We’re on our way home! Josh Miller left first, separate from the rest of the team because of the nature of his stay in Uganda and flight booking. For those of you who don’t know, a small construction team went in just prior to our large team to covert the shipping container into the medical clinic we worked on while in Uganda. Josh Miller was part of that construction team and decided to stay on a while and join the large team when we arrived. So, his flight left earlier yesterday afternoon and everyone else flew out that night.

I, along with the Chicago bound group, (my family, the Fagalys, and Pam Gates), are enjoying a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam where we split from the others. The team from Atlanta had a short turnaround from the flight into Amsterdam to the one leavening for Atlanta, so we shared a quick coffee, said our goodbyes, and wished them well; hoping that it would not be long before we saw them again. For me, the hardest part of saying hello is knowing there will be a goodbye. I’m fond of the shared memories of farewells, the love we show one another that can only really be truly felt and expressed when we know we will be apart for some time. I have grown to know, love, and love more deeply every members of this team over the course of the last 16 days. It’s been an adventure and a wild ride; God did something magnificent in bringing us together and that work doesn’t end when we go our separate ways. Rather, the memories and experiences we share in our hearts, as a fire will grow and spread to places only each individual one of us can go. 

God brought us together for a reason and He has sent us out for a reason. We were never meant to contain what we’ve experienced on this trip. Nor was it for our benefit and spiritual growth only. God wants to use this to inspire others, to embolden and empower our witness, to make us fully alive!

I look back on the trip and all I can think is that I want to go back. I want to do something, help someone, share the gospel, be a light, be a witness. But why do I have to wait for Africa? Are the Ugandans the only people who need to hear about God’s love? Does God care more about them than Americans? Do I? What we did doesn’t end when we step off the plane in the USA. What we lived through should be lived through us wherever we are: at home or abroad. God loves all men, we have the responsibility to share that love to all people everywhere. Let no shame of thee devil, censure of the world, circumstances of life, or feeling you convince yourself is right, prevent you from being the light of Christ! 

If you’re interested in learning more about our missions work in Uganda, you follow the Hope Missions International Facebook page and search the hashtag #TeamHope17 for pictures and posts of the trip!

As always, thanks for reading.

—the anonymous novelist 

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