SS Refugee Crisis Blog 3: Reflections from Reninca - little answers to prayer
THE BELOW BLOG IS WRITTEN BY RENINCA HILL, WHO IS ON A PLACEMENT TO NORTHERN UGANDA WITH CARWYN & THEIR FAMILY. BELOW, RENINCA SHARES FROM A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE AN UPDATE ON THEIR TIME SO FAR...
Well, this is exciting…. I haven’t blogged in years. Back to mission but this time with the added bonus of a beautiful five year old boy and a smiley seven month baby. This brings a whole new level of excitement, logistics and plans. Where as in the past Carwyn and I would happily sleep on airport floors or do without, we have had to add an extra level of planning for this trip.
A couple of people have asked ‘why?’. Why would you take them abroad, out of school, away from family, where they could get sick / ill? From a faith position, both Carwyn and I felt a clear sense of calling to come on this trip. We worship a great God and it's our responsibility to go when He tells us to go and trust Him with the details. Amazingly, each of the small details has been taken care of, with door after door opening, making it clear this was where we should be and what we should be doing.
Carwyn travelled out a week before us to get things organised and prepared. However, this meant me traveling on my own with the two children. I was slightly nervous about this, but every step of the way I was helped, supported and loved by those around me. One lady commented to me that she had been annoyed when she sat behind me, expecting the kids to be a nightmare crying etc., but in her words said they'd been perfect. This is down to nothing but a miracle :)
Another little miracle...I arrived in Nairobi and had a two hour lay over before catching another plane to Uganda. I got J's tablet out to entertain him and saw it was on 11% battery (nightmare!). We still had 2 hours of lay over and then another plane journey. It would be difficult to manage the two of them without the help of some media entertainment :-). I sent up an arrow prayer that it would last. When we landed in Entebbe (Uganda), 3 hours later, it still had 11% battery. Praise God. Prayer does work.
We slept over night in Entebbe and then caught a Mission Aviation Fellowship flight up north. This would have been a ten hour journey in the car with the children so a 1.5 hour flight was much easier and quicker. We landed on a small airfield on the edge of the town by a school. Planes don’t land a lot so it caused great excitement. We then went to our new rented home in Moyo which is the nearest town to the refugee camps.
We have settled in well, getting used to the heat and mosquitos with the children enjoying getting to know a new culture.
Today, after much work and prayer, we finally got permission to start our activities in the refugee camps (a huge answer to prayer and a great relief for Carwyn!). However, the Baptist Convention of South Sudan also have permission to host missionaries in the camps, so we were allowed to go to a refugee church on Sunday as guests, rather than in a work capacity.
We took the children and in true fashion, the car broke down on the way (almost a daily occurrence this week!) Fortunately, some dear friends happened to be driving a few minutes behind us so picked us up. We arrived to a make shift building with tauplain and bamboo sticks. You could hear the singing from the car. We enetered the building and were overcome by what we saw - beautiful people singing and praising. Most wearing a mismatch of clothes and shoes, all desperately poor. All were refugees forced to flee their home towns because of the fighting in recent months.
After being processed as refugees, they were dropped off with a ration pack to a piece of land; an area which would now be their home. Despite having nothing and many clearly having faced great trauma, it was so wonderful and humbling to worship together, witnessing them give all they had emotionally, spiritually and physically to this service. There must have been 100+ children through out the service at different points and I was struck by these little ones. Apparently about 85% of those in camps are women and children. Following todays good news on our Government approval to commence with work, we're now looking forward to start helping some of these families more directly in the coming months.
Please pop back soon to hear more news of how things are going.