Monday, February 4, 2013

TO KABUJOGERA, UGANDA... Part 1

Kabujogara -- one of my favorite views from the hotel.
  
Now that is lovely.  BUT...

Want to see a funny picture of me?


2nd Day, teaching at Kabogugara


Over the next 3 or 4 post days, I will be sharing this long, but interesting,  blessing, intensive, story.  This first post day is necessary so people will understand how, and why, and where I was in that part of the world.

Tim Way was a pastor teaching pastors in Uganda about the various spiritual warfare issues.  Dave and I had known Tim and Jill since we first lived in Uganda in the Fall, '94.  In fact, after the first month, they were "forced" to let us live with them for a couple months until we found a safe house. 


Tim and Jill and Becka and Dave and I, just as we moved to our Katalemwa district Kampala house, November, 1994.

We truly fell in love with them and have loved them ever since. Since our return from Uganda in April, '96, we have rarely seen them again, going all the different directions now. 

In mid-November, 2003, I arrived in Uganda for the Soroti event the Lord had laid on me.  Tim and Jill lived there again and Tim and I had emailed a bit earlier when I was still in Omaha and discussed the opportunity to be involved with one of his pastor-training conferences.  I was pretty excited about that ... not only the conference, but spending time with the Ways for a few days in their new location.  They now lived in
Masaka, Uganda, about 80 miles a bit SW of Kampala, along the west side of Lake Victoria.


I was picked up by them while staying at Ne
w Hope Uganda orphanage with my dear family and friends.  Tim and Jill, when picking me up, also took my daughter and granddaughter, Adhe and Stella.


We reached Makasa Friday night. Tim and I spent a LOT of time on Saturday talking about spiritual mapping.  I filled him in with as much information as I could give him.  He had already put together a good outline for the Bible school that he consolidated from some of C. Peter Wagner and Cindy Jacobs books. What he didn’t have was personal experience and some of the details I’d learned over the years through prayer walking and studying in a variety of locations.  And his order wasn’t that I had to do anything exactly as he would approve of ahead of time; I could share what I learned and what I had seen, both in the U.S. and Uganda.
 

 
Sunday morning, about 8 o'clock, we left for Kabujogere.  Besides the 8 of us and all the bags for the 3 days, including some food items, we took one of the pastors from Masaka who was bro-in-law to the pastor there. Israel was NOT small, BTW.  He was going to interpret for us.  He also needed to stop at the outside marketplace downtown to buy a bag of live grasshoppers to give away for people to eat.  [NOT one of my favorite things to ever see!]  So now, 9 of us in a small car. I, in the front seat with Tim, had my granddaughter Stella on my lap for the trip, which took about 4 hrs.  The other 6 were on the one small back seat.

On the way, though, we passed through a small national park and some antelope/gazelle-type animals suddenly bounded across the highway in front of us.  We loved it and laughed.. as Tim hit the brakes, of course.  Why it was an exciting, wonderful experience on That Side and why it is so distressing to have deer do the same thing on This Side is a bit of a mind bender.

We got to the church at 11:30 and they took us to the pastor’s house for tea before going in to the service, which had been in place for at least an hour. The pastor, Robert, had already given a message and while we had tea and bread, the congregation was worshiping.  No one was in a hurry – they were so blessed to have “visitors” to come and speak to them.

Now, regarding the pastor’s house.  It was probably 15 x 15; mud walls and floor (with a piece of linoleum to dress it up a bit).  The living room/dining room/parlor was probably 8 x 15.  As with most of these homes, the cooking was done outside.  By the way, even though he is stationed in Kabujogera, this pastor oversees 70 churches, riding his bicycle or walking through the district to make his rounds.

About 12:15 we went out the door and to the church a few feet away.  The church was about 25 x 20 with mud walls and a sheet metal roof.  The dais sloped enough, side to side, that it was a bit of a challenge to keep balanced while standing.  In this small room, 80 to 100 people were seated on hard, backless, and uneven benches.  (I hope nobody ever makes the mistake of asking me to be on a building committee – unless every piece of useable space is gone and the church is being utilized several days a week for services.)  Of course, we were treated like royalty.  Two choirs sang for us – songs in English, Swahili and their local Ugandan tribal language. 


After their greetings to us, we were invited to give our sermons for the day.  First, Jill sang “Mercy is Falling” and shared for about 20 minutes.  Then I was introduced.  I spoke for nearly 30 minutes on my latest soap box, a short personal family story I had written called
“Everybody has a Limp.”  They loved it.  It seemed to translate across the culture very well. 


Tim took off from my sermon tossing in some connections, and spoke for another 1/2 hour.  Including Jill's lovely singing, our sharing took us to about 1-1/2 hours -- and all this time the people were hanging on our every word.

When the service was over and we were back at the Pastor’s house for lunch, I realized it was 3:00.  And it hadn’t felt like that at all.  I was really glad I hadn’t worn a watch – I didn’t want to even hit a “time watching” mind set.

Lunch was HUGE.  The usual matooke (a type of boiled and mashed banana, – my personal UNfavorite), rice, sauce/soup, meat, bread.


After lunch, about 4, we went a block distant to the Volcano Arcade Hotel.  A room cost 7,000 Ush/night – that translates to about $4.00.  We got what we paid for.  My room was clean.  No power.  The bathing room was at the end of the outside corridor and jerry cans of water were provided -– in the evening they brought hot water up, but I left that for the kids.  [The latrine was a LONG way outside on the other side of the hotel; another whole personal story I couldn't tell you.]


View off the balcony towards the West
The pastor’s wife and helpers carried everything from the church home to our hotel for dinner.  Even though a block doesn’t sound like a long distance here, this was over rocky, rutted, and uneven uphill paths. And they brought all of this:  rice, matooke, meat, bananas, cassava, all the glass dishes they had, utensils, the trays with mugs and drinking water, and all the tea thermoses.

I missed dinner that night as my stomach was grumbling at me a bit, partly from the bouncing it took on the roads from Masaka.  Oh, well... would have loved bits and pieces to eat, but was heading for sleep instead.


So THAT was only the background that led to this event and the Sunday service.


With everything that happened on that day, I was totally unprepared for the wonders that awaited me on Monday....


Tell Me a Story

3 comments:

Lisa Lewis Koster said...

I love reading your stories about Uganda. They remind me so much of our time in Kenya. I look forward to reading the rest of the story!

A Joyful Noise said...

This is an exciting adventure, even with the boiled bananas. Looking forward to the next chapter. Thank you for sharing at "Tell Me a Story."

S. Etole said...

That first view from the hotel is spectacular.