|Planting a garden around the compound!|
|Washing mama kisayke's feet!|
The team arrives late tonight (August 3) into Entebbe. It is the same flight I took so they will stay at the same guest house. I already prepared for their arrival by showing my new friend there, Peter their photo. Godfrey and I will go tomorrow morning to pick them up from the guest house. This will allow them to have a good night’s sleep before we begin our week of ministry.
I will try to catch you up on the past weekend first because as soon as they arrive I believe we will be going non-stop!
This time on Friday morning I came prepared to share in the morning devotions! This is my favorite way to begin my morning here at the hotel by giving the day to the Lord in praise, prayer and devotion! It was the first time I have seen Andrew, our friend at the hotel since I arrived. He has been gone until now. It was a blessing because after the devotion time, I was able to meet with him and Robert as we began the planning of the special time we are going to be saying thank you to the hotel. You will hear more about this later in the week.
Godfrey then came and we had time to sit and continue to work on the program for the week the team arrives. As we sat outside the restaurant at my favorite little table, it began to POUR. It was coming down so heavy that we had to move inside even though our table was under cover. Our things were becoming wet and it actually is too cold for Godfrey! I went to the room just to get my computer cord and thought I could just walk without an umbrella (which I love to do!) I didn’t get very far when the hotel workers saw me and rushed to get me an umbrella. It was actually a good thing because I got drenched in just a few seconds! When I walked to cross the road to get to my room, the water was rushing down like a river! I was walking through it all like a child splashing in water. I LOVED IT!
We continued to work because it wasn’t a good idea to go to town in that heavy rain. Godfrey had the accounting of the perimeter wall to finish and give me. At one point I didn’t hear any clicking of computer keys. Sure enough, as I looked at Godfrey he was asleep! I let him take a nap which he really needed. He has been working so hard even before my coming. It was nice to see him so relaxed!
After the rain let up, we went into town to buy posho and supplies. He wanted to purchase more plates and silverware for the team’s arrival. But even in Uganda, Friday’s are typical jam (traffic) days. Everyone is trying to get on taxi’s (vans) to get to Kampala or just out of town. It was so congested that we couldn’t find anywhere to park the van. The taxi park where all the vans come and go from is right where we needed to be. So instead, we decided to wait and get a couple of other errands run in a different part of town.
We passed by a place that Godfrey wanted to show me some office furniture he wants to purchase once we finish the renovations on that secondary house. The council that is approving all of our certificates of operation have specified that we need an office to operate from. They are giving us time because we have shown them where the office will be once the renovations are done. On the list of renovations it is under “boys quarters.” It will include new living space for the boys and an office for Raining Hope. That is next on our list now that the perimeter wall will be completed this week!
Godfrey showed me the office furniture that includes desks, cabinets, waiting seat etc. He was so cute when he said, “We need two office chairs, one for you and one for me!” He has it all planned out. They are excited about having a space for me to work from when I am here! But while we were in this shop, we looked at various appliances. One thing I was surprised to find were Japanese rice cookers! That was new! When I showed Godfrey how they work by only having to wash rice and push a button, he was shocked. We cook rice outside over fire in a huge pot. He said, “How do you know when it is done?” I said, “See this button...it goes from cook to warm and changes color.” He was amazed!
But we needed to buy another blender as ours at home broke in April when I was here. They use it to make the passion juice from fresh passion fruit. What was exciting was we were negotiating with the manager, Muben about the price. Godfrey does an amazing job in making sure they are fair. If I don’t know the shop owner, some will still think that I am clueless and try to take advantage of the “muzungu.” But this trip things are shifting. Each trip I become more and more a part of the culture. My Ugandan “accent” is getting better. I have been more accepted as “African.” Muben wasn’t going to come down on the price. Godfrey was insistent that it be one price and Muben wasn’t budging. So I spoke up and said, “We know you are a business and need to make a profit and we always want to be fair. But we are buying this for a children’s home and really would appreciate it if you could reach the same number. We are going to be building an office and will need to come back for furniture. So we can help one another if you agree to this one price.” He looked at me and said, “That’s ok,” which in this culture means fine! He reached out his hand and said, “It is a deal!” I then told him that I always appreciate people who don’t make the price higher just because they see the white face. I will give people business who are fair. We have made a new friend with Muben!
Godfrey was so proud of me. What meant a lot through the whole conversation was the realization that I am truly being accepted as part of the culture. It is not just that I am the one who is running Raining Hope and coming to check on things. This trip was a huge shift in my becoming one with the community. There are times that I stay in the van when he is negotiating. If they immediately see me they will raise prices. But this is shifting. We don’t have to do that anymore because I am being accepted as one of them. Praise the Lord! It is good that I am here by myself. Once the team arrives, a group of muzungus in town always signals tourists. Instead, I am able to go ahead and tell others I am bringing friends and to be fair to them too. God is good.
Then we went back to the house earlier than we have been getting there. The children are in school until 6 pm. But today many had come home a little earlier. Little did I know we would be planting flowers and some trees. I saw Godfrey using a shovel with his pant legs rolled up. He gave me the shovel when I said I could help. They were all surprised when I said, “Yes I can garden!” We had the best time going around the compound planting these green and yellow plants. I think they are eventually going to have flowers. But we had a system. Someone would dig the hole, another would add fertilizer, I would come and add the plant and cover it up. The problem was that we had just had that downpour. So the mud was sticking to my sandals. We switched sandals to one of the plastic ones instead of using my Uganda ones that have beads on them. But I would not get very far without mud caking onto the sandal. I would get to a point that the mud was so thick I almost couldn’t lift my foot up! Jonathan stayed by me and whenever the mud got too thick, he would put his sandal down for me to stand on. He would use a knife to scrap the mud off and I would start all over again! We worked until it got too dark to see. We planted a few trees as well as plants! I think we had to stop and scrap mud off at least 10 times!
I thought that was the best thing ever. But we were not done. My feet were covered in red Ugandan dirt. Then 4-5 girls escorted me to the wash room. I wish you would have all been there to see what happened next. They had me sit on the edge of the tub and grabbed both of my legs to swing over to pour water over them. They began to wash my feet. But they were doing it with such joy! They kept saying, “We are washing Mama Kisakye’s feet! We are going to make them so clean. I get to wash my mum’s feet!” They were laughing and singing and just taking so much pride in making sure they were clean. They told me to shift and had me sit on the end of the tub and stretch out so they could all get to my feet. A few times I had to really hold onto the tub because they were getting a little too excited about cleaning my feet! I thought I was going to fall it! But as they washed I was overwhelmed with their love for me. The funny thing was also that the gloves they gave me to garden with were the surgical latex gloves! They did the work and that is all that matters! There was some mud on my hands and they got excited that they had to wash my hands as well. One of my quieter girls, Tamaly took so much pride in washing my hands. I have never seen her smile as much as she did in taking care of me. She is always the one since she was little that we can never get to smile when taking photos. But I am watching a transformation with her that just pleases my heart.
When they were done, they took just as much care in drying my hands and feet as they did in washing. They also brought my own sandals in to give them a good washing. Since my sandals were wet, they got Annet’s own sandals to put on my feet. I truly felt like a queen. I told them I was going to garden tomorrow just so they could wash my feet again. They roared with laughter!
I actually used this as an object lesson when I did devotions that night. I said the mud that kept sticking to my sandals is like stuff that happens to us in life. I asked them what kind of things can make us discouraged. They responded with things such as gossip, stress, people saying unkind things, poverty etc. I said, “It is like the mud. If you let it it can weigh you down. But when Jonathan scraped off the mud, my sandals became lighter. We need to remove the things that weigh us down. It is like in Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” They got it by using the mud on the sandals watching how I got stuck in it making me ineffective as I couldn’t move. It actually made getting stuck in the mud become alive! They said when they look at the flowers they will always remember the day that Mama Kisakye planted them and got stuck in the mud! “
After devotion while we waited for supper, Henry was working with the choir with the song they are going to present in church on Sunday. I sat and just marveled at the way that Henry leads them. He is a part of the choir, but he spent time first having them go through the song while he watched and critiqued. At one point he told them to do the song with their eyes closed. It would help them to visualize. I watched with pride and amazement. It was fun to see them do the whole song with their eyes closed! They did better and were more in unison ! After they finished we worked on the song that we will do together on Sunday, August 9th at church. Henry is very interested in how I prepare to do a song when I present. We talked about the similarities of how I close my eyes to focus on the Lord. He wanted to understand my process to help him as he leads.
Amazed is the word that keeps going through my mind at the end of each day. I just stand amazed at what God is doing. He receives all the glory for it all. Each day when Godfrey drops me off, we both are mainly speechless.
This is only Friday. Wait to you see what happened Saturday and Sunday!
mama eydie kisakye!