Sunday's post from Eduardo.
Today is Sunday, our first full day in the northern part of Uganda. The town we're in is not very big but, just like any town in Uganda, it has a lot of people. There are people everywhere--so many bikes and bicycles and cars! Yesterday I went to the market to walk around and I was amazed of how busy it was. They have many little shops selling mainly clothing, shoes, water jugs (to fetch water), shoes, towels, pots, shoes, some food and I even saw two stands that were packed with portable radios! And did I say they also sell shoes?!
Today we were picked up by 8:00am to go to Pastor Felix's church, just a few blocks away. When we got there worship was in full force--we had seats reserved in the front row. The church was very full, about 250 people. There was a lot of singing, many announcements, offering, the dedication of 3 babies, the message by pastor Jim, an altar call (one young man came forward), more announcements and more singing. Church ended at noon. About 4 1/2 hrs after it had started.
Pastor Jim shared a message based on the book of Ruth. He called the team to participate with some "skilled acting." It was fun and people enjoyed it. I think some of us have missed our calling.
In the afternoon we went to the house of one of the pastors, Alex, for dinner and fellowship. He lives "out in the country" in a large lot surrounded by crops of corn and other vegetables. We met in an old building that used to be his church. Now the church meets in a new building in the same property. I took my camera and decided to walk around. I saw how they were cooking the meal. It is pretty amazing how much work goes into it. There were at least 10 people, mostly women, but I did see a few men helping. All the cooking was done outside over open fires with huge pots. There were about 30 people invited for dinner so they needed a lot of food. Although I didn't go inside the home, it looked fairly large. Outside there were two huts with round straw roofs. One was the kitchen, although I'm not sure what they do there since all the cooking I saw was being done outside, including the washing. The other round hut I was told it was for the children. That surprised me! I didn't know they slept in a different building!
Dinner was very good. Vegetable soup, rice, rice with beef, chicken, goat, some other type of meat, roasted potatoes, some sort of yam, banana puree (not sure the official name), beans, and more. I'm sure it took a lot of work to prepare all this food for so many people.
There was singing, long introductions, speeches, laughter and a great sense of belonging. They are so welcoming and appreciative of us being here. They told us over and over how our presence here encourages them and gives them hope. We try to express how we are the ones that are blessed and encouraged by being here.
It is our prayer that God will use us during this week up north. We have many plans, but we also know that we need to be flexible and open to God's voice and be ready to change "our" plans to match His.
Thank you for your continued prayers!