Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Now on North Main Street in Jamestown! Meet at the church in 5 minutes!

One More for the Road

Well, as to be expected from this trip, the motto is still, "Be Flexible!"
The flight from Newark to Buffalo was delayed one hour, three minutes. They were waiting for an inbound plane. The status says the Team boarded at 8:21pm and is estimated to arrive in Buffalo at 9:36pm. If you can join us around midnight, we will welcome them home.
Can you believe they're actually talking about another trip?! The Lord must have done something really exciting!
Sally Ferguson

Flight Progress

The trip log shows the plane over North America now and landing in Newark, NJ at 3:37pm our time. Soon we'll have cell phone communication again!
Thank you to all for your prayers. I've had contact with people from Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Illinois, Utah, New Hampshire...and all over New York. It means soooooo much to the Team, to know that so many are following their story!
We would love to have a group ready to welcome them back to the church at 11:00pm tonight. If you're a night owl, come join us! I'll post later, if there are any flight delays on that last leg to Buffalo.
Sally Ferguson

On Our Way Home!

Our second parting from Kampala was much more relaxed and organized than our first. We had plenty of time to pack, say our good-byes, and navigate the roads and the airport. The flight into Amsterdam was smooth and there are lots of things to look at in the airport.

We are already experiencing some re-entry shock. The "bling" and airport prices are sharp contrasts to what we've known in the past 3 weeks.

We have made some real friends in Uganda; leaving them was difficult. The anticipation of all that waits at home is what is sustaining us on our long journey home.

We are coming!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Another lesson on trust

As we awoke on Monday morning we prepared to go with Tim on a two hour boat ride to one of the islands on Lake Victoria (about the size of Lake Superior)which extends from Uganda to Kenya. In fact, on the other side of Lake Victoria in Kenya is Mt. Kilamanjaro (sp). However, as with every trip we have made, Tim informed us at breakfast that it would be a while and quite possibly we would not make the trip if he could not get in touch with the people he needed to meet with on the island.

Tim and Colleen bought 20 acres on this island, 15 of which they want to develop for a personal family retreat, and 5 that they donated to the Church of God Youth in Uganda for a retreat center. He hadn't been there in a year and wanted to simply survey the property to see what condition it was in and to touch base with the people from whom he bought it.

Tim mentioned that if he couldn't be in touch by 11:00 or 11:30, we probably wouldn't go. Well, 11:00 came and went, and 11:30 came and went and at 12:15, Tim announced that we were indeed going. So, we loaded up the van and truck and drove about 1 mile to the place where the boat is kept. When we got there we discovered that the boat was a very long and wide canoe with an 8 hp engine on the back of it. Not exactly what we were thinking when he mentioned a boat ride on the lake. But we loaded onto the boat at about 1:30 pm, put our life jackets on and away we went.

We were not prepared for the journey that lie ahead. Tim said it was a 2 hour trip, but because of the choppy waves, it ended up being a 4 hour trip. The choppy waves not only doubled the length of our trip, but by the time we got to the island, we were all soaked from the splashing of the waves into the boat! In spite of being wet and the trip taking longer than we expected, the views were spectacular. While the lake is not a clean lake, much of Kampala's sewage ends up in the lake, the coast and the islands are a lush green, full of palm trees, mango trees, banana trees, and so much more vegetation that it would be impossible to name everything we saw. Sprinkled in with all of that was an occasional Accacia tree.

On the way we saw Kingfisher birds, at one point I saw a monkey scurry down a tree and hop up on a rock, and then scurry back up the tree as if it were trying to get a glimpse of these white people cruising across the lake. I saw a couple of snakes pop up out of the water for a brief glimpse of our boat. As we moved past various islands, there were sections of land, maybe 5 acres on which huts were practically on top of each other and people were washing clothes or children were playing near the water. Fisherman were out in their boats casting their nets hoping to land a big catch to bring back to their island for a big evening meal. We also passed a few "taxis" that were taking people to their respective islands. Some of the boats had motors and some were being rowed by hand.

At about 5:30, we arrived at the island, got out of the boat and began a short hike that featured a very narrow path on which the rocks were very uneven and unusual in their composition. After we arrived at a little peninsulla, Tim told us that the rocks were lava rocks. Where they came from, I don't know as we did not see anything that looked remotely like a volcano. Our hike through this rain forest of sorts was similiar to the one we went on when we were trekking chimpanzees on the first day of our game park trip. The walk was not easy and there were many unfamiliar insects that made the hike a little disconcerting for some, but we made the trek and back again to the path that led back down to the boat. While several made there way back to the boat, a few of us continued on following Tim to look at more of their property. We hiked down to a stream and then through a thick brush that required one of the natives of this island to lead the way with his machete so that we could get through. After almost an hour on the island, we made our way back to Kampala.

By now we knew that it would be dark in about a half hour (the sun sets at 7 pm nearly every night of the year) and many of us were quietly wondering how we would get back in the dark, since we had no lights on our boat, nor did anyone else's boat for that matter. Tim must have read our minds because he informed us that our boat driver knew these waters like the back of his hand and had made the journey at night on many occasions - nothing to worry about. To be honest, I wasn't as worried about the lack of light as I was that it seemed we had used 2/3rds of the fuel we had brought and I was wondering just how far we would be from shore when we ran out of gas. It's amazing how better your prayer life gets when it seems like life is a bit out of control.

