Sometimes I sure wish I had photos from many years ago and some good ones recently. Oh, well. Just need to do what works.
Josephine isn't my only Ugandan sister, but she's one of the most amazing people I've ever known.
Twenty years ago, in February, '91, when Dave and I were in Uganda our first time, we ended up at her church in Jinja, Dave greeting, me preaching. Their church pastor had been the original person who had connected us to Uganda; God truly laid him in our path and exploded the desire to go to Uganda into our hearts. Patrick had been in Omaha attending a local Bible school for two short sessions, in '86 and '89, and Dave and I also took the occasional class.
Shortly before we left to go to Uganda, taking 11 boxes of goods for Patrick's church members, items donated to the Bible school by various local churches, there was a problem. One of his church members wrote a long letter to our local Bible school Pastor/Leader with many complaints. As you know, communication wasn't so easy in those days, especially internationally, and Patrick wasn't available in Uganda or the U.S. [I think he was in Norway] to deal with these problems. Since nothing had been settled before we were leaving, we were told to give the items to a different group, which we did. As hard as it was to follow through with what seemed such a harsh decision, God gave me an amazing experience that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
We didn't connect to their church in Jinja for our first four weeks in Uganda, and hadn't had a chance to explain the details. The people at the church hadn't heard all of it, and when Dave and I went there, after the service, we spent an hour talking with the church leaders. That's how we met Josephine and her husband, Fred. And they were heartbroken when we read the letter to them. Their tears, their obvious caring and concern poured forth. And the four of us became family at that moment.
Fred and Josephine have been with YWAM for a number of years. One of the events they shared with me when I was in Uganda last time, February, '04, was their mission in Rwanda, several years after the genocide. Their YWAM group went from house to house, yard to yard, hut to hut, reaching out to kids taking care of other kids, all having lost their parents and never having received help or greetings from anyone in all that time. They were able to encourage and bless these young people. How many of us could have done that? My heart would have been in the right place, but my guts might not have been able to pull it off.
What brought this to my attention was a vision in my head while lying on the couch recently after surgery, buried in pain meds. It is a place in Uganda called the Bujagali Falls, not far from the source of the Nile. And I remembered a wonderful time with her and Dave in '95, all of us boda-boda-ing [bike passengers] to go visit the falls. And the lovely time sitting together on the boulders and watching the waves and listening to their thunder as they churned around the small islands. Amazed as young men dove into the rapids and "surfed" over the rocks, hoping that tourists would pour some shillings into their hands when they came out of the river. It was just a special time... easy to remember, hard to ever forget.
I have some lovely friends in so many places... all over the States, Canada, England, Uganda. So many I hear and see often; so many I see rarely and miss much -- very, very much.
One of those main "missed" ones is dear, dear Josephine.