After tolerating more than 20 hours of confinement with other cramped airline passengers, the liberation was an appreciated transition. Uganda has become home for us and more than simply a venue for work.
The launch of the day was escorted by the fresh breeze off of Lake Victoria and the divine orchestration of African birds. Fresh pineapple and watermelon, espresso for Pam and bacon (not common in Uganda) for me, helped fill the time as our anticipation grew.
Little did we know that the expectant and hopeful atmosphere we enjoyed would be seriously threatened before the day retired. Push would come to shove.
Pam and I said goodbye to Oregon on October 1st and hello to Uganda on October 2nd. It was the first time that we celebrated Pam's birthday in Africa. Officially we celebrated her birthday, on the 2nd, for only two hours. But unofficially we intended to celebrate the following day it with three of our African children, our driver Peter, and two special friends, Dale & Daurelle Chapman, from America, who now live in Kampala.
|Pam with son's Robert & Chris|
Peter is in the background
As the day wore on we decided to celebrate Pam's birthday with an early supper at Cafe Javas. The manager was as excited as we were and, without our knowledge, had the kitchen prepare a birthday cake for one of his favorite customers. Food was ordered and we expressed our thankfulness to God for a safe return, His goodness and grace to us all, and the joy of relationships.
|Aunt Daurelle & Uncle Dale with our daughter Rebecca|
As we listed the missing items for the police report we were amazed at the number of valuable things that small bag contained:
- Pam's USA passport
- Noise reduction headphones (my birthday gift to her the day before)
- Columbia Bank debit card
- American Express credit card
- keys to our house in Jinja (and, of course, a business card with our address there on it)
- $700 cash
- notebook which contained important information
- Pam's cosmetics
The winds of change threatened to steal our joy. The cake never made it out of the kitchen. The manager refused to let me pay the bill. The atmosphere attempted to change our focus from the goodness and grace of God. On the surface the experience seemed to be circumstantial.
However, in the unseen world Pam and I knew that we had been shoved. This was not our first transition from the comfort of family and friends in Oregon to the challenges of God's assignment in Uganda. By now we were aware of the relentless nature of spiritual warfare.
We shoved back.
We are committed to being who God made us be and being that in Uganda. No weapon formed against us will prosper. The enemy meant the theft of Pam's purse for evil, but God has made it good. We informed the enemy that he had been an effective, though unwilling and resistant, servant of God. He had confirmed that we were meant to be here in Uganda.
What a way to begin 8 months of ministry in Africa!
Uganda does not need Paul and Pam Hunter. But, the Spirit of the Lord is upon us. Uganda needs the anointing of the Lord. His anointing is upon us to bring good news to the poor, comfort to the broken hearted, proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed, to inform those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come. (Isaiah 61 ... the scripture the Lord gave me in my scheduled bible reading the day before we left the United states)