August 14, 2012

Trip Video

There will be more journal entries to come.  Our packers are starting the essential pack out today, so my computer gets put in that pack out!  After two takes on the trip video, its done…just in time for me to disconnect my desktop Mac and trust it in the hands of movers until we arrive in Germany!

I will continue with the rest of the journal entries!  But for now…here it it!

August 9, 2012

Uganda Day 3

Cooking at Kerith Children's Home

What a day!  Our team woke up, eager to serve and love at Kerith Children's Home.  Seven of us, along with Abus and Mama Loy, drove to the Market, while the rest of the team went to play with the children.

I have to say going to market had to be one of the most exciting times yet!  The Market is very large.  It is made up of many small shanty type booths, with many varieties of produce, meat, hot food, and staples for the home.

We arrived with our its for the feast we were preparing for the children and the staff.  Of course, we were quite the scene, but we proceeded anyways!  We were followed by children mesmerized by the Mzungus.  Many of the vendors jacked the prices up with what I like to call the Mzungu tax.  Abus, our driver, and Loy, the teacher at Kerith, negotiated for us.  Negotiating was quite a long process, so to keep ourselves entertained, we danced with the children and we watched local chapati vendors get down of that skillet.

We bought rice, pineapple, bananas, carrots, onions, potatoes, garlic, soda, pots, knives, plates and last but not least…meat.  Ah, the meat.  This is a story in its self!  In Uganada, meat means…meat.  It could be cow, goat, sheep, etc..  Meat is meat!   We purchased beef and somehow, part of a goat got involved.  It was quite an adventure!

We loaded the van up and head back to get started. It was so awesome to see my team step up to cook!  Everyone was eager to help, no complaints!  We cooked over fires.  As the stew team cut and cleaned all the items for the stew, the chapati team mixed dough and rolled out circles that would later become a local favorite similar to a tortilla.  Our produce team sliced pineapples, and tomatoes. And our rice team sorted out the stones from the rice.  It all went surprisingly well!


The staff were not allowed to do anything but watch, and give their input when needed.  The women were pampered and had their nails painted.

When it came time to serve, the children lined up from youngest to oldest.  We loaded their new bowls up with rice, stew, chapati, tomato and pineapple.  And each child got a soda.  The children devoured it!

Pastor Samuel pulled me aside and we talked for sometime.  He told me that we created Christmas for these children.  They eat porridge everyday, and rice only comes once a year on Christmas.  He teared up as he told me how moved he was to see our team love his children and serve them.  It gave him hope and gave him confirmation that he was in the right place.  I can't count how many times he thanked me.  He told me that I am a great leader, and that I did an excellent job organizing my team.  That felt so good to hear!  Although,
it has nothing to do with me, it game me reassurance.  I love leading, and I know I will make poor decisions or mistakes, but i aspire to build teams that have a servants heart and to love as Jesus loves.  By him complimenting my leadership skills, it made me feel like, thru God's guidance,  I have accomplished that.

After dinner, we had a clean up crew wash dishes, and clean up the space we used to prepare the food. We walked back to The Country Inn and sat on the grass to reconnect.  I wanted to see where everyone was.  They seemed to enjoy Kerith, and even inquired about supporting them in the future.  We talked about our next few days.

We travel to The Haven tomorrow…I can't wait for my team to see this little peace of Heaven!

