Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 5. Divine change of plans

So day 5 started out how each day has before, with a plan. We have learned here in Uganda, we are on "African time" which means plans and times change minute by minute. We heard that the pastor here at Canaan's son was in need of encouragement at his ministry. We got in the bus to go with only these instructions "no v necks or tank tops. We are going to a remote Muslim community". So we get in and the hear the trip may be more like 3 hours. We took a vote if we should continue and it was a split vote so our leader says let's go. The ride ended up being only about 2.5 hours so thank God. But it was quite interesting. We traveled to eastern uganda to a remote Muslim village called pallista. Along the way we aw mud round huts with straw tops, lots of women gathering water from well, shepherds, cattle herders, sugar cane growing, etc. we had one of our most near death experience when a cow ran out in front of us. Amazingly, ebus slammed and swerved just enough to barely clip his tail! We saw women laying cassava root on the side of the road to cook it. Definitely a different way of life. Once we arrived at pastor Samuels place, "to Africa with love" the kids ran out to greet us. We put a headband on every sweet head and a watch on every boy. The boys really wanted headbands too! They did a program of songs and skits for us.

Then Samuel told us stories of how some of the kids came to live at their children's home.
 ::Jamal was born with club feet and tuberculosis. He was thought to be demon possessed. His parents brought him to church and Samuel and his wife took him in. He had not been fed well, he was extremely malnourished and couldn't lift his head or hold himself up due to malnutrition.  Through series of surgeries, he has just learned to walk. He is about the size of a 12-15 month old and he is 3 1/2 years old. Ironically, his shirt said "I love my parents"

 ::Tybitas father wanted to sacrifice her by decapitation. They rescued her from her father. Tybita is the girl in stripes on the left. She only came to live at the home 2 months ago and only in the last few weeks has she started to trust Samuel and his wife. Surprisingly, she was very affectionate and smiled every now and then.

 ::Moses' mom died and dad was a drunk. They took him from the home. This morning the dad came to take him back and the boy ran, hid and cried. They will keep moses at the children's home.  Moses is the one in the stripes up front, purple headband. He was so sweet and snuggled on Ashley for a long time.

 We got to eat with pastor samuel and his wife they told us their neat story. Mercy and Samuel (the pastor and his wife) met in bible college. Mercy's mom was raped and conceived her. At 2 yrs old she started loving Jesus. By 8 she had a Vision that god wanted her to have a big church and take in orphans in her family. Now she ministers as a family to a remote muslim community with her husband.  Here she was, so excited about the things we brought for their home.

Their church is near a mosque where the men will still beat their wives often to death if they change their religion. Sometimes the women sneak out of the house and sit in the back of the prayer meetings. Tonight at pastor samuel's church, they're having a prayer meeting from 6:00p-6:00 a. Their church is very makeshift. At first we pulled up and I was thinking, the church must be last this shack like building. Once I got in, I realized our view of church is often distorted. The walls are just sheets of wood and metal laid up against a frame.
But samuel says it's perfect bc the walls just come off and they can seat people outside if they have a night with a lot of people. The way church should be. Not exclusive. Not Bound by walls. But broadcasting the gospel.  This family is not only pastoring a church that has grown from 20 to 200, they've also taken in 30 children, but most surprisingly I think beyond that they're meeting one of the greatest needs of Uganda. The marriage crisis. Lasting marriages are rare here. Men typically leave, die, or have multiple wives. Pastor Samuel and mercy are having marriage seminars, married Sunday school classes, and preaching on the biblical mandate of what marriage is to be. I was so encouraged. Because we can feed and adopt and clothe orphans all day long, but until we address the source of the problem we cannot sustain. Marriage empowerment is orphan prevention. Samuel says "we mentor couples from the bedroom to the courtyard" from intimacy to child rearing. We left a donation and a bag of medicines, vitamins, pads, toothbrushes and toothpastes, etc. they were so encouraged. Samuel told us, last night with the children they prayed someone would come the next day. God heard and answered his prayers through our divine change of plans.

 That evening the kids at canaans out on a concert for us. 2 hours of song, dance, and bible verse reciting. It was amazing!

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