Tim and Jill Way

Adventures of the Way Family

Pray for Kampala!

Riots in Kampala! Opposition leader brutally arrested!  Security forces patrolling the streets! Protestors violently suppressed! With the events of the past months in nations like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and others, such news doesn’t even faze us.  But… this is Kampala!  And suddenly, for me, it’s all personal.

I had my first experience of Kampala, Uganda’s hectic and vibrant capital city, in 1989.  Though I was in a haze of exhaustion and adrenaline, the images of that first day are ones that will probably always stay with me.  At that time, Yoweri Museveni was an idealistic revolutionary, still consolidating power after a successful coup brought him the presidency three years before.  He was wildly popular.  Hope, long dead, had sprung to life in many hearts – hope in a new type of leader; a new way of governing that would bring freedom and dignity to a people long oppressed.  And now, some two decades later, thousands of angry Ugandans are protesting his regime in the face of another revolution gone awry.

I know it’s one more place to add to an ever-increasing list of those desperate for prayer – but please pray for Uganda.

My last visit was almost two years ago.  I wrote this on my first morning back in the land that our family called home for nine years:

This morning jet lag had me awake at 4:00. When I was still wide awake at 5:00, I decided to get up and face the day. I walked outside and settled myself into a plastic chair on the verandah of the guest house where we are staying on Namirembe Hill — the ‘hill of peace.’ Sitting there overlooking Kampala, I reveled in the peaceful moment.

Kampala is a city of intense life. To me, everything is exaggerated — the joy is exuberant; the fear menacing and physical; the despair debilitating, but the hope relentless; the darkness and corruption and evil overwhelming; the light and goodness and love powerful. Oh Kampala.

Sitting in my chair, I enjoyed listening to the once familiar sounds of the city awakening. Traffic beginning to fill the streets — heavy trucks and impatient taxis already looking for passengers. Dogs barking. Roosters crowing. The mournful sound of the call to prayer coming from the mosque. The competing shouts and loud music of a Pentecostal church concluding the all-night prayer service. A baby crying. Oh Kampala!

A city of such contrasts! Filth and brutality side-by-side with beauty and compassion. Death struggling against life. Corruption and courage. Dark and light. I do love this city, and I found myself again praying for the Father to gather all His children and lost ones in the embrace of His love.

Oh Kampala!

Indeed.  Please pray for Kampala.  Pray for the light of Jesus to shine brightly here.  Pray for peace.  And justice.  And lots of grace.  Thank you.


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