June 2, 2008

Enjoying Uganda

[Video - My New Favorite Coffee Shop]

God definitely blessed our recent mission trip to Uganda, and we accomplished a great deal in light of our future ministry. The next time we go back, it will be our family moving over to start serving Christ full time! But before I wrap up my series of reflections on our time there, I wanted to let you know a little more about the fun we had while in Uganda.

Kampala, UgandaKampala is an amazing city. As one of the 50 largest cities in all of Africa, it has a daytime population of roughly 2 million (and growing!). The streets are packed with taxi-buses, the buildings are filled with shops and businesses, and there are lots of people all around. We enjoyed staying in such a big city. My wife especially enjoyed shopping for local crafts. We found African shirts for myself and our son, some locally made necklaces for my wife and our daughters, and some great gifts to give away.

1000 Cups of CoffeeI officially have a new favorite coffee shop: 1000 Cups of Coffee. Owned and run by Ugandans, it has a casual environment in which to drink coffee (or, in my case, an iced vanilla latte) and just relax. Yes, this former Mormon has become a coffee addict! Let me tell you--this place is top-notch. They even have a coffee safari tracing back local beans back to their source. And before leaving the shop, I hit the jackpot: they were selling a kilo (about 2.2 pounds) of Uganda Natural Arabica green beans for a little over $6 (right now I know that Jeff Downs is green with envy). Needless to say, I returned to America with a good stock of coffee beans to roast and brew.

Kasubi TombsWe also learned more about Uganda's history by touring the Kasubi Tombs. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the former palace of the Buganda kings was the perfect place to gain a better appreciation of the nation’s culture. Our guide described the many changes that have come since the British came and colonized the region. The tour was both interesting and informative.

Can you tell that we have come to love Uganda? As I have said before, in many ways our hearts never left. By God's grace, we will return soon.

Next week, I’ll conclude my overview of our journey in April by writing about the impact and results of the trip and our future plans.

(Previous posts on our recent mission trip: Advancing Biblical Discernment in Uganda, The Challenge of Islam in Uganda, Developing the Center in Uganda, Cults Targeting College Students in Uganda, Visiting Missionaries in Uganda)