Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag First week in Uganda
17 december 2016
First week in Uganda
It’s been one crazy week of ministry in Africa! Our week has been filled with new experiences, new bugs, spontaneous adventures, and lots of ministry opportunities! We even have to get our drinking water from a pump-well and walk it back to the base. It truly is Africa just how you would imagine it out here. On Tuesday, we got our first experience training with the girls football team and all of us Muzungus (white people) were dying in the heat as we practised for an hour and half. The girls are super talented and a couple of them even play for the women’s national team here in Uganda so it was fun to play with a higher skill level and do some real training. Sarah and Josh are responsible for the football ministry so they did most of the talks and training and did an amazing job talking to them about Christ and their identity they have in Christ. We had two sessions with the girls on Tuesday and in the afternoon we had a total cultural experience, the school’s cows were grazing on the field! They were just off to the side minding their own business and we were all astounded so we went up and pet the cows and got close to them. Then later during game time some chickens were running on the sidelines, totally a crazy experience, animals everywhere!
On Wednesday we continued our football ministry with the girls and had two more sessions with them. It’s crazy to see on our walk to the field all the people who come out to say hi to us muzungus and so many people living in mud and clay huts with thatched roofs. Even the field has its own African flair as it is covered in termite hills, ankle-breaking holes, and surprise bumps and dips but all in all still a quality field. Jonathan was playing a game with the girls and he said that half of the challenge was playing against the girl defenders and the other half was avoiding the obstacle course on the field! We had an amazing time outreaching and connecting with the girls. They have so much energy and African style, singing and dancing with each others, it was so cool to see. After the morning session we had a very critical moment in one of the team member’s life….. Geerte held not only a chicken, not only a rooster, but a humoungous gobbling TURKEY! The people at the base here helped us catch the animals and thought it was hilarious to see us all struggling and freaking out to hold the animals but we all got a turn to hold a turkey and it was quite exciting watching Geerte overcome her fears of not only small chickens but gigantic turkeys! (We have video and photographic evidence for all the doubters.) We also were introduced to the blessing of Novida on Wednesday which is the local pineapple flavoured soda. After being deprived of sugar for 4 days it was such a refreshing taste in our mouths so the next day Josh went out and bought 12 for the team because we were instantly hooked. On Wednesday evening we got to have dinner with the football girls after training and it was our first real opportunity to talk with the girls personally and on a deeper level. Not all of them were Christian but lots of the team got to have really good in-depth conversations about the gospel and Christ and many of the girls were seriously interested in accepting the gospel. It was a real encouragement to be able to share a meal and share our passion with them.
The team split up on Thursday, the boys went to soccer in the morning to coach the Boys team and the girls had a shift at Amecet from 7:00 – 15:00. (Amecet is the place with the sick children mentioned in the earlier blog, look there for more information.) The guys had a great time connecting with the boys and training them, there was some real talent there and they performed the drills well. Our adjustment to the heat had improved by this time and we weren’t like potatoes sitting out cooking on a field anymore. We were actually able to enjoy the training sessions. Also, when we come back from Uganda, we are going to be the most agile people as we had to avoid the obstacles on the field to avoid any injuries. The girls had an amazing time at Amecet. They got to feed some cute little babies, bathe them, play with the kids, and do all those cute girly things they love. John joined them in the afternoon for a little bit and then Sarah, John and Geerte went to the women’s prison to hand out food and soap to the Mom’s there with children in the prison and minister to them and also went immediately after to the hospital. At the hospital they also handed out food and soap to some young mom’s who had extremely premature babies (born at 6 months, 1 week!). This was not John’s favourite afternoon because he was surrounded by a multitude of women feeding babies at Amecet, being the only guy there. And it only got better at the hospital and the prison as there were mothers breastfeeding their children EVERYWHERE! Like seriously, anywhere you looked, breastfeeding, but it’s the African culture and it ended up okay. He survived and sucked it up.
Meanwhile the real boys were having a great time ministering at the men’s prison. Steven and Jonathan shared their testimony and Josh gave a 50 minute preaching to around 150-200 men. They were so hungry for the gospel and it was memorable moment for all of them. Unfortunately they couldn’t take any photos in the prison but they said it was crazy to listen to them worshiping and really getting into it. They even had their own homemade instruments made of wood and strings and others made of a block with little pieces of metal on it which they hit and created a beuatiful noise. Apparently it was just as beautiful sounding as a western style church with all the electronics hooked up and it was only homemade instruments! So incredible! Josh had a great preaching and the men were so hungry for the word. The whole team had a great experience doing their respective ministries. Every evening was games night and this night was a special one since we got our first experience with another one of the girl’s favourite animal, a bat. They were screaming as it flew around the room and were hysterical as it flew above there heads before it left the room again. Hilarious moment for the guys.
