We really appreciate those who are praying for us and reading our updates during our time in Uganda. Thank you! For those who enjoy reading, we have a good one for you! Precious and Bernie contribute their thoughts from the day below.
In addition to what they shared about our rainy day, Adam spent some time with Reverend Justus, discussing their development priorities as they review their 5-year strategic plan. Meanwhile, I toured the Secondary School facilities, gathering stories and video clips with students and teachers. It was so good to see in person what I have been hearing about for the last few years. God has much in store for this impressive campus. Many, many people here send their greetings and blessings. - William
The day began with breakfast and our daily devotional. It started raining early and continued to increase throughout the morning. We were scheduled to join in the primary school in the morning. However, programs were delayed in the school due to raining. Our team hung out in our guest house chatting and getting to know one another better. After a great lunch some more conversation until the rain slowed and finally stopped. We were able to join in with the classes with some games mid-afternoon with Primary 3 students.
After introductions, the team joined in for some football (soccer), some catch games, much, much, much running, and some time to talk before they wrapped up their day. The kids were filled with joy as they played with the team during the games. The kids were fascinated with the hair of the ladies on the team, spending much of the time experiencing the difference in texture and length.
The morning and some of the afternoon may have been dampened by a downpour of rain, but the games during the afternoon dried up every dampened spirit of both the team and the kids. We were filled with energy and excitement after spending time with the kids. We are looking forward to spending more time with them before we leave… their joy is contagious!!!! – Bernie
My curious mind and calloused heart have hindered me these past few days, maybe even weeks or months prior, from fully seeing God's amazing work that he has done. After finding myself in uncomfortable situationsduring this trip, I continued to slowly think about my doubts. I let my emotions affect my thoughts which then defined my actions. I had questioned my views, beliefs, and relationships with others. And a nightmare where I was told that I don't belong, and I have no purpose has shaken my core. It deepened my doubts, it made me shut down and distance myself from the students here who wanted to be my friend. It felt horrible, I knew this wasn't me. I knew my doubts weren't true, but I just couldn't make myself believe, even with everyone telling me otherwise.
Today the rain kept pouring. It would not stop, causing it to pause all our planned activities. So, I decided to start reading a book my Momma Arns gave a month ago called Get Out of Your Head. I never bothered to open it before, but I decided to bring it to pass time. And let me tell you, I had to make sure and reread multiple pages because it talks exactly about what I'm going through at the moment. It talked about this girl’s faith that was slowly filled with doubt and finally spiralling and breaking down in Uganda. Like??? Hello. This is about me. It also confronted me about the very verse I preach, that has shown up multiple times in this trip.
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)
It was written in this book, highlighted in my Bible, in our daily devotionals and finally in my dream. These past few days I kept thinking what about this verse is so important. Why does it keep showing up everywhere. Adam asked me what this verse meant to me, and I couldn't answer.
The more the rain poured the more I reflected to myself. What is the truth? Why am I here? What do I really believe in? I read a scripture:
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So, letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. Romans 8:5-7 (NLT)
Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. At this point I felt exhausted, so I slept for an hour. I woke up and it felt like this switch was flipped. My burden and view regarding this trip were gone. I started wanting to go see the children and older youths, I started hoping to be their friend. With God's grace you truly can change in an instant. Instead of wanting to act on built up emotions, perception, and culture shock, I started feeling thankful. I started being thankful for rest, thankful for being able to eat all the different kinds of food provided to me. I started being thankful for the rain, thankful for the water that uncover all the beautiful rocks that I started to collect.
The rain came as a blessing. As if it came to slowly wash away my doubts and gave me time to truly reflect on myself. Once it let up, we were given the privilege to play with the Primary 3 students. The hour I played with them on the soccer field has given me so much joy and relief. The language barrier didn't matter. We played soft net where we passed around a ball. They asked me to run laps with them around the field - with me giving up and having to pass the baton to Kevin. We laughed together as we watch him slip on the mud. The children clung to me, and it felt like they would never let go, but I didn't mind. They were teaching me how to dance as we clapped in rhythm and sang the following song:
This is the day, this is the day. That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice. And be glad in it, and be glad in it.
Oh, how great is our God. That he gave me time and space to reflect. And reaffirmed his truth in me. I know I'll have days where I'll feel anxious and worried. It will take a lot of time, patience, and prayer. I still don't know or understand my purpose here, but I believe. I believe that He is the Messiah who has a wonderful plan for me.