Friday, August 22, 2014

to africa and back (my uganda experience)

it is hard to believe that almost three weeks ago I returned home from uganda, africa. ... it was a two week venture in africa to see a different culture, share how Jesus changed my life, and how He can change everyones. everything that went down in the two weeks I was there worked through me and I am thankful for every piece of it. the 19(ish) (flight there)/14(ish) (flight home) hour flights were indeed my least favorite. I had the opportunity to minister in the country of South Africa last summer, so I had a little taste for what my trip would be like this time, but it was significantly different. A different place in Africa and different ministry. I loved so much of my time in uganda and it was an amazing experience.
Our first week in Uganda we ministered in the section of Kitende. We stayed on a campus (Word Of Life) in camp dorms, and this is where we also ate, ministered with the school & church they have on property, and had work days. We did door-to-door ministry on streets near by, sharing the gospel one-on-one with people outside of their homes. This was one of my favorite ministries. We also ministered in a few schools doing gospel presentations, singing, skits, and a bible study throughout the rest of the week.

 the wooden door on the left led to my living accommodations during week one.

word of life fellowship church.

I met these girls the week before we headed out, and they soon became a pair of very good friends. I am blessed by their lasting friendship & I loved ministering with them. these girls are my gems.

The second week of living in Uganda we traveled five hours to the section of Busia.We stayed with and ministered at the The Village Of Eden: Helping Hands. The ministry is a home, school, and church for people in need - mostly vulnerable women & children. I loved it here and you really felt like you were in the heart of Africa. During this week we did a few days of door-to-door, ministred in many schools around the area, visited a church and helped with ministry, made balloons and sang with kids, and helped with an event at Helping Hands: "Esangalo" (JOY) - Every Saturday they feed over 1000 children and teach them out of God's word. This week we ate rice, beans, & potatoes everyday for dinner and pb&j for lunch. 

inside this open door was where my room was located during week two. (mosquito nets and all - pictured below)

this area was much more villaged. we did door-to-door in a few hut villages.

this was on saturday during esangalo. it was amazing to see this space empty, and then filled!

this is some of what I took to my heart, learned, and noticed. ...

a challenge I found, but God worked through, and turned around ... The language was more of a barrier than I had expected. There were some who spoke English - especially in the city, along with the missionaries and students we worked with. For the most part in the villages they did not speak english and it seemed harder to relate, especially with the children. I will tell you - a thumbs up & smile speaks a thousand words to their souls. For the door-to-door ministry we had translators and they were amazing! Although it seemed like a barrier...God works through mud. It was cool to tell people about what I believe, even though I didn't speak the same way they did.

our amazing week two translators: franco & abendego!
a favorite highlight & touch to heart ... Everyone raves about the joyful and cute children before they even go to africa. it's true, they are adorable, and they are happy...BUT. africa isn't made of all little children who don't have very much. My favorite was the teenagers, specifically the girls. I could relate to them much more. One of my favorite days was when we went to a school - where they mostly spoke english (score!). I was able to share my testimony in front of many students and then talk with them personally. I was quickly talked to by a girl who seemed very outgoing and wanted my interest. a few other girls were sitting with her and also pulled me into conversation. within minutes they were intrigued into a conversation with me and we talked about our cultures, school, and life. we were almost ready to leave, and there was about seven or eight girls huddled around me. as we were conversing lifestyles and talking about american food (hush puppies to be exact), the girl sitting to my right said "tell us something about God." I asked what they wanted to know. she said "who is God?" It was an amazing moment as I got to share who God is as a whole, and that He began the world and created each of us. I made friendships that day I will never forget.

caroline, susan, jackline, janet, favor, hope, and sarah

what I took to my heart & what changed me ... This trip pulled me out of my comfort zone (in a good way) to share about the gospel boldly. The language barrier, which wasn't a barrier at all, taught me that God works through every situation and lets people understand the beauty of Himself. I savored the time with the young teenage girls. it reminded me of pouring into young lives here at home. the three weeks I was away from home showed me that getting into God's word in the morning does make a difference in your day. This trip showed me to pray for America. To pray for the people around me and the authority. this country right here needs Jesus just as much as the next. 

God is so good ... Each experience I encountered during those two weeks touched me in some way - some more than others. I am thankful for an amazing God who made it all possible, and makes my everyday mission possible. God is great and works in many big ways, small cracks, & little crevices.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice post! That is so wonderful that you got to go to Africa! It sounds like you had a very good time and I hope the LORD will reap much fruit from it! =)