Our third day was a bit of a challenge. Once we arrived at Kakira, Pastor Paul let us know that he wasn't feeling well and that he was really cold. Which is odd, since Uganda is hot and humid pretty much year round. "That can only mean one thing" he said, "malaria". It wasn't the word 'malaria' that struck me, so much as the way he said it so matter-of-factly. And it's true. Malaria is just something most people get "about two or three times a year". It's so odd, the things we take for granted. He was able to go and get treatment and was already feeling better. But continue to pray for him. He's very busy handling our group and hosting this conference. Oh, and did I mention he's getting married this Saturday? He's got a lot on his plate. Please pray for a speedy recovery.
The people continue to let us know how God is blessing and speaking. It's so much fun to watch God use our team in so many different ways. Jim's (my father in law) teaching on Biblical Conflict Resolution has really struck a chord with the pastors. I get the feeling that the subject has never really been addressed around here too much, and the people are eating it up.
Each time we worship as a group, the church asks for a worship leader to come and lead us in worship. It is so much fun to watch and a lesson for me. It's awesome, because without hesitation, anywhere from five to ten worship leaders will come up, and start everyone in a song of praise. The worship doesn't stop, they just pass the microphone (there's only two mics) to another worship leader and they take over where the last one stopped to start a new song. It's awesome to see worship leaders from other congregations and districts, truly worship and leading together! Today, an elderly woman got up, took the mic and just started praising God! Dancing, singing, clapping...she was doing it all! Praise God for such pure hearts! When she sat down, I had to hug her and let her know how she blessed me.
The pictures show it a little. But as I mentioned, Cornerstone Baptist Church in Kakira is nothing but a hollow basement. Their church building blew down in a storm a year or so ago (that's right, 'blew down'. Half of the structures out here are mud and straw, or sticks and straw). It's a lot of fun, though. Each time I walk down the steps into the basement, I imagine I'm heading to a worship service in the days of the early church! Geeky, I know. But that's me. Once inside, there are primitive short benches, dirt floors, two hanging light bulbs, some portable speakers and two mics. Oh...and a rather crude looking pulpit. I have so grown to love teaching in that place. There's a certain kind of relief in getting away from the many complications and technologies that are our American way of church. In a way...simplicity seems to draw me into worship a little bit easier. No powerpoint, just voices. No instruments (except a little Casio keyboard), just voices. No carpet, windows, air conditioning, cushioned seats, elaborate decorations or special stage lighting. Just people...one family, worshipping God as only we know how; worshipping God for all of Kakira to hear. Add some rain, thunder and lightning, and I swear...God shakes that place.