Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Multiply Trip East Africa 2015 Day 13 August 23

I was due to go to Pastor Matuva's Eternal Life Worship church, out towards Entebbe, where the edges of Kampala are rapidly expanding (as in Wakiso). He had been interpreting into Luganda for me, very effectively.  During the group discussion times, we'd leaned across the lectern and had some good conversations together.  I took the chance of a later start to have a nice hot shower - our bathroom has its own Ariston boiler.  Then I'd joined in saying 'goodbye' to the Kenya guys.  On the evidence of the last two weeks' bumps and shudders, the dear travel-stained minibus KCD402Y will probably not survive the seven years that Gregory built into the financial plan: three or four will be good going, despite Toyota's admirable build quality!

I noticed that the Korean resident who always wore a hoodie at breakfast ('the Monk', we'd dubbed him), had also checked out.  Pastor Chris had taken leave from his own church's regular meeting to see us all off in our various directions, and ensure that the host churches knew that we must be at the City Royal Hotel, Bugolobi, before 3pm, for the widely-advertised Business seminar.

An Airport Taxi arrived somewhat late, with Mutuva and the co-pastor.  At one point we used the newly under-construction superhighway that's going to link Entebbe and Kampala, throwing up clouds of red dust.  "Is this so the Chinese businessmen can got to the city and do deals faster?" I enquired.  "Oh, yes.  And they're paying for it.  In fact they're paying for every big scheme that's going on." I was told.

We bumped along a turn-off road and pulled up by the skeleton of a building, with the mandatory blast of PA kit.  "My goodness," I thought, even the worst of our barns at the Farm is better than this."  But it was newly erected, and the worshippers were clearly satisfied.  The sun was hot, and church-without-walls was the ideal arrangement.  I think they hadn't started the meeting properly until I came, which was obviously later than the usual time.

Somewhere along the way, in their obvious delight at having muzumu with them, I changed from being referred to as Pastor Ian, to Rev Ian, to Rev Doctor, to Doctor Ian.  As last week, my skillful exposition of Hebrews 13 was going to need 'dumbing down'.  Unlike in Kenya, we'd already found several folks at the last two days' conference who actually seemed to speak no English. 

There was a clutch of children on the right-hand side of the congregation, who joined in the singing and dancing.  I managed to make a good bit of the teaching down-to-earth, and they enjoyed my loud closing prayer.  Matuva's wife brought over some bananas and water melon for lunch.  It was an ideal arrangement, and meant we could head back to the city centre in good time.  They also related how an angel had come along with a spade to dig their car out of the mud when travelling to the 'Greater Nile Convention' meeting in Jinja.

City Royal Hotel was a marked contrast, with uniformed staff, manicured lawns and plush leather seats.  This is where Pastor Chris holds his Return to Light Ministries meetings, with engineers, accountants, doctors and business people in his congregation.  At 3pm only he and I were ready; we had some prayer and (quite tuneful) worship.  I resisted the urge to set up the projector, as I trusted Viv would somehow manage to turn up. 

When the remainder of our folks had arrived, the room was pretty full - maybe 100 delegates.  This included Pastor Calvin from Abiding Rock Fellowship.  The session went well.  This was a 'first' in our conference planning, and from the follow-on questions confirmed that we'd pitched things just right.  And, glory be, my friend Alfred Okello from Lira, whom I'd met in Nairobi three years ago, was there, too.

Dinner entailed another visit to Cafe Roma, and I was ready for a good meal.  I texted Gregory to see what progress he'd made.  Tomorrow, we'll have to get Rukundo on his bus back to Kigali, and we're heading for a beach resort on the Lake at lunchtime.

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