Uganda 2017 Day 12

Today we had French toast, eggs, oatmeal, watermelon, and pineapple for breakfast. Everyone except zach, Joanne, and kristi left for saints gate church. From there, our team got in other vehicles and left for other churches to serve at. Kate, Alex, Andrew, algena, and I went to City of the Lord Church. A young man named Brian picked us up from Saints Gate Church. Algena asked how old he was and he said 20. He was driving so well in their traffic! Algena also asked how long Brian had been going to the church and how long the church had been around. Brian had been attending the church for nine years and it had been established for eighteen years. When we arrived at City of the Lord Church, we met Pastor Godfrey. He is such an amazing man and he has a wonderful smile. Church service was already going, but we sat in his office and talked with him for awhile. Algena said, “I heard your church has been around for eighteen years. That is great!” He said yeah and grabbed a picture frame off the wall. It had three pictures of the previous church building in it. Pastor Godfrey told us that during the Women’s Day service on march or April 5, 2006 the building collapsed. 30 people died and 200+ were injured. They rented out the stadium for the mass funeral because it is the only place that had room for 30 coffins. They have been going to court ever since and it is eleven years later. This is to deal with paying the families of the people who died and paying the injured people. Pastor Godfrey said he lost the pineapple farm he had because of all the bills he had to pay. He was in the news papers every day for a month and the papers were not correct with a lot of what they said. The papers talked about him every once in a while for a year after that first month. I could tell everything that happened still hurt him. We told him we are so proud of him. He did not leave his faith or being a pastor. He did tell us they had church that next Sunday and everyone in the congregation was shocked. He said those people were dead, but God is not. Pastor Godfrey said we can worship God even while we morn. We talked a couple minutes longer then he had someone escort us into service and said he would be there soon. They had us sit on the left side on the stage. Kate, Andrew, and I were there for a couple songs then went to help with kids church. 
Our interpreter’s name was Martin. We started off with a few fun songs. Martin would interpret the words to the songs for Kate before we sang them. Andrew read our book about Zaccheus to the kids. They loved that someone there age was reading about Jesus to them. When the story was over I talked to them for a minute and then asked if they wanted to ask Jesus into their heart. I prayed for all the kids. Martin asked them what they learned. Many of them said it is bad to steal and some said it is important to forgive. A couple went deep with what they learned, but I don’t remember what they said. I was just really impressed. We asked if we could do songs again. Martin said yes, but it would be good to do more worship songs than fun Christian songs. We led a couple acappella, but only the chorus so it was easy to learn. The kids copied us when we raised our hands and closed our eyes. I think Andrew was the first to do this. The kids sang a song too. It was so fun! We sang with them and did the action the song said to do when it said actions. For example it said to hug or shake the hand of your neighbor. They were so excited when we went to them to do those! Then we handed out candy to them. They were so calm and patient. I was surprised because I feel like the kids usually are so excited to get candy that they are hyper. When we were done Martin had the kids go outside for a game. We were told that one person would be up front giving a command while the rest were walking around each other. The front person would say get in a group of four or some random number. Then everyone would have to be really quick to get into a group that big. Andrew was up front doing this. Whenever he said a number, I am pretty sure Kate and I had more kids every time than we should have had. It was so cute. They all wanted to be with the mzungus. When the game was over we told Martin we had nothing else planed to do, so we were going to go to the main service if he did not mind. He had us wait a couple minutes longer. He had some kids say why that were thankful we were there. They were happy for the music to fill their hearts, to learn not to steal, to learn about forgiveness, and much more. They were all so excited when we left them with everything else that was in the bag we brought with us. There was candy, balls, toys, and we were able to leave them with the book we read. He kids cheered and the teacher was shocked!
When we got to the main service, Alex had not yet shared his message. I was shocked because we had been gone for awhile. He said the had finished worship maybe 5 minutes before. This meant we were able to hear Alex and Algena speak. When they were done, the pastor went up to speak and take offering. We got up to leave, but were still waiting because we had a gift for pastor Godfrey. Then we heard that they were also taking a offering for us. The church the night before did that too. When they were done taking the offering, pastor Godfrey had us go center stage and take pictures with him. They had a professional photographer for the church who did and then many people in the congregation did too. We also had one of them take a picture with Alex’s phone. Then we headed home. We had a different person drive us home. Sadly I missed his name. We learned that both drivers were using the pastor’s car to pick us up and take us home. Right before we got in the jam we passed the car Spencer and the other team member with him were in.
That night some most of the team went to the church just a little way down the hill from us. I stayed at the house and packed for safari and what I could for the way home because my back was a little tight and still healing from a previous injury. As it turned out five of us stayed. It made me feel good that I was not the only one. I did play cards with Andrew for a little bit too. It was good to have that time to relax. When the rest of the team got home we had dinner and everyone who had not packed already did. Then we went to bed because we had to get up so early.

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