Leaving on a Small Plane

Publicity_shot Posted by Nigel and Carol Weallans on Fri, 22 Jul 2016 | 4 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

As a boy, I enjoyed watching the cartoon adventures of Tintin. I remember a sequence of him climbing aboard a plane, pursued by hostile enemies. Spears bounced off the aircraft door as it was being closed. This image comes to mind when I hear the word ‘evacuation.’ The reality, thankfully, was a lot different.

Following the reports of fighting between troops supporting the president and the rebels supporting the vice-president in Juba, and the insecurity in Mundri, it was decided, following phone calls between the Bishop and CMS Ireland, that we should be evacuated. What then followed was a long wait, whilst Mission Aviation Fellowship gained the necessary permission to land in Ibba. After a day and a half on standby, we were beginning to think that our wait would extend into a third day.

However, we received a call from Gillian at CMSI after lunch, collected our belongings and prepared for the Bishop to arrive with the diocesan vehicle. We were also accompanied by the Commissioner, who went ahead to ensure that all went well. Shortly after we arrived at the small airstrip, our plane landed, luggage was loaded and we quickly took off. On arrival in Arua, Uganda, we were met by Jenny from CMS Ireland and taken to the church vocational training centre, where we are now staying.

The situation in Juba has calmed considerably in the last few days and we are monitoring developments, through the Internet and communication with the Bishop in Ibba and CMS in Ireland, to assess if and when it will be safe to return.

We had planned to leave a lot of stuff in Ibba when we left. This would include most of our clothes and anything that was not absolutely necessary for our return. Our early departure and uncertainty over what happens next meant that we took a lot of stuff with us to Arua. However, it was good to be able to give away some stuff which we most probably will not need. Saying goodbye was difficult and we said some farewells to people who were genuinely sad that we were leaving and, perhaps, not returning.

When we arrived in Ibba, most of our luggage did not arrive until the META team left, which meant that we lived without most of our stuff for that period. Justin, who is now at a theological college in Nairobi, left to catch the MAF plane with the team in January. He took with him a bag of stuff which was smaller than my cabin luggage bag. I think that we are probably all capable of living without so much stuff, which doesn’t seem to make us any happier.

Update: Since posting this blog, Nigel and Carol have left Uganda and have returned safely to the UK. They will post a further update in the coming days.


Frank Dobbs said Mon, 25 Jul 2016 07:16PM
Thinking of you, Nigel and Carol. Hopefully things will have calmed down again soon.
Bill Phipps said Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:22AM
Pleased you both are SAFELY back in a place of relative safety.It is so difficult when people you care for are having "difficulties" thrust upon them especially when those people are in such a "remote" place.We will ALL be happier when you arrive back in the UK ,BUT we are all so proud of you both doing the work you are doing helping others who clearly need your ministeries,bless you both.Bill Phipps
Nigel Weallans said Thu, 28 Jul 2016 06:11PM
Thank you both. It is good to be back safely. God bless
michael smith said Tue, 16 Aug 2016 04:33PM
You met people for 24 hours , without discussion you never know the story, thankfully the short story was told so I read the bigger story . A pleasure to have met you both , enjoy your holiday in the west country .

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