London, England/Kampala, Uganda ~ September 24- October 3, 2012
Drama Upon Departure
We gathered up our luggage and were ready to go, with a buffer time for takeoff much less than my liking. On the way to the airport, our vehicle broke down at least twenty times within six to eight miles on the interstate, because of a vacuum problem with the carburetor. Humanly speaking, it did not look good. It was the middle of the day when no one is handy for assistance, and calling a tow truck would not help at all. We would obviously miss our flight. God always has a way however; the question is would we find it? But of course. Our son Paul was at home because of a unique change in his schedule. He came to our rescue at a gas station/food mart, took care of the broken down vehicle, and we used his car to get to the airport. We prayed and carefully planned for this trip several weeks in advance, yet moments like this really tax our faith. We made the flight with a bit of time to spare, and took off for our connecting flight at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. We departed from Chicago in the late evening, arriving at the Heathrow Airport, London the following morning.
We took London’s airport railway to famous Paddington Station, and took a double decker bus from there. In a blitz we saw decorative soldiers on guard dressed in old world garb, the Tower Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly, Hyde Park, and many other sights. My thrill was having my picture taken underneath a statue of my hero, Winston Churchill. Yes, “this was my finest hour.” London is an international city, full of people from India, the Middle East, Asians and even a few native British folks. One could sense that the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism were all represented in this city. We returned to the airport in the late afternoon, prior to our departure for Uganda. Our flight was a long “red eye,” and we had ample room on the airplane to stretch out and rest. The flight went well and arrived on time.
Arrival In Uganda
I am a history buff, and I know something about Entebbe Airport where we just landed. Decades ago, hostages were taken there under the rule of the wicked Ugandan President Idi Amin. An airplane was hijacked and flown into the airport. The Israelis arranged for an incredible rescue attempt to free the hostages, mostly who were Jewish and Israelis. The brother of the current prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu), Yoni Netanyahu, was the leader of this crack commando squad. They landed at the other end of the vast airport late at night with their lights off, after flying over Lake Victoria. They drove vehicles out of their cargo plane with false flags and insignias, and approached the hostage sight. Gunfire erupted and those holding the hostages were all killed, all the hostages survived, and the only fatality with the Israeli commando unit was their leader, Yoni Netanyahu himself! My plan was to search the walls of the airport buildings, and see if I could find bullet holes from the gunfire. I never had the chance. We stepped out of the airplane and proceeded down steps, and I immediately observed airport police outside, dressed in military fatigues and equipped with AK-47s! I looked at them and not for bullet holes. Welcome to third world country Uganda. We showed our passports and purchased visas without incident….and yes, our luggage all arrived safely.
There is nothing quite like meeting a familiar face when you travel around the world. Especially when you know absolutely no one else in the entire nation! Daniel Lugumya and a couple of his associates were at Entebbe Airport to meet us. It was surreal to finally arrive at the goal of our trip. We were thrilled and grateful. Thank you Jesus and bless our week…