We were supposed to get picked up at 9am in order to be at church at 10am for the service.
First, our driver slept in and came late,
then we picked up Richard to come with us,
then we drove and drove until we were - - -
Thank God for cell phones - yes, it's the main means of communication here!
Arrived at church at 10:45am - the pastor even had to pick us up at the side of the road (almost 5 min. walking distance from the church) cuz our driver couldn't find the way...
Embarrassing ~ ~ ~ our very first Sunday in Uganda, we're the guest speakers, and we arrive almost an hour late ~ ~ ~
Oh well, at least I knew that in Africa being late is not as bad as it would be in some other countries - and they were still singing when we arrived. Good thing none of us got stressed...
After all - this is Africa!
It was an amazing service - I got to preach the message God had laid on my heart weeks ago - then Rich gave his testimony, leading into a time of ministry about the father heart of God.
Photos' order messed up but don't have time to fix it. the first photo is after service...
I had woken up in the morning, crying.... feeling the pain of the people (once again....) and having a strong sense that God wanted Rich to minister HIS father heart that day!
It was just BEAUTIFUL and very special to minister together like that - hand in hand - we haven't done that in a looooong time!!!
As we got introduced, we also invited Richard with us onto the stage as our son...
You could just feel him growing a few inches - hehe
We were surprised that he even took the microphone (when Rich offered it to him) and spoke to the whole church, sharing some of his testimony - WOW!!!
At the end of the service, we both ministered individually to pretty much every single person in the congregation. That was both fun and a work-out! I almost fainted towards the end, as I was very weak from hardly having eaten anything, standing up for so long, trying to speak over the VERY loud music ~ and the heat didn't help...
There must've been about 50 women and girls 20-30 men (Rich prayed for them), I didn't count, just guessing.... whew!
Got to the pastor's house after playing with little kids after the service - walking along red dirt roads - for "lunch" about 3:30pm.
Once again, very touching - there were at least 10 people there - the food was very little (maybe enough for what we would make for 3-4) - just a little juice, no water - but it didn't matter.
The fellowship was fantastic!!!
We shared and laughed together and were able to connect in such a way as I would've NEVER expected - in a totally new country, culture, new people - saweeeeet!
What a treat! Thank you Lord for that amazing connection with Pastor Lydia and her (church) family!!! It almost felt like we'd always been friends! WOW!!!
What was incredible too were how the children were acting. They hadn't eaten since breakfast - the service was from 10-3 - without anybody having any food - forget about morning and afternoon tea in this country! - in this case no lunch either - and NONE of the kids was grumpy, asking for food or anything - just content, happy...
I could tell that they really WERE hungry by the way they ate when there was food at 3:30pm.
Very obvious that they're used to eating very little...
On the way back, we had the same driver as on our first day, Joseph, a local pastor.
When he picked us up on our first day (with Pastor Lydia), I spontaneously had proposed that we fill up his gas tank when he stopped at a gas station. His small car was completely beat up and looked like it could collapse any time.
I figured that it couldn't cost too much to fill up the gas tank, since petrol prices are comparable with NZ prices. In the end though, it was way more than I had anticipated and we didn't even have enough cash to pay for it all (Pastor Lydia advanced some). It was pretty embarrassing and I had to admit to Rich later that I had messed up by proposing to fill it up. It blew our transport budget way out there... (it really was only about US$20 more than what it should have cost for him to drive us around all day)
Oh well, it was too late - and better to err on the side of being too generous, aye?!
So - on Sunday, Pastor Lydia told us HOW VERY VERY BLESSED Joseph was with our extra gift. She said he couldn't believe it and kept saying, "It's a miracle! It's a miracle!"
Well, as we were driving back to Kampala on Sunday evening, I asked him about his family - and there came another shocker - ready for this???
His first wife and 4 of 5 children all died of AIDS - - - imagine that for a minute - - -
Then he got re-married and had 4 more children.
On top of that, he and his wife took in 4 more children who were orphaned.
And he was raving about how grateful he is about the fact that he now has a job which permits him to provide for his family.
WHAT???? He only has this beat-up little car - kinda like a taxi - and he is able to support his family of 11 with THAT?????
It doesn't take a prophet to know that his car won't make it much longer, especially with the very bad roads here - - -
Oh, I wish I could just buy him a newer car - - - He and his wife also pastor a church of about 90.
As you can imagine, I now didn't feel bad any more AT ALL for blowing our budget and blessing him with another US$20 - which for him was HUGE!!!
That night, we moved from Kampala on to Mukono to have a day visiting "Vision for Africa".
Whata day again - LOVING EVERY BIT OF IT!!!