Day three in Kampala was nothing short of incredible. Our team of six has been welcomed with open arms and shown unbelievable hospitality since arriving in Uganda a few days ago.
We began our Sunday by attending service at Gaba Community Church this morning. We were greeted with smiles and handshakes all around and shown to our seats for the day. Throughout the service a palpable energy filled the church, and we began by singing praise in both English and Lugandan. Clapping and dancing, the congregation filled the air with joy and praise for God Almighty. The excitement continued when a member of the church went down on one knee and proposed in front of the congregation. The sermon was given in English as well as translated into Lugandan as the pastor preached a message of accepting Jesus as prophet, priest, and king. The service at Gaba Community Church was energetic and powerful, and it was awesome to be able to pray and worship hand in hand with our Ugandan brothers and sisters in their own unique way.
After church, the crew had lunch and prepared to head back to Gaba for a match with many of the high school students that we have come to know by name.
Shortly after arriving at the high school, the rain came. Cold, thick, Forest Gump (yes that’s now two Forest Gump references in this blog) like rain dropped from the sky onto the shores of Lake Victoria where we were just about to begin our match. The rain continued for about thirty minutes, and afterwards we decided to play a small sided game of 7 vs 7 on the dryer, dirt side of the field. Instead of all six of us playing on the same team, we split up and played alongside our new brothers. We set up a brick to serve as a goal at either side of the field and began playing. The match was an absolute blast. Goals were hard to come by, but smiles, high fives, handshakes, and hugs were plentiful during the two and a half hours we played. We could now call each other by name and share a smile and a clasp on the back after great pass or a good bit of defending. The relationships we have built with these boys in the last three days are genuine and authentic, and a true testament to the unity provided by beautiful game and the power of loving your neighbors unconditionally. We finally departed, leaving a few soccer balls with our new Uganda soccer family at Gaba so hopefully they will remember their friends from America and the fellowship and connections they shared on the pitch the next time they play the beautiful game.