Friday, March 11, 2011
We Made It!!!
After too many hours to keep track of we landed in Nairobi, Kenya (not a planned stop) and then quickly on to Entebbe, Uganda. Some of use could see Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria. Oncw we got in the airport, we discovered we had lost 7 bags. So, several of us are living on 1 change of clothes and borrowed toiletries. God is good and there is plenty. We leave the airport and instantly can tell that we aren't in Kansas anymore. The airport security guards walking around with machine guns was the first. The way people drive was the next. It is a free for all with cars veering all directions, horns honking and about a million motorcycles packed in too tightly. They drove us to our hotel first for a quick stop.
This was the only day we had a scheduled event and it was worth it. We headed to the UMC conference office. On the way, we stopped to meet a boy raised at the Hope Children's home named Peter. Peter is now attending art school, due to a sponsorship. The work they are doing there is amazing. Peter was suffering the affects of another battle with malaria and we could tell he felt very sick. They had a gorgeous garden.
We met with East African UMC Bishop Daniel ?????, several D.S.s and the district youth worker, children's chior leader and the VIM leader. I cannot imagine the distance these men and woman came to meet with us. The Bishop is over 5 countries: Uganda, S. Sudan, Kenya Rowanda and oh, another one. After some of the warmest greetings we have ever experienced, we opened with "Standing on the Promises of God". As we stood and sang together, tears filled many of our eyes. We prayed together, discussed the goals, obsticles and victories of the UMC in Africa. We also exchanged gifts. We were given beautiful, hand carved statues representing woman in Africa and Charlie received a mask.
Next stop we went to exchange monies and hit a western style grocery store. SOme things were very cheap and some where crazy expensive. An ice chest cost 300 amreican dollars! Funny, note we saw a man wearing an Eskimo Joe's Shirt. It really is everywhere! We load up and head off for the hotel again for dinner. Kepping in mind we have not stopped since we landed, or showered.
Dinner was a wonderful meal made here at the hotel. Several of use like the pineapple soda. We talked with the Bredesens and the Varga and plan things for the week. We also tried to process what has happened to us in 2 1/2 days time.
The poverty here is astonishing. Shanties lined every shreet we saw. Only 4% of Ugandas have access to electricity and most don't have running water. Underfed livestock sits in the medians of busy intersections and you hear stories of mother trying to give their child a mercy "killing" verses watchig them starve. Yet there is hope and the Spirit of the people who love Jesus here is amazing. The use Him in there language so much more and easier than Americans do. I don't think we will be able to handle all we will see, smell, hear and feel. Yet, God will strengthen use, guide us, prepare us, and protect us. We are His precious children called to care for His precious children. Now all clean and settled we will sleep. God bless and goodnight.
Posted by Jenn at 9:08 AM