Surprised by Joy: Africa Edition {Part 2}

Yes, it has taken me this long to whip another blog post on my time in Uganda. Who would have known it could be so hard?!
Today, I’m going to start off with one of our tourist activities, and let me just tell you it was EXTREMELY touristy. We went to an African dance show. . . and not just any dance show, a FOUR HOUR African dance show. Team Uganda certainly gained some cultural experience that night.
Speaking of Team Uganda, let me introduce you to my 16 sisters: adventurous Sarah, sassy Candace, sweet Danica, joyful Macey (shmace), energetic Megan, hilarious Kerry, loving Natalie, brave Zoe, fun Leah, generous Emily, creative Miki, strong Jenn, the other energetic Meghan, lively Haley, delightful Ellie, and thoughtful Mariah! These ladies mean the world to me, and I miss them more than I thought possible. 
I have an almost countless amount of photographs of barefoot feet.
Many of these kids sticking their feet out for a picture sometimes walk miles and miles to school on a rocky, dusty African road with nothing to protect their feet, and that is enough to make a heart break. 
We visited the school (a Muslim school) featured in these next few pictures twice, and it was an amazing place. Sometime in the spring, a little girl who was a beloved student of the school was the victim of child sacrifice. Some of these children have to walk past the home of the witchdoctor on their way to school. It is terrifying.
We came to the school with several full-time missionaries who go to the school every week. We sang songs, danced, and played games! Over the months, the students have grown to really look forward to Mondays, when the missionaries come. That is the joy + hope of Christ.
{the Skiera-Vaughn’s blog: http://skiera-vaughn.blogspot.com/}
{the Newton’s blog: http://newlynewtons.com/}

This photograph describes our ministry time SO perfectly. Standing in an almost mosh-pit of children raising our hands with joy unimaginable. Praise the Lord!
This parade stopped our bus on the way to church in Kyampisi one day. We also bought a chicken off the street and put it in the trunk to give to a family in the village. Just your average ride to church, and another reason why I love Africa. :)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Megan, in all her weave-glory, would like to introduce to you JINJA: the source of the River Nile {or, as it was written on the sign “Da River Nile”}! Jinja, about three hours bus ride from Kisaasi, was the second of our tourist outings and turned out to be a very eventful day.
First, at a pit-stop during the bus ride over, our bus full of “Mzungus” {white people} was swarmed by at least 30 street vendors, shoving their food through our windows.
Yes, I did buy some. My choices were: chicken of some form on a skewer,  beef liver,  fried bananas, and maize (grilled corn similar to popcorn). I chose the chicken and am still alive today!
Second, we stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Jinja, and it was at this fateful establishment that I made my worst food decision of the trip: chicken curry. Something was seriously wrong in my head when I thought Indian food at a Chinese restaurant in Africa would be . . .appetizing.
Oh hey there! This is me at the Nile.  “Ginger in Jinja!”
The final, and by far the most AMAZING experience of the day? The baptism of my housemate and friend Alexus at sunset in the River Nile.
WEAVES: another significant feature of Team Uganda.
This should be filed under #Jesushouseshenanigans. We had quite a bit of down time at the lovely Jesus house {oh how I miss it!}. We filled that time in a variety of ways. One of those “time fillers” was climbing the roof to see the African sunset. Adventures. . .{love ya, Sarah!}
This next group of photographs features some SUPER cute children and should also be filed under the title or hashtag of #JesusHouseShenanigans. Meet the neighborhood children! When they spied from over the wall that crazy group of Mzungu girls on the deck, they were quite shy. With time, perseverant love, and the power of Jesus Christ, however, they entered the gates of the Jesus House compound, never to be the same. At least one member of team Uganda was always on the porch with these beautiful kids, doing the work of Jesus by making bracelets, dancing, singing, or just giggling! Some of these children come from extremely difficult home lives, from what we understood, and I think my teammates really showed them the unfailing and unconditional love of “Yesu.”
And that is something they didn’t know and desperately need.
Again, there is so much more to say and show. I’ll end it for now with Phillipians 3:7-8a
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. “
 

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