Little Doses of June / Every Tongue Every Tribe Every Nation shall praise HIS name

A Little Dose of June

Forward

For sixteen days this past July, 2012, I was honored to lead a seven member mission team to Uganda, Africa. It was the first foreign missions trip for my entire team. What we saw and experienced was amazing - the starkest of financial poverty coupled with an abundance of spiritual blessings given to us by the Ugandan people, and especially the Lord. It made for an unforgettable experience! What I learned in the village of Jinja over and over again is that God loves us all no matter what race, gender or creed we may be; and the immeasurable power of the Holy Spirit is simply profound. 

While In Uganda, I had the opportunity to write three letters that described our experiences. Given our very busy, almost hectic schedule in ministry, there was very little time for penning my thoughts. But as God provided little moments of leisure, I would grab my computer and begin to transcribe letters for the Holy Spirit. It was as if the Lord was urging me to communicate His thoughts and desires with ALL. Father transformed my heart through these collective experiences. I pray that these God given letters will bring forth a passionate awareness of His love for you, as well. That is why I share these letters with you now. Here is the first.

Letters from Uganda #1

July 15th, our first day here in Jinja, Uganda and my missions team of seven, plus the two missionaries we met there, quickly hit the ground running. After over 28 hours of flying, layovers and ground transportation that started the previous Saturday, we arrived in Jinja around 3am early Monday morning. By 11am, a few short hours later, we found ourselves on our way to visit a major slum area called Masese. It all seemed so surreal being halfway around the world in Africa and then suddenly, with a bird’s eye view of this “typical” African village, being thrust into a world I could have never imagined.

As our team bus rattled along toward Masese, our eyes beheld unfamiliar sights of extreme filth, trashed surroundings, and sickly, dirty and impoverished women and children. When we arrived in Masese we noted that many of the children there were wearing no underwear, none of them wore shoes, and all were spotted with sores and random cuts. Yet through broken bodies and tattered and torn clothes, these children smiled and pushed to crowd around us just for a brief hug or kiss. It must be how celebrities feel when mobs of people beg for their attention.

As these children circled around us, I didn’t have enough hands or arms to go around – there just wasn’t enough of me to give all these children the love they needed and yearned for. Our entire team had children in both arms and had many other children hanging onto our legs and waists. I was more overwhelmed than I have ever been in my life. I didn’t cry – which I fought as hard as I’ve ever fought not to – because I knew these babies just wanted love and so desperately needed all I had and then some. Every member of my team jumped right in and was holding, loving and playing with the children. We soon gathered the children in a large circle, over two hundred in all, and played games and sang songs with them.

Shortly thereafter, Tina, the on-site missionary, asked me to join her and a local pastor, Andrew, in ministering to the 70 to 80 women who had gathered together. We sat under the shade trees and listened to Tina teach these abandoned women how to encourage one another God’s way. She asked them to start memorizing Scripture, and as she spoke Pastor Andrew translated. Tina also introduced me to these spiritually hungry women and informed them that we’d be back on Friday and I would be teaching them on healing. I remember being a bit overwhelmed and intimidated by the idea of teaching women from such a foreign place, and by foreign I didn’t mean proximity. 

Tina then asked me to pray. Since I had never prayed using an interpreter that unfamiliar, uneasy feeling of intimidation blanketed me again. Of course I prayed, and when I began those feelings melted away and I felt such closeness to God and His people. Here I stood on the red clay of Jinja, in the Masese slum village, praying for these Ugandan women and singing and dancing to the Lord. How radical is that?

Our Father really does love all the children...”red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world”....and you and I are His children too!!! Today I have gotten a glimpse of what it's like to be loved and adored, without conditions, no matter what I've done or who I am. These children just plain and simply loved me with an absolute kind of love, the kind He, our Father gives! It was so cool to get such a tangible sense of God's love toward us through the unconditional love freely provided by this group of impoverished children. Day one and I’m the one being taught how to love Father's way. What an awesome experience!