Sunday, January 8, 2012

Traveling to Oyam District

The five hour bus ride was one of the best I’ve experienced in Uganda. The roads were smooth, traffic was minimal, and the sun was blazing hot as we slipped around in our own sweat on the plastic covered seats. Pastor Patrick found us easily when we arrived in Lira; finding the lone muzungu among a crowd of villagers made that task a bit easy. Pastor Patrick is the district overseer for the Oyam Assemblies of God churches, which means he is responsible for several churches in the area.

A special hire taxi jammed with some of the local church members and their music equipment awaited our arrival. My small suitcase packed with as many English language Bibles as it could hold was hefted to the top of the taxi along with my giant duffle filled with triplet clothing, dolls, dresses, and a few of my own things. Once loaded – and I mean loaded – we set off for the hour plus drive from Lira to the small village where the giant crusade would take place.

What would a road trip be without music? Given that the group likely didn’t know the theme song to the Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, or the Beverly Hillbillies, Augustine and I started the group by teaching them a simple worship song sung in rounds. Everyone joined in and for the next hour we sang this and all sorts of other worship songs in English and in the Lango, the local language. Once we got to My Redeemer Lives, I phoned home to broadcast our beautiful group singing to my father who listened on in silence.

We continued singing and those sounds of worship coming loudly from our taxi were often met with a few dance wiggles from those we passed on the road. Alternatively the melodies were met with stares of puzzlement. We reached the turn off from the main road and snuck behind a few buildings toward a narrower two track. A bit later the road narrowed more. And again. Deep into the village we drove until arriving at the mud and grass church where our teaching would begin the next morning.