We arrived late last night in Uganda and then drove 5+ hours to get to our hotel after 18 hours of flying.
The drive was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Traffic laws are not like the USA and the highways are not what we’re accustomed to!
We went back and forth between paved road and red dirt roads. They drive on the opposite side of the highway and Motorcycles make up their own lanes. The “law” seems to be the larger your vehicle the more right of way you have, Glad we were in a mini bus!
What struck me the most was the amount of people everywhere. The streets were packed with vendors selling produce, meat, clothing and just about anything.
People walk on the side of the road carrying bags or baskets in top of their heads and hauling water to their homes.
There are many buildings that appear to be unfinished but look like they are residents or businesses.
Piles of smoldering trash are in random spots. I think this is how they get rid of their waste.
Oh and goats and cows are just walking around in the grass on the side of the roads. They say everyone knows who they belong to.
It really felt like I was watching a movie. It’s so unbelievable that I could hardly process what I was seeing. The children are everywhere, climbing hills with bare feet, sitting in the doorways of the shops, playing on the sidewalks or strapped onto the back of a Mama or an older sister.
The thing is, there’s so much joy on faces. While I was in shock and felt moved to tears on several occasions, they were mostly smiling and chattering in their language. Most would wave at us as we drove by, especially the children.
Today was our first day of the Women’s Conference. It was amazing! We arrived during worship time.
When we pulled up to the metal “Pole Barn” church with what looked like chopped down trees for support beams and a dirt floor, the bus was quickly surrounded with children eagerly awaiting us to descend.
They reached to touch us or hold our hands and walked or ran beside us full of smiles and laughter.
It was hard to leave them….in fact they wanted to be with us so badly they piled into the opening of the windowless holes in the side of the building to watch us.
We entered the open end of the church where more more than 400 women were on there feet dancing and praising God with all that is within them! We were ushered to the front and greeted with many hugs and smiles!
I had the privilege of sharing my testimony of abuse and Christs redemption with women who I’m certain could identify. One woman came and with broken English told me “You…Me….story same.” It broke my heart but we talked for a long time and she said she has a relationship with Jesus and knows He loves her. She said “Tina, you be my spiritual mother now and please don’t forget me.”
After Mama Juliette, the Pastors wife shared her testimony the alters were open for any who were struggling with unforgiveness towards their abusers or for any others to come and receive healing from the Lord and to repent of the harbored unforgiveness. More than 50 women came and were set free!
Tomorrow we will teach Sunday School to all age levels, I will be in the married and parenting class presenting a lesson on the five love languages. Then we will participate in a Family conference and end the day as we did today, playing and loving on the hundreds of children!!
I’m sure the Lord and I still have many more talks to go before I can process what I’m experiencing. Thank you for taking this journey with us!