Hello Everyone, The pictures are a great little reliving of the last week. As we talked about the time in Uganda on the way home, the time there was all about building our relationships with this part of our family and getting to know Uganda better. Our family there, and the people of Uganda have a strong and vibrant history. They are loving and welcoming. It seemed so little time and yet each day was full. I know the others on the trip will write soon, there is so much to say, it is hard to know where to start. Even though time was short, we connected so much with the church and the people. On the Sunday morning service, in Praise & Worship, I looked out the side of the building to my left, seeing one of the other hills of Kmapala, looking on the city. Then to my left out another side, seeing the rooftops of the buildings immediately adjacent to the church, and around at all of the people worshipping – I knew at that moment there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I was completely at home and at peace with God, the universe, and all these people. I am glad to be home, and my pets are certainly glad to have their full time feeder and doorman back as they go in and out battling with each other for affection. I miss our family in Uganda very much -- Pastor Ben, Pastor Ben’s wife Rosette, Pastor Rachel, Pastor Sylvia, Pastor Andrew, Pastor Sammy (excellent interpreter), Pastor Ben (another one, excellent singer), Noah, so many others that at the moment I do not remember their names. What struck me so much this time as well was the strength of the women. They really have such obstacles to overcome. There are signs all over of women being appreciated more, and still they burden much of the weight of their society. Still, their strength and love shines through. You can see it in their faces, their joy, their knowing. At Good Shepherd, the women are appreciated and are very involved. They have a training program for women congregants to build their skills and be self reliant. That is a theme all over the church, and Uganda, self reliance. They have the love, skills, resources, they are developing to not only be self reliant, but have surplus available to provide to others. How God is doing this is wonderful, and we get to be a part of it. That is what I think I was most thankful for Sunday morning in praise and worship. All that is happening in Uganda, and with CITN, the connection with The Cathedral of The Holy Spirit, our connection there, the palpable presence of God, transforming situations, kinetic energy of God, and I get to not only be a witness, but a part of it. I know again, I left Uganda blessed and given to far more than I gave. Even at the hotel we stayed at, the staff there (of course I connected with the restaurant manager, Moses) wanted to know about Good Shepherd, and our work in Kumali, and Bewuenge. More than one said to us that so many American churches come there and take form the people, charging them to be there. I am sure that is a minority of churches that do that, but the impression of that is there. It made me think of the European explorers who arrived there and in other areas of the world. Often, the native people were considered savages, uncivilized, and yet, the small number of explorers generally were welcomed, only to have armies follow them and colonization. I got to say, from my humble viewpoint, the native people were not the savages.
Great pics Bishop! Glad to be a part of this even if I wasn't there personally! Proud of the team and the efforts of CITN in making this happen! I love this connection- no distance in the Spirit!Welcome back to all!Bro Lar
All so very beautiful. You look at the pictures of those little faces and truly behold the lamb. You could even say that the most precious site akin to a lamb is that of a small peaceful baby. Worthy is the LambHoly is the LambWhen the Father sees us,He sees that little lambCan you see the little lamb inside of your heart; who you really were, and are, and are becoming?No matter what trials and testings these little lambs endure, your faces will not depart from them. Their hearts are turned towards the Spirit that they breathed with you. They will always be in the pasture with us. We are all together and fully complete in the Great Shepard.Tonight is not to be missed Grace to you all in your hearts towards us
Oh yeah, did you check out Bishop's stylish and suave orange & black India style shirt? Very GQ.
Thank God for the documented time-line of all that occurred in Uganda this past week, by Bishop and Erik. After re-reading the events it helped to bring in to focus many things that happened while there… Because for me the week is quite a blur… Not one event sticking out as a particular awestruck moment… but everything put together in a kaleidoscope of colors making the week transforming… never to be the same again…To look into the eyes of people who I have never met before and have very few things in common with, but our spirits leaped as the deep calls to the deep, connected us in ways far beyond the universe of the soul. Then the continuum of built relationships with ones already united with… transforming the connection into soul-ties that will last for eternity…There is a hunger for the truth in the people who would not settle for the crumbs dropped from the table… they are consumed with the desire to experience what is true and real, and as they were fed their eyes glistened with the satisfaction that there was nothing artificial in our words spoken in love, words that were as genuine and authentic as the power of the Holy Spirit can be.Once again I believe we came with a transforming word fresh from the throne room of God, and in return brought back to CITN people who are forever altered by the our experiences and love felt connections that will last beyond eternity.We have to know that CITN is far beyond the local community… We are a people who IS called to feed the world the un-altering, transforming truth of a reconcilable loving God… and without exception His love always transforms and renews… giving eyesight of clarity… knowing the reality of who we really are in God… The whole earth is filled with the glory of God… it is not just a saying or a phrase quoted with flowery words or mundane repertoire, it is heartfelt and known… The Glory of the Lord is upon this earth as the waters cover the sea…Altered and transformed…KarenP.S. Rosetta, I'm here... and am now awake... Miss you and love you always... send my love to everyone...
The pictures are very uplifting this morning, and I am so happy to be connected with CITN for this beautiful work to go forward...seeing the children made me both smile and good tears come to my eyes...."I was an orphan, and you loved me and gave me a backpack full of goodies and love."...you prayed, you smiled and made me feel one with you."God willing I will be at the service tonight to hear more of the wonderful works.
Uganda09: a beautiful and perfect trip...it was......which for me defines the 9 days in the same way that our vast, multi-faceted God sums Himself up as "I AM".
With that first comment being set apart, Larry, you are so right on..."I love this connection- no distance in the Spirit!"Donald, Mystic, SOZ, Karl, NL, G8TRGRL, Friend4life, Peacemaker, Izumi/Joy, Lisa, P.Deb, Johnny, anons and blurkers, MomSwilley and all the other reposts from FaceBook...you were all there, taking care of things in the spirit...and its cool to read from some that you knew it...9-4-09@8:20pm, Post from "Robert Mitchell said...Just bring um all home with ya." Robert, we have.Ditto, Iris, on the blur of the week. The timeline reports are soooo beautiful and helpful. The call (and everpresent challenge) of "administration" is to be like invisible paddling feet to a smoothly gliding or rapidly propelling swan; or, like the delivery room prep and cleanup team, we've failed if you notice us...since its all about the baby. I don't recall if Bishop blogged this or not, but at one point in the trip he mentioned that the best interpreter is one that interprets so well that you, the speaker and hearer, forget that he is there. [Sammy, you are AMAZING!]So...in order to not be conspicuous by saying nothing, it all comes down to this for me... God is definitely in the details...and I'm sure that the right details will come out in the stories that will be brought to mind in the weeks and months to come. For now, I pray that you will all see in us the fruit of the trip as well as your most important connection to it. And I declare, Church In The Now, in the perfect miracle that may look like a mess, in the beautiful unity that is discerned in the midst of what may look like separation...you are One, and nothing you determine to do will be impossible for you.
Well since Rosette has called us out to comment- What a marvelous trip. We had a packed schedule that produced a satisified kind of tired at the end of the week. The people of good Shepard are gracious hosts and we were received with love at every stop. God was everywhere. We found Him in the tombs of ancient kings and in a comedy routine featuring traditional Ugandan dance and music. Certainly we were with the Holy Spirit in Bewenge services, in the Children's home and At the Ordination service on Sunday.Many new friends this year but it was especially gratifying to see and talk with familiar faces from a year ago. One Church- One Body of Christ
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