The next morning we took a few small plane rides to leave Kenya and enter Uganda. Mack enjoyed this experience the most out of all of us. I had never ridden in a 9 passenger plane before; it was neat to see the land below the whole time we flew. We took off and landed in the most interesting places. This first take-off couldn’t happen until Pastor Simon got the donkeys to move off the runway.
At one of the airports we ate pizza–a welcome change to our diet of potatoes, rice and chicken. When we landed in Uganda, we met some people on the air strip that lived nearby. Some of the kids in the group had never met a white person. It was such a blessing to give away the dolls and blankets Molly and I had made. I also threw a pair of pants in my bag of things to give away because Mack had put them on that morning and they were too little for him. The Mama of the boy that I gave them to hugged me and said, “Mama!!!” It was a sweet little bond between Mamas. We all want good things for our kids. They have such an appreciation for the necessities. It was a humbling exchange, and I am so glad I got to meet these people.
In Uganda we stayed at The Jesse Hotel. We met back up with Pastor Soston and his wife, Veronica. They are refugees from Sudan and have quite the community in Uganda. I was prepared for chaos at my first visit to a refugee camp, but these people were amazingly organized. They seem to work together well and live with grateful hearts despite such a very hard existence.
Molly played around with making boomerang videos with the kids, which they seemed to think was so funny.
We rode a good ways to get to the camp and passed by many small communities. There were water pumps along the way. Small kids were filling water jugs to carry back to their home. We also saw Samaritan’s Purse World Food Distribution Center, which was amazing.
They welcomed us with dancing and singing! Africans know how to celebrate people.
I will not be the same after the time I spent with them. And I don’t know why, but the Lord has made a special place in my heart for Veronica. I will pray for her as she leads alongside her husband. I hope you will pray for her, too.
The picture above shows their bathrooms.
Above is Pastor Soston telling us about the food they are growing! He was so proud of what they are doing and very grateful for any help that With Open Eyes has given along the way.
This is their irrigation system that was put in with the help of some people from With Open Eyes. It reminded me of a statement I learned in a Beth Moore bible study many years ago: “Sow the Word of God into the reality of your circumstances.” I believe the Lord has helped me to do just that over the past five years or so, and He has given much fruit! Many times the ground was hard and was made soft by tears and hard work. Other times the Lord gave energy and vitality so that the work of day to day life didn’t seem burdensome at all and the Word of God made me glad. No matter what the circumstances of life, we must sow His Word into the reality of where we are and watch Him bring the fruit! It’s a work only He can do, but there is a part for us to play! Sow the Word!
With Open Eyes brought shoes and soccer balls and beach balls and other games for the kids. They also brought soccer jerseys and shorts, and we got to watch them play a game of soccer.
I had the honor of praying for these ladies in my prayer group. Many of them don’t have their husbands with them and life is difficult. They worry about providing for their children. They need money to send them to school. Pray for these ladies to know the peace of God and the provision of God.
We couldn’t believe it, but these precious people had cooked for us! I was so humbled that they would take from what they could have eaten and share it with us. We were careful with what we chose to eat, but we were thankful and amazed that they would share with us.
We did a little skit about The Good Samaritan. Mack was the poor guy who got beat up and left for dead. I passed him by. Molly passed him by. Ruby helped him, and Josh Trammell was the donkey he rode on.
We left the refugee camp with full hearts and went back to clean up and eat dinner. We would leave the next morning for Masai Mara, a safari hotel where we stayed one night. Josh has most of those pictures on his phone, but I will add them to Part IV soon. Thanks for taking the time to look at our pictures and read my little commentary. I wish each of you could have come with us! An unforgettable trip, that is for sure!