I went to Uganda. Yeah. If I told you how I got there, you'd slap me, but then you'd realize that it really was God and not me making a really stupid and dangerous choice. I'll spare us both that little process.
The following is my journal that I wrote while there, meant for friends, under my mosquito netting, in bed with lizards.
I am sooo glad we came during "winter". I like heat but not the humidity. Africa smells like what you'd imagine. Dank and thick and earthy. We are staying with Mama Irene and Papa Irene, who have a daughter named????? Anyone wanna guess? Irene! The hardest thing we are dealing with so far is the bathroom situations. We are walking the line between dehydration and having to go more than we would like to. No such thing as a shower or bath here.
Had a good time in church yesterday. Esther (who invited us and set all this up) is translating, and her husband Godfrey sits on the sidelines and does the backseat translating. He says normally when Americans come, they only speak 15 mins. He is the skinniest person I have ever seen.
Everyone is very friendly and all most all of them seem to be able to produce a guest book out of thin air that they want you to sign.
Joshua is our driver and he decided he wanted to take us home to meet mama, and if you think you can't go 60 down a dirt road, you'd be mistaken. Meeting mama entailed meeting his sisters and father and all the kids as mama runs a boarding school. They sang to us and we have some video. Joshua's sister and I hit it off immediately and they had started this school last year, so all very new and experimenting to make it work. We went up to the garden and discussed some of the problems they are dealing with and what they are trying. It's all very well planned and impressive.
No Joshua today. We were supposed to visit a bush school but he didn't come to get us. Irene said she wanted to take us. I thought "Oh, Irene has a car!" You can't get a car to Mama Irene's so I thought we had to walk to where it was parked. Nope, we walked all the way to the school which was very nice since I got to really look at all the flowers and bug Irene for names. We met an older gentleman along the road who wanted to know if we were doctors. I explained and he was very appreciative that we had come and giving us props for walking in the bush.
I had been secretly wanting to get to the Nile but didn't know that there would be opportunity for that, but we were supposed to speak in Jinja after the school. We had to walk back out to the main road to meet our ride who turned out to be a white woman in an SUV. Her name is Theresa Daley and the connection here is that she was at an event where Melody was speaking. Melody prophesied to her that she would be going out of the country soon. Theresa went from there, directly to Macy's and bought luggage by faith. God established her in Uganda, and Godfrey, Esther's husband is on her staff. Do you smell the set-up yet? LOL! Melody's always praying to see the evidence of her words.
We were so surprised and relieved. She took us to a real toilet and then Jinja. We were met by the pastor who told us no, there is not time for us today. I knew that was really God, and we all went down to the headwaters of the Nile, prayed, did our frequency things over the water and Melody and Sherry prophesied to Theresa, Esther and Godfrey. Then we had to hurry up and get to Idudi, which is a predominately Muslim community to preach out there. Getting to Idudi is one thing, but finding the church is another. It was way out in the bush and we got lost. We failed to go left at the mango tree and were running around and Godfrey is on the phone most of the time getting different directions from everyone, because apparently "I don't know" is not something one says out here. We pick up one friend who is supposed to know but doesn't. Her and Godfrey are riding in the hatchback area. Then Godfrey is on the phone with someone else and yells "stop! There she is!" We see a little 10 year old girl with a phone up to her ear on the road, so she climbs in and I'm wondering how many people we can get in this car.
So we got to church late and nobody seemed to mind. They were just happy to have us and we got home way too late and had to walk in slick mud in the dark in a dangerous place. Mama Irene had apparently been waiting for us at the bottom with a flashlight. And we are scheduled for Idudi again tomorrow which none of us are thrilled with. We love Pastor Sarah but it's just a long way at the wrong time of day, driving at night is very dangerous.
Funny of the day: Godfrey yelling as he tries desperately to manage unruly American women; "I can't lead you if you won't stay together!"
On the way home, I'm silently asking God for strategy about the issues here and Godfrey who has been jabbering away in lugandan, out of nowhere says, "you have to forgive before you pray." Aha! Of course!
So it was a day of desires fulfilled. Sherry got her walk, Melody and I got the Nile, and we all got to go to the toilet.
We got a fire under our butts today and went back to Pastor Zachariah's church (the guy who said no) and he let us go and prophesy to a group of business people. It should have been videoed. Melody was bringing it and the interpreter was all fired up and yelling and waving his arms. Melody explained our Nile trip and at the end, Zachariah got up and told the audience that in 1983, three American women came and did the same thing at the headwaters of the Nile (I'm sure it wasn't the same) and then he announced that we would be back tomorrow. This means we are double booked. Theresa made sure we got hamburgers and milkshakes, and back to the toilet. She is a godsend. She has been in Uganda long enough that she knows how to handle herself yet knows what would make us happy. She has family in Kamiah. Small world. I really appreciate everybody I'm with.
Melody and I woke up during the night at the same time, got our dreams down and then processed through them. Mine was that Theresa needed to not be hauling us around. Melody saw a wrecked white car. When Theresa came she said she wasn't feeling she could go to Idudi again. I agreed, but when time came, we all went. We turned on the bush road out of Idudi and we went "uh uh." We stopped in the middle of the road and prayed. Then we called pastor Sarah and explained that we did not have a release to go down the road but Sherry prophesied to her and the church. Turned the car around and went home, had a fantastic drive and conversation.
Then we arranged to meet with Pastor Moses and he is wonderful. We explained that Zachariah had announced rather than asked us to come back and he let us off the hook because we would be reaching more on the radio via Zachariah where Moses' church is small. He says the more Ugandans we can reach, the better. We are still going there Thurs and Fri. Lots of shifting going on with schedules. Godfrey and Esther are staying flexible with it all and getting more comfortable with us.