Friday 19 March 2010
We have had a most exciting and amazing time with the Czech team. They had no idea of the intensity and depth of level of ministry we have been able to experience. Eating, talking and praying with our friends all over Uganda has come as a surprise and yet excited them. It’s amazing for me to watch as Czechs who I have known for nearly 20 years overcome their natural suspicion left over from Communism and get involved. The hospitality has bowled them over.
Victoria’s school was a brilliant time with some of the team painting the school (again) and others teaching, others playing games. Daniel and I were able to spend nearly a day with Victoria and Stephen going over the necessary business between St Philip's and Glenburnie Butega. It was gruelling for us all but well worth it, once again showing the necessity of regular visits with our overseas partners and of proper answerability and speaking together of our common concerns.
It was a great gift of God to have Daniel and two other civil engineers on the scene in the Czech team and Daniel’s father is also a retired building inspector. So I had a formidable team of four Czechs and myself looking over the new guest house and making comments and suggestions. The Czechs are very interested themselves and after asking many searching questions might well become involved. But they definitely don't like the changing price scenario that seems to be endemic of Uganda projects.
Daniel and I have also been able to assess properly many of the other projects that still show no evidence of sustainability. We have had to speak about the timescale, which is running out, for the school to be completely self sustainable in the next eight years. Revenue from the guest house seems the only real way to do this, but even then we have had to work out a business plan which should have been done before starting work. So our visit has been extremely fruitful.
We are now in Myweya in the far East of Uganda near the Congolese border. The wildlife is prolific and the Czechs have really opened up to life here as well as to themselves. The visit is essentially spiritual with regular devotions prayers and sharing. It is exhausting yet so refreshing to be involved in ministry in this context.
Tomorrow we leave for Mukono dropping in on Victoria to say goodbye. Archbishop Nkoyoyo is waiting us and we look forward to yet more meals provided by our Ugandan hosts who are quite offended if we don’t take up their expansive hospitality.
Sunday 14 March
We are in Mityana with the Czech team and Victoria has given us a warm welcome.
The team are great and in spite of the communication barriers we seems to communicate very well and have the same aims. It’s been a culture shock for them but they seem to enjoy every minute.
We spent a lot of time with Ugandan friends in Kampala and that was just what they enjoyed. Joyce and Viviene who visited with the Ugandan team in 1994 gave us a warm welcome and we spent many hours with them.
COBAP was as harrowing as ever, still working with great strength against HIV and AIDS in the slums of Kampala. The Czechs were very moved.
Tomorrow the Czechs will be painting Victoria’s school and I will be sorting out some business about the school with Victoria and Stephen. The guest house is half built and is massive. Tomorrow we also have a service and opening ceremony at the school when I will be officially opening Anna's nursery. It looks great and is probably the best building on the site now.
On Tuesday we leave for Fort Portal and Kasese where we hope to meet up with Dora’s Act4Africa friends.
It’s hot and humid and matoke for dinner hasn’t improved, but the welcome is as warm as ever.
Greetings to all. Alan