Just a warning – this post has A LOT of pictures! Some are mine, some are from others who were on the trip but there are hundreds more out there. I tried to pick enough to show all the different things the group got to see and do.
This group was the first big group we’ve had – eighteen in total. I was so nervous in the time leading up to them coming. Would we have enough for them to do? Too much for them to do? My biggest fear was that they would be disappointed or bored! My prayers were always that they see God’s glory here, the beauty of Uganda and it’s people and experience a taste of the life we live. They got a big taste on the second day – the solar went out for the first time since we got it! (That’s the one thing I didn’t pray about!) And we couldn’t get in touch with the man who put it in. So the entire time they were here there was no power, no internet, no fans in the hot apartments! They got to see a little of what we experienced when we first moved here. And to see that most things (like getting it fixed quickly!) don’t come easy here. They were great about it and I am so thankful God brought such a happy, easy going group! They were such a blessing to us and those around us.
I learned a lot – it’s hard to cook for that many people! But I see things I can do differently for the next time to make things a little easier on me and the group. I learned that you can make real connections in a short amount of time. I got to see some things through their eyes that in the daily, sometimes stressful life here I had forgotten.
They got to see some of the daily life of the people in our community – some made bricks and I think found it’s harder than the guys make it look! I know it’s harder than I first thought it would be. Some worked on a latrine for the school across the way. I think it was hard for them because of the distraction of beautiful little children! They learned that there is always an audience with everything we do! I am so thankful for the women that helped me in my first endeavor with the Hope For Girls project. And the children – they are the biggest part of our life here. They spent a day at OVU school with the kids. I know OVU has over four hundred students! Then we had kids day here with two schools – I would estimate four to five hundred students were on our grounds that day. I was very skeptical when I was told they would do crafts at each place but it worked out very well and the kids loved it. I think they lucked out because one school here came after the crafts were over! And as always EVERYONE loves Mr. Donny’s magic! They are all still talking about it and I get asked frequently if I know his secrets. I tell them I know only one but I am sworn to secrecy by the magicians code! They think that is funny.
1Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
I am so thankful for the sacrifices of time, money and separation from their families. I think that each of them took away a different perspective and were able to see and understand how blessed they are in their lives. I thank God for them and pray that the desire to help others that they felt here will grow everyday, not just for Africa but all around them. The scripture above makes me think above all else about this group, there was so much compassion, kindness and patience. I know that they didn’t all know each other well before they came but an experience like this will bind many different personalities forever and I think they had to have unity to get along in close quarters! I pray that they visit again, I can tell you four days isn’t enough, for us or for them! But even in that short time we were able to have meaningful talks with some of them. We don’t often get to have conversations with people who have things in common so it was a great blessing! We had praise and worship and a different person had a devotion each night, sharing this time with our workers and families. The last two nights we had it outside and I think I liked that more than in the building. The last night was a crazy one! I still don’t know who started the dancing with chairs on their heads but there was so much joy! Our workers and friends got to sing and show off for the visitors and they took full advantage of it!
I think our first time hosting such a big group was a success even with the challenges and definitely will make me better prepared for the next group that comes, and to better prepare them for life here! We have been here long enough that we have forgotten how important and how hard the little things can be, like keeping mosquito nets closed ALL of the time! We laughed a little at some things but then remembered we were once them and it wasn’t funny when we were learning about life here!
I am working on putting some of the videos I have together for another post. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we have!
And thank you Celebration Church for the joy you brought us and this little village in Uganda!