We have a great team experience with the current mission team here in Uganda. HEAL Ministries is making a HUGE impact on the villages and communities in the Jinja area. One way, is through the service of our short term mission trips. Team 1 and Team 2 both worked on the new Amani Baby Cottage and it is looking awesome........I can now visualize the babies living there in their brightly painted cottages.
They also got to brighten up the boys' dorm at the Canaan Children's Home. The older boys received new blue sheets and they were so excited! The boys blessed our hearts by saying "thank you mama" over and over. Appreciation is something here that is seen immediately. One little boy named Henry kept sitting on his bed with his new sheets and just kept smiling and feeling of the new sheets. Small things to us are huge things to them and even bigger things in the Kingdom.
I shared about a lame lady with a newborn baby that I met through the Crisis Pregnancy Center. She has become a joy to me and I have enjoyed getting to know her. She teaches me about endurance through her daily walk. Her son, John Jacob, is now 2 months old. Even one month ago, she was struggling with the decision to give her son up for adoption. Now, when telling her that her son is beautiful, she smiles and says "Of course because he is created in God's image." Two months ago she was living under a cardboard box. My friend, Carolyn, from the Crisis Center helped to find her a sponsor and a room. Team 2 just blessed her and painted her room. I'm not sure who received the greater blessing, the team members or the proud new mama. The team CHOSE to do this project on Saturday instead of having a 1/2 free day. When the project was finished, we truly understood that giving is much better and more fun than receiving.
The women in the HEAL program at Masese have become my friends. So, it is a joy when friends from America come over and meet my friends here. I meet with one group on Mondays and the other groups on Wednesdays. Both groups have a women's Bible study and a Kid's Club Program. The team got to share in the joy of Masese on both days. We write scripture cards together, share in the word and a lesson for the day, take prayer requests, have praise and worship and just laugh together. Today's prayer praises were: healing physically, fear removed, a better attitude, acceptance of neighbors and God taking away anger for those that steal. WOW - God is at work in a HUGE way and it literally gets more and more exciting each week. The ladies are now holding each other accountable and having their own small groups get together to read the Bible together. When I think about just five months ago: there were women that would not even sit by certain women if they belonged to certain tribes. There were only about 5 to 10 regular women in each group. Today, they are forgiving each other, learning to love each other and sitting next to each other giving each other encouragement and smiles. God is at work in a VERY HUGE way.
When the teams finish at the end of the day, they get one to two hours of rest and free time. Most days, they choose to continue to serve......to visit the babies at Amani is one way. I'm amazed at the love that God shows me through the eyes and hearts of the people that come here to serve AND in the people that we are serving here.
After living here five months, I realize that the people I serve have become friends. I love them dearly and strongly desire to continue to strengthen our relationships with each other and in Christ. We are growing together in many ways. In many ways, they teach me more than I could ever teach them. And, in many ways, the teams encourage me and give me renewed excitement as well as the people of Uganda.
I see a servant's heart everywhere I turn. In the HEAL board, women that I work with, in the teams that come over, in my sweet summer intern, Lynley Voges, in the children that I work with and in the various missionaries and organizations here. I even see it in the drivers that assists our teams, taking the time to hold a mama's baby while the mama and team prep and paint. Uganda is a very special place today full of servants ready to serve.