From take-off ‘Mission Uganda 2012’ was destined to be spectacular. The seven team members, were ready and willing to be the hands and feet fulfilling the amazing plans set out before us.
Individually responsible for generating our own funding, each team member devised creative and original fundraising ideas such as a ‘Taste of Africa Day’ and children’s sponsored walk through the streets of Anfield.
Finally the day came, Wednesday 9th May, and rushing from our various locations straight to Lighthouse everything seemed to flow. This was definitely meant to be. We arrived at the airport in full spirit, ready and on fire to do amazing work. From Manchester to Doah, then Doah to Entebbe our journey, although lacking in much sleep, was filled with delicious aeroplane food and excellent company. 18 hours later, we arrived at Entebbe airport no more than 6 hours after our host Pastor Andrew and were lovingly greeting by the congregation of Harvest Mission Church ‘true African style’.
Our journey to ‘Africa Prayer Mountain for All Nations’ combined with a mixture of jet-lag, heat and excitement stripped away all distractions and inhibitions. Words could not describe the level of beauty before our eyes, no wonder Winston Churchill declared Uganda ‘The Pearl of Africa’.
No later than 7am, and the streets were paved with local’s beginning their day – preparing food to sell, chopping up sugar cane and transporting plastic bottles full of water. The colours were so striking and vivid; gradually tiredness left our bodies as we gazed the scenery open mouthed. Looking out of the windows of the coach the abundance of greenery, fruits and beautiful flowers banished any preconception.
To our left stretched Lake Victoria. Not just a mere lake, Lake Victoria is both Africa’s largest lake and the largest tropical lake in the world. Flowing through Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, the overwhelming sense of our comparable insignificance was paramount. The lake expressed an unimaginable sense of tranquillity, protection and expectation, welcoming us to Uganda.
In the quickest 40 minutes, we arrived at our house for the week. Situated at the peak of Africa Prayer Mountain, the view was breath-taking. Vigorously snapping away we realised that no amount of mega-pixels could do this view justice. In the distance peacefully lay Uganda surrounded by Lake Victoria, this was a humbling view in its own right.
We were given a quick tour of the house by Pastor Enos and his wife Pastor Florence – four bedrooms and two bathrooms just enough for the seven missionaries. The practicality of the facilities was more paramount than any luxury, but this wasn’t a holiday – we were on mission. After a quick bathe breakfast was ready, a mouth-watering banquet of fresh tomatoes, succulent pineapples which drew juice as though on tap and delicious traditional Ugandan matoki. Once filled, we made our way through Kampala to Pastor Roses Orphanage and Church.
As we arrived at the bottom of the hill, the sounds of drums, clapping, singing and traditional Ugandan welcomes engulfed us. The whole of Pastor Roses Ministry filled the area as we were greeted and welcomed into the building. Built from bamboo-like stick and corrugated iron, the building was both Church and home to the Pastor Roses ‘Glorious Kids’. Thanking the congregation for their warm welcome we began our children’s ministry.
Blowing up balloons to illustrate be filled with the Holy Spirit, the entire room looked like a sea of vibrant colours. Sounds of laughter bounced from the walls as the children played together with the balloons and party poppers. We were shown were Pastor Rose and her husband Pastor Stephen lived – a room with just the wedding cross from Love and Joy Ministries given over four years ago decorating the grey walls.
The sky turned to night as though a switch was turned off and before we realised, it was time to retreat back to Prayer Mountain. Excited and amazed, we shared the experience of the day during our evening debrief before some team members retired to bed. Others however ventured on Prayer Mountain, a land of 24/7 prayer for the Nations. Walking in the dark through the African terrain, fear escaped the body. The sound of different native tongues singing and praying was intoxicating and invigorating. Although past midnight, the moonlight highlighted different shaped and sized silhouettes dancing across the land rejoicing to the Lord.
This was how each day ran. Not English time or African time but God’s time. Everything flowed without any necessity for our intervention. Pastor Tani & Evangelist Alfie held the conferences in Harvest Mission Church and Pastor Roses Ministry, as well as the ordinations. We inspired the children reminding them that in God they were loved by God. motivated and encouraged the Uganda community in their relationship with God holding open air evangelistic meeting where many came to know the love of Jesus.
We held a crusade through the community on Harvest Mission Church and supported Pastor Roses School and Orphanage with stationary, shoes and supplies for the children. All of the donated gifts were warmly and genuinely received from pairs of glasses and bathroom toiletries to beanie teddies and Liverpool football kits.
Everyday Pastor Enos and Pastor Florence graciously welcomed us into their home, inviting us into the nationwide Ugandan family. This was a truly humbling experience. The colours of Ugandan flag were symbolised daily throughout the mission. The black symbolising the African people, the yellow symbolising the blazing African sun soothed by the light breeze from Lake Victoria and the red symbolising the brotherhood and blood which united everyone. This was Africa. Loving, welcoming, humble and kind.