My thoughts from my 3rd visit to Uganda with a team of 4 ladies; are that this was amongst the most amazing 12 days of my life. It is almost impossible to write all that we achieved such was the fullness of our agenda. Planning ahead for the Team, across so many miles between the UK & Western Uganda was not without its difficulties. However one thing I have learned is that when I have done all I can to plan active days for everyone involved; is to then let God take control of the rest.
Our trip in October 2017 was no exception, as we found out when we arrived late, in the dark and with our luggage rather wet. God’s plan was to above all ensure we arrived safely in one piece and with all luggage for the trip – albeit with some rather soggy clothing! Lumika and his family were there to greet us and guide us, from the first day, I was certain God had placed our Team together for a reason, with the wonderful and different talents everyone brought to the whole, and how we worked together. God’s plan.
Catherine oozed confidence as soon as she arrived at St Marks School, with children literally hanging off her body at every opportunity as she chatted and played with them. Sam was ably attending to every detail, the finances, preaching, praying and planning ahead; assisting me in whatever the next activity was. Charlotte our medical lady, with nursing skills and a calmness that carried across to all she encountered managing the hospital visit and two health days. Julia, my wife, who – like Charlotte, was in Africa for the first time; encouraged the ladies to believe in themselves, and organised a fabulous ladies day, blessing and impacting the community brilliantly.
The trip included Trustee duties of the Executive Committee meeting and lunch, plus a Teens Development Ministry morning for the Youth Leaders within the local churches. We also visited a number of widows and families where we prayed into their lives and for healing. One focus on this trip was to deliver Bibles, and we handed out around 80 of these in various shapes & sizes. We additionally arranged for the printing of some 30+ Bibles in the local dialect.
Messages were shared on building a healthy church, love, encouragement and grace. We enjoyed sharing meals together, and learning from our hosts for the week, just as they looked to us for guidance in some of the more routine admin, buildings and fabric matters. There was a great sharing of family values and openness to grow and trust each other, where we looked to God for His guidance.
Highlights are too many, so I mention a couple of activities not yet commented upon:
Firstly the ladies tailoring and jewellery project, set up by Felisitus and Unis. This is for young girls not in education, who are learning a skill, to help them prosper. They were so happy to work together and have a change of a vocation in life. It was humbling and such a blessing to sign the ‘visitors’ book, and support them at this start-up stage.
Secondly, on the two school health days we saw a few dozen local community attend in the hope they would be seen by the health officials. In His wisdom, God made it possible for all attending to be seen at various points throughout the day. Many will not have been able to see a doctor due to the fees; so it was wonderful they had the opportunity to find treatments when necessary. Two stand-out moments were seeing the faith of those sitting there waiting and hoping from early morning for treatment and secondly I had an amazing personal experience. As they waited to pass the time until they were seen by the medical officials Sam helped me pray with them all. We were thanking God for their faith, and encouraging them in their work at home and with their families and for healing. However as this time drew to a close and the last person was prayed for; I noticed I had lost my audible hearing to my surroundings – focussing only on the prayers, and not knowing even what was being said, God was in control – again! It took a good few minutes for me to tune into the real world again. However as I came back into the school surroundings, I was aware I had encountered a moment with God, as though heaven had been opened, where He was most certainly holding our Ugandan friends in His care. I felt truly blessed to share such an amazing Father and Faith with our wonderful community in East Kasese, where they teach me so much about what it is like to have faith and truly trust in our Father as we live our lives each day.