I am welling up with tears as I read through all the comments on our blog. God has so abundantly blessed us with friends and family. We are overwhelmed by the love and encouragement and prayers you have offered on our behalf. Thank you for believing with us that God can do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or imagine. You have been a balm to our weary souls.
So much has happened since we last posted which explains the delay in our writing. We know God works all things together for His glory. Todd and I can already see how this is happening. God is uniting Todd and I in a much deeper way than we have ever known. We have had to dig in God's word together, pray fervently together, and wrestle with incredibly difficult situations. In the midst of such trying circumstances, we have had an incredible amount of laughter. Our God is so good.
On Friday, Todd and I met Mama Gladys and Mama Edith at the Source Cafe for brunch. We found out the other day that they had never had ice cream so we told them we would be taking them out. They were so giddy--it was truly like taking little kids out. They got to order whatever they wanted off the menu--they chose fried chicken and chipote and soda. For dessert they got to pick out an ice cream treat out of the freezer. I had to explain all the different choices. They both decided on a drumstick. However they did not eat it right away. They wanted to take it home so they could share it with their children who had never had ice cream. They wrapped it up in a little bag and carried it with them for 45 minutes. We kept telling them that it would melt but there was no comprehension of this. Unbelievably the ice cream made it to their home. We were with Mama Edith when she shared her ice cream with five people--each person getting a little spoonful. They smiled and said "it's so sweet!" We were delighted.
We went to Mama Edith's village on Friday and Mama Gladys' village on Saturday. The hospitality was the most incredible thing I have ever seen. Todd and I were humbled almost to the point of tears. Along the way to Mama Edith's village, we stopped at a market to meet her sister who is a shopkeeper. Her sister welcomed us into her tiny wooden shack/shop. She dusted off the bench and laid her sweater down so we could have a nice place to sit. She then reached into her small pile of coins (her income from the day) and said, "what kind of soda would you like?" This women was going to spend over half her income to show us hospitality. We very politely decline and instead gave her one of our chocolate granola bars. She was very excited and thankful. We took pictures and had a great time. We have never seen poverty like this, yet the most beautiful smiles ever. One lady who spoke no english was very excited to greet us. She gave Todd and I new names--which I cannot pronounce--but mean "handsome" and "beautiful." All the children smiled, waved, and some would yell "Mzungu" which means "white person." I have never seen someone so excited to bring us to their home. When we got there, she pulled potatoes and tomatoes, and bottled water out of her sack (which she had bought along the way) and had her daughter prepare a meal for us.
At Mama Gladys' we met her children, her brother and his wife and their five children, and Mama Gladys' mother. They all live in this home. They each greeted us with hugs and handshakes and went on their knees bowing before us with respect. Her mother shook our hand and greeted us in her language for five minutes. When we asked Mama Gladys what she was saying, she said that she was still greeting us. Her mother even went on her knees many times. They prepared a meal for us and her brother took off work to meet us. These two experiences gave us such a different picture of hospitality and generosity. We are changed forever--may God bless these families and allow us to remember them forever.
On our way back to Jinja Town, Todd and I had to ride a piki (a motorcycle). He climbed on first, sitting snugly behind the driver, and then I had to sit sideways (because I was wearing a skirt) behind Todd. We went FAST. We were holding on to the underside of our seat holding on for dear life. We were flying over potholes where I was becoming airborne and letting out little squeals. Todd kept turning his head towards me so I could hear him saying things like...
Do you think insurance will cover this?
Now riding 70 mph on a Harley without a helmet doesnt sound so bad
This is just like motorcross, but with three people
I have never sat so close to a man in all my life
Our driver was inventing his own lane and driving so close that I could reach out and touch a dump truck and another piki at the SAME time!
We made it safely, but not to our destination. Our driver apparently didnt speak english and did not know where the Source Cafe was located. Thankfully we had done enough walking around...when we finally recognized a building, we yelled, "STOP, right here!" Our legs felt wobbly when we got off and our hands were numb and tingly--because we had been holding on so tightly to our seat.
Later on Saturday I got my hair done! I got hair extensions twisted into my hair which took 5 hours and 3 ladies working on it. I had been wanting to get it done for awhile, but what I was not prepared for was how painful it would be. It was five hours of perpetual, cringing pain. I cant say that I would ever do it again, but it's fun to have long hair and look part Ugandan! All the Ugandans keep telling me, "You look smart!" I will post pictures later.
On Sunday we got to go to church with Mama Gladys and Mama Edith to Liberty Church in Jinja Town. We were the only Mzungus and received quite a warm welcome. We had a great time. The praise and worship time was like aerobics and the entire service was like a marathon. We even had to go up to front with a microphone and introduce ourselves and give a mini sermon of praising God. We got a huge round of applause just for saying our names. Church started at 9:45 and we got out at 1pm. We got to give Mama Edith our little Bible (one of the Bibles you gave us, Lacey) because she did not own a Bible. It would take her a little over three days of wages to purchase one. They are very expensive. Mama Edith was very excited and appreciative to have her own Bible now.
Here we are on Monday. There is lots of talk about the Ebola outbreak. Pray for continued protection, health and safety for us. Pray that the airports would remain open so we can leave on Wednesday. We are ready to be home. We miss you so much.
Praise God with us for all He has done and is doing. Our God is good, All the time!
Where I Went!!
1 year ago