Since I wrote the last update, my time just flew each day! We used each moment of this short trip together and it was worth every minute! I didn’t have any time to write any more updates until now. I have safely boarded my flight home and currently am back in Dubai overnight. Please pray for the second segment of my flight:
EMIRATES EK 730
Depart Entebbe Tuesday, April 21 4:10 pm
Arrive Dubai Tuesday, April 21 10:30 pm
Duration of Flight 5 Hours 20 minutes
EMIRATES EK 215
Depart Dubai Wednesday April 22 8:55 am
Arrive Los Angeles Wednesday, April 22 1:55 pm
Duration of Flight 16 hours
My days were so full that I didn’t realize until now that I have to catch you up from Saturday afternoon until today! I am going to work backwards and talk about today first. It is currently 1:30 am and I want to make sure I at least get a partial update out before heading back to the airport at 6 am!
As I sit in this hotel room, I am overwhelmed with His love for me. I miss the kids. Something amazing happened on this trip. In Henry’s words...I am speechless. Leaving Uganda this time was like the first time I left. The kids poured so much love into my heart that I am literally overflowing with thankfulness. If I think too hard or don’t think at all I start crying. Not sure if that makes sense but I don’t understand it either! In Godfrey words, he said the kids needed me here at this time just so we could be together as family He is so right.
The reason I want to start backwards is I actually need your prayers. I coach our team members that travel to Uganda how to deal with reverse culture shock as they re-enter American society. I am never beyond needing prayer as it is always hard for me to re- acclimate. Part of what I personally deal with is “emotional shock.” I actually slept for a couple of hours on the flight to Dubai which is unusual for me. That is my escape mode but also my emotional exhausted mode! I began reading the letters the children wrote to me which are gifts from the heart. Their words brought a wave of love and emotion that washed right over me! So all is exceedingly great...just need your prayers as I process.
One of the great things about the location of the house is that it is right on the way to the airport! So I was able to say goodbye to the children this morning instead of last night. This actually turned out to be better for them as well. Last night, there was that sadness that was beginning to creep in knowing I would leave the next morning. As much as we try to keep our focus on Him, the love we have as a family becomes overwhelming. But this morning, we started by signing and dancing to a new song, “Joy Unspeakable” by Mandisa. We were jumping around and dancing for joy! It was a reflection of how we keep saying that we are speechless!!! We had so much fun! I wish you could have sen all of their smiles and heard all of their laughter!
I then began thanking Frank who turned out to be an excellent camera man. He helped me with doing the video tape interviews I needed. I called him an excellent camera man/director/producer man. The children then said, “And juiceman!” This was because he was in charge of making juice with the blender. So whenever I would call out Frank’s name through the week they would all laugh and say, “Juiceman, juiceman!” He loved it! So then I would say, “I have discovered that we have our own Raining Hope reporter...Sylvia!” They cheered! When we were doing the interviews, Sylvia literally shocked me! She began to shine on the camera! Her desire is to become a TV anchor person or reporter. She truly has a talent. I have captured her on video so look forward to watching that soon! But all of this turned into one of the most amazing moments. They then began calling out others in what they have done the best this week. I watched in wonder as they encouraged one another. While we were doing all of this, Godfrey had gone to his room to change clothes. When he walked in he was looking pretty “smart” which is their word for looking nice. They children all said, “Uncle Godfrey is the best in fashion!” He came out in a teasing “model” walk and they all roared in laughter! What he did not know is that I had secretly asked all of the children to write him letters of thanks. We always focus on the letters that come home to all of you who write to the children. This was the first time that I have asked for them to write them to the manager. He was so shocked that it stopped him in his tracks!
This all was a good transition towards the prayer time the children had for me to send me off. Let me tell you...we have done this each time I leave whether I am with a team or not. But this time was different. There is a love bond that was tightened and strengthened between us this time. The title of being their mum was more defined in ways that I can’t explain. I explained that last time I was here I went from Aunty Eydie to Mama Kisakye. But the role of their Mum was made clear this trip. They all surrounded me and drew in close. They all began laying their hands on me. I looked down when I felt some lay their hands on my feet. I saw Esther on her knees with head bowed hands covering my feet. Florence grabbed my right hand and Jemimah drew in and grabbed my left hand. Others grabbed my arms and put their hands on my shoulder and back. Then the prayers that were lifted up almost lifted me up off the floor. They were filled with such love and power that I did not feel worthy to receive it all. That moment will be one that I will not forget. Then they all gave me hugs one by one. After receiving all of this love, Godfrey had arranged to have Frank say thank you on behalf of all the boys and Joan on behalf of all the girls. This was something that they have never done before. By that point you can just imagine how over the top it was for me and my emotions!
The escorted me to the van and we were all smiling, joyful and thankful for all that God is doing. The children started shouting, “We love you. We will miss you but we will stay strong and courageous!” They were all smiling and waving saying our traditional, “Strong and Courageous!” I began to look around and didn’t see Florence. She takes it pretty now when I leave. Just as I thought she might be having a hard time, we turned the corner of the house headed towards the area we exit. Because we don’t have a perimeter wall, there is no gate. But the first night that we left the house, we were beginning to leave the compound. Joel said, “I have to go and open the gate!” He had forgotten that this house had no gate! He just reacted out of habit! He stood at the exit with no gate and just smiled at us laughing that there was no gate to open! But that became the joke of the week. The next day, Joel ran out to open the “gate” and pretended to push open the door! Hilarious! Then some of the girls caught on and picked up a large piece of firewood to make a “gate” to open! So when I was looking for Florence ...she was at the “gate” with a huge smile on her face. There were two other girls and Fred standing right in the middle of them with another piece of firewood that made a cross. They “opened” the gate laughing and saying, “Bye, we love you!” I smiled and video taped until we drove out and they “closed the gate!” Then as we drove away...I wept. Indescribable joy.
I will continue my story when I arrive home. I actually fell asleep for awhile and woke up in enough time to finish up to this point. I need to head to the airport now to catch my flight. Please keep me in your prayers for continued safe travel!!! You will be amazed at the rest of the story as I have been overwhelmed with His goodness.
Thank you for standing alongside me with your prayers and your love!
Love you all!
mama eydie kisakye!