2.3.12 (March 2)
We are currently at an awesome hotel in Mweya (the picture is my current view from the lobby…yes, that IS a warthog…and it actually happened to show up right before I was going to take the picture) and I will be heading (along with Bill and Kevin) to ABIDE tomorrow.
Today was mainly traveling here from Kampala and a 2-hour water safari thanks to Trinity.
I don’t know for sure how often I’ll be able to post, so I wanted to give a little update early on.
The following is something that I wrote earlier today to recap the past few days:
29.2.12 – 2.3.12
Usually when an organization, especially one comprised primarily of students (regardless of age), takes a trip somewhere, they are sure to have the participants all sitting by each other or at least in close proximity.
Both our flight to Heathrow (London) and our flight to Entebbe (Uganda) did not work this way for me.
I am an outgoing person and I like getting to know people and I like meeting new people…but sometimes, in extended situations like sitting on a plane, I get a little more reserved and would rather be by a friend that perhaps understands the amount of work that I am planning to do on the plane ride or that I have camaraderie already established with, that we are able to not talk the entire time and it does not become awkward.
The thing that I tend to see again and again, is that in my most selfish and lazy times, God has something to teach me and then I am driven to realize the state of my heart for having been disinclined to be in such a situation.
This sounds like every other pastor’s story about going on a plane ride and then ending up having some great conversation with a non-Christian that led to a soul being saved, only due to the pastor sucking up his pride and letting God do His work. However, this was not my case.
Sometimes I do things without thinking them through and I am later led to regret them; this time I did something without completely thinking it through, and I am very glad I did (Perhaps those good things that come of my “not thinking things through” may actually deserve to be attributed to the Holy Spirit as He tends to be the cause of my actions that are actually good and pure).
I sat down in my seat and immediately introduced myself to the guy to my right (his name was [and is] David). David is a missionary in Ukraine that’s only 25 and had been in the United States for 90 days, as he ran out of funds, and was on his way back in eager anticipation of seeing the students that he works with there and loves.
Throughout the plane ride that I had planned on working on a lesson that I will be teaching later this week at ABIDE on spiritual disciplines, God gave me a little bit of prep and inside through David and my conversation.
We spoke about many topics concerning our lives and Christian living (I was even lightly rebuked on my use of “damn” in a song, which I actually appreciated and understood), and in telling him about something that I had been doing for almost two months now, he told me that it sounded like a sort of fast…which caught me off-guard.
One of the disciplines that I am teaching on is fasting. I was not incredibly excited about my lesson at first because of this being a part of it and my feeling inadequate and lacking in my experience with it.
Not long after that, our conversation died down and he offered for me to watch a video podcast of a sermon (from the pastor of Skull Church in Montana) on Esther 5 (the most recent sermon from the church). Now, I’ve never spent much time in Esther, but to my surprise, the main focus of the chapter and the sermon was fasting and how important and powerful it is.
I love the times that God proves me wrong.
I could try to harden my heart against that and claim that I prefer to be right, but I honestly, 100% LOVE when God proves me wrong and does a much better job in a situation than I ever would have.
David prayed that we would each get a chance to witness on our following plane ride, which I did not (though I hope he did), but I feel as though God witnessed to me through my time sitting by David.
My heart was put in the right place before arriving in Uganda, I was given not only knowledge, but understanding on fasting that I may actually be able to now implement it into my life more faithfully than I have in the past.
The rest of our travels are not nearly as interesting or inspiring (yet), but I am incredibly excited to see what God does in us and through us.
As I type this, we are on our way from Kampala to the town near Mbarara (my destination) to go on a Safari, and the sun has just started to light up the incredible Ugandan countryside. I can now see the iconic red soil, the goats and chickens roaming, beautiful Ugandan children walking to school, the lush vegetation (not to mention amazing mountains, banana trees, and my favorite tree [which I will try to get a good picture of one or several later]).
Even last night when I could barely make out the landscape around me due to darkness and my own exhaustion, I couldn’t help but smile. I am so happy to be here again and to get another chance to serve God and the amazing people of Uganda. This is such a blessing amidst a stressful season of rigorous academia and working to pay for it at the same time.
God is so good.
Now I need to stop writing so I can smile and wave at these beautiful children. (I forgot how large of a smile I am brought to in interacting with Ugandans…it’s one that I seldom achieve outside of participating in corporate worship. Perhaps God is telling me something.)
One more thing…
For fun, since I can’t really post any other pictures I’ve taken yet (they’re on my camera and I don’t have the iPad camera connector), here is a picture of a picture I took today:
I might or might not have gotten “in trouble” for getting too close…and I do know that they’re dangerous…but I didn’t realize until a bit after that there was a baby…I was off to the side though, not straight-ahead of it, and I did keep some distance. I think it was worth it, and it was pretty cool to get that close!