Today was a truly life changing day. In the morning we had our daily devotional, and were on our way off to go look at the history of Alexander MacKay. Alexander MacKay is a big inspiration for us on this trip, as he was the first vocational missionary in Uganda. As an engineer, he brought the Gospel into Uganda as he introduced roads to the Ugandan people and helped design the first Christian church in Uganda. He performed the first baptism, and was constantly fleeing from the government.
We had a guide show us the cave he hid in, and the church that he founded, along with the grave of the first baptized Ugandan, who was so influenced by MacKay that he took his name.
Along the way children would come up to us and hold our hand and yell “Mzunga!”, which meant “white people!”
At the end of our tour, we prayed in a circle for the future of the church in Uganda and that God would continue to work through His people there.
Upon return to the bus, we went and visited the Kitanga Slums. Unfortunately, we were told not to bring cameras or take pictures, as to be respectful of their current situation. The typical house was about 30 square feet, with scrapped wood and metal as the material. Some house were just made of mud. There were streams of leftover water than ran from the city into small channels that were used as drinking water. Our guide, Doreen led us to ladies with whom she had been working and ministering. Their stories were truly moving, and the joy that was in their hearts, regardless of their situation. One of the ladies had five children that all stayed in her 49 square foot house. Her husband had died, and she was solely responsible for providing for her family. She makes tea and sells it to the other people in the slums. As we walked through the slums, I felt ashamed. I was here visiting, and everybody there who looked at us knew the money we had. We cannot even begin to comprehend the hardships these people go through every day. Yet they were not angry with us. They greeted us. They said thank you for visiting them. The children played with us and held our hands while walking through their homes. The love they showed us was incredibly humiliating, and burned in me a desire to help these people to the best of my ability. The reason for our trip was to equip people with the business skills to end this cycle of generational poverty, and this visit kindled a flame in all of us that showed the importance and prevalence of our mission. After the slums, we were all in a very somber state. To renew our countenance, we came and viewed the land that PDN had recently purchased, with the plan to develop for upcoming conferences.
For now, it was just a plot of land, but Richmond Wandera, the CEO of PDN, has plans to have the first conference building built on it by next year, and to continue to develop the land as a place for pastors of Uganda to come and be equipped with business knowledge. We ate dinner there as we prepared the tent for the conference the next day, and then returned to the hotel to rest up for the first day of conference.
May 18, 2016