Here are Pastor Bobby’s remaining experiences from our team’s trip to Uganda. Enjoy!
Monday, June 18th
I can’t explain how each day is even more incredible than the one before, but that’s just the way it is on a trip like this. We started the day sleeping in until 8:25a, it was wonderful and much needed. We got a quick breakfast, then loaded the van for a day of ministry. On our way to the property, we had a few errands to run first. We stopped to meet Cathy at the bank, and the ladies went with Cathy to the market. It is the largest open market in east and central Africa. They said it was hectic, people running into you, some with large pans of goods on their heads shouting “pass, pass!” so you would move aside. Being white/foreign, people know they usually have tourist money, so they shout “muzungu, muzungu!”
The guys went to a concrete yard and bought 45 concrete posts to put into the ground. What is nice about Uganda is it is cheap to hire lots of laborers to tackle huge projects like moving around and delivering huge concrete posts. With the plan to meet the delivery truck at the land, we left there and made a stop by a market to buy some goods for the widows on the land. There are two widows squatting on the land and another close by. We all gave and collected 140,000 shillings ($60usd), and after we bought the necessities (rice, salt, sugar, soap, bread) for all three widows, the total was $139,500. Does God still work miracles, even small ones, just to help our faith; absolutely, if we’re looking for it. Ken has reached out to these widows in such Christian love, and has agreed to let them settle a half acre of the 5 acres that he bought. So we picked up some kerosene and some gas for the bus and headed to the land, but not before we did the math and figured out that gas costs $5.80 a gallon here; whew.
So the drive was not far from where we were, but I couldn’t believe how remote feeling the last 2 miles or so of the drive was. It was way off the main road, and way back in the woods. The road was so narrow the brush was scraping down the sides of the bus at a few points. The roads are very eroded and bumpy. We got to the land, and the first thing we did was see the well. Ken told us that the day before we arrived the men struck water at 70 feet, another miracle for those that have eyes to believe it. I could go on and on about how providential it was that they struck water the day before we arrived, so they could be encouraged and we could experience the awesomeness of what is happening in this community. I was humbled to tears by what I saw as I thought about the hundreds of people who did something to make this well a reality, the yard sale, the change drive, the kids at schools getting involved, individual donors, and more. And thousands for many more years are going to have changed lives because of the sacrificial love of God’s church. That $20k that we raised was truly the broad effort of many, many people and organizations. I thought about the fact that had we not responded to that call, this well wouldn’t be there, and the poor in that community would still be walking 5-7 miles one way to get fresh ground water. Now, they can walk and receive the most vital life giving source on earth in a matter of minutes. It wasn’t enough for me to see the mouth of this 70 ft miracle, I was challenged to get into a plastic bucket and go down to the bottom of the well, which I accepted.
What a neat experience, 70 feet into the earth, damp and cool, quiet and still, all part of God’s creation. Looking up the sky was bright as I saw shadows of men standing at the mouth of the well. They raised the pump out to give me and the African young man already in the well some more room to stand together. The top of the well was about 6 feet in diameter, and it gradually reduces to about 3 feet where I was 70 feet down in the ground. Because the soil was loose and rocky, it kept caving in as they would dig. So they have been building a brick wall as they move down, and literally the only way now to dig is this; one man, one short handled pick axe, one short shovel, one plastic bucket on a rope (also the elevator). They reel up the 5-6 gallon bucket, dump the mud and water out that the guy in the well has excavated, and literally repeat this process all day long, moving inches at a time. After I was raised out of the well, I washed the dirt from my hair, face, and feet, and then we offered a prayer of memorial and thansgiving to God for this incredible well and what a blessing it is.
