Posted by: jacobgillard | June 27, 2011

Cross-Country Road Trip: Moving Like Circuit Riders

900 miles (1,450km) in 6 days

A circuitous route: over 900 miles (1,450km) in 6 days. We started in Kampala and moved clockwise. (Click on the map to open a larger version.)

In Uganda, sometimes the most direct route is the most unconventional route.  This makes sense once you realize that all roads lead to Kampala à la a hub and spoke model—Kampala being the hub.  Depending on the route, many people who utilize public transit will often pass thru Kampala instead of taking the shorter hypotenuse.  The indirect route thru Kampala can be safer, more comfortable, cheaper, and take the same amount of time.

My main responsibility as a mission facilitator—alongside theological teaching—is mentoring and pastoral care to church leaders so I’m often on the road making visits.  As we say, the more the merrier, so I’ll usually fill my vehicle with 2-4 extra leaders who can be encouraged and encourage others as we move about.  President Noah Isanga asked to accompany me on my most recent trip so he could address a number of people and clear up some confusion regarding the current church discipline crisis in the LCMU.  We sketched out an ambitious route.

So, did we utilize the hub and spokes?  Nope.  We had a strong vehicle and people to see along the way so we took the direct route.  Below is my travelogue.

I left Kampala Tuesday afternoon with Dr. Phil Giessler, President Noah Isanga, Evangelist Edward Nabugo and Rev. Jerome Wamala. We met Moses, Benjamin, and Rev. Samuel Ogwang at Grace Mbarara just before sunset.  We continued to Ibanda with the three Mbarara men just mentioned and checked in to Resort Gardens Hotel.  We woke Wednesday morning and met at Trinity Ibanda.  Fred Magezi said he was away and could not attend.  Rev. Benson Barahuka said he would attend but he failed to show.  It was delightful to see Evangelist Stephen Kimara and many others.  Dr. Giessler had a marvelous devotion and orientation to his Seminar on the Holy Spirit.  Then, President Isanga led a time of sharing as it regards the current crisis in the LCMU.  The three Mbarara men remained in Ibanda and the original group of five continued north.  We stopped to see Benson at his very nice stationary shop in Ishongororo but found only his wife.  She said he was on safari but his motorcycle was parked outside the shop.  Jerome and I counseled her.  We continued our journey throughout Wednesday afternoon passing thru Fort Portal and Kyenjojo.  At dusk we began the journey from Kyenjojo to Hoima and the road was quite rough.  We slept Wednesday night in Hoima at Kolping Hotel.  After taking breakfast we continued to Masindi on another rough road where we had a series of personal meetings with people such as Vicar Johnson & Topistar Balihikya, Dennis & Stella Kasanngaki, and Seminarian Raymond & Monica Kaija.  We finished Thursday by traveling to Lira where we took up at Pauline Hotel.  On Friday we enjoyed Dr. Phil’s teaching at Good Shepherd in Akia with Evangelist Joseph Opio, Vicar James Odoo, and Seminarian Patrick Adafala sharing the translating and hosting duties.  On Saturday morning Jerome headed for Kampala so as to fulfill his Sunday preaching duties.  Dr. Phil continued his teaching throughout Saturday while President Isanga, Edward, and I ventured to Gulu for the day to meet with Vicar Johnson Obura who had gathered many lay leaders for us to address.  The Lord brought us safely back to Lira on Saturday around sunset.  On Sunday, Dr. Phil preached a powerful message on Second Kings 6-7 at Good Shepherd.  After worship we headed back to Kampala via Masindi.

See photos of: Kamwenge-Fort Portal Road to Masindi; Gulu; and Akia, Lira.

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