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Reisverslag Blog 11 - Bye Bye Aussies
3 februari 2017
Blog 11 - Bye Bye Aussies
On Friday morning it was a little bit sad because Mirjam was no longer with us but it was also an exciting time as it was our last day of new ministries. In the morning after breakfast we headed to SWAR which is a ministry in a nearby town for women-at-risk. It is a ministry set-up by a mother for women who had worked in prostitution and were trying to get rehabilitation to get out. It is situated in a town which is one of the main thorough-fares for the trading in East Africa and is a huge trucking hot spot. Because of this, there are a lot of women who come here to sell their bodies willingly to earn some extra money for their families since there are so many clients available. It was started as a ministry by one mother and she started with one client and then it progressed into a permanent place to stay for women seeking rehabilitation. The women go through a yearly rehabilitation process of 6 months of recovery and healing through a program similar to alcoholics anonymous and then 6 months of learning skills and trades for integrating back into the world without prostitution. Now when we arrived at the house they were having a little church service and the 10 women and staff were singing and dancing in their native language and they asked one of us to give a short message of encouragement to them. Jonah stepped up to the plate to give a short preaching to them and the women really connected with his message. After that they had a coffee break and served us delicious African milk tea and Samosas, both of which we were having for the first time here on outreach and both were super delicious. After that we split into 3 groups of two and each group had a conversation with 3 or 4 women. As we talked with them in a more personal setting, they began to open up about their histories and their stories were crazy! Some of them were forced into prostitution as young girls (13-14) and had been raped and abused every single night for years, one girl was 25 and had her first child at 12, and many had given alcohol to their kids as soon as they were born so that they would go to bed and the women could continue in the night doing their business. But it was amazing to see how open they were in sharing their stories and to see how much that Jesus had healed their hearts. These women now had dreams of having their own business, working in churches, and all having their own jobs. When asked for prayer request many of them said that they just want to be closer to Jesus and wanted to speak in tongues and it was just crazy to see the healing process and how far they had come in 6 months. We headed back for lunch on a very positive note and wanting to come back and spend more one-on-one time with them. Even though we thought SWAR would be really heavy and not our favourite ministry, it ended up being one of the best yet! After lunch we headed out for door2door evangelism around the base. It was another really positive experience and Stephen and Geerte were able to lead a young man to Christ, John and Sarah were able to encourage a mother and son and challenge them to go deeper in their faith and also bring emotional healing to a mother who had been out of work for a year. Josh also managed to have a very good conversation with a family as well. It was a very positive and great day of ministry. John also had the opportunity to lead today and it was a great experience for him and it went quite well.
Saturday morning wasn’t Sarah’s favourite morning so far. In the night she woke up to 5 mice running around her room and mice aren’t her favourite animals either, so of course, the only rational thing to do was to freak-out, have a 2-hour conversation in the middle of the night with people back home of what to do to get rid of the mice and she ended up sleeping in the living room on the couch. On top of that she HATES mornings and we had a scheduled prayer and worship time on top of this monkey mountain to watch the sunrise so we had to be up at 5:30 AM. It was a rough time for Sarah to say the least haha. But the team all got up and began their 45 minute hike up Monkey Mountain to watch the sunrise. (Only John and Jonah saw monkeys unfortunately.) We got to the top eventually and in time for the sunrise and it was very beautiful up at the top watching the red sun coming up and shining over the lake in the distance. We had a great time of worship and intercession to kick off the day in the presence of God’s beautiful creation. After worship time, Jonah decided he was going to be like a monkey and climb a tree but then he had a sudden realization that he couldn’t get back down! So like a scared little cat, the fire brigade of Stevie, Josh and John came to the rescue to get the little guy out of the tree safely. Poor Jonah. We headed back down with a large appetite and had a great dinner and some of us even snuck in a little snooze to recover before the afternoon. We encountered one of the first real mix-ups in the afternoon as we were scheduled to have a chat with the teens at the Village of Hope to encourage them and then have a soccer ministry right after. But lunch was an hour late so we were half an hour late for the talks with the youth and we found out we couldn’t use the soccer field down the road for training and we had to use the local grass grounds in the village for 4 teams! We had everything all set-up and planned and we had to really improvise and work around the issues but it all ended up going really well. We went with the flow and discussed as a team and ended up figuring things out and things went swimmingly. John was in charge for today as well and it wasn’t his fault, it was just some miscommunication on the other end but it didn’t have any large effect on the outcome of the day. And his leadership was still positively received by the team. Back at the base where the team was staying things were getting very, very busy with the Australian team. The Aussie Open for tennis was going on so they were going crazy about that because it was being held in their own town. It was beneficial in one sense having the Aussie team there because there were more people to play games with and it brought more life but it meant our times to ourselves weren’t as restful and we were looking forward to having the base to ourselves again.
