We're writing now from rainy Sacramento, California, and it seems almost impossible that just days ago we were in the equatorial heat of Uganda. Bumpy roads have been replaced by fast moving freeways, littered slums have been replaced by beautiful clean tract neighborhoods, and mosquito nets have not been replaced.
As different as symbols of life are between these two worlds, the challenges when it comes to marriage and family are strikingly similar. Tonight we spoke on the curse's impact on love and respect in marriage at Bayside's monthly couples' date night, and we were reminded of the centrality of this issue which supersedes culture and generation. Just last week, we spoke with many Ugandan couples who affirmed that wives who feel unloved and husbands who feel disrespected are common in Ugandan marriages.
As the dust settles on our days in Uganda, we continue to be so deeply grateful for this opportunity to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe. We truly felt the days were anointed and fruitful, which is the work of God, not of ourselves.
Our final day, driving from Mbale to Kampala, was full of the delights of being with Derek and Julie. We had a couple of great meals and visited with some of their dearest friends in Kampala before flying out just before midnight on Saturday, March 16th. Nine hours later we landed in Brussels, and had a five-hour layover, which is just about what was needed for me to get my Kindle retrieved from the seat pocket of the plane . . . where I had left it. Those of you who have heard us teach on temperaments know that I don't typically leave things behind, so you'll also understand why Paul thoroughly (quietly) enjoyed the shoe being on the other foot for a bit. He was most gracious and refrained from making any comments, but I knew what he was thinking. :)
|While in Kampala, we had tea with Derek and Julie's good friends, Drs. Andrew and Sarah Hodges. Andrew is a plastic surgeon, operating on children with cleft palates and other deformities, and Sarah is an anesthesiologist. Both are devoted to Christ.|
|Bob and Martha Wright and 3 of their 5 children were also at the Hodges.|
The Wrights are missionaries in Karamoja and are also dear friends of Derek and Julie's.
What a treat to see them as well!
On to Washington, D.C. we flew, and nine hours later, we landed there to go through customs. Our much shorter layover was just enough to get to our next flight, and six hours later we landed in Sacramento. So 48 hours after leaving Mbale, we checked into a hotel and it took the next 24 hours to feel somewhat human again. We have been very thankful for the 48 hours we have had in Sacramento to catch up on sleep and readjust to time zones before our five-day speaking tour began.
This wraps up Uganda 2013. Thanks again for your prayers and support and please continue praying especially for the pastors in Mbale who are faithfully teaching the Word of God to their congregations. Pray for their marriages and their families. Pray for their protection, both physically and spiritually.
|Pastor Nelson and Agnes provide leadership for multiple pastors in their denomination and are committed to scriptural integrity and gospel-centered living.|
|Pastor David and Christine came to the pastors’ retreat with a 5-day-old baby girl—their 5th child. Christine was thankful for the meals and the rest afforded her by the retreat. What a trooper!|
|Pastor Charles and Sarah wrote that the conference had|
changed them significantly. Dear, precious people.
Sending our love from California—
Virginia (and Paul)