So, around lunchtime we walked onto the land where the fence construction was happening. The view is fantastic, it’s up on a hill and you can literally see about 330 degrees around, what a wonderful refuge for many future orphans. It is my desire to drive onto that land one day and meet a son or a daughter to bring to the US, if the Lord is willing. We got a quick tour and then didn’t delay in starting those holes for the rest of the posts. In a matter of a couple hours, and after some crazy hard work chiseling away through the rocky soil with our hole diggers, we dug out about 30 holes. The locals started moving the posts into position and mixing the concrete african style (creek sand, plaster sand, cement, and chucks of rocks in a huge pile. Mix it right on the ground with shovels, ad water, transport to location in wheelbarrow or 4 gallon carrying containers). The concrete posts are about 120lbs each, and these 20-25 year old Ugandans are carrying them, one each, not together, on their shoulder through brush and forest with their barefeet. I also carried a couple, and after doing it twice, I was exhausted, and have bruise marks on my shoulders from just carrying two. These guys are in such great shape, so tough, they literally can work circles around us. Our only advantage is better technology and faster ways of doing things with it. If we ever had to re learn how to live off the land with not many tools or resources, one month in Uganda would be about all the training you would need to survive. Little Bobby and Cam did a little helping here and there when something was available for them to do. Other times they were found exploring, sickling brush with their African long knives, raiding the pringles from my bag, or climbing in jackfruit trees.
The ladies arrived around 2pm with lunch and sodas. Then we worked til 3:15pm, and it was time to get the groceries from the bus and deliver them to the 3 widows that live right at the land. What a sight to see the jubilee and rejoicing as we brought them simple necessities, that didn’t cost us much, about $20 on each widow, but meant everything to them. They would clap, sing, and holler as we approached with bags of goods. I can’t help but think of Jesus’ admonition about “as we do unto the least we do unto Him.” These are probably the poorest people I have ever seen with my eyes. The children had holes all in their dirty clothes, the smaller they were, the greater the chance that they had no clothes at all. One widow insisted we sit as a group in her house, where she welcomed us and made us laugh. She had the biggest smile, and hugged all over us, especially Bobby and Cameron. I know this widow had to be 75, yet to show her strength, she carried Cameron (55lbs) , over the threshold style, out of her house and back to the bus. Even pausing 30 seconds for a few pictures. It was wild. We also saw coffee beans all over this land. We rushed from there straight to a school that was dismissing at 4pm where Mikey and Hannah shared about needing Jesus to cleanse our hearts. Then we passed out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and silly bands to over 200 kids. They danced for us, we sang for them, they were very grateful, and we were even more so for having such a neat opportunity to give a needy child a brand new toothbrush.
When were arrived back at the hotel, it was one of the earliest nights that we had gotten back the whole trip, it was about 6:15-30. So we decided to try out the pool, water temp about 80, not too bad. We organized a game of water polo in the shallow end with a flat volley ball, with two plastic chairs as the goals; it was so much fun. Everyone wants to do it again. We got to supper about 7:15, had another great dinner, even greater discussion in devotion time in Acts 16, then had a time of singing. We noticed the Ugandan workers cleaning up the kitchen were singing to “Lord You Are Good”, so we called them to join us. Angie went over and convinced them to put down their rags and come and worship Jesus. (Great Mary/Martha moment) At first it was three, then four, then eight! We also invited over a German bush pilot who lives in South Sudan, named Gero (Aero Gero is his FB name…) that we had met who works for Missionary Aviation Fellowship. Three nations were lifting up the praises of God for about 30 minutes, the Spirit was there, we had prayer time, and “powerful” only begins to describe how great the time was. Now we are back in the room, it is 12:04am, and we get to sleep 8 hours again. I am so grateful. On the agenda for tomorrow is more work at the land, some community ministry, and probably another 3-4 unplanned happenings that we are beginning to look forward at this point. That’s all for now.
