Happy Mother's Day from Kampala!

Cindy and I with our GIANT Mother's Day bouquets of Star Gazer Lilies and mums.

We’ve now been in Kampala for four days and whatever expectations we brought with us have been exponentially exceeded. As this lovely Mother’s Day draws to a close, I’m especially thankful to have gotten to share this special day with at least one of my loving daughters, who “knocked it out of the park” in celebrating me today. Imagine! Celebrating Mother’s Day in Kampala with Julie! God is so generous.

We are more than thankful for the presence and grace of God we’ve experienced thus far, and amazed at the ways we’ve seen Him work in each event we’ve been a part of.

John Norton, Derek Johnson, and Paul on their way to the Men of Honor conference, night 2.

Friday night, Paul did the second night of the Men of Honor conference. He felt good about the evening and was especially thankful for the connection he has with this wonderful group of men. Julie and I had a nice quiet evening with Cindy Norton and were thrilled to hear positive reports from the men when they returned.
At the cultural fair, we were delighted to run into Dr. Saba Baturo, the Minister of Integrity and Ethics for Uganda. We had met him Thurs. morning at the Parliament meeting and were thrilled for Julie to meet him. What a position of influence Dr. Baturo has, and as a born again Christian, he is leveraging his power to affect public policy with Kingdom values. “For such a time as this...”

Saturday we took advantage of a cultural fair, held on the local airstrip. Tribes from all over Uganda were represented and in their native costumes, danced and made music. It was fabulous. We felt it too was a gift from the Lord, since we were able to gain much insight into the cultural diversity of this country very easily, conveniently, and enjoyably.

Honorable Benson and his wife, Agnes, were among the many who attended the couples' night.

That evening was the couples’ evening, which was the closing night for the Men of Honor conference. It was supposed to start at 6, and we were feeling very sorry for the organizers that only about a dozen people were there at that point. We were also thinking that we would be having a very intimate speaking audience! As our crash course in Ugandan ways continues, we were amazed that by 7, the room was packed and beautifully dressed couples filled all available seats. A delicious Uganda buffet was served, introducing us to “matooke with g-nut sauce” among many other wonderful foods from this area, and we thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

Again aware of our own inadequacies, we prayed that God would meet us, and He did. Once we started speaking, we felt an immediate connection with the audience and they were incredibly responsive to our talk. We felt so met by God...and we were so grateful. We have fallen in love with these people.

Dr. Lazarus presents us with beautiful tributes at the end of the couples' evening and we were surprised and so touched.

The last ones standing at the end of the meeting.

We are so honored to be a part of this amazingly strategic launch of the “Men of Honor” movement. Dr. Lazarus of Life Ministries has a vision to mobilize, challenge, and equip the men of Uganda to be men of standing, of honor, who will lead their families in a godly fashion. At the end of the evening, Dr. Mike charged every man in the room to step up to the plate and be a part of the movement. It was very exciting to think of the positive impact this movement can potentially have on the men, marriages, and families in Uganda, and eventually throughout the continent. What a privilege to be a part of it!

Today has been lovely in every way. We had a worshipful service at Kampala Baptist Church and felt like we were experiencing a small taste of heaven as we sang praises in that very multi-cultural place. Connection within the body of Christ is so immediate and so real. We have felt very welcomed and very connected. After the two hour service, we were standing in the parking lot greeting new friends, when a bus drove by and we heard our names being called.

Ruthann shouting from the bus to get our attention.

Ruthann Bosko, a very long time friend from California, made a delightful scene getting our attention and redirecting her bus driver to pull into the parking lot. Ruthann and her daughter Janelle are with a missions team serving with Sports Outreach and had arrived in Kampala last night.

Ruthann and Janelle Bosko pose with us after our "chance" meeting in the parking lot of the Kampala Baptist Church.
We had a very happy reunion in the parking lot, exclaiming over and over how thankful we were for God's precise orchestration of our meeting. :) Wild.

A delicious Mother's Day lunch at the Ballet Restaurant.

We had a delicious lunch out after church with Derek, Julie, and John and Cindy Norton, and then returned home to be greeted by two huge bouquets of flowers for the two moms. What an unexpected and loving surprise. Cindy and I were both extremely touched by Julie's idea and Derek's procurement. An invigorating walk followed, making it a perfect afternoon.

Julie standing next to a termite nest. This makes the ones from Trinidad seem like hummingbird nests!!

Our evening was spent at a local TV studio, doing a live interview for Uganda’s Family Life. Having left our make-up artist and wardrobe consultant at home, we did our best to be television-ready for our debut on live television. :) Steven and his wife, Beatrice, founders of Family Life, were delightful to work with and Steven was a great interviewer. He asked us questions for the first 35 minutes, and then we answered call-in questions for the remainder of the time. We were very thankful that we felt very comfortable in the glare of bright lights and cameras and our prayer that we’d have clear, quick thinking and communicate Biblical truths about marriage and family was answered (according to our peanut gallery, which included Julie, John Norton, Patrick, and Derek.) We had an immediate connection with Steven and Beatrice as it quickly became obvious that our hearts beat so similarly and that we share a passion for Christian marriage and family. We talked of a continuing partnership with them.

We weren't thronged by the paparazzi or fans as we left the studio, so we easily got home and were eventually served a yummy supper by Derek and Julie. That was the crowning touch to a very memorable day.

The next two days will be very full. In the morning, we meet with the FOCUS team for devotions, and then with the Life Ministries team for several hours of teaching on marriage and family. In the afternoon we'll be counseling, which will continue into Tuesday. Thank you for praying for us and please keep it up. We are more aware than ever of our need to be lifted up and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for standing with us. We send our love for you from Kampala.