“One more song to sing;

One more tear to cry;

One more chance to love

Before we say goodbye.

One more warm embrace;

One more moment of time;

One more wave through the window

Before we say goodbye.”

Today was the last day of ministry in Soroti, the last day at Hope Children’s Village, and the last day to see Debbie Michaels and many of our Ugandan friends. It’s a bittersweet time leaving it all behind, yet we know that God has and will continue to use the influence of these people and the experiences of this trip to change us and inspire others to change!

The sponsors said their goodbyes to Compassion children shortly after lunch and the entire team headed to Hope. A few of the men had been at Hope doing construction that morning to finish the last bits of work on the clinic and had met us at the hotel for a lunch break. Now that we are back at Hope, they’ve done the last of the sheet rock hanging, cleared away the materials and tools, and overall it’s looking far more like a finished building than when we first began working on it. 

Pam Gates put the magical finishing touches on her paintings and helped the children put their handprints in paint on the wall! They had the greatest time! Today was Erin Stevens’ big picture day, so she had her work cut out for her getting shots of the kiddos, the matrons and staff, the team, the team with kiddos, the missionaries, the team with staff, and everything in between. Our videographer, Josh Allen was grabbing small interview shots around the property of team members to use for promotional purposes back in the States, and even filmed a music video of the Hope Children!

It’s so rewarding to see the work being completed and how far it’s come; to see these kids, which are the reason we do what we do, and to see the team working and joyful to be serving. We’ve all come a long way to get here and longer still since we came. We’ve grown together and grown as Christians. God has stretched and strengthened our faith in ways we never saw coming. It’s been life changing!

Now, on the last day at Hope; the last day in Soroti before we begin the journey home, looking back is surreal. I’ve come to love this team more than words. These people mean so much to me, their hearts mean even more. I was telling Josh Miller the other day that my good opinion of anyone increases exponentially after seeing them on a mission trip. There’s no greater feeling than knowing you’re in center of God’s will. There’s no greater joy than seeing others serving in the center of God’s will. Even if it’s only for one moment, it makes all the difference in your life. God has truly done a great work here! We are so blessed He chose to use us to do it!

You can follow the Hope Missions International Facebook page for more info and updates and be sure to search the hashtag #TeamHope17 for posts and pictures!

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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