Tuesday June 19th
8:55pm. We have still two full days in Uganda and already I am saddened to leave Uganda. I am in love with the people here, and with the ministry that I see happening here. What a neat place to visit, there is so much we’ve learned. We have bonded so well as a team too, truly I love Ken and Cathy Nganda, and all of the team like they are family. I’m excited to write out all that we experienced today. Bet you couldn’t guess this, but God was again awesome today! We began again with breakfast around 8:15, and on the bus at 9am. By 9:10 we were heading to the land, and as always, with a couple important stops. This time we picked up water for us, and a loaf of bread for the workers, who yesterday only had our snacks to eat all day. Then we got a pick axe, since that was the fastest way through the first 8-10 inches of soil, some pliars, wire, and some fencing. We got to the land about 10:10, and immediately got to work digging the rest of the holes, about 15. We carried the concrete posts close to their final resting spot and set them off to the side. I slashed down part of the fence line where the new fence was going. Ken only bought about 50 feet just to see how things would go. By 11:50, we had done all that we could do, as the locals had not started mixing the new concrete yet. There were still more holes to be dug on the other side of the property where they had spaced the posts way to far away initially. So in our last 20 minutes, we cranked out another 6-8 holes; by now we were finally learning how to dig these puppies. The soil was loose, but rocky, so the hole diggers worked but not great, and when you closed the diggers to bring up the soil, much of it would fall out of the bottom. The locals had never seen or heard of post hole diggers, and honestly, the soil was not great for them anyway, so I don’t know if they were impressed or not. So we would work the pick axe first, and get as low as possible, using the hole diggers to trim the sides and even out the hole.
At around 12:15, we were headed back to the hotel for lunch as we had ministry plans for the afternoon. By two we had eaten, freshened up and showered, and were back on the bus heading 10 minutes to a ministry center called Incredible Youth Center International. This is run by two guys named Brian and Solomon, and they have a heart to see young people reach their full potential and dream big. First they showed us great hospitality, invited us in to see their nice building, one of the nicest we have been in yet in this region of Mukono. They set out drinks and fruit, and of course we enjoyed their kindness and had some great fellowship. They showed us the other parts of the ministry, and then we made our way to the front yard where about 150-200 were gathered to sing with us and hear me share the Word. A local pastor named Godfrey was my translator, and he did a great job. I shared the beatitudes, and tried to paint a picture for them of the Christian life, beginning with brokenness and ending in persecution. I told them repeatedly what Christ had done for them on the cross. At the end I invited them to respond to the Gospel, and one did named Vincent, along with a few younger children. Vincent is living together with a brother that does not believe in God and he knows it’s going to be hard. Pray that Vincent remains steadfast, unwavering, and full of the love of Jesus towards his brother.
We left there around 4:15p and headed to Kampala to eat. During our 1.5hr commute, we jammed out to some Oak Ridge Boys, Gaither Vocal Band, and Alabama. Mikey and I figured out how to plug our music into the stereo through the microphone port using a cable I packed in my guitar bag. It has provided some great times of singing, laughing, and worship during our many long bus rides here. There was something interesting, wierd, and beautiful all at the same time about singing Gaither Vocal band while watching Ugandan’s walk down the road with baskets of bananas on their heads. Charles the bus driver and Cathy both loved the music. Charles so much so, that as soon as I got back in the bus after eating, he handed me the chord that plugs into my ipod and said, “here, music.” We later learned that Ethan’s favorite was Go Fish, we all participated in “The Wheels on The Bus” and “Happy And You Know It”, handmotions and all, we were crazy on that bus, but it made the time pass quickly, and it made for great memories!
Cathy took us to Pizza Royale, in downtown Kampala. The area is very nice, and very modern compared to the rest of Uganda. As we were looking for a seat, I ran into a white couple who was adopting a 2 year old boy and 3 year old girl, as long as the court hearings go well. They live in Tennessee, and have 3 biological kids back in the states. He was a HUGE guy, and come to find out, plays pro football with the St. Louis Rams as a Lineman, his name was Steve Wells, wife’s name was Julie. What an amazing heart these two have, sacrificing much to bring home the orphan. The kids were Ronald and Caroline. The pizza was great, after eating, I bought Cam and Bobby some ice cream and we hopped back on the bus for a 1.5hr commute back to Mukono. Kent spent the day in court, which went really well, and the parents from Anderson SC who are adopting Ron might be going home in about 10-14 days with their new baby boy.
