A TEAM's Reflections...Part 1

TEAMs are a big part of HEAL Ministries. The Lipscomb University team just left the James Place and is heading back to America. The team focused on art and music, and shared love, creativity and hope with our women and children. And now, they are sharing a few words from their heart... "I visited the James Place of HEAL Ministries on a creative arts mission trip two years in a row. I have a close-knit group of friends at home and I usually don't get close to people very quickly. However, on the short trips to HEAL Ministries in Jinja, Uganda, I made great friends in less than 2 weeks. I have never seen so many deep relationships and so much community development in one house, at one place." Corey Ramsey


"These past two weeks have been more than incredible. HEAL Ministries is really changing lives and there is a tangible joy that exudes from anyone who is able to be a part of what happens at the James Place. I came to Uganda prepared to fall in love with Africa and with the children, but what I really did was fall more in love with The Lord through the people I have met here. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most amazing people I have ever met. There is a peace and a joy that is found in them, and in this place that can only be from God. They have all made me feel "most welcome" and I am so thankful for the relationships that have been formed during this trip. There is a genuine love and a caring spirit here that is not easily found back home, and I am sad to go. This experience has been one that I could not have received anywhere else, and one that is definitely unique to HEAL Ministries. An important need was met when Tina decided to follow The Lord to Uganda and I am so grateful to have played a small part in what she is doing. There is definitely a special place in my heart for Jinja and for HEAL." Krista A. Merkle



"For the last two weeks, my little team of artists and I have had the privilege of making music, art, handcrafts and pottery with some of my very favorite people in the world. Somehow over the last two summers, I have been accepted as a friend to a community of abandoned, yet resilient women and children, tucked away in the ramshackle outskirts of Jinja. In different and similar ways, these poorest of women and my middle class American team of artists have all been brought together to be cared for, ministered to, built up and empowered to live out the reality of God's Kingdom by HEAL Ministries. HEAL is a pretty rare thing; a homegrown, grassroots Christian mission effort with true holistic development sensibilities. I've been blessed to partner in creative arts, spiritual mentoring, and lots of laughter with these beautiful women and children (and don't forget Abraham!) for two different summers, and each time I come away wondering how they have accomplished so much in such a relatively short time. I have worked in Missions and Development for over ten years, and I know from personal experience that building a local staff this invested and empowered, not to mention a program this vibrant and stable in such a short timeframe is no easy task - in fact; it's pretty much unheard of. While I know that Tina and Trey and the HEAL team are good, they're not THIS good, which tells me that the Spirit of God rests on this place, and has empowered HEAL's American and Ugandan ministers, missionaries, and community developers in very special ways. Personally, I know I am better for my interaction with them, and professionally, I eagerly hold them out as a model for others with a heart for ministry to the developing world poor." TJ McCloud Missions Program Coordinator & Adjunct Professor Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN