Monday, March 21, 2011
Growing up camping in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., this week made me feel right at home. When we left our home at Kasana (New Hope's "hub") it was lightly raining but as we traveled south the rain began to fall more heavily. By the time we got to Kampala, the rain fell steadily. We had a bit of shopping to do before we continued our journey east to the camp (Musana Camps) which lies to the south of Mukono on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Our purpose for this trip was to help and encourage and care for Dave and Andrea Bouffard and Nathan and Kendra Jackson and their families. These two couples are working with a few Ugandans to establish a camp on this beautiful site in order to teach men how to live in biblical manhood and women to live in biblical womanhood, and to give opportunities to groups to get away and retreat. Over 800 acres provides many possibilities for God to use this space. Currently there are 3 "permanent" tents on concrete slabs and a couple houses for full time staff but apart from that there is a healthy walk down to the lake where the nearest village lies. There has been great opposition against the camp's development to the point that some of the guards have received death threats. When you combine that with Andrea being 8 months pregnant & homeschooling while they are trying to get their house built and dealing with the every day running of the camp, development and community conflict...we thought they needed someone to help.
Back to the journey: In our Land Cruiser, we had two extra passengers headed for application and interviews to get into Medical Lab Technology school. One was one of our sons (Mwine, pronounced Mweenay) from the family group of which we are a part. We dropped them off in Mukono (look it up on Google maps-go almost straight south on the road and where the road ends is at a bay. Go to the next bay to the east and that is where Musana Camps is) and continued on to Lugazi to take the "best" road to the camp. As we headed out of Lugazi we began the non-paved part of the journey. You might remember being around clay as a kid. When it gets wet, there isn't much normal life that is much more slick. Thankfully I have a vehicle that enjoys slick and bumpy. Kara was laughing after hitting her head on the ceiling. She had the back seat and was having a great time. Micah, on the other hand, was sitting in the middle of the second set of seats so he could have the best view of the road. When the gully in the middle of the road got more than a foot deep, the incline was greater than 45 degrees and the men by the side of the road called to each other, "Mazungu" and began to stare and laugh, one knows one is in for a challenge. While going almost perpendicular to the road, still traveling up it and hearing my son say, "Dad, maybe you should put it in four-wheel drive," I realized I was having fun.
We made it. No four-wheel drive. The rain began again a couple days later. It was good timing. I helped Nathan build a water tower in the sun and talked with Dave all morning in his house while it rained. God is good. Very few interruptions also. A miracle. The kids had fun. We enjoyed camping and God was there in the conversations. Praise God.
By the way, I did have to put the car in four-wheel drive three days later when I took my wife out to dinner in downtown Kampala. Even with all wheels going I had to rock it out of a hole in the street in the middle of a traffic jam on a Friday night. Humility is tough to learn.