This Is Uganda

June 25

Today at the medical clinic, Belinda asked if I had a moment to talk to Kirsten.  She pointed to where I could find her, beside the clinic shielded from the crowd by the generator.  She was crying so hard she shook.  Her hands trembled as she tried to wipe away the tears.  For a moment, I just stood beside her, put my arm over her shoulder and shared her tears.  When we were sufficiently composed, we prayed.  We talked, but only briefly, because there really wasn’t much to say.  Even if you aren’t crushed by the individual needs – the man with severe burns, the woman with a dying child – eventually you’re overwhelmed by the relentless stream of people who are sick, wounded, hurting, in pain of every kind.  Sooner or later the dam breaks.  A strangely, God lives in that moment.

June 26

At 10:30, we were transported to the aqua blue church which we can see from our hotel.  It is God’s Care Ministries Church, pastored by our host, Victor Sande.  The early service was supposed to be finished, but this is Uganda, so it continued after our arrival for 45 minutes.  We were warmly welcomed, escorted to our front row seats, recognized and greeted with applause.  It was far more fanfare than any of us desired, but this is Uganda, and that is how they show hospitality.

Pastor Scott and I each brought greetings from the U.S.  We have both been treated as dignitaries here.  The title of pastor may have lost its shine back home, but this is Uganda.  Here, we are compelled to sit in the front seat.  Pastor Scott piled into the back of the Rav4 and almost caused an international incident!  And everyone uses the title when addressing us.  Even Alissa does not refer to her husband as Vistor, but as “Pastor.”

At the services, Valerie represented TeamUGANDA (here, I suppose, it’s TeamCAROLINA).  She spoke briefly, but beautifully.  She told the people of Kyenjojo that although everyone had said what a great blessing we were to them, in truth they were the greatest blessing to us.  She closed with these words: “I am proud to say I now have two homes.”  As apples of gold set in frames of silver, so are words fitly spoken.  Those words were perfect.  I was proud, too.  Proud of this young lady.

This afternoon, we had some down time.  We drove 45 minutes to a place where we saw baboons.  We saw the alpha male, several females carrying babies on their backs, and others that walked right up to the vehicle hoping we had bananas.  Now that’s a first – a car dodging monkeys in the street.  But … this is Uganda.

gkr1996 posted at 2011-6-26 Category: Uncategorized