Well here it is the middle of September and I must apologize for not sharing with you the works and ministry God did in and through our team that went to Uganda this past June. After sharing The 2-Sentence Challenge with you upon our immediate return, I have yet to write about the tremendous happenings that you helped participate in through your prayers and support. Looking back over my notes and prayer journal to refresh my memory of the work God did, I am frustrated because I cannot remember all the details. I hope you will bear with me as I seek to somehow recount those precious days. So please forgive me for not sharing sooner and I hope, Lord willing, to complete what began many months ago.
This trip to Uganda was unlike any other. Even though it was my 4th trip and each trip has been different, this particular trip was different before we even got to Uganda. Let me explain. Prior to this trip, Scott and I had gone on our own as “tag-alongs” with Tomball Bible Church the first two trips. Our third trip we took our dear brother in Christ, Marvin along with us. But this year our church took not one, but 15 more people including our daughter, Hannah!! Thus, Scott, Marvin and I moved from “participant” to “team leader” status for our group.
It is important to note that when you go to Uganda, it is not a matter of IF you are going to be broken, but WHEN. Thus, God decided it was best for him to break me before the trip this year, in order to reveal to me what I would otherwise not be able to see if He had to spend the my whole time in Uganda breaking me. So the week and a half before the trip, the Lord had me right where he wanted me…on my knees. As I read through God’s Word and the book Rees Howells Intercessor: The Story of a Life Lived for God, the Lord began to chisel parts of my heart that needed to be removed in order to prepare me for His special plans in Uganda. He chiseled and pricked, and broke what He wanted, no needed, in order for me to get to the position of being able to see more clearly the Holy Spirit working in the lives of our team as well as myself.
The Wednesday before we left, our church had a special prayer meeting for our team. While I was pretty much ready in regards to the packing, preparations for the children, etc. the one thing that makes it hardest for me to leave came flooding over me as they prayed. The idea of getting on a plane and flying 10,000 miles away from my children is overwhelming. And for most people it keeps them home. However, as hard as it is to leave, one must walk in obedience to God when He tells you to go. This results in the only thing you have left: trusting God to watch over and take care of your children. After all they are His children anyway. In addition to leaving our three boys, as Hannah was going with us, the idea of leaving our beautiful church body was especially hard this time as well. Our prayer time ended and it was time to head home for the last night in our homes before awaking the next morning to board the plane.
Our team arrived early Thursday morning at the airport and met up with the team from Tomball Bible church. Excitement and anxiousness was in the air as mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, and friends said their goodbyes. We boarded our first plane of three for the trip to Uganda. I ended up sitting next to a lady who is a professor at the University of Houston who has a two sons, one of which lives near the Dobbin-Hufsmith area (the street our church, Silver Springs is located). In addition, she attends the church that hosts the annual banquet for the orphanage (Lulwanda) we work with in Uganda!! While she didn’t seem to know a lot about Lulwanda it was great encouragement to see how God was already working. Once we arrived in Michigan, we had a 7-hour layover. While it was long, a few of us got to meet Jack, one of the designers of a really cool fountain in the airport. We also got to pray for him as he had recently lost a loved one. We finally boarded our next plane to Amsterdam where we would meet up with the third team from Pennsylvania. It was an extremely long trip before we finally arrived in Entebbe, Uganda late Friday evening.
Departing the plane in Entebbe and seeing Aida’s sweet smile and many other Uganda friends lifted our tired and weary bodies. Scott, Marvin, and I were back at our second home. What a joy it was to watch our daughter and the rest of the Silver Springs team experience their first sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this beautiful country. We began to load up the vans with our luggage, prayed and headed to our hotel for the night. After a blessed night’s rest, a great Ugandan breakfast, Larry led us in the first morning devotional of the trip. He reminded us that though we were three teams from three different churches, He and Dee’s prayer for all of us was to be united in the work God was about to do over the next 10 days. We loaded the vans for our trip to Mbale, Uganda which would be our home base for the duration of the trip. Of course, the trip would not forsake our traditional Chinese Ugandan lunch at Ling Lings.
Once arriving at Mt. Elgon we promptly began unpacking and making ourselves at home. Even as I type this, sounds of the word “Welcome” coming off the lips of the hotel staff, and images of the staff handing our team glasses of watermelon juice are vivid in my mind. After unpacking our things we all gathered together for our first dinner. It would be our routine each night to eat together, share highlights from our day, and then receive our assignments for the following day. The team would not have to wait long to learn the Ugandan way of flexibility. Following the meal, Larry shared regarding the plan for Sunday morning. Before we had left the states we all thought we would be worshipping together at one church so Larry had made the assignments accordingly; one preacher, one men’s Sunday school teacher, one women’s Sunday school teacher, and one team for children’s Sunday school. However, Morris shared with Larry that we would be going to not one, but 4 churches!! Thus, four of everything would be needed for the following day. Our team of 33 was quickly divided up and everyone hurried to their rooms to pray, read, and prepare for the new assignment God had already given them their first day in Uganda.
Oh how refreshing it is to remember the works of God and the journey He takes us on. Thank you for being patient with me as I relive the memories of the work God did this past summer in Uganda. I pray you will be blessed and moved as you read and hear how your prayers and support touched so many lives this summer.