Now, back to New Year's Eve.....
After leaving the Kingfisher, we headed back to Canaan Children's Home. The younger kids had to go to bed, but the older ones were allowed to stay up if they wanted to. So, we brought out party favors and played games to try to stay awake.
Sarah and Helen and another set of eyes
Just hanging out and having fun with their party hats.
These children live in the village, not at Canaan. But they came over to get party hats and play with us. One of the things that I love about Canaan is even though it is gated, other children are still welcomed in. This speaks volumes to me so I know it does to the children too.
A little futbol in the dark
A little Duck, Duck, Goose with Rachel & Carla
A little dancing with Ashley and Sarah & the kids
Allyson joined in too
We must have worn the kids out (and most of our team) because none of them were still awake at midnight.
And only 9 out of 26 of us were together outside eating oatmeal cream pies (thank you Stefan!) when the new year began. Here's Sarah, Stefan, & Hayden. Sorry, I missed getting a picture of Shawn, Tymm, Austin, Tiffanie, Nate and me :(
Here is Sarah's midnight kiss!
Somehow, I don't think we were able to replace her husband Jason though :)
One of the local New Year's traditions we heard about was the burning of tires in the street by the young people. Curious, we all walked over to the gate by the church to see if we could witness any of the excitement. People came up to the gate & there was a lot of "HAPPY NEW YEAR" exchanges, but that was it.
Tired of talking through the bars, we decided to see if the gate beside the medical clinic was still open - it had been earlier. Sure enough, it was.
All caught up in the excitement, we decided to venture out into the streets. I mean who would notice us right??!!! Nine Mzungus in the street in the dark in Uganda on New Year's.
It was festive and loud. Lots of people of all ages gathered along the side of the street.In the street were several guys on motorcycles. They were riding very fast up and down the same stretch of road in front of us, often doing tricks. But soon, it started to feel like they were closing in on us. About that time, we were joined by 5 more of our female teammates (followed closely by the security guards from Canaan who were probably thinking "What are these crazy Mzungus doing?!!")
Then, the lead motorcycle turned around & aimed his motorcycle directly at us & revved his engine.
TIME TO GO!!!
14 CRAZY MZUNGUS FLEEING THE STREETS BACK TO OUR SIDE OF THE GATE!!!
WHAT WERE WE THINKING??!!!
Thankfully, God protected us!
But it just reminded me of how often we choose to go our own way, outside of God's will, outside of His provision & protection. We allow the pursuit of our own emotions, desires, and plans to lead us right out of the gate of God's will and into dangerous situations.
Thankfully God never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deut. 31:8; Hebrews 13:5) - even when we do crazy things. Although our choices have consequences (Galatians 6:7), we do know that God can work all things together for good and for His glory (Romans 8:28.) But to avoid that difficult path, Galatians 5:16 tells us to "...live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature" which is the best solution of all. When we rely on the Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit, we won't go outside His gate in the first place.
Thankfully, here we are safe and sound!
(Bottom left to right: Shawn, Carla, Stefan, Hayden, Rachel;
Top: Austin, Tiffanie, Tymm, Nate, Sarah, Kim, Ashley, Nicole)
Same people but this time, Rachel made me get in the pic while she was the photographer.
Hey, I was just happy to be alive lol!!!
Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,