Today has been very different for me. I will be leading a seminar tomorrow for the leaders of God’s Care Ministries. I have prepared a series from Exodus. In the morning, we will specifically focus on “Leadership Lessons from the Life of Moses.” But I have been to these seminars before here in Africa, and I have discovered that many of the “leaders” who come are volunteers. So I have also prepared a more general topic of “Life Lessons” for the afternoon. I have spent today studying, praying, refining my thoughts, preparing for tomorrow. Though it will sound strange to some because I have not been “in the field,” I think today alone with God and His word has been my most fruitful day here. I am more energized now than at any time in our trip.
Others have been in the field. Donna Syme has been working in the school. She came back tonight elated by the progress of the child with whom she has been working. Alissa expressed her pride in watching Donna over this week, noting how she knew Donna had been assigned a task out of her normal field, but she just persisted and cheerfully did all that was asked of her. I’m proud of Donna, too. I was a bit surprised when she expressed interest in this trip, and she face some obstacles along the way, but she has faithfully persevered. I know she has already been rewarded and that she has blessed as much as she has been a blessing.
Ciarra Karnes is another intern. She came with us in May and will leave with the group that comes in August. She was especially happy tonight to have had a positive influence in the thinking of a young girl who aspired to be a nurse, but thought she could not be a doctor because “only men can be doctors.” That kind of thought shows the very different reality of those cultures that have been touched by the good news of Jesus, in whom there is no male or female, and those cultures that have been held back by their customs, traditions and by less liberating religions and philosophies.
Belinda and Kirsten Sanders, along with Valerie Still. are an inseparable trio and a vital part of Team Uganda. Belinda, in addition to working in the medical clinic, distributing shoes, visiting in the community, and working in the school, is our resident photographer. She has captured so many incredible shots that I have begun to defer to her rather than taking my own pictures. Valerie and Kirsten are “attached at the hip” according to Belinda, but I think it is more like they are attached at the heart. Both have a passion for children, a passion for missions, a sense of adventure, and a zest for life such that I would not be surprised if the work we are doing now is a precursor of things to come. And in addition to all their other duties, they do the indispensable work of keeping the rest of us in good cheer.
It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is our last day in Kyenjojo. Saturday we leave for Kampala early in the morning. Pastor Victor’s father, like many Ugandans, has been married for many years but has never had a ceremony. On Saturday, the official ceremony will take place. It is known here as “Sanctifying the marriage.” We will also have some time for shopping before we begin the long trek home. As always, I am happy to be here, but I will also be happy to be back with my family. There is no place like home.