We took a short sort-of vacation to Soroti after the college modular term ended in December. It was very short (only two full days there), but surprisingly restful.
On the way, we took an alternate route from Nakuru to Eldoret, which was maybe some few kilometers longer, but it had way less traffic and we weren't stuck behind all sorts of big trucks the whole way. Not only that, but there was some beautiful scenery and we saw a giant tortoise walking along the side of the road (didn't stop to get a picture though) and also a group of black and white colobus monkeys (which we did stop to photograph):
It is a long day of driving, so we were relieved to arrive and get out of the car. At the same time, though, we were also really excited just when we could see Soroti Rock in the distance because it felt like we were coming home:
On Sunday, we went to Pamba PAG, our Soroti home church. Anthony preached, so we were there for both services. He preached about justification and how we are saved by the righteousness of Jesus, not by our good works, so we can be confident in our salvation and not fear death. We don't need to wonder whether we're good enough to go to heaven or not.
Since it was the Sunday before Christmas, lots of people had gone home, so the church wasn't as packed as normal. The Ateso service also usually has less people (I think every seat was filled during the English service, but I didn't get a picture of that one).
The church is working on putting in an addition so the overflow people don't have to sit outside anymore. They've made a lot of progress since we left last January - the only thing we had seen then was the foundation for the new structure!
After church, we were served tea, bread, and termites (they remembered that we like them). A lady from the church collects, cooks, and sells those termites and we learned that she had started doing that after she became a Christian and gave up making local alcohol. She decided to make it her business (people actually use the Ateso word for these termites as her second name so everyone in the community knows her for that business) and has been able to use the proceeds to send a child to school and build herself a house!
We enjoyed talking to some of our friends from church over tea.
While in Soroti, we stayed with our friends, the Tiesengas. We all enjoyed a quick visit from Emmanuel, who Anthony and I met when we were teaching in Mbale in 2009 and who used to live in Soroti. Now, he has moved, but was passing through, so we got to have some good conversation together.
We played lightning for a lot of hours while we were at the Tiesengas' house. It was especially exciting playing at night! Since it's the dry season, there was a lot of dust and wind too, which made for an interesting experience.
On Monday, our friend Edward, from World Renew, let us have friends come visit with us at his house throughout the afternoon. These are just some of the people who came to see us. We can't express how much we love these people and what wonderful servants of God they are!
So overall, it was a nice break from our normal work. We are very thankful for these good friends that we have in Soroti.