I know, I know...I'm slow in updating about our Uganda trip. I've been too busy settling back in and playing with my kids!
We spent our first full day in Lira, Uganda. Our team split in the morning. Half of our team went to an orphanage run by Christian Life Ministries. They spent time with the mums (the women who care for the orphans)...giving gifts, praying together and worshipping.
They also got to play with some kiddos.
The other half of our team spent the morning at Victory Outreach Church.
They worshiped together and then spent a while discussing all things worship...why do we worship? How do we/should we worship? How does a good team function?
It was a great morning. I think it's so fun and fulfilling to connect with people from another part of the world and realize that we are not all that different...
We had some time before our evening event, so we got to play with more kids while they were on their lunch break from school.
Then we headed out of town to one of the neighboring villages. At one point, we stopped to ask for directions. The people of the village wanted to see my kids. So what did my kids do? Without hesitation, got out of the car and talked with the people.
They were fearless! I was challenged and amazed at their acceptance and friendliness toward these people who look so different from us and barely speak our language.
We arrived at the village and I immediately got my hands on this little guy.
His name is Emmanuel and he took a nap in my arms.
After a warm welcome of singing and dancing, the local pastors led some worship songs. We sang one as well and then Brad preached the love of Jesus and about the salvation that is available to all of us.
I was struck by the hurt that was evident in the eyes of many of these people.
They live in the northern portion of Uganda...the areas we've all heard about...where Joseph Kony did his thing for many years.
Kony's army has not been in Uganda for several years now but it will be many more before true healing and restoration will occur. We know that true healing can only happen through the work of Jesus. Many people came forward and received prayer. I am so thankful for the work of the local church in this region. They are the physical hands and feet of Jesus for many of these people. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to participate in what they're doing.
On our way back from the village that night, the bus that was carrying our team (Brad, our kids and I were traveling with our host in his car) ran out of gas...or broke down...I'm still not completely sure what happened except that one of our hosts called our car to inform us that it had stopped running. Out in the pitch darkness, remote bushy wilderness of Uganda.
As our car drove to meet them, Brad and I were a bit nervous about the reaction of our team...by this point it was late and we were running behind schedule. They hadn't had dinner and we knew that they were probably anxious to get some rest. When we arrived, however, they were all gathered at the back of the bus...worshiping, counting shooting stars and fireflies, and taking turns using the "restrooms" in the tall grass on either side of the road.
We were amazed at their response! What an amazing team God put together for this trip! After the problem was fixed, we made our way back to our hotel. One of my favorite memories is eating dinner that night, completely exhausted but so content and excited as our host relayed stories of the villages and the people that have been changed through their ministry.
I knew we were in for many more wonderful days in Uganda! I'll update you soon on our next stop...the safari!