Uganda Day 2

We started our journey to Palissa, Uganda around 8:00 a.m..  Because of our large team, we have a bus for us and a van four our luggage.  WE stopped in Jinja for lunch and for the Internet cafe.  Internet has been down 95% of the time we've been hearer.  Unfortunately, it wasn't working very well today either.  I want to see my family so bad, I miss my kids!
Back on the bus, our worship team helped us to get back into Him.  It was awesome to have that!  As we started to drive thru Palissa, it started looking very rural. Lots of holes in the small dirt roads, huts everywhere, and beautiful Ugandans surprised to see our big bus in their village.  I'm sure that our big bus full of Mzungus had something to do with it.
At the Country Inn, literally in the sticks, our luggage was being searched…one bag at a time, for explosives.  Explosives…really?!  Yes, they were looking in every bag for explosives!  Our team had approximately 70 bags, and one guy was searching our bags after we were squished into a tight bus for 6 hours.  We were not very happy!  So being the great example of spiritual leadership that I am, I began hiding bags behind me and creating a scene to distract our bag searcher.  Then I proceeded to invite my fellow team members to also partake in my deceiving scheme of sneaking bags past the bag searcher and into our rooms.  Hilarious…I must say, but it did the job!
After sorting out that mess, and getting settled into our rooms, we headed to Kerith Children's Home.  There were not many children there initially, but it didn't take long before the children in the community were watching us.
I was shown the "kitchen" were we will be cooking.  This is going to be an interesting adventure!  I watched the ladies cooking chapati, and gathered some of the other team members to learn as well.  Mercy, Pastor Samuel's wife, was so much fun.  She is full of personality.  They showed us how to form the dough and cook it on a small charcoal fueled skillet.  Chipati is very similar to a tortilla.  It was a lot of fun preparing the dough and watching the Ugandan women laugh at us. In the end, we mastered it.
The feast we are preparing for the staff and the children is going to b e such a special treat.  I will be taking a few of the team members to market to buy food in the morning.  Just talking about our menu and how we will be preparing it makes me laugh.

We started out talking about buying two goats, and having tow of our team members kill and clean it.  Then they started talking about buying a slab of beef from the market…oh boy!

The day before, we were in Jinja.  I had used my coleader's phone to text Brandon.  I said, "Hey Boo, get on FaceTime.  I have internet access.  Don't text back unless it's an emergency."  Well apparently, all Brandon just replied.  All he received was, "Emergency!"  I about wet my pants, I couldn't stop laughing!

As we were about to call it a night, a hotel staff person approached me with a sheet of paper asking about 20 personal questions.  Including name, address, passport number, our tribe, etc..  I told him I could complete on form for the whole team.  He kept insisting everyone needed on.  So again, I do what any spiritual leader would do…lol!  I take the whole stack and hand them over to another team member and have her fill out all of our teams "personal information."  Or at least, her interpretation of everyones information!  Fun times!  I hope to get asked to lead another team soon!

August 7, 2012

Uganda 2012 Day 1

Why do I do this?  What makes me want to travel all the way to Africa to spend two weeks serving?

I do it because if fuels me.  I love seeing little brown faces with deep brown eyes looking up to me.  I see Him in those eyes.  When I squeeze those tiny bodies, I feel full.  I go thinking I'm going to do something big…make a difference.  But what happens is that the difference that is made, is in me.  I am changed.  Without knowing it, they are the ones that show me what true love is.  They show me how to be completely content in what they have.  They show me how to be in crazy love with Him.  

They. Change. Me.

Day 1

Today was the first day to really get dirty, so to speak.  Our team was scheduled to spend the entered day at My Father's House and Royal Hope Academy. I was very excited to share this awesome experience with my team.  
We pulled up, and they hurried into position to welcome us.  They didn't have enough time to fully welcome us down the path that leads to their school, but it still overwhelmed my team.  Its very emotional to see children with so little be so grateful for us.  Our bus doors open, and its as if we are celebrities.  
Their worship and praise is out of this world.  It truly is my favorite place to worship.  Talk about putting us to shame.  They love Jesus and raise their hands, kneels on the hard red dirt and praise him. I had to leave early and drive with Abus to pick up the team members that didn't make our original flight the day before, and pick up the missing luggage.  
Abus, our driver, and I had a lot of fun learning about each others cultures.  He said that I am good because I talk to thin.  I can't imagine not making conversation with the an who drives, translates and meets all of our crazy needs.   I learned that he has five children and has been married for 15 years.  His wife goes to University for accounting.  He supports this family by driving teams when their are in town.  
When we arrived at the airport, I caught the three team members just as they were about to exit the luggage claim area.  Once you go thru, you can't go back.  I quickly handed them the missing luggage tags, and had them go to find our missing bags.  Thank God for that!  Others were waiting for hours to have an airport worker look for one bag at a time.  We quirky snook out of there before any other delay.  They were so tired, I can imagine!  At dinner, George from Ekubo, came to speak to our team about his love story to his wife Christy (an American), and about his ministry, Ekubo.  HE was hilarious!  He has an obvious passion for bettering his village.  It was such an honor to get to meet him. The team was very tired, but did their best to stay us.  He was very appreciative of the formula we had collected.