We have now been in Uganda for 3 days and have already seen and felt God’s amazing presence. As first-time participants on an overseas mission trip, we didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived and wanted to allow God’s plan for us to unfold in His timing. Little did we know the impact that participating with the villagers and their children would have on us.
We were blessed to be able to attend a church service while we are here in Gulu. It never fails to amaze us how jubilant the villagers’ worship is! There was a moment in worship this morning when we just had to pause and consider the difference between their circumstances and our own. These people have very few possessions and don’t lead easy lives yet we could only marvel at the singing, clapping, and dancing in praise and thankfulness to the Lord. We only wished we knew the language so we could sing with them.
This afternoon we conducted two ministries, Community Health Evangelism (CHE) and Bible Club. CHE is an educational program led by Cindy that focused on teaching proper hygiene habits and balanced family nutrition based on the resources available in the area. Those present participated in a water cleanliness test with “good” water and “bad” water (salt water). It was priceless to see the look on their faces after tasting the “bad” water but it really drove the point home that even though the water might look clean that isn’t always the case. At the end of the program Mike, Lawrence (the village pastor), and Martin (our interpreter) evangelized to the group about the path to salvation and as a result there were at least 6 salvations…Praise be to God!
Bible Club was a time for the children of the village to come together (some attend Sanctuary of Grace, some do not) and be taught a Bible story. The children watched in awe as Deborah, Cole, and Amos put on a show with the flannel board, visualizing the story Susan was teaching them. Then they put together sticker sheets of the story so that they could bring the message home with them. We ended it with a very vigorous game where they had to throw foam balls into baskets we held above our heads. While it was a rush being bombarded with smiley-face foam balls, it was the smiles on their faces that made the biggest impression on us.
At the end of the day we sat around tired but thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given to minister to these people. We’ve put the finishing touches on our plan for Vacation Bible School and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds…
Justin & Jen