Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm back from Uganda!!

I'm back y'all!! I've been back for almost two weeks now and I have been sleeping A LOT - I am having a very hard time getting back on the night shift schedule! I am still in the process of actually processing everything I saw and heard and did over the two weeks that we were in Uganda. I've needed all this time and perhaps I might need a little more time to put into words what I experienced. When asked how it was "It was fun" just doesn't quite do it justice... It was beautiful and amazing and heart breaking and traumatic and oh so life changing - I saw God move in a way that I've never been open enough to witness in my day to day American life... I want to share every moment of every day with you but that would take way to long and I am so not that dedicated and my journaling was so not that detailed... 

What I can tell you is that the people of Uganda are some of the warmest and most welcoming and gracious group of individuals I have ever come across - even more so than my beloved states across the Bible belt of the south. Hard to believe, I know. These people who have seen things and some of them even done things that you nor I could even begin to let our minds imagine and yet in the midst of it all they see Jesus and a heavenly Father who forgives and who loves them and an unwavering knowledge that He will overcome the evil of this world. Unwavering y'all. And the best part is, is that they want to share it with us. We may have brought over a thousand pounds of stuff and knowledge to share that they were beyond grateful for but they are the ones who taught us a thing or two about the power and love of our big amazing God. The verse that kept coming to mind as we would go to the Children's village and out into the community was Philippians 4:11-12

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want

While yes, the people of Uganda are physically in need and physically hungry - they are content in our Lord and their spiritual cup is full y'all, so full. I have so much to learn!

Instead of bombarding with you two weeks of pictures from 15 different people (which is probably close to 5000 pictures...) I'll hit highlights over the next few days of our days and different things that really stood out to me!

First lets talk travel... Um 18ish hours is a realllyyy long time! I was a little nervous to fly that long because this was my first flight overseas! So I took a Benadryl and slept the entire flight from JFK to Amsterdam over the Atlantic. That actually passed the time really quickly and made it a very easy transition because we landed at 6am and put me on the sleeping schedule I needed to be on. We met the rest of our team in Amsterdam - and I'd just like to say that God orchestrated the making of our team and by his divine design we were all on this trip and it was amazing - as we would learn over the next couple of weeks! Oh yeah and just a side note - Europe is expensive!! Like way expensive! I just might have lost all desire to visit... kind of.. almost.. but okay not really - but it really is so expensive!


Thanks to many, many prayers over all our bags - every. single. one. made it to Uganda! Praise be to God... and thanks Delta-KLM!


Finally in Uganda! My first stamp on my passport!! Yeeks I was so excited! (But I have so many more blank pages to fill!!)

We stayed at a hotel in Entebbe - where we landed - which was actually really nice! We had our own rooms and it was our last night of AC for two weeks! And there was hot water!


Not going to lie - I let my fear of the dark and being in a new place take over and I stayed up way to late - oh yeah and since I'm five, I slept with the bathroom light on! It was also our last chance at wi-fi for two weeks so I took advantage and was able to email the hubs and chat with him! 


Our sweet bus that we were going to be riding in for the 7 hour drive to Lira from Entebbe - if you look closely you can see all of our luggage!!


Michelle and I on the bus - which truth be told - actually wasn't that bad of a bus ride. I think because we were all getting to know each other so we never had a shortage of anything to talk about and the seven hours flew by!


We also were able to hear some unbelievable stories from some of the staff of the atrocities that occurred during the civil war that plagued Uganda for over 20 years. 


We finally made it to the children's village after a long three days of travel! It was so great to finally be there and meet the kids and see the work that COTN is doing in Lira.  


We're here!!!

Here is a little taste of our welcome -


It's kind of long but so worth it if you have a few more minutes to watch. It was so awesome to know that they practice songs and dances to perform for us during our Welcome Celebration. And we really enjoyed watching them! They all love to dance! The theme of the dance parties was that Africans don't have as many bones as us "shiny whities" which is why they were much better dancers than us! And our welcoming meal was Hamburgers and french fries - which I could not get enough of Mama Sarah's french fries over the next two weeks, but thats another story for a different day! 

This video exudes Psalm 30:11 
 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothe me with joy,

This is just our first couple of days... there is much, much more to share!