Friday, February 13, 2009

In Uganda and Kenya, among the Karamojong and Turkana people, the number of beads a woman wears around her neck signifies how high of a dowry price was paid for her hand in marriage. This price is usually paid in cattle. The more beads, the more expensive the bride.

After a day of no travel, we had to rise very early on Saturday morning to catch a 4:00 am bus back to Mbale, where we would change buses and head to Kampala.

A cultural difference worth noting is buses that leave in the wee hours of the morning do something special to be sure all passengers who intend to be passengers are present. The drivers cruise the streets of the village honking one of several horns mounted on the vehicle. The more obnoxious the horn, the more it is honked.

It was difficult to deal with riding on the bus...I could not imagine trying to sleep through it at home in my bed.

Anyway, we made the return trips to Mbale, then Kampala, which took 12 to 14 hours.

On most bus trips we took, we had divine opportunities to talk about Christ. Michael led and Ethiopian refugee to Christ on the bus ride where my seat broke. How incredible that he was faithful and that God used that insane ride for His glory!

One of my favorite memories of the trip was hearing Lopeyok talk about Jesus to different people seated around us! He wants very much to come to an American University to study communications when he finishes high school. He is 21, but in Uganda, your age doesn't matter as much with levels of education. Just going is what is important.

Larry also shared the Gospel with those seated with him. I wish I knew their stories better and could share them in detail. Suffice it to say that these godly men, took advantage of the opportunities set before them.

Our final evening in Uganda, was spent in the Mission Guest House, once again (as had our first night).

Before we arrived though, the four of us hiked from the bus yard to Larry's favorite Italian restaurant for dinner. It was good to use our legs after so many hours and days on buses...even with full packs.

This eatery was an outdoor garden, and was quite spectacular. Very unlike most of the places we had eaten on our journey up to this point. We ate way more than we should have (just catching up on missed meals), starting with pizza as an appetizer, and then moving on to main courses. I had Lasagna, and it was amazing...yes, Italian Lasagna in Kampala, Uganda!

Sunday morning, we attended church. The worship was amazing!!! These precious souls completely poured themselves out in worship! I was inspired, and found myself asking my Savior for this to catch on in my own church.

After services on Sunday, we had a bite at a thatch roofed restaurant, owned by Europeans. It is interesting to note that there are no American restaurants in Uganda, like you would find in many other foreign countries.

We had made arrangements to get to the airport with some Christian brothers, but they did not show, so we found a taxi willing to transport us there.

We had been told to arrive three and a half hours early for our flight. When we did, we discovered we were going to have to wait nearly an hour and a half to even go through security to get to the ticket desk.

Initially annoyed, we went and had a seat where instructed. It would be just Michael and I traveling back to the USA.

Shortly after being seated, a young woman approached. She was white. We didn't see that much in our time there, so it was already significant. She asked if we would watch her bags while she went to the restroom.

Upon her return, she sat was preparing to sit down beside us. As she did so, she pulled out a book. Michael whispered so only I could hear, "she's reading "The Shack."

What a great conversation starter! I asked how far she was into the book and what she thought. Her name was Emily and she had much to say.

As she spoke it became immediately clear she was Australian. That is my favorite accent on the planet, and I found myself getting lost in her language. She was my daughters age, 23.

She had come to Uganda some time before and was running an orphanage for a relief agency out of her country. She had significant responsibility for her age, and it sounded like things were going extremely well. She had a good sized staff that reported to her, and she was 'in charge' at 23.

At some point during our discussion about the book she was reading, I pulled out a copy of our book, "I Would Die for You," and asked her if she would be willing to read it next. I told her briefly about it. She was quite enthused, and very thankful.

She was a believer, and she quickly began to give God glory for this encounter. She said, "I wasn't going to leave for another month or so, but felt like I was supposed to go ahead and go. I am so glad I did, because I believe God wanted me to meet the two of you. I am so encouraged, and it is such a blessing to meet you!"

The three of us went through security, ticketing, customs and then more waiting together. We worked our way thru the duty free shops and sat down for a cup of coffee together. Well, Michael had espresso, I had water, and I believe Emily did too.

Anyway, it was a blessed way to end our time in Uganda. We had seen the Lord move, protect, provide and capture our hearts for these two nations of people. I saw so much more than I have written about. Some would break your hearts. Other would bring great joy.

In all, I praise the Lord God for who He is and that He is Mighty to save! What an inspiring journey, and what an amazing Savior!

Even the last leg of my flight home, from Detroit to Tulsa contained more divine encounters!

Truly, my God is King!!!

I am off to prepare for Mexico. I should return here on February 23rd.

God Bless!



At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will sure miss your updates but will be praying that you have a safe trip. Also that you will be able to accomplish what you need to do while there.
Aunt Maralyn

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic journey and favor from God! I look forward to reading more when you return. Bless your group on your upcoming trip.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Melissa said...


You don't personally know me but I have been keeping up with your trip. God has used you in some amazing ways! Thank you so much for sharing it has truly touched my heart.

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved hearing your stories about uganda I throughly enjoyed them it brought me great joy and reminded me of my calling that I received at 21. I love those people more than I realized. i am glad you go to meet lopeyok he is great!

At 12:55 AM, Blogger christy said...

i want lopeyok to come to oklahoma city and live with us to go to school.... but that is just what i want ;)

ps- thanks for the fantastic stories and the time spent writing them. i do wish you got some time to rest between trips.... maybe you will have a bit more time to take it easy in mexico...maybe.


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