5 languages but not one of them was the one that the woman could understand. After we cleaned up the house and finished ministry time we headed back to Rukungiri and had pork for dinner with Winner!
Sunday was Palm Sunday and we ended up sitting through a 3 hour long service in a completely different language. They do things so differently here and I know that in America if we had a service that long people would start to grumble, but here, they just love it! Multiple people went up to the front of the church and they just shared all that God had been placing on their hearts. They have so much passion here and it is so good to see and experience because you can’t help but get excited and seek that kind of passion for Jesus in your own life. After church we just decided to take a day of rest and just recover and prepare for the next week. We will have so many more updates to come and I’m sorry it has taken so long for this to get up. We just got Internet yesterday so we are moving slow but we are moving and we are excited to see where this next week takes us.
Thank you for all of you love, support and prayers. God is doing wonders here already, ones that we cannot even fathom yet! We are going to be doing weeks Monday-Sunday, so expect another blog sometime next week! :)