Last night, Bob got a call from the prison farm wanting to know if they could send up a vehicle rim to be repaired today. He asked about the condition of the bridge, and they said it was pretty much gone. So we drove down past Namalu today to see what all the fuss was about. The scene was typically Ugandan—a dozen or so people standing around looking at the giant hole and possibly hoping that the whole thing might collapse before their very eyes (hey, I brought my camera, too).
The “bridge” is basically an enormous culvert packed with earth on top (and some stone masonry at one point) that allows the road to traverse a small river. The culvert has, now, some very large tree branches stuck inside of it that collect smaller branches and detritus that restrict the flow of water through the drain. Because of the heavy rains, the river backs up behind the culvert and overflows the road, soaking the soil and causing large chunks to periodically fall off and wash away.
As we watched, the prison farm was busy digging a trench alongside the road to relieve some of the pressure to another culvert some distance down the road and two of the prisoners were jamming large pipes down into the culvert trying to disrupt some of the debris (say what you will about the Ugandan government, they make good use of the prison population). We talked to Simpson, the man in charge of the prison farm, and considered bringing back some equipment to remove or at least unstick the branches, allowing the river to flow more freely through the culvert.
I was reminded on the ride back to Naakale that we have here a golden opportunity to live as truly reformed Christians, relying on and trusting in the sovereignty of God. It’s a fairly easy doctrine to espouse, but a difficult one to put into practice when circumstances such as these arise. But if more rain comes and washes the road completely away and we are, in fact, cut off from our supply lines in Mbale and Kampala, God will continue to provide for our needs. He promises that all things will work together for good; he doesn’t promise that we will always have access to cheese & refrigeration.
After we had returned, Simpson called Bob to say that a government engineer had arrived and that equipment had been ordered from Mityana which will hopefully be able to clear the culvert on Friday. From there, who knows how long it will take until the road there is restored. We can only hope in the Lord and rely on his promises to us. If the bridge goes, we may learn very quickly to remember that it is God who gives us our daily bread.