Confirmation & Preparation
Daniel Lugumya and I corresponded on a regular basis following the convention. The possibility of a short term mission trip gradually became a probability. During this time our daughter Jessica was extremely busy, wall to wall, working in her nursing job as well as on her doctorate degree in the nursing program, yet she desired to go on this trip as well, in order to hone experience in the medical mission field. She was on again, off again for ninety days, not sure if she could come or not until a few weeks before departure. Eventually she was able to commit, yet she had zero extra time in her busy schedule, working right up until the mission trip and picking up immediately again after arriving back home.
When I shared the news of this trip with the leaders of the church I was serving in, they were skeptical to say the least. The terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya just occurred, and many Americans perceived there to be unrest throughout the Middle East and all of Africa, although this was not the case. Furthermore, some researched pastor Daniel Lugumya and could find neither good nor bad information about him. There was also concern that this particular mission trip was not part of our denomination. I greatly appreciated the caution displayed, yet the Lord already confirmed with me that everything was copacetic. I am forever thankful for the prayer circle formed around me on the night prior to our departure. I felt empowered, protected and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
I spent around $300.00 on immunization shots. A “Yellow Fever” shot was mandatory, and represented by a special card that was kept with ones’ passport. Other shots were for typhus, malaria, hepatitis A and B, and others. After spending that kind of money on shots, I was as good as on the airplane. A visa is also required for entry into Uganda, yet it amounts to a mere rubber stamp formality at the Ugandan airport, as the mission worker/tourist pays another fee for the nation. Uganda is a very poor country and we surely had no problem paying the additional fee and we were glad to. Upon arrival at the Ugandan airport, we had no concerns with administration, passports or logistics whatsoever. That too, is an answer to prayer.
Our trip had a layover scheduled in London for sightseeing and enjoying some of the trademark tourist sights in England. Prior to departure, Daniel Lugumya sent us an excellent itinerary that had us busy everyday. I was scheduled to preach at least once or twice a day in evening services as well as on Sunday morning. Jessica and I both were to teach the children at the Mercy School. Daniel scheduled a tour of a museum that had information about Christian martyrs in Uganda and the nation’s prior history as a British colony. We were also scheduled to tour several neighborhoods of the Ugandan people.
The time of arrival was late September and the weather forecast was in the 80’s with little if any rain. Daniel and his associates were scheduled to meet us at the airport. Needless to say, we were anxious to meet new Christian friends in the heart of Africa.