Everyone was tired when we got back about 8:30p so we opted to do today’s devotion, tomorrow morning. After devos and breakfast in the morning we are going to head to Jinja for the day and see the source of the Nile. I am loving the beatiful country and people that God made in Uganda. He is AWESOME! Not guitars, not lines from movies, not cars, not places or things made by man, and certainly not me. GOD alone and the works of His hands: now that’s awesome! I say this because one night I shared that we use the word awesome for things that certainly are not. I am chiefly guilty of this habit that robs God of words that should be ascribed to him. I was reminded of this when Cathy said, “You all say ‘awesome’ a lot.” So we are all trying not to say it at all, unless God is the subject matter or creator of it! More tomorrow after Jinja!!!
Wednesday night – June 20th, 9:15
Today was site seeing day, when we were to go to Jinja, the source of the Nile. The Nile is amazing to me, because it begins at a fresh water lake, but doesn’t draw from the lake, then flows north over 4 thousand miles! Jesus is awesome, and he has bajillions of gallons of water in the earth that we don’t even know about. I wonder if Jesus ever walked into a river to refresh himself with a drink and thought, “I’m really glad I made this right now.” Anyway, we began the day with breakfast as usual. I woke up before the alarm went off this morning with an upset stomach, but it has nothing to do with Uganda or this trip. It’s a wierd thing that’s been happening about once a week for the past 4 weeks or so. It never leads to anything, just unsettled stomach, and when I stand up and start walking around I’m good. I believe that God is showing me favor and keeping me healthy, because I feel like my body with God’s strength is fighting something off. Although I feel ok during the day, at morning and at night, and random parts of the day, I feel like there is a small engine running in my head. When I talk my voice is loud, and when others talk they sound like robots. I think it has to do with the flights here, not adjusting right, then the fact that Kampala has an elevation of almost 4k above sea level. Anyway, other than a few upset stomachs here and there, and some tiredness, everyone is mostly healthy. Praise God.
Breakfast has been great, really all the food has been great, and the people are so hospitable, everywhere you go. We had devos at breakfast this morning, we covered Ephesians 4, talked about oneness and unity with God, and in the Body, the Church. Kevin challenged us to wear proudly the Jesus jersey only, and not to put any on over it. We loaded the bus at 9a, and headed about 2 hours to Jinja. We stopped about 20 minutes short of our destination at Cathy’s parent’s house. They are both still alive. Her mom is in great health, she has a really clean house, and was of course very welcoming. We sat in their living room, looked at Ken and Cathy’s wedding pics, and visited for a few moments. Cathy escorted in her elderly father, who has diabetes and is suffering with dementia. She visits him weekly, and he is getting worse each week. It is so hard on her, after we left, she cried off and on for an hour, knowing that the mind of her father is going, and his health declining. We need to pray for her father, and for her and Ken, her mom, and all their family during this increasingly hard time. Even with all the other responsibilities they have, this probably weighs most heavily on them.
The source of the Nile area was beautiful. We road a boat over to an island, just steps away from where they say underground springs continually feed the Nile. We saw some exotic birds, some cute little white monkeys, and some enormous palm trees. We left there and went around the corner to a place called 2 Friends Restaurant. The good news, the food was pretty good, at least mine was. The bad news is it took a LONG time to get it, over an hour, maybe close to two. But, they had wi-fi, or slow-fi if you will, so I snuck in some free texts to Bethany and sent some pictures. Scott tango’d with Tracie… those two love birds, and others checked their email. They had a little concrete crazy golf putt putt course, so we played a quick round compliments of the manager of the restaurant. Jason Mahr and Don Forrest tied for first with 5 over par, the actual golfer of the group, Scott, got beat by everybody almost. Just confirms my theory that great golfers don’t make putt putt stars, a pregnant mom with a baby in a sling can outmatch a pro on the putt putt course all day long.
