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The little ferry to the large island in Lake Victoria.

This has been an amazing trip. Though we leave for home on Thursday at the end of six weeks, our adventures and vision continue to get better each day we are here. Yesterday Gail and I traveled by ferry to the islands with a local pastor who oversees the islands that are out in Lake Victoria. We ferried out to the big island several kilometers off Jinja out in the lake. I’m not yet sure why this was important to me, but I have felt a need from the Spirit to go to the islands even before this trip began, so when the invitation came, I took it. We left Jinja in the dark of early morning to catch the early ferry, and returned in the dark around 7:30 pm last night. We spent all day on the island visiting churches that he oversees.

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Typical transport to the islands without a ferry, which is most of them.

Time and again I heard this man introduce one of his pastors with the words, “This pastor is a converted Muslim. He used to be a t—rist, but now pastors this church.” We drove down cow paths to lakeside fishing villages to the frequent refrain of, “These children have no school. This elder has donated this land for the church and a school, but we haven’t gotten the school yet.”  We left the island at 4pm and the policeman who signed us onto the ferry approached Gail while we sat waiting for the ferry to arrive. He politely inquired why she was visiting the island. When she told him

, he asked, “Do you have Bibles? I need a Bible.” She would have given him hers, but had left it back in our room. This seems to summarize for us the isolation of these people, 250,000 islanders scattered through 52 islands, mostly accessible only by motorboat, few having even the small ferry service we used to get to this larger island.

Today, our adventures only got better. We start

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We were escorted through each village by the children who were out in force because there are few schools.

ed with a young woman who has an entrepreneurial farm with chickens, pigs, and mushrooms, as well as other crops. We were there to investigate the mushroom-growing process as a potential way pastors can generate income for their families and be self-supporting. This young woman was a Christian girl who went to a special class at a university to learn about mushroom growing. She spoke eloquently about her process and her product, showed us everything we asked, and answered many questions. This girl is the poster child for entrepreneurial enterprise. I was very impressed and paid her a consulting free when we left. We now have a small group of pastors who are praying about an experimental mushroom program to see how viable this crop would be for them to grow and market.

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The vehicle we now share with three other Ugandan ministries. PTL!

In the afternoon we drove to the top of the large ridge that sits behind Bugembe and followed the road along the crest t

o the large gate of the royal Busoga palace compound that sits overlooking Bugembe. The Busoga are the traditional local tribe from this region and have a royal family named Kyabazinga. You can see this large building from almost anywhere in the area because it is a large pyramid-shaped structure outlined against the horizon at the crest of the ridge. I thought we had gone as far as we could on the road, and we were turning around to find an elevated spot to take pictures of the panoramic lake view when Samuel began an offhand conversation with a man who was walking down toward the gate. Before I knew what was happening, we had been invited inside the compound to look at the house and were offered a chance to tour the newly finished but as yet unoccupied Kyabazinga mansion. So we received a personal guided tour of the 90 room palace of King Kyabazinga’s family. It sits unoccupied because the family has been unable, since the king’s death some years back, to settle the family succession issue (apparently two heirs are battling it out). I don’t think ever happens! We were just in the right place and the right moment. My Ugandan friends are even having a hard time believing the story when I tell them. “You did what?” they ask incredulously.

We concluded the day in the home of an overseer of a number of church plants in a nearby district while he and his wife hosted us for dinner to thank us for our church-planting work. A huge Ugandan feast was laid out for us and we ate till we could hardly walk. So altogether, this last two days has been amazing.

Attached is a photo or two of the car we now share with three other ministries in Uganda. It is a Toyota Noah. I believe it will be a huge savings and resource for the advancement of our various mission operations in Uganda. Yes, we took it on the ferry to the island and drove it all over.

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