On Sunday morning we went to the same church as we went to the week before and Jonah gave a really good message on Jesus being the Bread of Life. It also started relatively on time (10:15)! There were a bunch of solos done by various people and we had the revelation that Africans just love to sing and listen to others sing even if they aren’t very talented. Jonah’s message was delivered well and he did a great job and after his message there were not 1, not 2, but 3 altar calls by 3 different people. Nobody raised their hands the first time but just in case they changed their minds in the next 10 mins, 2 other people had to ask just in case! No wonder everyone here in Africa is a Christian, they have 3 altar calls a week and they use the attacking gospel by saying you are going to hell if you don’t accept Jesus right now as your Lord and Saviour. It is all very intense. But in spite of the altar calls, we were finished the service by 12:30, a God-given miracle! An African service under 3 hours! What a blessing! In the afternoon it was the Australian Open final so the Australian team went into town to watch the game and finish their souvenir shopping as it was their last day in Africa. Roger Federer, who is Swiss, was in the Aussie Open final and spoiler alert, he won! Sarah was more excited and screamed louder than an African woman screaming in the Church praising Jesus or when Geerte sees a cockroach! It was a pretty exciting moment for Sarah. In the afternoon we headed back to the Village of Hope to hang-out with the children and go to the Aussie’s departure service. It actually was quite a nuisance because it was scheduled to start at 2 and the Aussies were in town for so long and ended up not showing up until after 5. They were 3 hours late to their own party. But the party still was fantastic and the children did their traditional African dancing with hips shaking and moving and traditional feathered costumes moving in a mesmerizing display. It was very impressive and we also discovered that some of the Australians have an incredible singing voice we were not expecting, a lot of talent on that team. It also started to POUR rain for the first time since we had arrived in Uganda, like tropical rainstorm, torrential down pour kind of rain. The Australian team said their goodbyes and in the evening the Australian team went crazy with food and games and movies since it was their last night here in Africa. Not the easiest to try and sleep to but they would be gone by the time we woke up in the morning!
Ahhh peaceful bliss! The Australian team was gone when we woke up but unfortunately they left a pretty big mess behind but it was still nice to have the base to ourselves still. In the morning we were supposed to visit the YWAM base down the road and visit for base worship but breakfast was a bit late and we didn’t want to disturb the base worship by arriving late. Instead we had a really good team time with worship and intercession and were able to encourage one another, always a good thing for the team. We had the rest of the morning off and the boys went to pick up their laundry from the mothers in the Village who will wash it for a small fee which is nice because they can wash better than machines and it supports them and takes some work away from us! When the boys got to the village, we found out that the mothers washed the backpack which Stevie brought all of his close in, without his asking! His bloody backpack! It was very impressive and all of our whites were white again! After getting over our astonishment, we had football ministry and this time we decided to break the older boys team a part from the other teams and have a separate training for them. The format worked well but the boys and girls from the village just aren’t super interested in bettering themselves for football and they don’t have a lot of enthusiasm. It still was a good training session and the talks afterward went really well and we also learned a lot about how to approach the trainings for the future. And wow, it was fantastic at the base the whole day, peace and quiet!
Things are going very well here and we are still loving all of the blessings of Jinja, especially now that it’s quieter. We’ve really been able to see God working in people’s lives and we’ve also seen the pain and suffering that is still in this world first hand. It has been a very powerful week so far and we are looking forward to returning to all of our ministries to build upon wat we have already done. The team is doing well now and the sickness of Stevie and John has disappeared so you can pray that it remains that way. We officially have less than 3 weeks of ministry left. Time is flying by! Love you all!
4 februari 2017 18:39 | Door: Elwin and Helen
We really enjoy hearing about your trip every step of the way.