Eldrbarry's Globe-Trotting Adventures

Barry McWilliams, storytelling Teaching Elder and Asst Pastor at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, and his wife, Marianne made a short term missionary journey to Eastern Europe and Central Africa in March of 2001. Barry and Marianne, departed for Kaposvar, Hungary via London and Budapest on March 2nd to assist Sarah, their daughter, a missionary with International Messengers. Barry took along 20 copies of the Christian Classics Etheral Library CD to distribute along the way.

After a couple of days site-seeing in Budapest, a city of 1.8 million people, and gettiing a taste of it's incredible public transit systems, which Barry would negotiate with a lot of luggage in about a week, they took a three hour train through the Hungarian countryside to Kaposvar. There they stayed in a Hungarian home with a most hospitable hungarian family, and got a "taste" of living in a foreign country, and dealing with language, money, laundry and getting around. They had opportunity to meet the Suttons, and a number of the young people Sarah both ministers to or with. Barry did a lot of learning about the work being done there; while Marianne assisted Sarah and Verna Sutton with the Patchwork quilting ministry by teaching a class of over forty women how to sew Raggedy Ann's. This class attracted a lot of non-Christians, and it is hoped that relationships will continue to build giving opportunities for witness. Marianne was asked to share her testimony in the Methodist Church that Sunday and was able to visit the gypsy village ministry at Iharosbereny on that following Sunday as well. Sight-seeing trips included a tour of the Festetics Baroque Palace in Keszthely.Marianne also visited the historic peasant village at Szenna. and the Word of Life Hungary Bible School at Toalmas, East of Budapest. After Barry left for Africa, Marianne stayed with Sarah until she flew home March 16th.

Meanwhile Barry had departed for London on March 10th joining an African Christian Training Institute team of six total including Dr. Henry Krabbendam on a mission to Uganda. He arrived in Uganda and immediately experienced considerable culture shock with the poverty (though they build their own homes with home-made bricks and people are dressed nicely and clean), getting around in the "traffic" (hundreds of taxi's (14 passenger vans), cars and trucks, heavily loaded bicycles, mopeds ("boda bodas" sometimes with two passengers!!), people (who walk everywhere), cows - which roam anywhere they like in the city - with those horns I can see why - and often at night even maketplace stalls, crowding the same, mostly less than marginal, roadways), the food (cooked green bananas, rice, potatoes, a little boiled and very tough meat - don't ask what it is), language (Lugandan mostly, though many understand English), money (1700 plus shillings to the dollar), the undrinkable water (which has to be hauled to most homes), and especially the mass of people seemingly everywhere; but also enjoying the beauty of Uganda, and especially the fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ in Uganda, with whom there grew a real bond of love. After a "get acquainted with Uganda" trip to ACTI's future conference center site and to the source of the Nile at Jinja on Monday (which was Election day in Uganda - for which the whole country seemed to shut down) the work of ministry began.

From Tuesday through Sunday, Barry ministered alongside the pastor and elders of New Life Presbyterian Church in Kajjansi on the outskirts of Kampala. We were assisted by a group of brothers and sisters in the Lord from First Presbyterian Church in Kampala. Barry spent two days in house to house evangelism, which gave him an opportunity to begin learning about their life and culture, and to share the Gospel many times with the help of translators into Lugandan. Barry taught three days of seminars on The Sufficiency of the Word of God (Psalm 19), The Sufficiency of God (Psalm 62), Spiritual Warfare (Psalms 140-143), and The Sufficiency of the Church (Body) - combined with some rigorous Question and Answer sessions on a wide range of topics. We met in the church building which is still under construction. Another alternating series of Seminars on God's Work of Salvation: Regeneration, Jusfication and Sanctification were taught by Curtis Andersen, a fellow team member, and Justin, a student from Covenant College assisted in evangelism.

In the evenings there was an outdoor Crusade that drew many people from the community with singing, testimonies, preaching and the Jesus Film. Barry preached three of those evenings, as well as Sunday Morning at Worship. Preaching under the African night sky to two- to three- hundred people will be always a highlight in Barry's life. There were quite a number of individuals who responded to the invitations to faith in Christ, though by then, Barry was usually returning with the Team to a late supper at the Guest House in Kampala. It was a great joy to help strengthen the church at Kajjansi, and to encourage many individual Christians as well. Two nine hour flights with a eight hour layover in London brought Barry home to Everett on March 19th, weary, jet lagged, but excited about what God had done, and eager to return to Uganda again in the future.

Barry is on the Mission to the World Committee of the Pacific Northwest Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America and will be reporting back to them at the April meetings. A written report reflecting on his trip's experiences is available online. To assist himself and others in getting ready for ministry in Uganda, Barry has put together a page of Links and Books on Uganda. A similar page of Links for Hungary is already located on Sarah's IM pages.

Some Pictures from Uganda: Ramblings - New Life Presbyterian - Crusade - Kampala

The cost of these two missionary endeavors included: Tickets $2,000 (which was a real bargain); passports $250 (Including photos and birth certificates), immunizations $330 with another $80 for malaria tablets, ministry expense for Uganda in Uganda $1,500. (in-country expenses - lodging, food, transportation, in-country staff support, etc. usually a lump sum provided by the team leader) plus around $1000 plus which was spent on our time in Hungary and on various other trip expenses (luggage and travel stuff, souvenirs, spending enroute, etc.) Substantial support for this missions trip came from Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Lake Stevens, and from Liberty Bay Presbyterian Church in Poulsbo, Wa. for which assistance Barry and Marianne are most grateful.

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