Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chapter 13 Update #2

Raining Hope Uganda Trip
December 28, 2011-January 11, 2012
Chapter 13 – Update #2

I have arrived in Uganda! Happy New Year’s Eve! Currently it is 9:15 am on Saturday (10:15 pm Friday in California). We are 11 hours ahead of you. So when we are ushering in the New Year tonight at midnight, it will be 1 pm on Saturday your time. Strange isn’t it!

I ended up missing breakfast at the hotel in the morning and took the earlier van back to the airport. Gotta love it when you have a frozen yogurt from Pinkberry for breakfast! Even at $5 for a little cup it was worth it! Then I found my way to Starbucks for a Toffee Nut Latte. That tall latte cost $8! I came equipped with my Starbucks gift card that ended up not working there in Dubai. Oh well!

I found my friend from Ethiopia on one of the shuttle buses from the terminal to the plane! We were able to exchange email addresses to keep in touch. She is still nervous but knows God is in control.

Normally when I arrive in Uganda, I prepared to walk down the stairs from the plane onto the tarmac. I was pleasantly surprised to exit the airplane to a brand new jetway! It led right into the terminal! I found my way to the passport control to face the purchase of the visa. God answered our prayers! The line to the visa purchase was actually shorter than the normal passport control line! God is good! The agent who took care of me was so pleasant. Before I knew it, I had my visa in hand and was on my way to collect my luggage. Thank you for your prayers. Once at the luggage carousel, my bags came out one right after the other. I had my bags within 5 minutes!

The best part is always walking outside and seeing the sea of faces waiting for friends and family members. It is such a welcomed and warm feeling! I know that I have arrived at my second home!

We had to stop in Kampala to deliver one of the bags to Rebecca Kajumba. Her parents, Michael & Sheila have been visiting in Ventura. They too paid for a extra piece of luggage so I could bring some things back to her.

When I was at the airport, I asked the passport control agent if it had been raining. His response was, “no it has not been raining at all.” But on the way to see Rebecca, the dark clouds began to move in. By time we reached the Kajumba was pouring!! Godfrey said that he always knows when I have arrived because it always rains! The rain lasted for most of the drive to Jinja from there.

We did stop for our traditional chicken on a stick & roasted bananas! I know I am close to Jinja once we make that stop. By time we arrived at the hotel it was close to 7:30 pm. It is hard to describe the feeling inside each time I drive down the familiar road to my home at the Hotel Paradise. With this being Christmas time, I knew they would have the added bonus of Christmas decorations.

There were warm greetings all around from my family at the hotel! I wish that everyone could come here once to experience the warm hospitality of the people in this place. It is like no other place that I have been before. At one point, a server in the restaurant said, “I heard that you were on your way! Molly told me today.” When I saw Molly she said, “Farida told me that you were coming. She said, don’t take down the Christmas decorations yet! Eydie wants to see them!” If that doesn’t give you the feeling of being at home!!!

By time we finished dinner, I think I was almost sleepwalking back to my room. I did my famous, “I need to lay down for a minute before unpacking.” Sure enough I laid down, but when I opened my eyes it was 3 am! Ha! So much for a just a minute!

This morning has been a blessing. With the beginning of a new day, the place becomes alive with people moving about. I have seen old friends one by one that come to greet me in the restaurant.

I just had a huge surprise. Robert Otile, the manager of the hotel, has his family here visiting from the UK and also Texas! He introduced me to the family and we had a nice time sharing. Robert's brother, Joe was highly encouraging to me. His words were great confirmation of our work in Uganda. It was a special blessing from God!

I am going to spend this morning here at the hotel preparing more for the conference. Tonight for New Year’s Eve, I will attend overnight prayers in Kakira at Deliverance Church. This is always a highlight of my New Year in Uganda. We begin about 9-10 pm tonight. They will go all the way until 6 am. They normally will send me home about 2-3 pm to rest! Since tomorrow is Sunday, we also will go to church at 10 am at Cornerstone in Kakira. I am looking forward to worshipping with my family at Cornerstone as we begin the New Year together!

Continue to pray for me as I study for the conference and the theme of 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. you are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

I pray that you all have a great New Year’s Eve reflecting on the goodness of God and all that He has done. I will greet you in the New Year with the next update!

1 Samuel 12:16 , “Now stand here and see the great thing the Lord is about to do.”


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