Saturday, August 28, 2010

Raining Hope Uganda Trip August 8-23,2010

Update #7
We are already on our way home! We currently are in London on our overnight stopover. I will attempt to go backwards to update you on our comings & goings.

We left Jinja at 4:45 am to make the drive to Entebee Airport. Needing to arrive 2 hours before our 9:30 am flight facilitated an early morning drive! Denise & Kelly experienced seeing their first bats on this trip as we waited for Solomon to arrive! Early in the morning they are migrating back to one end of the Nile River. This early they seem to enjoy hanging around the hotel! Hotel Paradise staff were gracious in being awake and helping us as we journeyed out.

Most of our drive was in the dark. Another first for me was seeing a group of men journeying together with a camel! Yes…camel! It was pretty cool. Solomon said they make long journeys all the way from Nairobi. As the sun began to come up…the towns slowly were coming to life. We began to see people emerging from their houses. We also saw a group of the cutest little pigs…and yes…there were “3 little pigs!”

Saying goodbye to Solomon at the airport was very difficult for me. Solomon was truly a God-send on this trip. He is now managing our home and doing an amazing job. It was very comforting leaving Uganda knowing that the children are in such good hands. This trip we began a reorganizing process that we know God is honoring. The children are very encouraged for the first time in a very long time. I know that is very vague to understand fully…but I will explain it more once I get home.

It is a brand new day for our children & our home.

The last update which would have been #6 was a short message to ask you to pray for me as I had a meeting with the landlord. I gave an update with the request of assistance to enable us to move from the current home. We are still praying that God will provide the necessary funds to move within the next few weeks. We already have another house that looks like it is available for us to rent.

God is moving us forward. They are excited. Their memory verse for the past 12 days has been Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans for a hope & a future.” They are claiming this verse and living it out. I taught them the sign language to the verse and they memorized it the first time around. I had one of our children, Henry lead the group each evening in reciting the verse.

They have hope.

The theme of this trip has been reconciliation. It simple was about relationships. God is moving us forward. He rained down blessings on this trip and could only be explained by Him. Each time that He poured out a blessing…it was right after I had stepped out in obedience to make relationships right. We have had challenges these past 3 years. But it has been amazing to watch the power of God’s Word come alive. We simply followed and obeyed what His Word told us to do.

I discovered a new but old song. It was on a Rachel Lampa CD that I have not listed to for years. It is entitled “Brand New Life.” Here are the words…

I remember when I fell to my knees , Saying please come to me I really need you now.
I felt your mercy bringing joy to my soul., Now I know letting go led me here somehow

So this is how it feels when you’re around me
So this is how it feels when love surrounds me
Sun is shining and the grass is green the birds are singing in harmony.
Wake up knowing that you’re here with me , Thank you for my brand new life
My days are colored by lasting hope , It’s like I’m looking through a kaleidoscope.
I see heaven everywhere I go , Thank you for my brand new life

I never realized what it meant to be free , Now I see all of me is what you want from me
I believe that you’ve erased any doubt
Knowing now can’t live without all you’ve given me
So this is how it feels to be forgiven. So this is how it feels to be really living

I never seen a miracle before . Now I see them everyday for sure
It’s almost like you’ve opened up a door to a brand new life.

This song became a theme song for me personally as I have watched God unfold His plans for us piece by piece each day that we have been in Uganda. Proverbs 20:24 “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” We learned lessons in walking by faith not by sight. We woke up in the morning praying for God to direct our steps. By the end of each day, we were thanking God for things that happened that day that in our wildest dreams we could not have even imagined or planned out. His ways are way better than our ways.

We have seen miracles. We have experienced healing. We have loved deeply. We have been loved deeply.

Yesterday when we checked into Entebbe Airport we had 8 checked pieces of luggage as we went through security. From the short distance from security to the check in counter…one bag seemed to be missing. The agent had printed out 8 tags…but we seemed to be short one bag. It seemed to be a mystery how one bag could disappear. But after some inquiry, someone went all the way to the back to check our luggage and did discover the agent had not tagged one of our bags. Praise the Lord! If we would not have investigated further…the bag would not only have made it to Los Angeles, but it would have remained lost as it had no final destination tags. They apologized…but we praised God it was found.

Hmmm…sounds familiar…what was lost was found. I am glad that in our lives that we have a final destination…that is eternal life with Jesus!

I know that you have a missing gap of a few days that I will catch you up on when I get home. I have a short window before leaving for the airport to send out this update. I wanted to at least get word to you that we have made it half way home and will be back in California soon!

Thank you for your prayers. Continue to pray for us as this re-entry process is always challenging. Pray especially for Denise & Kelly as this is their first experience with the reverse culture shock process. They have loved deeply & are forever changed. We have been a three fold cord that God has blessed!

We love you all!

Oh…and last night as we sat and shared a meal…we looked out the window and it began to rain.


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