We hopped in the bus for the 2 hour trek back to the hotel. Travel was smooth, we spent lots of time with the guitar singing hymns. Africans love to sing, one of the many reasons I love Africa. And funny enough, Ken’s all time favorite artist is country music singer Collin Raye; and he sings it very well too, Loganda accent and all. His favorite show when it was on was 24. The world ain’t like it used to be, we have Ugandan’s who don’t have hot water, washing machines, or high speed net hooked on country music and government conspiracy shows, and this new world of technology has it’s pros and cons. It has the ability to bring the Gospel more clearly, to bless more easily, and to build and prosper communities in freedom. But if all they get is our western sinful sleaze, then we intoxicate their culture, desinsitize their youth concerning modesty and respect for authority, and break up the moral fabric and Christian heritage that is really strong in Uganda currently. But, I won’t go off on a tangent about that, not the place.
When we got back to the hotel, we chilled and read through Mark 5 individually, then met at 7 for supper, devotions, and worship. Kevin has done a great job guiding us in devotion time, and has an amazing humilty and a listening spirit. He’s a truly great leader and teacher, and has been a blessing on this trip, bringing experience, wisdom, and maturity to almost every facet from travel to ministry. Also, I am so glad that I purchased and brought this little Martin Mini travel guitar. This thing has been such a blessing. I have played more on that thing the past two weeks that I usually play in two months! We have enjoyed many long and fruitful times of intimacy and worship through song, and that little tool has been a blessing to us all. God is so good to always provide, even simple little things like a guitar. Now, off to bed for the last time in Uganda this year at least. Tomorrow night at 11pm we’ll be falling to sleep on a runway in Entebbe, and hopefully waking up on a runway in Brussel’s Belgium about 7am. Tomorrow morning the plans are to eat at 8:30, pool time at 9:30, pack up at 10:30, check out and leave at 11:30. We are supposed to go to Ken and Cathy’s for lunch, then the babies home, then the beach in Entebbe at Lake Victoria for dinner before heading to the airport around 8. Our last day in Uganda! So sad, but bittersweet, as we get to see our precious families on the other side of a long two day journey. I know there is much more to be done here. I hope to energize many more pastors and churches to get involved. The field in Uganda is truly, truly white unto harvevst. I myself also hope to be back, and more in my family if possible. This is truly and unforgettable, life changing, character molding experience. All for the Glory of God, He alone is worthy.
Thursday, June 21st – 11:30
This was our last day in Uganda, but at least we got a full day. We slept this morning til around 8am, and got up for some breakfast for the last time at the hotel. The staff that served us all did a great job, and they were in keeping with the rest of the folks in Uganda, incredibly hospitable. After breakfast we all packed up our stuff, organizing what was staying, what was being checked in, and what was being carried on. We found some time for one last water polo game, and so Kevin, Caleb, Mikey, me, Cam, and Bobby all jumped in the pool. The temp was around 75, and it was windy, so we had to be a little brave at first, but once we all got to playing, we forgot about the chilly-ness of the water. Accept for Mikey, I don’t think that poor skinny dude ever got used to it. My team of me, Mikey, and Cameron dominated, but I guess that didn’t have to make it into the journal. 🙂 We took showers, cleaned up, and were on the curb ready to roll at 11:30; the bus didn’t arrive until 12:15. We proceeded to Ken and Cathy’s house, super nice, really spacious, and clean. It was cozy, the food was delicious, and they also were very, very hospitable; no shocker there. After we ate, Ken led us in a time of sharing and testimony, and let everyone share their take aways, their critiques, and their heart concerning the trip. It was so good to see how each one’s life had been changed by this short little trip, especially mine. I am looking forward to serving and loving my family again when I get back. I am even more grateful for my life, my house, my wife, my family, my ministry, and all that God has given to me. He’s been so good. Yet I know my heart will always have a special place for this beautiful country and it’s people, and I hope to be continually connected with Ken, Cathy and the Babies home in Uganda and for our church to continue blessing them in a great way. We left there and traveled to the babies home, and spent a good two hours holding children and connecting with them. Those 11 little children are so, so precious. What great and godly care they are