Sunday 22nd July
Well we had an early start this morning with a 7am service at St.Andrews church in the Kitega Village. We’re glad Riverside consider the ‘lie in till 10am’ rights. Our group lead the service at the church, it was very different to usual and a learning experience. We each had individual parts to play some of which included praying, giving testimonies, doing a drama, leading worship, biblical readings and Ian giving the sermon – everyone was great! Maybe we should introduce the funky music they use at St.Andrews to Riverside, we shall give you an example when we’re home.
After the service we travelled to Kampala (the capital of Uganda) to have a feel for the city , we looked around and then had lunch at a western type cafe. One of the staff members of Kitega centre complained that there was no ‘African food’ on the menu but they managed to rumble something up for him.
We then visited the Martyrs shrine (Namugongo) where 25 Christians were killed by King Baganda on the 3rd of June 1863 because he wanted them to worship his God and was afraid that they were bringing in a new religion. This was very moving for us to realise the difficulty of being a Christian many years ago but they never stopped believing and worshiping.
Then we were invited to Daudi Clemy’s home in Gayaza for dinner and for a reflection of our week. As always his family were so welcoming and provided excellent hospitality, it’s crazy the amount of thank you’s we receive when visiting people’s homes,however we should be the ones thanking them. We began by playing musical chairs, which Linda won, but somehow our pastor Ian managed to get into the final by stealing chairs off of us and stating that they were his!! After our feast, we learned about how the Kitega centre was initially set up by Daudi’s father, Silas, and how proud he was to see it grow and its word being spread throughout the communities. They are very happy that we have visited as it is an encouragement to them that people want to volunteer, it also creates an image to the wider community about how important disability is that we have travelled across the globe to visit Kitega. Even when we are walking through the villages and people are shouting ‘mzungu’ (white person) at us, they do actually know we are from the Kitega centre and we hope that our trip shows everyone that disability shouldn’t be dismissed and discouraged but in fact everyone is special and important in their own way.
On reflection, we have all been moved by what we have been involved with during our first week here in Uganda. We take trips to villages thinking we would be the ones to help them and influence their work however we believe they have done this to us. They have inspired us by their motivation and happiness by achieving their goals by having God at the centre of all their work.