It’s a long journey from the west coast of Canada to Uganda. Spent 30 hours hopping planes via Vancouver, Montréal, London, and finally touching down in Entebbe close to midnight. The air was cool and the streets mercifully quiet as Micah drove me back to his house on the outskirts of Kampala. “Welcome, welcome back to Uganda,” he said.
His home is on a hillside just below the Bahai Temple…. When I was last here in 2007 I wandered up the corrugated red clay road to visit the site. A quite imposing structure with nothing much in it when you enter. Sort of sums up what it believes and represents…. All pathways lead to God but nothing is defined; anyway won’t get sidetracked. I was escorted to a new guesthouse Micah has built…. Very private and comfortable with cool marble floors and airflow through open vents…. The weather here is never cold…. merely variations of warm to hot. As I write this I’m sitting on the covered veranda on Friday morning with a clear sky and a gentle breeze.
Last night it was wonderful to have the long flight behind me and to try to sleep with the familiar sounds of Africa filling the night air. Beetles are the most common feature, distant traffic and lots of stillness. Uganda is in the tropics and the vegetation is lush and fertile. Avocados drip from the branches in the garden and mangos and other fruits grow like weeds. This morning l sat in the sun and across the fence in a field scribbled and scrunched in random strokes of organic green by the over-the-top artist that God is, a woman quietly and methodically hoed and cleared a patch of ground for the next planting.
I surveyed the scene and received a very cool prophetic word for Micah and his church which I will share with him and you later.
I have a rest day today and then will speak at a gathering of men tomorrow – Saturday. Breakfast was served by the maid Justine who is the same age as my daughter Carmen. “I have worked here for two years,” she told me. “To get to my village I have to take the bus for 6 hours and then a taxi for another hour.” “Do you like working here?” I asked. “Life is hard, I don’t earn much. I have a daughter who is five and my sister said she could live with her so I can go to the city to work. I try and get back to see her whenever I can – but it’s not often.” I asked what she earned and shook my head at the response. I knew immediately that I have to give her an outrageous financial gift before I leave (to be honest, not much from my perspective but a huge blessing for her and her daughter). To be able to be generous and bless is such a wonderful privilege and joy – there’s nothing like it! And it wasn’t over……
I retreated to reading Corinthians on the veranda when I heard footsteps crunching on the gravel. Standing before me was Sula…. the man who looks after the property doing odd jobs came up to greet me. I recognized him from my last visit. “How are you?” I enquired. “I am well, how is Canada?” Later he was raking leaves and I noticed his t-shirt and laughed – it said, “Why can’t I be rich,” jn large letters followed by, “instead of just good looking” in smaller font. Have to take a photograph.
Sula posed with pride and then proceeded to tell me how he coaches soccer – the teams ranging from thirteen to adult. “Come, I’ll show you the field,” he beckoned. We wound our way around the garden fence, across some overgrown land to a rustic soccer field with goal posts fashioned from saplings. “We practice most afternoons after four,” he said. On our way back he mentioned the fact that the team has a uniform but no one has shoes. Perhaps I was getting another opportunity to share my wealth and Jesus’ loving generosity – I‘ll be exploring the possibility of adorning those bare feet that nevertheless still work magic with a soccer ball. Russell Crowe may be spending millions buying an English soccer team – but this is way better!