recieving at this refuge, this orphanage. We also dropped off all the clothes that we wore, or packed personally to bring and leave there, and it ended up being a really, really large pile of clothes. After saying good-bye to the precious babies and nannies, we went back to the mall area where we exchanged money at the beginning of the week. We ate pizza there (it was yummy!) for supper, then loaded the bus to drive 1.5 hours to Kampala. Again, we had a lot of fun jamming to music. Cathy confirmed that we have been the only team to ever conceive of using the mic jack of the bus that a tour guide would typically use to talk and plug our music into it to have some corporate jams and worship action. It was good stuff. Many in the Nganda family fell asleep on the way to the airport, sweet, beautiful Crystal fell asleep on me, and I know it’s because they are so tired from serving and hosting us all week. I am hoping they can really get the rest that they need after such a large week of ministry. Now, we are at the beginning of our 7.5 hour flight back to Brussels. This is a red eye, going all throughout the night, so we must sleep the majority of this flight. I was hoping to knock out this journal the first 15 minutes of the flight and see if I could score a Sprite and pack of pretzels or something, but I don’t think it is going to happen. Our good-byes to the Nganda family in frount of the airport were pretty sad, I love these people so much, and other than email, have only known them for a week. It is awesome how the Holy Spirit united us instantly as family from the first time we hugged them upon our arrival in Kampala. This whole trip has been so smooth, and really met all the expectations that I had. In many ways this was a pioneering trip, hopefully one of many private missions trips from our church straight to Ken and Cathy and their ministry. The Nganda’s had the vision of bringing us here, and not only bringing our hearts, our donations and gifts, and helping with the fence, but also seeing what a typical week in their lives looks like. They also wanted us to see in general all the various ministry opportunities and needs that Uganda has to offer. Truly, again, the field is so, so white here. So pioneer we did, and I feel like I have a much better working knowledge of their ministry and of the affairs of the culture and the country. Sending them money each month is great, but being there in person to touch what they touch, feel what they feel, see what they see, and so on, is the way it really should be. I know now we have a true partnership, true partners in the Gospel of Jesus in the country of Uganda. I can’t wait to upload all the pictures, send out my thank you cards, and share all that we experienced with the Church back home. That’s it for now. More from Belgium and Washington on our last day of this incredible journey.
Friday June 21st
This is our last day of travel. We’re in the air in the 777, 2 hours out of Washington. A quick word about last nights travel. The night flight went fairly well, some slept great some really didn’t. Little Bobby and Cameron slept the whole trip, I tossed and adjusted and so on almost all night. I might have put together 4 hours of broken sleep. But our layover in Belgium was so long, that we found an area that Kevin knew about on the second floor in the corner where there are cots and so most of us rocked a great nap. I know I slept 2 hours or more, and deep, deep sleep; so did Little Bob. I was reminded how much I dislike the prices at airports when we went to get some kind of breakfast at 6:30 am and we paid 9 dollars for a one donut like sugary waffle in a package and a small OJ. 9$!!!! Crazy. All I kept thinking was that I could have bought 3 medium Frappe’s for that at McD’s. Poor Angie just wants some protein, some good ole eggs and bacon or something; we are all pretty “starched” out. Around 10:30 we headed to check in, and that included literally 4 different posts to check in with, security, then more security, then some security, then some changes in boarding passes… welcome back to the United States of Homeland Security. I think most everyone has stayed awake this whole flight, we all feel pretty rested after those cot naps at the Belgium airport. This is the flight with On Demand entertainment so there are tons of choices from TV shows, documentaries, etc. I began the task of organizing the photos on my computer and trying to put together some kind of a slide show. Incredibly, I took over 600 photos and 40 short videos. I’ll probably jot out my final thoughts for this journal on the flight from Washington to Charlotte. God has been more than faithful to uphold us in every way for His glory, and I am confident the fruit of this trip will be seen for many years in the lives of those who answered the call, to those with whom we ministered, and to those who will follow in our footsteps for years to come in Uganda.
