We were able to take a few days last week to go on the adventure of a lifetime! We decided that for our family Christmas we would take the boys on Safari. (Thanks to our parents, who helped us pay for this adventure). We had our dear friends the Fish family along with us which made the journey that much more fun!! We took all day Wednesday to drive across Uganda to Murchison Falls. It was a long day but the Grasshopper snack made it all ok! LOL! I know you all wanna try them!
We got up really early our first day (5:30am) so that we could have breakfast and get to the morning ferry by 7am. We were very eager to get on with this safari! We brought cushions so that we could sit up on top of the van on the luggage rack. This was awesome for everyone but a little chilly until the sun came out. Only in Africa can you ride on top of the van and hang on while viewing wild animals and not get into trouble. (However, one of the guides did tease the children to say if they fell off the top then it would be 10 years in jail). This really was a site for all to see as we rode through the dirt roads. That is what the rack is for right???
Our Children loved it when they found out they could go with no car seats and most days no seat belts and now…….they can ride on the roof! What is happening to me! LOL! We saw so many neat things and I was really just in awe of God and His creation. We saw every animal on Wyatt’s list except the Leopard. (Sorry Mrs. Joy, no zebras this trip). We ended up taking two different safari drives since the first drive did not produce a lion! On Friday, our guide was a veteran and he spotted a lion from quite the distance! We stopped for a bit and waited. We finally were able to see the lion up close and it was amazing. The adventure was complete. We followed this day with a Rhino tracking adventure. It was also great. We woke up to Rhinos in the front yard while we were walking to breakfast. Fun does not even begin to describe what we had on this trip.
As you all know this was also our first Christmas here and so many of you helped make it such a special one. Christmas Day was going to very busy here. In Uganda it is typical to have a big church service with giving and also a big feast with family. They save the day after Christmas for resting with the immediate family. The 26th is also a public holiday here. It was especially neat to be a part of Mutai (our new village church) and also spend time with Tom (an Ugandan Engineer that works with Doug) and his family. I will start you out with our family. We decided that we would open some gifts on Christmas Eve and watch the Polar Express as a family while drinking hot chocolate. (Thanks Wilson Family)! Doug was preaching Christmas morning so we got up early and opened stockings and the gifts from our dear Mt. Airy friends then off to church. This was such a blessing. Some people brought us gifts of fruit and veggies from their gardens and one lady gave me a mat for the house. It was so neat to see these people give to not only my family but to each other as well and truly from their hearts all they had to give. Our family took 50 kgs of rice to hand out and candy for the children. They were so grateful! We left church and went about an hour away for lunch. Tom’s family was amazing and so inviting. (His aunt is a surgeon here so we had plenty to talk about)!We had a wonderful lunch and the kids played with the other kids. We got home about 6 pm to finish our Christmas together as a family and Skype with our family in SC.
We were also able to spend the next day with the Fish family to exchange gifts and see Lisa off. My dear friend is on a plane to the states to have some surgery on her tongue. Please be in prayer for her. She will be there for about a month and will have at least one procedure done. She has a spot that they have called “pre cancer” on her tongue. They did not get clear margins on the biopsy and have to go back for more. Please pray not only for this but also for her as she left three of her children and her husband here in Africa. God has really answered prayers through this family for our family and I would love for you all to pray for them with us.
God has been so gracious to us the Christmas season. He is the reason we are in Uganda doing what we are doing. He came as a baby on Christmas so that He could die for our sins as a man. He died for me and He died for you. Maybe you did not experience that Joy this Christmas, but you can gain that Joy now. Jesus IS the reason for the season. You hear that often, but do you believe it? Sure gift giving is fun and exciting and those that know me well know that I love giving the gifts and I love opening the gifts but the best gift of all was opened long ago for me and it is still a gift to be treasured so much every day. I am redeemed, hallelujah, I am redeemed! This Christmas was a fun adventure but it is only thanks to the Father in heaven that we got to experience it! Following His call is tough but always comes with blessings!!