I have intentionally delayed a few days to post my final update from this year’s Uganda trip, because I wanted to have some time to process it all.
For the second week of the trip, we spent all of our time at King’s Primary School in Bunambutye near Mbale and Mt. Elgon. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to despite the fact that my allergies hate it there.
During this week, we had many different people doing different things. Kings Primary School was originally taken on as a ministry by Mary and Alwyn Griffiths of Wales under their charity organization called Ezra. Now, Heart of God is partnering with Ezra to support and continue the vision God has given Mary over the school, including things like building a secondary school nearby. Denise and Jan spent a lot of time in meetings with Mary and Alwyn, along with school board members and administrators preparing for this partnership, hiring new teachers, and meeting with community members about land for the secondary school.
There was also a group of teachers on the team who spent time in each of the classrooms teaching lessons and mentoring the Ugandan staff. There were a few men working to install electricity in all the classrooms on campus. And then there were the rest of us who were put to work doing various tasks such as helping organize closets, lay stones along the pathways, and use machete’s to chop down a corn field in order to make the football pitch (soccer field) regulation size.
This week was very fruitful for the school, but pretty miserable for many of the team members thanks to the dust, spiders, bat droppings, and various other challenges to the work. All in all, though, the team came together and did what had to be done.
As the team got ready to leave Uganda, the last full day was spent at Sipi Falls hiking around a beautiful river, and debriefing about what God had done throughout the trip. It was not, however, a completely wonderful day. That night we found out that three of the team members with us, including two who were staying for another week, had caught a bad strain of malaria. There was a hospital visit, blood tests, and medications given.
Despite the sicknesses, the next day the team left as scheduled and began what would be a 50+ hour trip from the hotel in Mbale to everyone’s homes in the U.S.
It has now taken me a week to get readjusted to life and sleep patterns here at home. As I keep reading email updates from the team, everyone is having a rough time re-integrating with American culture because they are seeing it with new eyes. Many are still struggling with sickness from travel, and everyone is having trouble expressing their emotional state to those around them.
I personally jumped back into work so fast and am out of human contact for most of my waking hours that it has been very difficult for me to process things. I have woken up many days this week wondering if this whole trip was a dream. I am amazed by the things we have seen accomplished by the grace of God, and I am continually blessed by the reports of what God has done in so many lives, both among team members and friends back in Uganda.
All in all, I am very proud of this year’s team. There were many major accomplishments in such a short period of time in both the physical and spiritual realms, and I am expecting God to do so much more through Heart of God – East Africa in the years to come.
If you feel led to join in future trips with HG-EA, you can find more information by clicking the East Africa link at www.heartofgodinternational.org. The applications deadline for the 2012 trip is November 1st.
If you would like to hear more about this trip, or my work as HGIM Minister of Evangelism please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.