Adventures begin in simple ways. This adventure began months ago with a simple invitation to join in the work of SWOH, but just a few days ago it got wings. We met at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, weighed luggage, checked-in, walked through security and – with the maximum carry-ons allowed - boarded a plane. Just imagine the journey of one of those carry-on items. Let’s be more specific – a backpack. This heavy, overburdened backpack slowly traveled down the hallway to the gate. Why slowly? Shouldn’t we have booked it through the airport to get to our gate? No, because this mission team is a little different than the usual SWOH mission team. There are two very short, very immature team members. Fiona (5) and Rowen (3) are the first (and hopefully not the last!) children sent by SWOH to serve the Lord in Uganda. Don’t worry. SWOH sent their parents too.
Back to our backpack friend. Backpack waited in the boarding line, rode up the ramp and onto the plane only to be unceremoniously shoved into a cramped space under a seat. Then Backpack flew for 8 hours to Amsterdam without the refreshment of a meal or snack provided by the flight crew. (The mission team didn’t have this problem. They had plenty of food and refreshments.) Next Backpack, freed from the confinement of the plane, rode back into an airport, but this time in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The expected 4-hour layover was closer to a 2-hour layover. Most of the layover was spent having a snack together as a team at McDonald’s and slowly, slowly, very slowly walking to the gate. The team had a few minutes to burn, so Jeremiah and Ian hung out at the gate, while Backpack and the girls, Emerald, Sara, Fiona and Rowen, found a place to play. Then it was back to the gate, into the boarding line and onto the plane where Backpack received the same treatment - shoved in the cramped space under a seat for 8 hours.
Backpack (and the mission team) arrived at the Kigali airport (Kigali, Rwanda) and waited while passengers got off the plane and other passengers boarded. After this long interlude, the plane flew 30 minutes to Entebbe, Uganda (the international airport in Uganda is in Entebbe, about 40 minutes from Uganda’s capital, Kampala), where it rode down the ramp and into UGANDA – at least the airport. After arrival, there was a quick meeting before the team went through immigration. Immigration was quick, and the luggage was waiting on the luggage carousel. The team was almost there! Outside the airport, Joy Situka waited to take the team to her home. What a relief to be greeted by her smiling face and warm hugs! Next, Backpack was loaded into a car and rode the 40-minute drive to the house near Kampala. The weary travelers fell into bed and Backpack was left on a bedroom floor to await the next leg of the adventure.
by Sara Call
For more of backpack and the team’s adventures, head over to Instagram and give @SWOHministries a follow!