“Stop merrymaking, discos, bars, music shows, concerts and sports activities. Drunkards speak with saliva coming out of their mouths. Suspended for 32 days.” Darn! I really wanted to make merry!! What you just read was a small excerpt of M7’s (a.k.a. President Musevini) mandatory restrictions. That was # 11 on the list. I quoted that one because we often laugh at how Ugandans will word things; it is so much different from us. At any rate, if you can’t tell, we are now under a strict directive for at least the next month. It was a little bit delayed here I believe because the government with all its faults seems to deal with these health crises well. 

With Ebola next door to us in the DRC, they were excellent on how they dealt with it. It makes sense as most of the people live in extreme poverty so if there is an outbreak with the poor healthcare system here, they would end up with a huge problem. Debra seems to think there have got to be cases in Uganda and I have been a bit more leery. But my lovely wife has us on a tight regime of cleanliness.

This consists of handwashing, implementing the new catchphrase: Social Distancing and overall resorting to hermit mode.

I am adding “The Coronavirus Greeting Method”. This will be handy for not only education purposes but for humor in this serious time. We think about the impact worldwide and hear the stories, the media over hype, the rumors and it becomes hard to decipher truth from people trying to make more of it than there is. The financial impact across the world will be felt but places like Uganda will be affected deeper. The poverty is already so deep and every day is a matter of survival so if people are not able to work or sell their goods, it will be much more difficult for the people here.

With all the negatives, it can be hard to see any good. But we can always find God in the midst of the trial.

I love Psalm 46 which gives us a promise we find elsewhere in His Word: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” While we use caution in preventing getting sick, we can trust that the Lord will be there for us. We truly believe that the calamity is a message and so many don’t want to hear it. In this time where it seems s our world has come to a halt, we have to rely on Jesus.

With the restrictions, we are essentially at a standstill here since our work involves what is closed up. All church services are suspended and schools are closed for the next month at least. Debra’s work with Claire and the school and my work with George with the regional churches have ground to a halt. We can still meet in groups of 10 or less so I will continue teaching the classes to the leaders. We will gather as leaders on Sundays.

We will do a Bible study and pray; prayer is our biggest tool. It is a good chance for me to lead the studies and teach the leaders the methodology we are trying to implement. Debra will have plenty to do working on many projects that are not dependent on the school being open.

And far as life as usual goes, the photos above are of a few wonderful kids we have in our midst. The top one is Linnette, one of the spunky girls at the school, the middle one is an adorable boy at the church. The one above is Rita who George and Mary are caring for since her mother died and father is unable to care for her. She fell into a fire some months back and had severe burns. She has recovered which was a miracle.

This photo above is of the associate pastor’s daughter whose birthday we celebrated after church. As in all Ugandan pictures, we cannot tell if they are happy about the cake or about to bury it at a funeral! Ugandans don’t smile in pictures much. We continue to be blessed with the numerous relationships we have.

Our truck (Toyota Hilux) is now 23 years old. She has been a great vehicle. “The Tank” is rugged and we were blessed since she has been very solid for the most part. People don’t take care of anything so buying a used car is like playing Russian Roulette. We are so grateful we had Peter (Ugandan) who found it a few months after relocating over here. It was previously owned by an NGO which usually take good care of the vehicles.

Anyway, we have had a lot of maintenance issues and some expensive ones at that. We discovered our longtime mechanic wasn’t exactly being forthright with us so we are now taking it to a Godly man named Atwoki Wilson. He owns the Toyota service center and his facility is actually very professional as well as his staff. We are hoping to get a reprieve from further issues for a while.

For now life is more or less slowing down by default. We know all of you are in this time of uncertainty and struggle. While we have an abundance of toilet paper, we know not everyone does. As I posted in my daily Bible verse and commentary. the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 still applies today: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” What do you suppose would happen if we did just that? 

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