I spent the last two weeks ministering in Uganda, where I’ve made some of the best friends on the planet. But life is not easy here—at least not for a “Mazungu” (white person) who has become so accustomed to American conveniences.
I’ve traveled to Africa 19 times, so it’s not like I expect to have air conditioning there. I’m not shocked when the electricity goes out or I have to take a bucket bath because the water system stops working. I’m just grateful if I have access to an oscillating fan on really hot nights.
I’ve even grown to love the local food, which includes matoke (mashed green bananas) with peanut sauce, posho (cooked corn meal, similar to grits) and grilled goat meat. Two years ago, I tried fried grasshoppers for the first time. On this trip, one of my hosts also slaughtered a pig in the front yard and roasted it for dinner. It was delicious.
I find it easy to adapt to Ugandan culture because 1) I absolutely love the people, and 2) I love what the Holy Spirit is doing in this country. Churches are alive, and Christians are serious about their faith.
One friend of mine there, Robert Kaahwa, has planted 19 churches since he planted his first in the town of Masindi in 2010. Another friend, Medad Birungi, has started a school for desperately poor children. It now has 600 students who are growing into mature disciples of Jesus. Uganda is fertile soil for the gospel.
I’d like to think I’m a true missionary at heart. But on this most recent trip, I disappointed myself when I began to complain about the horrible road conditions. After a six-hour drive from the capital city of Kampala to the town of Rwentobo in the east, I was a very grumpy man.
Uganda does not have what we Americans would call interstate highways. The roads meander through many towns and villages, and each town has at least a dozen speed bumps to discourage fast drivers. It feels like you are driving on a washboard most of the time.
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