Little Bobby and Cameron have been exceptional, they have hung right in at every turn, without any complaining. They have gotten many compliments, from locals in Africa and members of our trip, on their maturity, their obedience, and their over all “coolness”.
So this is the last little blurb of the journal for our first mission to Africa. I will never forget walking off the 777 from Brussels into the sky walk in D.C. and stepping into what felt like a sauna. The Africa climate was marvelous, low to mid 80’s and no humidity, mid 60’s at night. In Washington it was crazy humid, like hard to breathe humid, and high 90’s. Uuugh. We picked up our bags from the belt to recheck them at customs in Washington. All went smooth until it was time to board. Then the delays started. We were grounded at the Washington airport 3 hours later than we were scheduled to leave due to rain and thunderstorms. Two hours of that was in the airport terminal, and another 1 hour on the airplane. (Little Bobby fell asleep on the plane before we pushed off from the gate, slept the whole hour we were delayed on the ground, the whole flight, and up until the seat belt light went off at the terminal in CLT.) I was able to text Bethany updates from the plane the whole time we were stuck in DC, which was nice. But being so ready to see the family, and only being 2 hours flight away from that precious reunion, that was a little frustrating; sitting, and sitting, and sitting some more. Little Bobby talked all day about going straight to Chick Fil A when we got to Charlotte, which was supposed to be around 6:45-7, that didn’t happen until lunchtime on Saturday. 🙂 So we didn’t arrive til 9:45-10, and to top it off, we were delayed in Charlotte from getting to the gate because an ambulance was sitting where our plane was supposed to go. It was a great test of patience for an exhausted team eager to see their loved ones, but I think everyone passed the test, what a great team. Each one brought a special dynamic to the trip, each person led specifically by the Holy Spirit to serve on and experience this trip. Finally, we walked off the plane and made the 5 minute walk to baggage claim in Charlotte. What an exitement to ride down that escalator and see my beautiful wife after being separated for 10 days, and those little ones missing their daddy, running up and clinging on to me. Ahhh, home at last. Partly torn, missing our new gospel partners in Africa already, but back to my most important ministry on the earth; family. It was a sweet site to look around at the others hugging and kissing their loved ones, and I was reminded again, as I was at the beginning of the trip, that at times the cost of following Jesus is so, so great. Sometimes, we must follow the Spirit to a place where many things we love are sacrificed. But if the Spirit is truly in it, and God is calling, we must never doubt that He will provide for and take care of the details we leave behind. When our lives are bringing glory to God, truly we too are beneficiaries of that glory, for when we live out our faith in obedience to His call, whether home or abroad, we can fully trust God with all we have. For all we have has been given by Him anyway, and perfect is His plan for us. This was a trip of “firsts” in so many ways, and I long to see our partnership with Ken and Cathy in Uganda be one that lasts for decades. It begins with water from a well and a fence around an overgrown field on a hill outside Mukono, and Lord willing it will lead to a beautiful facility with Christian workers caring for 50 plus orphans in Jesus holy name. And all along the way, during the fundraising, the trips, the planning, the events, the projects, and all that, souls once bound for everlasting separation from God will hear the Truth, feel the Truth, accept and believe the Truth, and become themselves springs of living water welling up to their salvation, the salvation of others and the proclamation and display of the Glory of God in all the earth: He alone is worthy. Closing the chapter on Uganda: Trip One.