Playing Tourist (Part 1 of Labor Day Weekend)

Playing Tourist (Part 1 of Labor Day Weekend)

The weekend was a long but fun-filled weekend. On Saturday, we had a fun day of playing tourist. Like most of us, the people here have never been to some of the coolest places around where they live so we went north around the western edge of Mt. Elgon, which is the second largest free standing volcano in the world. It tops out at an elevation of 4,321 meters or 14,176 feet. It made me think of Lori Hill, Robin Beasley and the Rocky Mountains in America.

Sipi ThreeSince the rainy season has begun, the falls are full and spectacular! We went to an area called Sipi Falls, the most famous waterfall on the mountain. It’s made up of three waterfalls called Sipi one, two and three with one being the one on top. Sipi three is the first fall you come to on your way up the mountain and is 95 meters or 311 feet in height.

Sipi TwoSipi two is 75 meters or 246 feet tall. When you are at the bottom of Sipi two you’re about a third of the way up Mt Elgon at an elevation of 5,889 feet. We walked about a half mile up to the base of the falls where you can go behind the water into a shallow cave. From there you can look out through the falls. During the dry periods of the year when there is less water, it’s flow is more running and bouncing down the cliff face and people will take what they call a natural shower. When we were there the water volume was way too much for that. It was massive and free falling 246 feet!!! The sound and power that I felt was awesome as the ground vibrated under my feet!!! All of the falls fall onto rocks and keeps on flowing down the mountain. You can hear the roar of the falls from a long ways down the valleys that they have created.

We passed on the hike up to Sipi one. It’s a 3 ½ to 4 hour round trip, all of it going UP. Whew, not this old man!!! When you’re this far up it doesn’t take long to be out of breath, for me about 3 feet!!! This kind of hiking is for the young of body. I would love to be able to bring some of our youth here one day.

Since Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano, the western plains start right at the base of the Mt with very little foothills. Only a mile down and sometimes just a half mile out from where I was standing the flat plains began and seemed to go on forever!!!! As far as my eyes could see, it just kept going until the earth and sky merged together.

From Sipi we drove around the edge of the mountain to another waterfall called Sisiyi. Just on the edge of the plains and the mountain we could see Sisiyi cascading down the side of one of the cliffs. We turned off the main road onto a dirt road and drove about two miles to the base of the cliffs where the mountain begins. We parked and then walked up to the foot of the falls where they have a really nice little resort. The walk up to the falls was well maintained and there were some small park-like areas that are beautiful. They have these incredible trees that grow out of the rocks (check out the pictures). There are huge boulders ten to thirty feet tall with trees growing on the sides. As I was taking pictures, the Lord began to speak to me that, like these trees, He wants us to grow where we are planted and, like these trees, He will give us everything that we need to grow and become strong in order for all those that see to marvel at what God has done.

zpfile001 (Medium)By the way, these are large trees, one to two feet in diameter!!!!! Almost every large boulder had one or more of these trees growing on them. Around the sides of the boulders was good dirt but these trees were not created to grow in the deep rich soil around the boulders but on the boulders, in the hard places, to the glory of God. Some days here in Africa I have spent my time and energy trying to get off the rock that God has placed me on so there’s not much growth going on. Please pray that I would become like these awesome trees and learn to grow where God has chosen to plant me.

Sipi base of fallsAt Sisyi falls I was able to walk right up to the very base of the falls and, because of the rain, the volume of water was huge, more than Sipi two. This fall is 110 meters or 360 feet. Again the ground was trembling under my feet and the volume and power left me in awe of the greatness of our God. Of course standing that close, I got soaking wet from the mist and spray.

Then the Lord gave us another blessing on our way back to the car; we got to see some monkeys! How cool is that?!!!!

zpfile010 (Medium)By the time we got home Saturday my back was killing me from some of the rough roads. I was supposed to preach at a new church out in the plains the next day and it would be a longer drive and worse roads. I was not looking forward to this “rock” at all, totally forgetting what God spoke to me about; growing out of the rock. With two Aleve and much doubt about being able to get out of bed in the morning, I made it an early night.

As I’m typing this I’m wondering if, like the trees that seem to cling to the sides of those rocks, I need to learn to cling to the Rock with a furious determination to not let go or be washed away by the fears and trials that threaten to sweep me away. Those big boulders are not going to be moved. The trees will not be moved or washed away by the rains that are sure to come in their season as long as they cling to and become a part of the rock. It must be nice to be one of those trees. Lord, make me like the trees growing and cling to those rocks.

2 thoughts on “Playing Tourist (Part 1 of Labor Day Weekend)

  1. Steven and I were just talking the other day about the Smokies, and needing to get back up there. I think we might like climbing around there in Africa much better–except for the head & butt game on the way. No guard rails. [Even with them here, we do some reckless things. You can get almost anywhere over a rail or fence. We especially like rushing streams and waterfalls.]

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