The ride home was spectacular! As expected 30 minutes passed and we witnessed an incredible sunset and as the moon replaced the sun as our light, the full moon illuminated this body of water as if there was a spotlight following us back home. The water was like glass and as we passed the same island villages, the activity at the shore had clearly moved inland as we saw billows of smoke come from various places, which signified that the fisherman were successful and fish was being smoked for all to enjoy.

It's hard to describe the multitude of colors that filled the sky as the sun went down - pinks, lavenders, light blues and yellows created hues that remind us of the wonderful artist that God is as He painted the sky for us to enjoy. There were a few clouds that were strategically placed to add to the contrasting beauty that filled the sky. Off in the distance, maybe 70- 100 miles, lightning would occasionally add a flash of light to the already picturesque horizon. Because thunder didn't accompany the lightning, I never worried about getting an unwanted shower. As we cruised back to shore in Kampala, the temperature on the lake dropped and many of the group looked for towels or jackets or anything they could find to cover up with to keep warm. Never did we imagine that we would need jackets in a land that straddles the equator. Speaking of which, on the way to the island, Tim mentioned that at some point we would cross the equator. We looked for the line that you see on the maps, but the water must have erased it because we never saw it. :)

While there were certainly parts of the trip that some could have done without, this trip was another reminder of what a great designer our creator God is.

We did make it back without having to row, also reminding me that I can trust those who have gone before me, who know the way, and what it takes to get there and back. That's the beauty of being a fully devoted follower of Christ. There is no place that He hasn't been, no struggle He hasn't encountered, and there is no challenge that is new to Him. We can trust that He knows how to lead us, where to lead us, and what it's going to take to complete a successful journey.

This will be my last post while on African soil, Lord willing, but the memories that we have, the sights, sounds and smells that we've encountered, I'm sure will live within each of us for all the days we have on this earth. I pray that God allows us to return, only next time I hope to bring my whole family, but until then I have been blessed beyond measure as God has taught me much that I pray can be applied over and over and over again in my endeavor to live my life holding on to things a little more loosely, trusting in God for even the small, mundance things of life.

I hope the next time we communicate, it will be face to face, as I dearly miss each of you, my family and friends!

With love,


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Adults Day Out & Worship at Kasubi

Saturday became adults day out as the ladies went shopping and the men went golfing, while the girls stayed at the Stevenson's and took naps and played games. Everyone seemed to have fun with the change of pace and the younger ones enjoyed their time alone.

Us guys experienced something very different. On the first hole Zach hit a shot that almost clipped a monkey that was scurrying across the fairway. We teased him that the goal was to get birdies and not monkeys. On the second hole we saw a rhinoceros! Only in Africa. Actually, the course was next to a zoo and the rhino was fenced in. Nonetheless as we walked up to our ball and saw a rhino grazing to our left it was a bit disconcerting. The most interesting part of our excursion though was having our own personal caddies. These guys have eagle eyes and between the four of us, we only lost 1 ball! That doesn't mean we played exceptionally well, but our caddies were masters at finding stray golf balls. We all felt like we were professionals with someone carrying our bag and giving us advice on what club to use, where to hit the ball and how to read our putts.

This morning, we went to church in Kasubi, which is the same place where we participated in the ordination service for 17 pastors in our second day here - it seems like a lifetime ago! It was a really nice service with lots of music, a wonderful children's choir which was preceeded by some of the kids reciting scriptures they had memorized from the Psalms. I preached again, and there was a wonderful response at the end of the message. Several people stood, asking for special prayer for God to work in their lives, and our team members divided up and stood by those individuals, laid hands on them and prayed for them. The service was then brought to a close when the pastor asked all of us to come forward and he prayed a powerful prayer that included the Scripture which tells us that through Christ we have the power to bind on earth what is bound in heaven and loose on earth what is loosed in heaven. He bound the volcano and loosed our ability to be able to fly home safely on Tuesday. We left very encouraged and renewed with the power of God!

Tim and his son Logan then took us to an Indian restaurant where we experienced authentic Indian food. For most of us it was our first time. After naps, Nancy led us in a great devotion on patience, quoting the fruit of the Spirit passage in Galatians. She reminded us that God wants us to learn to wait on Him, to trust Him, and how patience - even in times when we feel we've lost all control - is one of the characteristics that God wants us to learn.

Each one of us have had our down moments this past week, but overall, God has done a wonderful thing in teaching us to lean on each other, to encourage one another, and to love each other, even when all we want to do is be reunited with the ones we love, sleep in our own beds, and be able to get back to work and school.

We do not yet know completely why God allowed us to be here for a third week, but we are learning to trust His ways even when they don't coincide with what we think is best. After all, His ways are higher than ours and His knowledge is greater than ours.

Again, thank you for your prayers, your words of encouragement, and the love we have felt thousands of miles away.

Tomorrow, we are going with Tim to one of the island villages on Lake Victoria. We will be going on a 2 hour boat ride to the island, visit one of the churches and schools as he meets with some of his colleagues, and then we will take the 2 hour trip back to Kampala.

Tuesday we are planning to leave by 5 pm for our 9:50 flight to Amsterdam. We are excitedly counting the hours until our plane lifts off for home. We have an 8 hour layover in Amsterdam before flying to Newark. We are scheduled to arrive in Buffalo at approximately 8:30 pm on Wed night. Please pray that we are able to make all of our connections.

We love you and feel very blessed having each one of you as our prayer partners!

With love,

P. Roy