Today we headed to Kakira for our final day of VBS and the women’s conference. Thank goodness we’ll be back there for church Sunday because I feel like my heart is about to break and I can’t face it yet. I realized today that Olivia is unprepared for our leaving. She had asked to stay with us at the hotel one night and as much as I wanted to have all three girls here for a slumber party, I didn’t feel right about them seeing our accommodations. Pastor Scott also hinted that the more attached she is to us, the more difficult it will be for her when we leave. She has waited 2 long years to see us again. She has added my name to her own at her school, calling herself Abbo Olivia Jode. Tears ran down her face today as she hugged me when presented with her certificate for completing the women’s conference. Mine were at flood level for sure.
VBS went really well today. By the 4th day the children know what is coming next and are ready to move with little instruction. No matter how much preparation we do for crafts each evening, there is always a shortage. Planning for 550, was 10% over the highest estimate, and when 600, 700 and today nearly 800 show up, the thought of anyone being left out is not an option so there was some organized scrambling for sure. Dann, Kristen, Olivia and Sharon lead the group again in a really fun version of Jesus Loves Me and Fingerprints. The chorus of Fingerprints talks about a hippopotamus, which we thought was something they would know all about. Tonight we heard that all week they have been saying beep beep beep la la la la la la, instead of Hip Hip Hip Hippopotamus, what a kick!
After the kids are divided up by ages, they sit and wait, 10, 20, 30, 40 minutes to get a plate full of rice and beans. All the while the Ugandan helpers, are entertaining them with skits and songs. They love it, sit quietly and pay attention. Today Dann played Jesus and Kristen played one of the disciples in a skit while they were waiting to be served. I couldn’t see a thing, as I was in the back with my back to them bent over a 1/2 barrel of rice, but I could hear the roars of the children every time “Jesus” had the correct answer. Loved it. We finished on time today, headed 1/4 mile to the church and walked in to begin serving Dann and the women, their lunch of...well Rice and beans, with a little cole slaw.
Then we began our last afternoon of the conference, Nicole and I both taught on fulfilling our purpose in God’s plan. As several offered a song to show their appreciation of all God has done, we wrapped up the conference, shed a few tears, hugged all 80+ women, handed out certificates and ended with a dance party and lots of pictures. Janet explained that having a certificate of completion for even this type of learning, helps them to get a job. I had no idea.
Dot and Nicole had a great conversation with Janet, sharing their hearts with her, as she shared that her prayer for several years matches up exactly. We are all amazed, that 3 women thousands of miles apart can be knit together. It was bitter sweet today, more sweet than bitter since we go back Sunday, but Lord have mercy on my emotions that day, our last in Kakira.
Tomorrow we leave the hotel at 4am to get Dot and Ashley to the airport for their 9am flight, then we head farther North and East for a day and a half of exploring. My energy is amazing, I don’t know how long it will take to recover once we get home, but I’m grateful for it now. I wish I could better explain all that is happening. But just know that each blog post is taking about 2 hours to write, upload pictures and post...you’re worth it and so is the telling of all that is unfolding here. We'll be away from the internet for a couple of days and its 11pm and I'm going to skip the pictures for now. I just don't have another hour in me tonight. I still can’t believe 782 children were under our care today, amazing.