Sometimes life in Uganda is tough. I know many will say life in all places has its ups and downs and realistically I know that. However, there are days where you get tired of burning trash and smoke rolling inside your house, screaming/crying children that live all around you, gates clanging shut and people yelling as you try as you might to have quiet time in the mornings with the Lord, dogs barking at all hours of the night, leaking pipes, and nothing ever going according to your plans. That is some of our life in Uganda. Most days I can overlook and not let these things bother or irk me so much. But then there are times where it just seems too much.
This has been a tough week with just living life here. There have been doubts that have crept in my mind. God is this really where you want us? Will I be able to live here year after year? Lord is anything I'm doing here making a difference? And the list goes on and on. I pray. I wait on Him. Then last night at my weekly Bible study all the women sat around and shared their struggles with living here as did I. God so sweetly answered my questions, one after another. I had a sweet Christian sister pray for me, During her prayer she asked God to clearly show me this week and reconfirm that this place is definitely where He wants us. Even as she was praying, I felt a peace overcome me that surpasses all understanding as Philippians 4:6-7 states (6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus). Not only did my Father surround me with that peace but at the same time Aaron received an email from a friend back in the states. In every paragraph our friend constantly reminded us that what we are doing here is for eternity. God is using us here to advance His kingdom. Then today I read where people have and are coming to Christ because a team from our home church, Urbancrest, were obedient in August to go share Christ in this Muslim village where a pastor from Uganda Baptist Seminary has a church. This is the update I just read from Terry Nester's newsletter:
We held a medical clinic in August for two days and treated over 300 families! We treated a 70 year-old church member named Sylvester, who had a huge mass completely covering the right side of his chest. I mean, it was swelled as large as a throw pillow! He was taken to Jinja Main Hospital first, who then referred us to Mulago Hospital in Kampala. To make a long story short, he was operated on last week and they removed the mass and said, “It was innocent.” That sounds much better than just using the word, “Benign”! On Wednesday, last week, we took him to his home in the village and the whole family was there to welcome us! Pastor Robert called me on Friday to let me know that all six of Sylvester’s sons want to receive Christ because of the love of Christ shown to their father through the local church! It reminded me of what I just preached in I Peter 2:12: “To live such good (excellent, fair to look at, noble, righteous, holy) lives among the pagans (nations) that, though they may accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”
So now I step back. I see that through the inconveniences of a life lived in Uganda there is such sweetness. Sweetness in the people that I teach at the seminary, ones that I encounter as I am in Jinja, and my children who I teach at home. As I've been teaching community health at the seminary, I work to use the Bible to show how Jesus taught about the Christian's responsibility to care for a person spiritually as well as physically. Had the older man not seen the love of Christ lived out through others by caring for his physical needs, he may very well still be in spiritual darkness. It has been so sweet how God has used this one story to show how obedience to serve, to partner with pastors that we are teaching at the seminary, to be concerned for ones physical state as well as their spiritual, to love on others as Christ did can change the world one person at a time. As Jesus taught, the Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37). There are many who still need to hear the redemptive story of Christ, but our family is dedicated to remaining steadfast in our purpose to teach and disciple to the end's of the earth:)
This is now my prayer: Lord, help me to be a faithful worker and follower of You as I share the gospel through not only my words but my actions as well. You are my teacher and I want to continue to sit at Your feet and learn all I can from you. Give me the wisdom to stay the course and keep my eyes fixed on You in times of weariness. Thank you Heavenly Father for delivering me from doubting our purpose here. Jesus you are my sweet Deliverer!!