Wheels in Uganda - Phil's Blog, Day 4
Sunday 1st July
Sunday started with a lie in for me, I got out of bed a whole 10 minutes later than normal since breakfast was still at 8am. Church service started at 9:30 and we were due to sing... hmmmm.
Delays with transport meant that we arrived late, I quickly visited the public conveniences whilst the rest of the team went inside. The toilets in Uganda for those who are interested, and I am sure you all are, range from your usual toilet in the hotel (thankfully), pit latrines and even just a hole in the bottom of a wall! Guys have it easy (again thankfully for me) but there are often no doors on the toilets we have seen, so the ladies .. well.. probably have good bladders!
Anyway when I got inside Anna (yes 'Physio extraordinare' - its Sunday so I’ll try and be nice - for the first paragraph at least) whispered that as we were late we wouldn't have to sing. Relief appeared across my face. It was however short lived as the church leader (Richard) about 10 minutes later invited us all up to sing and then for Gordon to preach.
Thinking about it now I believe Anna was just getting her own back on me! (I guess I probably deserve it)
My singing voice was simply fantastic, I was having to hold back though in order to not make the team out to be complete amateurs. OK, the reality is my throat was killing me and I must have sounded like a cat being strangled. That reminds me I must enter for the UK Eurovision entry next year... The rest of the team however performed admirably.
Gordon more than made up for my singing inability and I thought he spoke really well. It was being translated as well so he had to keep pausing in order for the translation. Just so he knows I was listening, he spoke about Peace.
Some bad news though came in as the RILD offices had been broken into. A laptop was stolen and we are not sure if any bibles or other equipment has been taken. Let's hope if the bibles have been taken they get read by those doing the taking!
We had lunch at Richard's house (the Church leader) and then headed back to the hotel for a quick break before heading off to the Cultural Centre with Eva, William and Richard providing transport. The Cultural Centre is basically a performance of Ugandan dancing and tribal history (well that was my take on it). It’s a great experience there and I got plenty of photos from the show.
Helen (whose claim to fame is eating 30 cakes in succession!) even went on stage as anyone with a birthday today, this week or this month was invited up. The customary happy birthday was sung and they had.. yes, you guessed, cake ! This time though the cake was shared around the audience as well as those with birthdays.
As a team we are getting to know each other more and more, however the team are well aware of my blog writing and I suspect they may feed me with false stories about themselves. I’ll need to improve my investigative journalism skills I suspect. In fact for the first two nights the blogs have been read out in our team time so what ever I write here the team will see before they get home... It makes is difficult to “spill the beans” as it were about all the bad habits the rest of the team has, without putting myself on a 'soon to be extinct' list.
For example......... (Pause)..........I wasn’t really going to say anything bad about the team... (not more than I have written already). I am hoping that bit gets me off the hook at least if we read today's blog out in the team session tomorrow.
It does make me think about myself however as there is so much to take in here. Some good, some bad, some fun and some not so fun. I am generally a jokey guy but I do realize that to some people who don’t understand me well, it could come across as offensive. So to those people I say I am sorry.
Deep down I am actually a fairly sensitive guy. Thinking on what I see here in terms of the poverty, the levels of healthcare or just what people with disabilities here have to go through and live with, always shocks me.
Seeing the Children here especially those of course with disabilities makes an impact on me. It’s a balance between crying and getting on with things and helping as much as we can. For me I suppose I cover up some of those feelings by being “jokey” with the team. When I go to bed though or sit writing the blog my heart starts to melt a little thinking about all those young lives. I am glad God is so big since I couldn’t cope with it on my own.
I am no preacher so I always hope that being here doing what I can to help is pleasing to God. I also want this blog not only to document what we get up to here (and perhaps provide some amusement) but I do want it to be a way of sharing God's work or at least to ask you to pray and ask that God's will, will be done here.
In my own walk of faith I am struggling to find a Church back home so being able to do something practical for God is a fantastic privilege (and working with such a team is equally a privilege) and being here is a way of putting me second and doing something practical to help others. For me right now it's a simple faith, going out into the world and helping others when and where I can, I want the skills I have to be used in order to serve others. I think it's something others could get hooked on doing, it can’t be a bad thing after all.
With also the issues we had today, RILD’s break in, some transport problems etc is this just bad luck or are there other things in play here... either way for me it made me think about Glenda and as team leader these things could be a burden for her yet she just keeps going. She’s fantastic and one of the reasons I enjoy doing Wheels trips. So.. prayer for today, strength and peace (thanks Gordon for the timely sermon) for Glenda and the the rest of the team of course. In fact having all the fruits of the spirit would be be great for all the team. At the same time please pray for the RILD team and that the break in wouldn’t impact them in a negative way but make them even more determined to do what they do. And of course (almost finally) as mentioned, pray God's will be done here.
I didn’t actually think I would have much to write about today but I must be like the other guest speaker (not Gordon) this morning at Church who said "I’ll only say a few words", then over an hour later was still talking, actually shouting.
I will finish for the night though and again say night night as its after 1am here and I really should get some sleep. Thankfully I seem to survive on little sleep when out on Wheels trips ! (Don’t tell Glenda I stayed up writing this though or I’ll have my pocket money allowance stopped whilst I am here).