Letter 3 – The Journey

Friday 18 January 2019

Dear Reader,

 

I have arrived safely in Uganda! Woohooo!

 

Last week, before leaving, I was an emotional mess. I was terrified about going to a completely different place, terrified about travelling alone and sad to be leaving friends and family behind. I’m pleased to say I feel a completely different person this week.                  God definitely answered prayers for peace on the journey here and over the first few days, which I’m incredibly thankful for.

 

I said my teary goodbyes to my parents early Monday morning at Heathrow airport and boarded my first plane of the day to Brussels. After the 45-minute flight, I arrived and had the mission of finding the next gate for flight number 2. Once on board the second plane, I cheekily tried and failed to get upgraded to first-class and then settled myself down ready for an 8-hour flight to Kigali, Rwanda. Right before leaving, I managed to burst a yoghurt all over me and I spent a lot of the flight watching and rewinding the film ‘Inception’ in an effort to understand it (I still don’t get it). But other than that, the flight was pleasant. I read, prayed, ate and slept and before I knew it, I had landed in Rwanda. Upon arriving, a load of people hopped off the plane, a load of others hopped on the plane and a team of airport staff with hoovers appeared and vigorously cleaned around the remaining passengers as we waited for our third take-off of the day.

 

After an hour, we were off again and after 30 final minutes of flying, landed in Entebbe, Uganda! I followed the crowds into a tiny, very warm airport where my yellow fever certificate was checked and after a while, my visa sorted (things don’t seem quite so efficient here.) I was really nervous – I was outnumbered and unnerved by the staring locals. My picture on my visa isn’t the best but my worried expression definitely sums up my initial feelings as I got to Uganda. Once I’d collected my bags, which thankfully all arrived safely, I wheeled my trolley out the airport and was greeted by Chris, the dad of the missionary family I am working with over here.

 

Finally, the home-stretch – the drive from the airport to Namugongo was mad. I get nervous enough driving on the lower-Luton road in the dark but the roads here are something else. People here just kind of drive wherever they like. We drove along a dual-carriageway type road most of the way from Entebbe. A lot of it was unmarked, there were dogs running and people walking on roadsides, ‘bodas’ (motorbikes) swerving about with no lights at all, kids sat on top of trucks and huge lorries hurtling towards us with their high-beam on! We kept having to slow right down and pull right over to avoid being hit!

When we got to the house, Chris showed me to my room, where I’ve been staying and where I will be for the next few days – it’s super! There are lots of cool pictures everywhere and a big double bed with a mosquito net I’ve been getting used to. I fell asleep to the chirping crickets and after a few hours, awoke to a very noisy cockerel (who I’ve also been getting used to) and some wonderful singing birds, ready for my first full day in Uganda.

 

Thanks for reading, I’ll write again soon.

 

Love from Laura

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Letter 2 – The Final Countdown

 

Monday 31 December 2018

 

 

Dear Reader,

I am always a bit apprehensive going into a new year, thinking ahead to what it will hold. As I look forward to 2019, with just 2 weeks until I jet off to Uganda, it’s safe to say I’m pretty nervous.

But I’m helpfully reminded that God is Sovereign over all. He goes before us, and works for His good purposes.

This was a big takeaway point from my commissioning service last month. It was a lovely day, where I was able to share with family, friends and my church, a bit about the work I’ll be doing whilst I’m away. I’m hugely thankful to all those who came along and so thankful for all the money God has provided through the generosity of so many people. I am so overwhelmed by the kindness and support I have received, which has meant I have reached the full sum of money I need for my trip!

As well as funds, my visa has been sorted, flights booked, malaria tablets finally bought and my body is full to the brim with all the vaccinations. A bag almost twice the size of me has been packed too -things are slowly but surely coming together. I’ve had a final meeting with my Crosslinks co-ordinator and it has been great chatting to my host family on Skype, finding out more about what life will be like in Kampala. Saying goodbye to friends for the final time before I leave has made everything feel a bit more real and I know that the next couple of weeks will fly by! Please continue to pray with me – for final preparations, safety, that I would trust God’s sovereignty and that God would use me well as I serve in Uganda.

Love from Laura x x x

Food after my commissioning service. This is an incredible cake a uni friend thoughtfully made for me. On the inside are the colours of the Ugandan flag!

Letter 1 – Fundraising

Thursday 1 November 2018

Dear Reader,

 

When it came to planning this mission trip, I remember having a big chat with a good friend of mine who is probably the most organised person I know.

She said, “Laura, what’s the plan? How are you going to raise the funds?”                                   I stared at her blankly – she said she would have a think about it and ping me some ideas.  Sure enough, that evening she sent me a humungous list of things I could do to raise the money. Super fun things like running children’s parties, karaoke nights, discos, baking parties, photo shoots…the list goes on.

 

In 2 and a half months, I am leaving for Uganda.

I am embarrassed to say I haven’t done a single one of those things.

 

Time simply hasn’t allowed for it! However, God in His goodness has provided me with different opportunities to raise money. One friend suggested that I could raise money by running the amount of miles it was between here and Uganda (all 6000 of them!) but instead, I’ve done a lot of ‘sitting’. I’ve dog-sat, I’ve house-sat, I’ve baby-sat. No, that’s not quite as adventurous as running huge distances or hosting big parties but I’ve had fun and it’s worked perfectly with my busy work schedule!

 

Also, as I write this, I am surrounded by stacks of cards, envelopes and cellophane wallets. I like photography and after finding a load of old photos I had taken, I decided to get them printed as greeting and Christmas cards. I have been selling them but still have lots left to sell, which will hopefully help with raising funds! P.S. If you fancy buying any cards, check out the ‘How can you help?’ tab on my page for more details!

 

As well as all this though, I am so thankful for God’s provision through the generous donations from friends, family and my Church. I have been so touched by how people have supported and continue to show their support for my trip. I’ve still got funds to raise (yesterday I was shocked to hear how much I will have to spend to stop myself getting malaria) but I have got to keep doing what I can and trust that God has got a hold of the situation.

 

Thanks for reading, I’ll write again soon.

 

Love from Laura x

 

IMG_6571Archie the dog keeping me company whilst I wrap cards ready to sell. That dog on those cards looks familiar…

Welcome to Laura’s Letters!

 

Saturday 25 August 2018

 

Dear Reader,

 

Helloooo! It’s Laura here and in January 2019- God willing – I will be sent out by ‘Crosslinks’ and ChristChurch Harpenden to Kampala, Uganda to serve in a Church and alongside students at the ‘Ugandan Martyrs Seminary.’

On this website, I will be posting updates about my trip and the work I am doing, photographs and the ways you can support me!

 

Thanks so much and God bless,

Laura xxx

 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 28:19

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