This week, we are in a small guest house in rural Uganda. The generator runs for awhile each evening, so we are able to catch up with typing reports. Internet? Well, that will have to wait until we visit the project office tomorrow. We’re told if we stand outside under the big mango tree, we just might be able to make a connection and send this e-mail. . .
We are in the heart of the Aringa homeland, close to the South Sudan border. Here the Aringa Bible translation and literacy project is forging ahead, with completion of the last four epistles of the New Testament set for this year. The Church here is in the minority, and knows persecution firsthand. But believers seem firm in their faith, and give quiet, solid encouragement to one another. We have listened to stories of exile, personal loss, and dangers faced. This is impressive; would we be as committed to Jesus, if we were in their place?
This morning we left early to drive way off the beaten track to Kei Mountain, just a few kilometers from Sudan. At the end of the rocky red road, we found a small but thriving church family. They welcomed us with smiles, fresh flowers in the thatch above the door, a delicious meal, and an amazing program in their community hall. After a Bible study, the young people did a hilarious skit of the story of the prodigal son—he even pawned his shoes, shirt, and trousers to find more money for his fickle girlfriend when his money ran out. The crowd loved it! It was obvious they understood the parable completely, and took its meaning to heart. The women’s literacy class (including a few grandmothers) then trooped in with eager faces. Encouraging to see, as these homemakers have a strong influence on the next generation. Jerry commended them in his official thank-you-and-goodbye-speech as “honorary visitor,” and they beamed with pleasure.
As we left, we were told, “Give our greetings to your church in Canada. Tell them we are praying for them, and please ask them to pray for us!”
Jerry & Kathy – on the road in Uganda