Nov
2004

09
Uganda Team Update – Friday, November 5 – Part 2
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Friday, November 5

Our internet access from Uganda has been extremely challenging, so expect delays and gaps in our reports. We would covet your prayers for this connection to free up so we can let you know in a timely manner about the awesome things that God is doing through this journey.Friday, November 5

Yesterday was a great way for us to put into practice the old Russian proverb that Tom has shared with so many of the mission teams that he has led. The proverb is, “The reed that doesn’t bend in the wind gets cut off by the sickle.” The moral of that proverb is that it’s always important to be flexible, because you never know what’s going to change the plans that you’ve made. Countless delays along the way caused our 5-hour bus ride from the Entebbe Airport to the city of Tororo to become an 8 ½ hour journey.

At the airport, we were met by some of our Ugandan friends, who greeted us with such joy when they arrived to pick us up. Because the church’s van had broken down on its way to the airport to come get all of our luggage, we had to load a portion of the luggage onto the bus, and then load the rest onto a van that had quickly been rented so it could carry the rest of the luggage back to where the other van was being repaired. Because the van was not yet running when we got back to it, we spent quite awhile at the gas station across the street waiting for the repairs to be completed, which gave us an awesome opportunity to meet some of the local children who came to see the “mzungu” (white people). Once the luggage was loaded from one van to the other, we were off again, this time heading toward Jinja, where we would then be transferring onto the rented bus with the new driver that would take us the rest of the way to Tororo. When Pastor Wilbur and his team had arrived in Jinja earlier in the afternoon to acquire the bus and driver that were to come to the airport to get us, he learned that they had not yet returned from their previous job, so Pastor had to hire a temporary bus until our other one would be available. So when we arrived in Jinja in the evening, we needed to take all the luggage from the back of the bus and pass it through the window from one bus to the other to load up for the remaining journey.

What a wonderful treat when we drove past the section of highway where we would stop alongside the road and buy chicken-on-a-stick, which they passed through our windows so we would eat on our journey. The chicken is skewered onto a wooden stick and then roasted over an open flame and sold to the travelers that pass through this area. The seasoning on this chicken is incredibly delicious, and for those of us who have been a part of the Uganda team in the past, our mouths were watering in anticipation for this scrumptious delicacy. We rode merrily along, munching on our chicken and then feasting on the roasted bananas that we had purchased as well.

The heavy traffic we were driving through came to a complete halt as it all had to work its way around a serious traffic accident that had occurred miles ahead of us. It was unnerving to see the remnants of the accident that was being cleaned up, and many of us prayed quietly for those who were involved in this tragedy.

It was after midnight when we arrived at the Rock Classic Hotel, where we were greeted by a weary but very welcoming staff, who not only helped us carry all our things to our rooms, but also had a delicious supper waiting for us. We can hardly wait for morning, when we will finally go to the village and begin our time with these people we’ve been hearing so much about.

 

Nov
2004

05
Uganda Team Update – Friday, November 5
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We arrived in Nairobi late on Wednesday night, in time to learn that Kerry had conceded and Bush won the election. We now pray that our country will once again unite and will stand behind our leaders as they tackle the pressing issues that face them during these challenging times.

Yesterday (Thursday), most of the team went on a safari and experienced the delight of God’s creation. They saw amazing birds, water buffalo, warthogs, zebras, a pride of lions and even a leopard.

While they were enjoying the safari, several other team members went into a marketplace in Nairobi and enjoyed the afternoon conversing with the merchants there. So many people were curious about how we felt about the election and wanted to know who we had voted for and why. It was a great thing for them to see how pleased we are with our democratic system as they realized that we were free to vote for who we wanted. Some of them were incredulous that family members wouldn’t all be voting for the same candidate!

In the evening, we all gathered together for our first meal as a team, experiencing such delights as beef, mutton, pork, chicken, goat, camel and crocodile (crocodile was our least favorite item!)

We are so excited to be heading to Uganda today, where we will finally get to see our friends from the village. Our journey today includes a one-hour flight and a five-hour bus ride, so we won’t be arriving in Tororo until late this evening. Tomorrow is when we begin our work, and we can hardly wait!

 

Nov
2004

03
Uganda Team Update – Nov 3, 2004
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My name is Michelle Halonen, and I’m the Director of Missions at Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Arizona. My husband, Joe, and I have been traveling with Hope 4 Kids International for a number of years, and for the next two weeks, I will be sharing some of the stories and pictures we have been experiencing as a team during this mission journey to Uganda. Joe and I were part of the July Uganda mission team, and we were so blessed by that experience that we knew within days of returning to the United States that God was calling us to be part of this November outreach as well. That decision was affirmed over these past few months as a number of projects have blossomed into a marvelous outpouring of mercy, as people from our community have responded to send aid to the village of UCI, just outside of Tororo. It’s a blessing and a joy to be their ambassador, to bring this touch of God’s love to these villagers and let them know that people on the other side of the world care about them.

Our team, which is made up of folks from Arizona, Florida, California, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee and Wisconsin, all met in Phoenix yesterday morning for our early-morning flight to Detroit, then on to Amsterdam, and now on to Nairobi, Kenya, where we’ll spend the next day before heading to Tororo, Uganda. We are made up of all ages, ranging from teenage to retired people, several pastors, a dentist, a cop, some city workers, business people, lay leaders from churches, a full-time student and a full-time mom. It’s an eclectic group with a common desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a place that needs a touch of His love.

Thank you for your prayers for this team. For some, it was hard to leave home because of little kids that are already tugging at our heartstrings and situations that caused some of us to feel torn about leaving. Your prayers for our families are as vital as your prayers for our mission, and we are so blessed knowing that there are so many prayer warriors interceding for us and for the concerns of our hearts.

Please know that our internet connections won’t always be reliable, and unfortunately, won’t allow us the opportunity to print out any emails that you send. If you have a message that you desperately want to relay to a team member (they will only have one or two opportunities to get to the internet café, and it may or may not be working when they do), you could send them to me at mihalonen@aol.com. However, do remember that I won’t be able to print those out, so keep your message very brief, as I would just be writing down your name and a brief description of your message.

Do not be alarmed if the updates are sporadic…again, it’s because of the primitive opportunities to send out information. We’ll do the best we can to let you follow along on our journey and experience the joy of getting to know these amazing people of UCI, Uganda.

 
 
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Hope 4 Kids International is 501c3 faith-based non-profit committed to help children around the world that are suffering from extreme poverty through Dignity, Health, Joy & Love.

www.hope4kidsinternational.org

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