Monday, November 9, 2009

crazy week!

November 7 - We started early this morning because we have quite a road trip ahead of us. We met up with the rest of the group at the Messiah Theological Institute in Mbale (where they train church planters and leaders). Shawn Tyler gave us a tour of the campus and then we got a tour of Good News Productions office (led by our new friend, Vince), where they are using media in this area in all kinds of really cool ways to evangelize. We then were taken to the church in Mbale where the mission team there attends (a church they planted). It was really cool to actually get to see all of these places that I've heard about for years! Shawn, Vince, and Joy (Vince's wife) then took us out to the land they've recently purchased for the building of a university in Mbale. We got to see their plans for the campus and hear their vision for what is to come. So awesome.
We then had to bid them a speedy farewell since we had many miles ahead of us. We knew this was only goodbye for now. I think this is only the beginning of a potentially long relationship with them, which just makes me so excited! I would never have dreamed that Harpeth could end up working alongside my home church from Texas...so crazy.
We made the looonnnng 9-hour trip back to Karaguuza where we met up with Bob, Brenda, and Rev. James for dinner and one final meeting to talk about the next steps in our potential relationship with them. This was our last night with Bob, Lonnie, and David so we had to get a bit of a gameplan together. We ended up getting room and staying out at their hotel...we were wiped out!

November 8 - So today we went to a church service at the Anglican church in Karaguuza where Lonnie's friend, Bishop Nathan, was coming for the confirmation of about 100 young people. The service was quite a production! When we drove up to the church, everyone was already lined up awaiting the Bishop's arrival, and when his car arrived, there were cheers and singing and waving...pretty cool. Then our group ended up going to a house nearby where a feast had been prepared to celebrate Bishop Nathan's coming. After the meal, we all went over to the church for the service. The church was completely packed and there were a ton of people who had to watch from the windows and the doors. There so many people there. The bishop made a grand entrance down the aisles (felt like a parade) and then they proceeded into an almost 4-hour service...wow. I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't sad when we had to get up after the first two hours to leave. The guys had to start their drive to Entebbe because of their flight. So Matt, Amy, and I ended up hanging out outside of the church for the last two hours. There were like a million kids out there. I still have not ceased to be amazed at how many children are here. It honestly feels like they outnumber the adults a good 5 to 1.
They followed us around in masses and like if we sat down somewhere, they would just all crowd around and stare at us. I leaned over to Matt at one point and said, "I feel like we're on display at a museum or something". They just don't see too many "mizungus" around here. Ahhh but they're so sweet and so cute. I love them more and more.
Bob and Brenda came out of the service and said they were going to start taking truckloads of people back home to Niyamarwa. They were going to have to make at least 3 trips back and forth to get everyone back home. So we all got in the truck along with a back end full of little kids. They endured the tough ride back home (which included a good deal of rain) with so much fun and laughter. Those kids sang almost the whole 45 minute ride back. Man....I envy their joy.
Anyway, we got back and have just been hanging around the house and getting a few things done here. Lonnie, David, and Bobby should be in the air by now. It will be weird without them here now, but we're looking forward to being planted for a bit here in Nyamarwa. It's been an INSANE week...
stay tuned!

1 comment:

Rob said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Melanie. This will go a long way to help folks back home how urgent the needs are for our help. I actually work on the UMC global campaign against malaria, which I'm sure you know by now, is a serious problem in Uganda. I love that HCC is looking for outreach and ministry opportunities in this part of the world.

Stay healthy, be safe and God bless.

- Rob Naylor