From Chris Russell:
Today we headed out on the most amazing journey to visit the orphans of Bupoto and Bugobero. Before our start we drove into town as most adventures in Uganda begin, to buy supplies, get gas and pick up more Africans! When Kirk from Seaside Church in California realized we’d have 15 people in a 10 person van he offered to get another vehicle. We did not realize how truly thankful we would be for that gesture.
As we set off on our 4 hour journey into the mountains of Uganda it was hard to forget God was with us. No words can express the beauty and wonder we saw on this ride. For most of this trip we drove along the mountainside on a road fit for only one car. The view was breathtaking with lush valleys of green groves, modest homesteads where people and children greeted us with smiles and hello’s as if they had been waiting for us to arrive for years. The hillside was filled with banana and coffee trees and if your mind began to wonder you’d think you were on a secluded island in the tropics.
We arrived at Pastor Issah’s in Bugobero. The church was very modest as all of these churches here are. No matter how modest, the village people were so proud to have us there. Chris Russell’s orphan Allen lived in this village and she was able to see her again after meeting her last year. The team gave the children mosquito nets, shoes, teddy bears and goats. The children and elders were very thankful to everyone and as it began to rain we said our good-byes and continued on our journey.
The next part of our journey took us to the highest mountain in Bupoto. As we climbed the hills we realized that visitors were very far and few between in this area. As we continued we did not know we had reached our final destination until we heard the songs of the children on the hill. As we looked up we could see them dancing and jumping and singing. It was so overwhelming you could not help but weep. This place was so magestic, so spiritual that you knew only our heavenly Father could create such an amazing place. When we exited the van the people and children continued to sing louder and louder for their thanks and love for Jesus.
We entered their church and the pastor read us a formal greeting and introduced all of the people who work in the church. From there Elizabeth introduced each of us and with every introduction they praised each of us. Ken Jensen was able to visit his orphan Becca who was very happy to see him. We gave out our gifts to the orphans and mingled with the villagers while the Hope 4 Kids team filmed a video. They served us a feast that was equivalent to a Thanksgiving dinner and we headed on our journey home.
The trip home took us on another route which included more warm curbside welcomes. We came upon a bridge that was falling down and had the village children not stopped us we may have attempted to cross. We took another route down a very rural road.
After this long journey which easily could have been exhausting and tiresome, the only thing we could say when we returned to the hotel was “Amazing, praise be to God!”
Debbie Murphy gave a wedding dress to Jane, Wilber’s wife and as she gave it to her, Jane held it to her face and said “how blessed am I that I can behold something so beautiful that I am only able to see it in pictures”.