Last weekend the ABIDE girls (and staff) traveled to the western side of Uganda to visit one of the student’s home and church for ministry.
We had to drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park in order to reach our destination. This is a place I’ve gone to in the past with teams from the States, but most of the people in the van hadn’t been to. Usually when you drive through you are greeted with hungry baboons, but we did not encounter any this time. We did however see buffalo (typically called water buffalo by Americans), warthogs, Ugandan kobs (deer-like creatures), and even an elephant. I didn’t get any pictures of these because I just wasn’t ready for them as we drove by. But here are some pictures from past trips to the same location to get an idea of what we saw.
When we arrived we enjoyed lunch with Monica’s family. I always enjoying meeting the students’ families and seeing their homes. We are always greeted with smiles, hugs, good food, and overall great hospitality.
Before headed to our first place of ministry, the reverend we were working with wanted us to stop and see something near one of the churches in the area. There is a small river that comes from the nearby mountains and runs through the town.
Last May this little river caused some major havoc. I’m not sure what happened up the mountain (snow melted, land slide, or something), but the water brought down HUGE and an unbelievable amount of boulders and left them in the river banks for several miles. In fact, from Monica’s place we could see tons of rocks and hear the river, but we couldn’t even see it. Well, we followed the reverend away from the road a little ways, and came to a surprising sight. He continued to tell us this story: In May there had been a conference in this church. They had taken a break for the hundreds of people to go get lunch. About 15 minutes later, the massive rocks came rolling through, completely destroying the church, houses, and many other buildings.
One man ended up finding himself in this tree (middle right of picture) for hours before he was rescued.
They were so thankful that God brought everyone out before the stones crashed through. The disaster did claim the lives of five people, but it could have been so much more.
After getting back in the van, we visited a girls high school in the area. We were all so impressed by the enthusiastic students we encountered there. What was also exciting is that the principal of the school turned out to be a friend of Joseline’s (The ABIDE Girls Administrator) from their hometown of Jinja (in eastern Uganda). That reunion was a fun surprise!
In the evening we held a crusade outside of the church. The students led singing, shared testimonies, and more. We watched the Jesus film as well, with hundreds of people from the community. I’m convinced that one of Satan’s favorite ways to interfere with ministry is by attacking technology…It’s amazing how many glitches were encountered with the keyboard, laptop, projector, speakers, generator, light bulb, cords, etc. A few times I went to the girls and asked them to pray against Satan’s attacks on these machines as other members of the team struggled with them. We made it through the night with everything working…eventually! And the rain held off until everything was over too!
In the morning we led the church service. It was complete with praise and worship, a special music presentation, testimony, skit, and sharing from Isaiah 55:6. Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. It was a great time of ministry, and we saw people respond…indeed calling to the LORD, and finding Him!
Before we headed back home, we enjoyed lunch and a time of fellowship with Monica’s family. It was a quick trip, but packed full!
Oh yeah…One thing the boys kept asking before their program was over, back in July was what we were going to do on missions. I mean, how were the girls going to handle all the machines that we take? Well, here is how they are managing: