Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Thoughts on Africa

Hi Everyone,

I guess it is Sunday, (9-27) although I seem like I’m in a time warp. Our flight from Charlotte was smooth even though we took off a few minutes late. The plane from Detroit to Amsterdam was crowded and over booked but we all made it on.

Interestingly, when we went through the gate in Detroit there were a whole bunch of armed police were crowded around the entrance to the breezeway pulling people over and checking their carry-on bags. As I was passing by, a guy on a walkie radioed that there was baggage that was not be allowed on the flight. I’m assuming the same people whose checked baggage was flagged were the same people not being allowed to get on board the plane until their carry-ons were thoroughly searched. I thanked God for His divine intervention of protecting our plane.

Once we got to Amsterdam we power-walked to our terminal and had to go through security again, which was a pain but we were thankful that our baggage was checked clear through to Entebbe so we didn’t have to go through customs.

Now I sit on our flight to Uganda, hopeful and expectant to witness God’s work and abundant miracles. I forgot to mention that I slept for most of the flight from Detroit to Amsterdam (thanks to the makers of Ambien) and so on this flight I have a lot of awake time and am enjoying chatting with Sarah.

I love you all and will write more when we land!

Today is Monday, 9-27, at about 10:45pm. It has been a crazy and wonderful day. I am happy to report that all of our baggage and supplies arrived safely in Uganda. Thank you Lord! We were so exhausted by the time we got back to the guest house last night and still had to inventory all of the stuff we brought, whether it be medical or shoes or craft supplies, etc. I think we all got less than five hours of sleep but were excited (yet sluggish) to start our day.

We were treated to a delicious breakfast prepared by the local ladies who work here at the guest house. Eating fresh-from-the tree plantains offered a delight to the palate, as well as eating the veggies cooked in a philo-like dough and all the other array of delectable offerings. Also, the coffee did not disappoint; the flavor of the beans grown right here on African soil was exquisite.

My wake-up was complete with a spectacular view of Lake Victoria (the Nile’s source) and the scenery around it. I snapped a few pictures of these huge crane-like birds. These things make bald eagles look like canaries. They were breathtaking and majestic creatures. Uganda is a beautiful county, but by and large I was taken aback by such a stark contrast of beauty and ashes. Birds of paradise, a most beautiful bloom, and palms fronds that were the biggest I’ve seen, both the foreground of high bordered walls topped with barbed wire. A sanctuary inside a prison; this prison where it’s inhabitants are trapped in their current ways and life styles that only seem part of a vicious circle of pain, suffering, and destruction. To take it all in, the sounds, the smells, the traffic, the in-value of human life, it seems pretty far fetched to find hope in this place.

After traveling through the city over bumpy dirt roads filled with numerous pedestrians, cows, chickens, mopeds, vans, and busses and observing a people who seem to go about their same hopeless routines with little chance of every get out of their grip, our vans pulled up in front of Mercy Orphanage. It was here that I saw a glimmer of hope, a spirit of courage, and a faith that was pure and immeasurable in some of the kids who live here.

One young man (maybe 16 yrs old) blew me away when he stood up in front of the whole group and proclaimed that when they did not have food, Jesus was their food.

When they did not have clothes, Jesus was their clothes. When they had no shoes that Jesus was their shoes. He said “Jesus is our father, the Father to the fatherless, the mother to the motherless, yet we do not have physical things, it is because of Jesus that we live”

To have been in this place, which to me seemed hopeless, to hold kids who had not eaten in two weeks, to talk to them, to listen to them and their child-like faith really put my heart in a new place. As for today, I will never be the same. I can’t wait for tomorrow because although I came here to be a blessing, I have been tremendously blessed.

No comments: