I see Jesus.
Life is wonderful and hard here in Uganda. It is a place that can swallow you up and take time away because of the long, hard days and short, wonderful weeks. There are many highs and many lows. And through it all, I see Jesus.
A lot of life has happened and the “normal” days of the James Place are not there…..because there is no “normal” here. A mom in our program had a husband murdered, a baby died, a mother died leaving two small children with nobody…….and yet….we still see Jesus. When all of the women in the program collect money to give to our most recent widow and a village comes together to care for two orphaned children, we see Jesus.
Life keeps happening. Babies are being born, children are smiling, women are providing for their families and life keeps going. We now have a measure of success but it is probably not the measurement that the world would use. Families are staying together, tribal enemies are loving each other, friends are reaching out to those that nobody cares for, young mamas are kicked out of villages and have babies that they keep and get re-united with family and we see Jesus.
I see Jesus in so many of the staff that reach out to each other: that visit the sick, that spend all night helping a fellow staff member move in, that smile and offer help and assistance all the time. I see how real Jesus is in the eyes of a staff member that sparkle when he tells me that he found a home for a fellow staff member. I see Jesus in my son when he is still at the hospital at midnight because a young mom and baby are very poor and very sick and someone has to be there to go back and forth to the pharmacy to pick up drugs and medical needs because the hospital does not provide it. I see Jesus in my friend that is a driver when I call for help and the answer is always “let me come.”
During the long, hard days of Jinja, I see Jesus in the volunteers from our internship programs. Young ladies that give up an entire year or moreto serve others and they do it with passion and determination and loyalty. Even our short term volunteers serving as an intern or a team member add another dimension to the relationships and Jesus is revealed again because they offer love and encouragement to a hurting world. A hurting world that doesn’t “need” them but desires them. I see how Jesus transforms volunteers that serve and a spiritual awakening happens before our eyes.
I see Jesus in the pain. The tears that flow from discussions that we have as a family at the James Place about life, about cancer, about trials, about hardships, about the unexpected tragedies that seem to pop up weekly. Through the pain, there is always a glimmer of hope that all is not forgotten from the heavens. In the pain of helping a young, rebellious mama that should not have been a mama in the first place we still see Jesus in the baby that was not a mistake.
I see Jesus in the stories of our partnering organizations when a child finally gets a family and prayers are answered for a little boy that will now grow up feeling like he is a part of a family with purpose and love.
It is no secret that there is something magical that happens when people pass through the gates at the James Place and it is nothing short of a miracle. I see the transformation in the children at KIDS Club each Saturday and I witness it with the women that pass through the gates with children on their backs to take a class or to work in the artisan program. I see the change when love takes over a mama’s heart that did not want her baby. It is a love that cannot be bought, cannot be described, and cannot be understood until experienced. It is free and it is beautiful. It is Jesus.
I see Jesus in the miracles of everyday life in Uganda that I would never have experienced in the wonderful country that I was born in. I’ve witnessed evil demons being prayed out of several women, and laugh with confident belief when I think of the one that is a Bible leader and devoted artisan in our program. I smile when I think of how Jesus changed the hearts of so many like my friend that hated me and even spit on me in Masese with the witch doctor chanting around us as I started the Bible study years ago and that same woman now is not only a leader and a top artisan in our program, but is the most joyful soul you could ever meet. That is Jesus.
Miracles happen everyday in Uganda and they happen everyday everywhere in the world if we choose to see and believe but Uganda taught me the reality of Jesus. It is there that my heart really discovered Jesus and made me realize that I am a miracle. I am a miracle living by God’s clock and not man’s. And for now, He allows me to see Jesus through living a life that only He could have orchestrated. I’m thankful for Uganda because I see Jesus.
By Tina Weir, Founder of HEAL Ministries