Sunday, November 19, 2006

Random Thoughts from Uganda

I’ve been on the ground in Uganda for 48 hours and going full steam from the get go. Unfortunately my brother, Mark, has only been on the ground for 24 hours as mechanical problems made him miss our Brussels flight by 15 minutes. More mechanical problems nearly made him miss the next flight too.

He’s here now and it’s great to have Mark with me on this trip. He and Adam Langford have hit it off well and we’re really enjoying hanging out together. Adam is obviously doing great work here.

Some random thoughts from my first 48 hours in Uganda….

I don’t miss jet lag. My body pretty much stopped functioning around 8 p.m. last night Uganda time. It’s now 3:30 a.m. and I’m rarin to go.

Uganda is not rarin to go as it is dark, quiet and peaceful. I miss the quiet peaceful moments that come much more naturally in Uganda than America.

It’s definitely rainy season in Uganda. The green tropical surroundings are amazing.

My African allergies are alive and well. I wonder if Ugandans think my eyes are always red and puffy.

I miss Briley, Easton, Tyler and McKensey.

Jinja Church asked me to preach. Preaching without much preparation but with jet lag and a bad case of allergies is always an interesting combination. It’s those times I give up trying to preach a great sermon on my own and let God. I believe He did. I was surprised when my emotions got the best of me and I teared up in front of the 50 or so people.

I preached from Ephesians 4 on community, the importance of relationships, and “making every effort” to encourage and keep the bond of peace with each other. For me and this trip, I’m convinced that taking time to just show up in Jinja is the effort I needed to make to reconnect with such important relationships I have here. My Ugandan friends encourage me so much and their smiles, hugs, and handshakes have let me know they’re also encouraged.

I looked around Jinja Church and was pleased at the strong faith and community I have with several of my closest friends. Richard & Idah, Moses and Irene, Alice, Ronald and Lazarus (and more) are all producing great fruit through their ministries / lives. I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that most of these are the people that for about five years we spent nearly every day of our lives together working at The Source. It reinforces in me the value of relational ministry. It also reinforces in me that serving the community through a Christ-centered business is a great way to deepen Christian relationships and develop whole people. The spiritual, physical, emotional and educational aspects of life are all important and I’m glad that The Source and Jinja town ministry provides for all of those.

Mark, Adam and I had lunch with Moses and Irene and their four children. I was laughing with them that five years ago they were childless and now they have four! The oldest, Jared, is about 10 and is an AIDS orphan. He is Moses and Irene’s nephew.

AIDS continues its march to wipe out a generation here in Uganda. The good news is that there is now free ARV treatment for those suffering the worst. Unfortunately it’s too late for so many Ugandans. I have heard account after account of church members and their family members who have died from AIDS the past few years or are dying from AIDS right now. Moses and Irene have a brother-in-law on his death bed right now.

We spent Sunday afternoon in the village of Kyabirwa visiting my good friend Manda Wilson and his family. They are also great leaders in this church movement leading by service and a seemingly unshakable faith in God. They moved to Kyabirwa to help oversee the property owned by the church and which the land is designed to produce coffee and livestock (pigs, goats and more) to provide for the sustainability of Basoga Bible School. Manda is the Assistant Director of BBS. The former caretaker of the land, Charles, died of AIDS a couple of years ago and the property has largely been unattended and uncared for since he became sick. Manda’s wife, Sarah, generously provided us a good meal of sweet potatoes and beef.

We ended the day by seeing God’s incredible power at Bujagali Falls on the Nile River. There continues to be a lot of economic development in this area because of the Nile River. It is known for its world class rafting and kayaking. South African firms are building up an impressive tourism base here. That only helps the success of The Source. We sat by the river to wind down and reflect on a good and full day.

The on the ground Jinja team continues to impress me. The Langford, Bogles and Manry’s are incredibly talented while serving so humbly. They were appreciative of our small groups at Memorial Drive buying their lunch Saturday.

Today, Monday, will be another busy day. We’ll spend as much time as we can at The Source. I want to reconnect with as many Ugandan friends as possible. Mark is excited to drink freshly picked and roasted coffee at The Source and to meet people. Adam and I will make our third trip in four days to the airport in Entebbe (on average a 3 hour one way trip) and the three of us will end the day sleeping in Kigali, Rwanda.

More from there….


At 7:05 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

Clint: so glad to hear that all four feet of the Davis crew have finally arrived safely in Uganda. I love to hear your heart opening up from a country that you love so dearly. Oh to be sitting with you at the source, oh to hear the sounds of the falls, oh to hear your cell phone in a mud hut in the middle of nowhere, oh to sip a cappucino from the source, oh to hear the Ugandans of the Jinja church worship and celebrate an awesome God, oh to visit the villages and to meet the faces of the people that I had only read about in your reports. I really wish that I could be there with you and your brother. I am so happy to hear that he is getting to experience what you love so dearly. I look forward to reading more on your blog..........Thanks for the update and know that you and all of the happenings in Jinja and Rwanda are being lifted up before the throne of God. I love you my brother - -Shawn

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Reading this post takes me back to the summer of 2000, when I was blessed to not only meet, but to live with you and your family. It is amazing to think that some of my summer "teammates" (the Langfords) are back in Jinja full time.
I look forward to reading more posts from your trip and hope to find some time to chat when we are in T-town at Xmas.
Grace and peace,
P.S. Tell the Langford boys hello for me.
P.P.S. If you bring back any java from the Source, I would love to snag some!

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mark!
We sure do miss you and can not wait to speak with you again Thanksgiving morning. Jacob found a great fuse ball table! We've been having lots of fun with it. Max goes hog wild hearing us play & scream.
Weather has been good, and all is well in Colorado. We are very excited about your amazing adventure and all the neat people you are meeting along the way.
We love you. Kathleen

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey brothers!

Good thing you guys did not invite me because it would have been painful to say no ... We are pulling out for Bartlesville where the Turkey Bowl will have to go on without you ... I will handle your parts of the Turkey also ... and Murphy's ... Looking forward to the days when we can all 3 travel together ... We love you and will say a prayer that God will work in expected and unexpected ways during this trip ... Brooks and Family

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Clint said...

Brooks and Shawn, you know it's an automatic invite every time for you guys.

Eric, I'll tell Adam hey for you. He's doing great here.

Kathleen, I'm going to try and get Mark to post his thoughts. He's doing great. Thanks for sharing him.

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Clint and Mark - Greeting from another rainy place - Washington. So fun to hear of your trip and all the things you are doing. So glad you made the trip safely and sorry Mark for all the mech problems. Your persistence won out however! Reading about the Source and all the places we remember brings back those good memories of our trip. We will be thinking of you both, will pray for your safety and great things you are doing. We need to get with you when you get back on some of that coffee. Seattle is such a coffee town they are always glad to try something new! We love you, Dad and Janet


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