Well I'm finally here! I must say the trip here went about as bad as it could. I ended up missing my connection flight in London and having a ten hour layover. Instead of coming straight to Entebbe they had to reroute me to Dubai. The airport in Dubai was so big it took us 50 minutes just to taxi, then we had to take a 15 minute bus ride back to the transfer terminal. Needless to say I would have missed my connection flight there if they had not delayed the plane. From there I flew to Ethiopia and then last but not least Entebbe. At this point in my trip I was very discouraged. I had now been in and out of airports and on planes for almost 3 days and I just wanted to get to Uganda. Every thought about missing home crossed my mind, missing people, missing showers, and missing solid food. Not to mention I had not been able to sleep on the plane at all nor did I sleep the night before I left.
I spent the plane ride from Ethiopia to Entebbe in prayer. I prayed for God to continue to give me encouragement and to rid these thoughts out of my mind. It was in this moment that I heard him say, "O my son, when did I ever say this would be easy??" I started to be reminded of scripture and in particular Matthew 16:24-25. Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." I had to come to the hard realization that this wasn't going to be easy. That when Jesus talked about taking up our cross he was not talking about a comfortable thing. He wanted us to die to self will and embrace God's will no matter what the cost. This was a tough concept to grasp, but on the other side of it I found God's grace. It was there in that moment that my weakness made Him stronger! It was in my despair that God was able to grow me right there on that plane and give me peace in knowing that what I came here to do was for His glory, and had nothing to do with me.
As soon as I stepped off the plane in Entebbe an overwhelming sense of peace swept over me. I know longer was thinking about what else could go wrong, but was thinking thank you Lord for allowing me to serve you in this place. I haven't experienced a peace like this since Papau New Guinea, which was the trip that saved my life. As I was walking from the plane to the airport I could see Patrick jumping in the window waving his Kentucky blue baseball cap (thanks Jon) with a huge smile on his face. It was there in that moment I knew I was home. I knew that God would provide as he always had and I just needed to trust in Him and continue to be obedient. I ended up with only one of my two bags, but at this point I didn't even care. I was too excited and relieved to finally be here doing what God called me to do.
My first few days in Uganda have been incredible. I have been able to experience the city of Kampala, an African worship service, and all the beans and rice a man could eat! I have already been able to establish friendships I know will last an eternity. One night Patrick and I were able to sneak off and catch the Chelsea soccer game at a local restaurant and find a little rest and relaxation. As much as I miss everyone back home, it has been simple things like that that let me know I have a new family and a new place to call home for some time to come. This week starts the first of my work here in Uganda. I am excited to get the ball rolling and ask that you continue to pray for the people of Uganda and myself. My prayer is that God would make me be obedient in whatever it is He wills for my life. I am excited about the opportunity He has given me to serve Him in Uganda and know He will never forsake me. If our God is for us, then who could ever stop us??
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness!" Psalm 115:1