Sunday, June 24, 2007

Traveling on ...

Friends and Family,

I have just risked my life to send this email. :) The Archbishop lives a short distance out of the city. I walked to the end of his road and caught a boda (motorcycle taxi) to the Internet Cafe, which is at the far end of Mukono. I think I need to buy a helmet to use here. I keep thinking I will quit riding bodas, but then I need to go somewhere and they are convenient.

I meant to mention one more thing about my day at Namirembe Primary. One of our favorite young administrators, Henry, (Director of Students) has agreed to work with Libraries of Love. He will pay visits to our six libraries to make sure students have access to the books, the organizational system is working, etc. There definitely isn't anyone we could have found that is more qualified. We have talked about having Henry work with us for a couple years now. This year, since there are now six libraries, we decided it was time. Henry, Damallie, and I talked about having all the librarians meet at Namirembe every other month as a support system for each other. With Damallie, our librarian, and Henry heading the meetings we are sure they will be successful. I am quite excited about this addition to our team.

I talked to Livingstone and he insisted I must come for a visit to Mukono. I took a taxi and then spent some time at the orphanage in the afternoon. Most of the children were at school for a sports day. There were fifteen of the younger ones left (12 of those are blind). I played my accordion and sang songs with them. They love to feel of and push keys on the accordion to hear the sounds. They were excited because they had just received a donation of 10 matresses, blankets, and sheets for the newest ten blind children. In my heart, I was hoping that the others also had new things. The children's shoes were in tatters - not just filthy, but truly falling apart. I wish I were wealthy and could make everything perfect for all the wonderful children in which I come in contact.

In the evening, Ruth, Livingstone's wife, came and sat with me for a couple hours in my room. I was honored that she felt comfortable enough to share the story of their son Martin. Martin died last year of lukemia. He was in his ealy 30s and living in Colorado. I don't think Ruth would mind my sharing a few details, as it is such a testament to Martin's faith. As he was dying, Martin waved his hand to his aunt and mother and said, "I will see you in heaven." They each then held one of this hands, and along with his minister, said the Lord's Prayer as Martin died. The story was heartbreaking. Ruth and I were both in tears. If one is to die though, what a great way to spend your last moments - sure of where you are going, with those you love, and hearing a prayer given by God. Martin is buried behind the orphanage. They intend to build a school or church on the grounds to honor him.

The busy Archbishop was scheduled to be in a church in Kampala and Ruth is caring for a friend who just had a baby. I opted to remain in Mokono, go to church, and relax. I went to Livingstone and Ruth's local Anglican church. It is a beautiful, medium size, brick building with some stained glass windows and a peaked ceiling. The music reminded me of Wilber's (minus the dancing) :) vibrating and soaring into your heart. It was the first time I have heard 'What a Friend we have in Jesus,' sang in two parts (echoed). Part of the church sang - What a Friend....then the remainder of the church began with What a Friend ... etc. It was beautiful! One funny note: They sang a song I have heard before: 'Jesus is a soul winner. Satan is a Loser.' However, Ugandans pronounce winner as wiener. So the song says: Jesus is a soul wiener - a wiener - a wiener. One can't keep from smiling as they sing.

I sat by a young college student. When the priest started to read the scripture, it was from the Old Testament. The young man only had a small New Testament. I shared my Bible with him and then gave it to him to keep. He was thrilled, grinning from ear to ear.

At home, we usually have several Bibles and devotional books. Here they are precious, as they are quite expensive and many can't afford them. This year, thanks to the choir at Great Hills Baptist Church, First Baptist Church at Georgetown, plus many individuals, we were able to create a teachers section in each library containing many devotional books and Bibles for those who wish to read them.

I had a text message yesterday from Jackson, a member of Wilber's church. He had picked up three boxes and two sachels from me at Herb and Ellen's home. Included in these were many library supplies, gifts for students (such as pencils, sharpeners, etc), Bibles, etc. Jackson spent the night in Kampala and it seems someone picked the lock on his trunk and went through our things. I understand there are some things left, but am not sure what. I will find out when I go to Mbale.

Staying at Livingstone's is like staying at a luxury hotel. I could get used to this. :) It is a beautiful home with beautiful landscaping, and a staff to cook your meals. How nice is that!

It probably means it is time for me to get back to the real world, but it has been nice to rest.

Thanks for your prayers. All is well in Uganda!

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