Well, That Is Over

February 13th, 2015 | Pastor Paul in Uganda
uganda

Our second day in Kumi was far better. What a difference a day (and your prayers) makes.

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There was laughter, sharing from the audience. Simon, one of our Ugandan trainees, was teaching never give up on your spouse or your children (from Galatians 6:7-10). Two husbands turned to their wives and as they held her hands, said “I am not Mr. Perfect but endure with me.” The wives beamed, and participants cheered.

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We lunched at Margarett’s home nearby the church. During lunch I asked our five Ugandan team members, “How many brothers and sisters do each of you have?” The least was seven and the most was thirty two.  All were from families in which their father had multiple wives (from as few as three wives up to ten). If a man comes to know Christ, but has multiple wives, what does that newly Christian man do? Welcome to Africa.

As our training concluded the people presented Mark and me with a gift of traditional African shirts. Mine was a bit snug – they called it fitted. I felt like a sausage. Today they are tailoring it to loosen it for me.

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Driving back to Mbale we stopped again at the roadside vendors. A bag of 1ten oranges was 75 cents. I only had a 10,ooo Ugandan shilling bill (equivalent of $4 US). I gave my 10,000 bill to pastor David (one of the Ugandan trainees with us) to pay for the bag of oranges. Other vendors gathered around our van.  Some of oud trainees were asking them for beans, water, and one asked for a live chicken. A flurry of farmers market activity through the van windows! As we drove away  David handed me the bag of oranges and I asked for my change. David said with a smile, “Well, that is over.” Apparently I had sponsored beans, water, and possibly part of a chicken. We laughed. I got one of the oranges. As we drove home we would occasionally joke about pastor Paul paying $4 for 1 orange, and we would say, “Well, that is over.” There’s nothing like laughter between two Americans and five Ugandans to help bond the team.

Training is now finished. Friday will be a more relaxed day. We hope to discuss the next steps and needs for expanding and improving future training with the Ugandan trainers, and I need to get my altered shirt and find an orange.

Saturday will be the all day car trip to Entebbe airport and the two flights (8-9 hours each).  I will arrive in Minneapolis about lunchtime Sunday.

Without pressing, this has been a highly productive trip, and there seems to be agreement on “next steps” for expanding and deepening the benefit to Ugandans.

As for this post, “Well, that is over.”

Paul Murphy is currently the Interim Lead Pastor at Ecclesia and has served as a leader for 33 years in Christian faith-based organizations as a pastor in local churches (permanent and interim pastorates), as a non-profit executive, and as a mentor and consulting resource to Christian leaders and ministry organizations.

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