Learning Africa 

Now on my 21st day in Uganda, I’m preparing to return home at the end of this week. One of my friends here texted me last night to ask, how do I feel about leaving?  Honestly I’m not paying so much attention to how I will feel, but my guess is it will be a mixture. I’ll be looking forward to home and family and thinking of myriad tasks I’ll have to catch up on quickly; but the friends I have made here will be much on my mind. Thank God for modern technology, which shrinks the world and lets us stay close to those who are far. I’m very sure I will be thinking about how and when to make another trip over. 

Things I have seen, in roughly chronological order:

  • Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world, after Lake Superior. Saw it on the first day, and took a day at the beach earlier this week. Here’s a creature i saw strolling sedately down the beach:
  • Traffic in Kampala, a sprawling city of many hills, where exactly seven intersections have traffic lights (I counted sixteen lights, however, at one of those intersections where eight ways meet).  Discussion of this in detail could take up many pages. 
  • Travel in said traffic, by private car, taxi (not like ours), boda boda (described by some as “motorcycle taxi”), bus, and walking. 
  • The road to Jinja, which winds up and down steep hills, through towns and past villages, a forest, and fields of tea, sugar cane, pumpkin, maize (corn), potatoes, bananas and more 
  • Produce in abundance including all the above plus cassava, jackfruit, tomatoes, yams, beans, pineapple, watermelon, and more than I can list 
  • A bridge across the river Nile. Here I almost got in trouble for having my camera out, as it was quickly explained to me that photos of it are not allowed. 
  • The town of Jinja. Here there are no traffic lights and the street lamps are solar powered. 
  • Multitudes of schools, churches, shops, roadside markets. Description of these will call for their own space. 
  • An inexpensive hotel where only the hot water worked (sometimes) in the shower. Bathing became an exercise in creativity. 
  • Next day: the Source of the Nile. A story or two in itself. 
  • Third day, and nearly every day until I returned to Kampala: travel by taxi to a village school. More stories here. Hosted there by a marvelous family whose hospitality was extraordinary. More to tell here too. 
  • There they served me local food in abundance. I provided the funds for such ingredients as had to be bought at the local market and learned that for less than the price of one restaurant meal, I could feed 14 young schoolchildren, all the staff and their family members. 
  • On Sunday, up the hill from that school (which is already quite a climb from the main road) is a church where I was invited to preach on two consecutive Sundays. Working with an interpreter, I was well received. 
  • Took one day out to travel 34 km by boda boda for a visit to Itando Falls, where I drank from the water of the Nile (local lore claims it will bring long life…why not?) and then crossed the river (no kidding) In a leaky rowboat. Pictures and video to follow. 
  • After returning to Kampala, I have visited the national museum, the home of my other host to meet his family, the beach at lake Victoria, and St. Andrews church, a congregation of the Church of Uganda (episcopal) where I attended the 7 am service and was invited to bring a greeting. This is the English language service and it was choir day, so I heard three choirs and participated in congregational singing, which included songs in four languages: English, Luganda, Swahili, and Spanish. Later on Sunday I ate in a private home of one of the church leaders and attended an afternoon fellowship meeting at another home. 
  • Earlier in the week I also visited another school in a different village 
  • Took a drive to the top of a hill and visited the Baha’i Temple in Kampala, one of seven in the world. Again I have pictures, though none from inside the building as they are not allowed. 
  • Today I will see Namugogo martyrs, a shrine for the first Christians in Uganda. 

My driver and hosts are here. More later. 

Uganda update

An update in brief:  I arrived at Entebbe airport on Tuesday August 2, and went the next day to Jinja district where internet access is very limited.  While here, visited the Source of the Nile (stories to tell there),  and on another day Itando Falls. But most of the days I have visited a school, and even got to teach a lesson there; more later about this school, suffice to say I have found some projects worthy of support:  a water tank, chairs and tables, and playground equipment just for starters. Some of these I was able to purchase already within my budget for this trip. Donations however will be gratefully accepted. (Please see the Support page for the link.).

I have preached twice in a village church (same village as the school) and been well received. This week in Kampala I will visit another church.  Many more adventures to tell of. I am healthy and happy and glad I made this trip. More later.

Returning home next week, to arrive on the 26th

 

Verse of the Month — August 2016

Clothing

Above all, clothe yourselves with love,

which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:14, NRSV

Going to Africa 

I  have been quietly planning a trip to Africa. The plan is in place.  The airline tickets purchased.   I received my passport back from the embassy with a visa for the destination country.

I will spend some time there visiting some families I am acquainted with; will visit some churches and at least one school; and I plan to do some considerable amount of sightseeing.

Inevitably,  some pressing needs will come to my attention.  No doubt the experiences of this visit will whet my appetite for such things  and I will  want to do more visits in the future. I expect to come away with ministry ideas.

How to Help

If you want to help me on this adventure, including giving me the capacity to respond appropriately to immediate needs (or to upgrade my accommodations; please see full disclaimer under Support) you can do so directly at https://paypal.me/revr and of course I will be thankful.

Oh, the dates:  I’ll be going for most of the month of August 2016. The place? Uganda.

Verse of the Month — July 2016

 

Reconciliation

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

—  Colossians 1:19-20, nrsv

A brief announcement 

Feel free to ignore this announcement.

For those who appreciate my blog,  I have added a page to the menu on the site,

support

There you can find a link to a means of making a contribution. I am not in dire need and using this link is purely optional. Our family is well cared for and the local congregation I serve is a fantastic group of loving people who do everything they can and more for us.

However in the course of ministry in the larger community I sometimes encounter needs that  are real but for which personal budget constraints make it hard to respond. Also I am considering some travel in the fairly near future and any help in that will be very much appreciated. And it has occurred to me that from time to time some generous soul out there might want an opportunity to help for these or other reasons.

Please read the disclaimers at the link.

Verse of the Month — June 2016

One Commandment

For the whole law is summed up
in a single commandment,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:14,  NRSV

Bob Buehler's Wordpress blog

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