Where do I even begin this time? Bennett will have plenty of stories to cling on to once he is old enough to understand them and I believe he will appreciate them very much. I laugh inside while writing this because all these thoughts and memories of the day are coming back to me as I am trying to translate them. No doubt was today an ultimate blessing for Sher and I.
We had a divine appointment last night with Pastor's friend, Joshua. He is only 24, the same age as me- to tell you that he is wise beyond his years is an understatement. The man puts me to shame when talking about the Lord and revealing his faith. I have never met a young person like him that is so on fire for our God. He is an inspiration to us and was meant to feed us the word last night. We spent hours talking about the Lord and his people...and more importantly we were invited to attend his church this morning.
Sher and I were so excited to be going to church---I hadn't attended church in who knows how long and we both needed to be filled with God's love and word. The adventure began at 9:30am as soon as we walked out of the front gate. Let me first tell you that Sher and I stayed up till 2am taking a bath and fixing our hair ...had to look good for Jesus. We were blessed with electricity this morning....straightened our hair and did the big Texas tease on top...sprayed it with Aussie Freeze hairspray and we were out the door. Now picture this...Sher in a long dress and heels ...me in the same attire except for a shorter skirt...sportin our hairdos and walking out thinking we were lookin good. No sooner did we get out that front gate did it begin to pour down rain! We had to walk a little under a half a mile to the taxi stop...with Bennett in hand and me busting out the umbrella (good idea Matt), we really began to think if we were meant to go to church. All we had to do was walk right back to the house...but something told us that the Devil was just trying to steal our joy! Getting to the taxi stop was no problem and finding one was easier than that...I am talkin two taxis almost colliding to see who could get the Mzungu's first. Mind you...this is NO PRIVATE TAXI...we are talkin bout a mini van and Ugandans all piled in...NOT TO MENTION...UGANDANS DON'T LIKE THE RAIN! Sherry sat behind me with Ben while I got the privilege to have a Ugandan actually sit right on top of me----and now it gets fun!
Here we are thinkin...okay...at least we are out of the rain and now we can just ride! OH NO NO NO NO NO....our taxi driver decides that he is gonna pull off the road and kick all of us out---he doesn't want to take us to church. I am talking full on MONSOON in Kampala and the man wants to kick us out of the van???? AND...WE FIXED OUR HAIR...SERIOUSLY?!?!?! As we piled out of the van, I did my best to usher Sherry and Ben but the water coming off the streets was a rushing river filled with things I'd rather not think about! PURE MUDDY WATER on my favorite pair of heels....OH YES...I could have cried! Poor Joshua was apologizing and bought another umbrella (with money that he probably did not have) ---Sherry and I just looked at each other and kept movin. We had to find another taxi---here in Kampala when it rains; it seems that the whole world stops. Everyone runs to a covering and waits...so here we were having to cross the road...DIRT ROAD...MUDDY RIVER ROAD with our heels, Sher's long dress, carrying Bennett, me holding the umbrella and bible in hand! Lets just say that the umbrellas were point less---Our hair that we thought looked so GOOD....wasn't lookin that way no more. To say the least we were soaked!
Joshua got us into another taxi---I piled into the back by a window. I think God placed me there for a reason. I will honestly say that I was upset, frustrated and couldn't believe that we were in the middle of all this. I started to ask God to clear it up but all I heard back was "be quiet"! So, I sat there...rubbed the fog off the window and watched the people passing by. That is when it hit me---as I watched women and children in their Sunday best...with NO UMBRELLAS crossing the muddy river road still walking with bibles in their hand; I knew then that it wasn't the devil trying to do anything. It was God---he was teaching me an important lesson, one that I would not have learned if I hadn't been on the stinking taxi with the pouring rain and my favorite shoes ruined! I heard it clear as glass..."If these people can walk for miles in the rain...if these people can take taxi after taxi...then surely you can get your butt out of bed and go to church!" BAM, WHAM...it was a ton of bricks right on my lap!
What do you say? How do you respond? The Lord just kicked me in the behind and woke me up from the dead. I complain how tired I am on Sundays---or how I don't have anything to wear....SOME OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO SHOES! Can we say all together now...WAKE UP CALL!
We did make it to the church...and as relieved as we were to be sitting down...we were a little nervous being in a true African church service. It took place under a restaurant in a small room with plastic patio chairs and a long folding table as the pulpit. No electricity for quite some time and service had not started yet...many were delayed because of the rain storm. Joshua decided to lead the ones already there into praise and worship...the man can usher in the holy ghost like no other! Once the others arrived the service began...no extravagant instruments--just voices and a keyboard. So service starts and of course Sher and I are the only mzungus in the place...and OF COURSE they want us to come up and speak. Here I am...taking one for the team and I take the microphone! Uh-huh...you know what is coming next! I am assuming due to nerves my Texas accent decided to come full throttle---and I blurt out with the biggest smile on my face..."Gooood Mornin! HOW ARE YA'LL? (imagine with a Texas twang)". I so wanted to insert my foot in mouth---I sounded like the biggest redneck. WHO says that? REALLY?
Here I am all the way in Africa and I make a fool of myself...lol. Sherry and I have laughed about that since we left the church---she said I sounded like one of the girls right off the movie "Steel Magnolias"! I will say that they enjoyed our company because they have asked us to come back tomorrow evening and preach...
What an amazing blessing and calling---God has asked us to share a word. We will do just that!
BEEP BEEP BEEP....WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE....BEEP BEEP BEEP..........................................................................
Tomorrow is our appointment with the embassy. Monica will be with us and we pray that our DHL package arrives in the morning like they have told us. Sherry and I have already packed our belongings...we will be going home on Tuesday night! We are running this race with endurance and won't give up till we get to the finish line. Keep us in your prayers. Our Bennett is so beautiful and is getting bigger by the day. Bennett and I share the early morning time together---I get to see his smiles and giggles...that early morning joy just radiates out of him. I can't wait for you to see him. We love you.