On Friday, we got a little African surprise. The boys were supposed to be giving 2 trainings to different teams at the same time on Thursday. There had been some miscommunication and the trainer had expected us to be there the day before. So 10 minutes before leaving for training in the mornig, we found out we had to do two teams. We figured it out in the end and the boys ended up having a double training session but this time it was right in the heat of the day and they came back like fried pieces of bacon and super sunburnt. It was really nice training the boys and we’re hoping to have a dinner with them as well so that we can connect with them on a deeper level as we did with the girls. In the afternoon Steven, Josh, and Jonathan went to Amecet for a couple hours and helped set up a trampoline for the kids there. The girls had the same shift at Amecet and much to there delight, got to feed more cute little babies. They finished their shift early and joined up with John to go back to the women’s prison for their own prison service. The girls were singing and chanting and AY AY AY AYing as they were praising the Lord and it was such a new cultural experience. Think of a stereotypical African church, and then go beyond that and that’s what it was. It even included a random visitor coming in and sharing her testimony about her time earlier in the prison and a brother coming in to bless everyone and pray halfway through. Sarah and Geerte did a great job sharing their testimony. John did a 50 minute preaching similar to Josh and much to his dismay, there was a rotation of women breastfeeding during the whole service. He persevered and did a good job preaching to the 40 women there. The evening was rest time and we had another games/team bonding night accompanied by bats, lizards and LOTS of mosquitoes.
That brings us to today. We are all exhuasted from this first week here in Africa but super excited about all the experiences we have already had. Thankfully it’s our rest day and we will be going to a pool later to brown our pasty bodies and relax in the sun. The team has adapted well to the culture and the food is actually fantastic. No complaints or weird experiences so far. Although that may change as we found out another surprise on Thursday. We were supposed to be leaving to the refugee camp near South Sudan today but there wasn’t going to be too many ministry opportunities so instead we are going to be heading into the African wilderness on Tuesday to a local, unreached tribe. We’ve heard stories of witch doctors, ant-eating, leaf skirts, no toilets OR holes in the ground, just bushes and lots of naked people running around, so we are all super excited to head out there. Even the locals here say they themselves are African, but this tribe is AFRICAN. We think we will be there for 3 nights but you never know with the surprises here. Tomorrow we will also be performing our drama for 200 people and one of us will be doing a preaching and another doing a testimony for a local church of about 50 members. That’s about all we have planned so far and we’ll try to keep the updates coming.
We love and miss you guys, some of us had our first feelings of home-sickness but everyone has responded well to the culture shock. Pray for us as we go to the unreached that we are safe and can have lots of minstry opportunites and that we continue to grow in unity as a team and individually as we step out in leadership roles here. Also pray for Geerte as she is not feeling very well and she is struggling to eat and drink. Tot ziens iedereen! Wij houden van jullie. See you later everyone, we love you all!
17 december 2016 13:08 | Door: Dienet
Lieve Geerte en team Uganda,
Wat super om jullie uitgebreide verslag te lezen.
Fijn om te lezen hoe jullie daar zoveel van Gods liefde kunnen laten zien en dat jullie hiervan mogen getuigen. Heel veel liefs en zegen toegewenst en beterschap voor Geerte!
We blijven voor jullie bidden.
Sietze en Dienet
17 december 2016 15:03 | Door: Wendy van der Kuur
Praying for Geerte who is sick. Proud of Team Uganda.
18 december 2016 00:17 | Door: Francis Bruining
You are doing amazing work. And having a great time by the sounds of it. Make the most of your time and enjoy yourselves
19 december 2016 14:20 | Door: Sharon Heiligenberg
Great to read these stories guys!! Super cool. Be blessed and i'll pray along :). Xx
20 december 2016 12:10 | Door: Anne
What an adventure guys! Great to hear you are going for it and stepping out already so much in week 1/2.
Glad your having fun as well, keep enjoying!
27 december 2016 18:11 | Door: jack ooms
Dapper hoor om die dikke kalkoen te strikken.