July 9, 2011—New Ground
(This update comes a day late due to no internet at our hotel in Lira)
Today we moved into a new area of Uganda to the northwest of Mbale. Lira is a city of several thousand. We made the four-hour trip across country, which was green with agriculture, forest, grassy pastures and tall trees. The country supports many small villages that have both huts and structures. Like a picture from a book, out-croppings of rock rise out of the fields like massive castles standing guard over the plains. The crops included casaba, sweet potato, maize (corn), banana groves, and groundnuts (peanuts) all staples of the diet. We bumped along for most of the trip as the highway system is either under construction, bumpy, not paved, or nonexistent.
We arrived at Lira about 2:00 and after a quick lunch we made the trip to the church to find several hundred people waiting, some for of the most of the day. We were immediately mobbed with many hugs and greetings, smiling mamas, loving bright eyed children, and servant hearted Godly men. We handed out dresses, shirts, tracks, and everything we brought even the empty bags were collected. Conditions were hot and crowded with people pushing each other aside to get the supplies. We also brought food, a most needed resource. Each family from the church got 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of beans that may not sound like a lot to us but these folks are very needy. We also had a time of greeting and fellowship. We arrived back at our lodgings hot, tired, and sweaty but so enriched by the love and warmth of the people we met.
On a serious note, please pray for our team. Tomorrow we will minister in the worship and Sunday school time at the Lira church. Please pray that we will be able to overcome the language barrier. Pray that we are an example of Jesus love. Pray that our words and our thoughts will be totally centered on him. Kathie Hartzog not only hurt her back on Monday but she is ill tonight with a bug. We pray that God will heal her for the services tomorrow. Please pray for her healing.
We close tonight humbled by the sights we have seen. The outpouring of God’s love moves us to tears as God continues to show us how much He loves us through these humble people who are waiting to hear the Good News.