I remember having a good time my first time in Uganda in 2014, but I felt like I hadn’t contributed enough. Last year most of what I had to bring to the table was my musicianship, and everyone from last year would probably agree. But this year I didn’t want to be just the musician on the field. I wanted more opportunities to speak to the children (actually, young adults) who are sponsored by ACF. I don’t know if this is considered ambitious or selfish, but I had a desire to be a driving force on the mission field in 2015, glory to God every step of the way.
As you would expect, missions involves a lot of physical work, something I decided to condition for during the school year before the trip. I was stronger this year, as well as more willing to carry boxes, luggage, bags, etc. Consistently. For 2 weeks. What can I say, I thank God for being my strength. I didn’t do as much playing bass/piano as I did last year, but I enjoyed for the times I did. Sometimes I doubled at piano with David for fun.
I could never consider myself a spiritual leader. I’d run away from a role such as a pastor or bishop and all that. But I still wanted the Holy Spirit to work through me this year. God responded to this desire by speaking to me through Jessica, MaBinty, and Okwii Peter Charles, on different occasions, telling me that such would happen during this trip. It’s humbling, really, and almost scary, but I had to remember to be strong and courageous, for God is with me (Joshua 1:9). I was assigned to talk about loving our families while we were in Kumi and Fort Portal. After speaking on this in Kumi, God put in my heart to appeal to the unsaved and stagnant. In Fort Portal, He told me through Uncle Festus to address fake Christianity. Also in Fort Portal, at a church we visited, the locals asked Joy and me questions. I answered some; sometimes I could feel the words welling up within me, pushing out answers I wouldn’t have even thought of. And then someone gave his life to Christ right after the Q&A! I was HYPE. I’m guessing that all this made waves. The team was proud of me. No way I could’ve have done this myself. To God be all the glory. All of it.
I got a way of challenging people jokingly, sometimes aggressively, even to the point of offending (sorry!). I understand that it’s critical that every team member plug in and do work, even if they’re not officially in the program to do any particular thing. So as I did stuff, if I saw someone idle, I’d invite (or provoke) them to help me. For example during the concluding hours of the medical outreach in Kumi, the pharmacy needed free hands fast. And they came s/o to Jessica, Mary, MaBinty, Juliet. Because of them the pharmacy didn’t break down at the dying of the light. I was ecstatic whenever I saw teammates voluntarily plugging in, even with the simplest things. My hope and prayer is that everyone on every mission field will do the same. It costs about $3,000 to go with ACF on missions, and for most of us, a significant amount doesn’t come out of pocket. I want every dollar to count.
Sure, when you’re on the mission field, you teach, but you also learn on the field from the locals and your teammates, too. I walk away from the field being reminded to be thankful to God for everything. The gratitude and humility of these folks will melt your heart. And our team is awesome, no doubt. S/o to the greatest roommate Kelechi aka American Commando. And ACF Uganda: thank you for all that you are doing.
Next year I want to focus more on the lives and stories of the locals and my teammates. I have $2 left over from this 2015 trip. So I’m already $2 up for 2016.