The area where we worked today is the property of a small, brick church. A few shade trees are strewn around a mostly dirt and dry grass open-space. There is no power, yet the power a small PA system by a battery and solid power. There is no water source other than lake Kyoga. We are out in the village, far from civilization where only the most crude structures of brick exist. The church is simple brick but the people hung pennants and flags on string as the festooning garnish to give the place a touch of celebration.
“Every culture has a weakness. When we understand those weaknesses we grow closer together and become the body of Christ.” –Bishop Sam Apuku
Out here people only have whatever they can find, and always need more than what they have. Bugundo is far more lush and rich land than the dryness of Soroti, but there is little to no difference between the people. They are all desperate yet graceful, their pride in the honest things of life endears their hearts to ours. You can’t help but feel like you’re the one there to be blessed. I can’t make myself look down on so much innate nobility and stature as God’s image bearers.
Can I Be Honest?
I’d love to talk about all the work we did, the children’s conference, the farming, the evangelism, but can I take a moment to just be real with you? Every year I ask God to do something new and fresh in me. As a writer I depend 10,000% upon inspiration, organic or synthetic, and every year God supplied me with something truly inspiring; life-altering; perspective changing. This year I brought my first bass guitar, “Law”, to Uganda to play and leave as a gift to hopefully bless someone here. Today was the first chance I’ve had to really play out and amongst the people. Children followed me like I was the Pied Piper of Hamelin; some of the church members brought their local instruments and I detuned to match the tones of their strings: we played and sang for a while. I was blessed like a flood. Inspiration swelled over me, and in that one moment I felt as I never had before the thrill of using my feeble gift for the glory of God!
I didn’t write as much today because I was very much involved in ministry, corralling kids for games during the conference and entertaining kids with music. I was even able to explain the gospel using my bass and amp. I told them how the guitar was just the instrument and this it made no music on its own. But the amp which was made for it was necessary for the guitar to play music. In the same way, we are an instrument and Jesus is what is necessary for us to work properly and make music as we were intended to.
The team really got down and dirty today in the fields shucking corn. Even Erin Stevens, who wasn’t exactly dressed for the task was out in the field tossing, catching, bagging, and shucking corn. We had a lot of fun; we always do as a team. We got a lot of sun, and most importantly, we picked a lot of corn! The work we do is always helpful and meaningful, not only to take the burden off of our missionary’s shoulders, but it is something that binds us together as a team and the result of our work can immediately be put to good use generating income to support ongoing ministry in Uganda!
The pharmacy/clinic was busy all day from 10-6, people would wait in line to be seen, assessed, and then would walk to the bus, (which doubled as the clinic), to get their medicine. Many people received medicine and those who waited heard the gospel. God did a great work today! We are so blessed that He used us to do it!
I know you’re already following things on the Hope Missions International Facebook page, keep it up! You can also search the nifty little hashtag #TeamHope17 for more posts and pictures from the team!
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist