As many of you know, much of my work will take me into villages around Uganda. I have finally started traveling a little bit with our team. Within the past two weeks, we have made three trips to different areas and churches. Here’s a peak into ministry and life in the village…
The first trip we took was up Mount Wanale, which is the mountain that overlooks our home in Mbale. It is a beautiful mountain and a wonderful drive. The road is lined with villages, homes, crops and shops. At the top of the mountain we have a church that is building a new building.
It is very encouraging that this church is growing in the Lord, but also passionate and active enough to build their own building without any outside help. They have raised the funds for the church and it will become a hub of ministry on the mountain for many years. Praise God!
The second visit we took was to a church called Toma Butta, just about 45 minutes away from Mbale. The pastor there is one of the guys in our discipleship cohorts, so there is a strong connection there. We arrived, unexpected, and they greeted us with clapping, hollering and ululating (high pitch trill sound). We were happy to be there to encourage this church, and my ministry partners (JP and Dennis) brought a strong message from God’s Word challenging and encouraging the church members.
And then finally this past week the three of us (myself, JP and Dennis) went for an extended village visit three hours north to Lira. This area is very rural and has suffered over the years from wars and neglect, so it is a different kind of area than we live in. We led a seminar for pastors and church leaders on Friday that focused on healthy churches and leadership. Then Saturday, we spent the day visiting as many churches as we could fit into one day. We made it to 9 churches and it was a full day. When we arrived at each church, there was much joy and celebration. We then introduced ourselves and the members of the church that were present did the same. After a short encouraging word, we were off to the next one. The day included many different languages, walking, driving through footpaths and even some car trouble. For many of the folks – especially children – we were the first missionaries they had ever seen, and this was greeted with varying emotions (joy, elation, fear, etc).
After two days of exhausting ministry we decided that a breakfast inside Murchison Park National Park was needed for a bit of rejuvenation. We saw baboons, monkeys, giraffes, hippos, warthogs, and tons of deer-like animals (DLAs). It was beautiful.
So far I have learned many things about Ugandan life and culture from these village visits, and I am able to begin getting involved in the ministry here. It can be hard to put my experiences into words because they are so foreign to me (and most of you), but I hope these pictures help paint a picture of our life and work here in Uganda.
Blessings to you and your families!