We have three guards who work for us to keep our compound safe. They are Martin, Isaac, and Steven. We really like and trust them. Martin has twin baby girls who are 6 months old and several weeks ago he invited us to his daughters' baby dedication in his village. We were excited to say yes!
We left yesterday around 11:30. We carpooled with three other friends/church workers. We made the interesting (and really scary) 30 minute drive along remote dirt roads that wind in and out of the hills, the trees, the villages. When we stopped we were, of course, greeted by a herd of about 20 African children. The church was a rectangular building with mud walls and a tin roof filled with backless wooden benches. There was a table at the front surrounded by plastic chairs, thats where we were to sit as visitors of honor.
The baby dedication was also a church service. It began with introductions of every person followed by praise and worship, which is call and response style. A local church leader then stood and preached a short but passionate sermon on baptism. I was quite shocked when eight people then came forward to be baptized, praise God! Then our friend and fellow missionary J.P. preached a sermon. This whole time, the 20+ children who were sitting on the floor in front of us all had their eyes glued on Graham and Molly....no pressure. :)
We then all piled into the 2 cars to drive to the river for the baptisms. How amazing to be a part of it! We drove back and the baby dedication finally began. The twins, Anna and Angel, were absolutely precious. Chad and J.P. were asked to lead the prayers for the two little ones and their parents. Then everyone broke out into joyful song and the babies were passed around from person to person. I got to hold and love on them both.
We were told then that we should drive to Martin's house for lunch. It had started to rain, as it rains every afternoon here at this time of year, and everything started to get really muddy. We were greeted by Martin's extended family and offered drinks. We let Graham have a fanta, his very first soda! Finally, at around 3:00, the food came out. It was chicken, rice, and matoke (sort of like bananas). Even though for the Ugandans this was a special meal, a treat even, this food was hard for us to choke down and we honestly ate as little as possible. They also served us cake.
I think it meant a lot to Martin and Irene for us to travel to their village and help celebrate their twins. It was a blessing for us to be there. We are proud of our children for enduring more than four hours of being stared at and having to sit still and quiet in a hot stuffy corner during a long church service with no flushing toilets. It was our first trip to a village but certainly not our last!