Wow! We have been really busy the last couple days! On Monday we visited the Bidi-biddi refugee camp. I felt we had been really well prepared for this visit, as everyone who heard that we were going to the refugee camp gave us all kinds of advice for the visit.
A man named Mickey was our host for this ministry, and he came and picked us up from VTC in the morning. The adventure began about half an hour into the drive, when Mickey’s car got a very flat tire before we even left the town of Arua and we waited on the side of the road for about an hour while people worked on fixing it. Finally, we decided to all pile into the vehicle Rolf was driving, while Mickey would follow when his car was fixed. This was an entertaining drive, as we packed ten people into a vehicle that would have been cozy with eight. Nathan sat in the very small trunk with the guitar, and Lindsey sat on Gabi’s lap, and then we all fit!
After two hours of driving down a dusty, bumpy road, we made it to St. Paul’s School in the camp. The children were singing their welcome song for us before we even stepped into their classrooms. We sang some songs and performed a skit for them, and after greeting all the adults and a lot of the children, we left to visit a church that was also in the camp.
This was an inspiring church! Before we had even stopped the car, the church was singing their welcome song, clapping, and playing instruments for us! So we joined the welcome dance and went with the flow as they led us into the church with a processional, complete with leafy branches underfoot and a banner overhead. In the church we sang for them, Rolf gave a word of encouragement, and then they sang for us! After the formalities, they brought out food and tea for us, which none of us wanted to take, because this was food they would have had to sell some of their rations for, and none of them were eating. But we were reminded that they would have been very hurt if we had not accepted their gift and so we ate it, feeling very humbled at their generosity, even in the midst of their tough circumstances.
So here, in the refugee camp, we felt again the very welcoming attitude that people have greeted us with all over Uganda. We felt so blessed to be part of the family of God in another country, and extremely humbled and challenged as we thought about what situation they were in and the way they were still so joyful and welcoming to visitors.
Some ways to pray for us:
- Energy as we have been going without many breaks for a long time already and still have more ministry to go
- Our village homestay which is coming up this Friday-Saturday
- The churches in the refugee camps as they still gather to worship and praise God after all the things they have gone through and the challenges they still live with
Thank you all so much for praying! We appreciate so much knowing that we have a community behind us in prayer as we serve and learn in Uganda.