On Sunday, the entire team, minus Marisa Yarber who wasn’t feeling well, and her parents, Robert and Debbie who stayed to look after her, went to visit a village church. The village of Ojama was far out into the country, away from the city of Soroti, and we attended church at the local PAG church. PAG is a Pentecostal branch that populates most of the churches in Uganda. The one we were at was very little more than cloth strung over a wooden frame.
When we arrived on the bus, the Ugandans began a song of welcome, letting us know how much they appreciated our coming… It was as if we were somebody special. It’s humbling to receive such acknowledgement and praise just for showing up somewhere and giving a small part of our time to minister.
Every time the people welcome us as if we are more than fellow sinners, saints under Christ, and laborers together for God, it fills me with a desire to want to do more for them and for Christ.
When the pastor finally took his place and introduced the assembly and my father who was to speak, he said something very profound. He told us that, “Like Moses met with God in the bush, they meet with God in the bush of Africa.” The parallels are nonpareil, that God meets with some people on their own ground, (like the Ugandans living in the bush), and others must seek him out in the far places and difficult places, (like our team who went out of our comfort zones to Uganda and Ojama church).
There were many introductions before dad got up to speak, one was of a man who had a wife who has lost her arms. She was burned by fire and they had to cut her arms off above the elbow. The first words she said as she walked up to stand beside her husband were, “praise God”. It was touching to see a woman who was crippled, praise God in spite of her hardships. It was a reminder to me, not to praise God just when it is hard, that’s easy, but to praise him when it’s not hard for me. When I look on the hardships of others, and then back at what I call hardships, I learn to praise God for the things I have, and the troubles that I don’t.
When Dad rose up to speak, Sam Ebwonu, the main person my mom works with on the Ugandan side, rose as well to interpret. It is always fun to watch Sam interpret for Dad. Every time my dad moves, Sam moves. If Dad leaned on the table while saying something to the people, Sam would lean on the table while speaking the translation. If Dad walked to the edge of the tent to motion around at the area surrounding the church, Sam would follow, motioning in turn in the exact same way Dad did. Really, that’s the proper way to translate, but it did look rather amusing.
Currently, the roof of the new building on Hope property has been progressing very smoothly. The trusses were erected several days ago and the purlins on the back side were hoisted up and fitted into place yesterday. Most of the other work around Hope has been gardening, (plowing and planting), in the field on the new land, and digging holes for the fence posts that will support the chainlink surrounding the new land.
I will keep you posted on the progress of building. If you have any questions about the work, or would like to know about some area that I have overlooked, leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist