Monday, September 7, 2015

I saw the privilege of serving God in each thing we do.....

I bless the Lord for 2015 Missions. For me, going on a mission trip to Kumi and Fort portal, Uganda was not a new adventure, but more like going home since I have been to almost all the past ACF mission trips. That’s why when we took another group of people this year; it really helped open my eyes to the specialness of it all.  We became like family on this trip. And each person saw things with their own special perspectives. I saw the privilege of serving God in each thing we do. I saw how it opened the eyes of those who went to the great needs and the great joy of missions.
Meet the 2015 Missions Team.

The first team of three [Dr. Festus, Godwin and Prof. Hyacinth] arrived a week ahead of the rest of the team. We got engaged in a number of strategic partnership meetings at Ministry of Health Uganda, Ministry of Education and a partnership strengthening meeting with the minister for Teso Affairs Hon. Chritine Aporu Amongin.
Our earlier planned meeting with the Prime minister never took place because things never worked out as we expected. But we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

Mission Training: I made a presentation about the cultural aspects of the places we were heading to and I liked it that at the end of the day we were able to deliver the message of love not compromising the lifestyles and different cultures of the host villages.

Kumi [Team Devotions]: I had an opportunity to lead the first Evening devotion at the mission field.  My sermon began with a short explanation of why we were at the mission field. Exodus 3:11 was the basis of the scriptures under the head topic “Who am I?”. With this I wanted God to deal with fears of those that were coming for the very first time.  Overtime, I have realized that many first time visitors take time to settle because of factors around fear.
Team devotions and Team building drills.
I was also blessed by each individual that led morning and evening devotions. Each person that led had a different revelation and a special word to motivate the team and refuel for each of our daily mission tasks.

Meeting Sponsored Children [Kumi & Fortportal]:
I think one of the best things I experienced in Kumi and fort portal was telling my story to the young ACF sponsored children during a camp setting and challenging them to set personal goals and struggle daily to achieve them.

Meeting with Kumi Sponsored children
Meeting ACF Sponsored children in fortportal
We had an opportunity of meeting the ACF sponsored children and those that have graduated out of the ACF Child Sponsorship program [CSP]. I made a presentation around goal setting and helping them set personal goals and aim at achieving those goals. Many would like to become Doctors, Nurses, politicians, Pilots and one Okwi who wanted to become a president. This guy took my attention and I had an opportunity to have a face to face interaction with him during our set counseling sessions.

To cut a long story short, he graduated through a tailoring school and he is currently employed by someone. He believes that since he has been able to market his small business, he can market himself to the state house if resources allows. So, give me a tailoring machine and I will produce a president!! At the back of my mind, I was thinking of president Obama’s childhood story and who knows if this is another Obama in the making.

As earlier mentioned one of the amazing things about this trip was actually getting to meet the precious young people that have since graduated from the ACF Child Sponsorship program and seeing how life-changing these funds are to them. I loved hearing stories of those that are already employed and those that have been able to start their own businesses.

Pastors and Leaders’ Training [Kumi & Fort portal]:
Bro. Raymond, Festus and Herbert did a good job with training the Pastors and the leaders both in Kumi and fort portal. It was a rich leadership program and those that attended the two days training will be great ambassadors in transforming their communities and propelling the Kingdom of God to another great level in the rural churches. I never had an opportunity to sneak into the Ladies’ convention because I knew that what was being shared there was purely for ladies but I trust that Sister Rose Grace did a commendable job in facilitating the ladies’ program.

I loved seeing what the church planters and teachers [Ps.George, Ps.Titus and their team of evangelists] are doing in their communities. Worshipping with our brothers and sisters in Kibota church was beautiful! I also cherish the relationships built with our mission group! I learned so much from each and every one of them and can’t wait to hug their necks again someday soon!

Bathing Children [Kumi]:
I had an opportunity to be part of the team that bathed over 200 children. Bathing children is a hygiene sensitization program [HSP] that was initiated by the USA young adults to reach the children of all ages with basic hygiene lessons to help them improve on their hygiene which basically also helps them to avoid unnecessary illnesses and diseases. I saw beaming faces of the children as they admired their newly acquired clothes and supplies after bathe.

Some children having a bathe and after they received clothes and other hygiene supplies.

On a sad note, I saw children with wounds; skin infections and ringworms just because they don’t get a daily bathe due to lack of finances to buy soap and other basic necessities to use. I saw children with chronicle illnesses that have never seen a doctor which I believe is the cause of increased child mortality. Worse still, the medical doctors reported a couple of expectant mothers they saw who were almost due and they have not done antenatal checkups throughout their pregnancy and this is no wonder the cause of huge infant mortality in Uganda.

Infant mortality means children dying before their first birthday, while child mortality refers to children dying before they are five years of age. These are essential in understanding the welfare levels of a nation. Whereas Uganda has made remarkable gains in ensuring that children are protected from the major and common child illnesses like measles and polio, the child mortality levels are still high.

The current challenges of raising children in Uganda are intrinsically integrated in the overall forces affecting the global development trends, such as increasing human population which has impacted adversely on the ecological balance. These forces have impacted negatively on family values and survival strategies and have increased the vulnerability of populations already severely affected by globalization.

 Children and women in Uganda face the biggest survival challenges. Uganda, with a population of over 37 million, has a child population of about 48.4 percent. About 60 percent of these children experience difficulties in accessing basic needs such as health care, good education, clean water, a balanced diet and permanent shelter.

In almost every village we travelled to, there were a handful of people who had either professed faith in Christ or who were interested in hearing teaching from the Bible.  After a brief meal of some kind (usually rice with a little bit of meat) locally known as Pilao. 

Medical Missions [Kumi and Fortportal]
In fort portal, we went to a new place called Kibota for our medical missions. We had never been to this place. Majority of the medical missions team’s nearly 400 patients were Bakonjo, pygmies and Congolese refugees living in the foot hills of Mt.Rwenzori. The most common ailments they treated included malaria, tuberculosis, infections, coughs, Skin diseases and malnutrition.

“These people are just happy to have somebody come in, check their blood pressure, give them a full physical, you know, because many of these people have never had medical care,” The head teacher of the school notes.
“Sometimes it’s been many, many years [since] they’ve been looked at by a doctor because they don’t have money, so they’re not able to ever go in and get medical treatment.”

I bless the Lord for the team of young adults that traveled all the way from USA. Kelechi, Emeka, Juliet, Mary, Jessica, Mabinty, Bunmi and Joy made my entire mission experience special. It was great serving alongside young and vibrant people with a pure heart of serving others.
The ACF USA Young Adults Team.
Although our experiences cannot be captured by just words, I believe that God will continue to move and do so much through this ministry, and even in every single one of our lives.

As I end my report, I would like to thank all those that prayed for us, your prayers evidently worked as our backbone. Everything that you did especially praying was much appreciated.  I also want to ask you to continue to pray for the people we met through all our programs.  Our trip is done, but we have missionaries who remain on the field and the pygmies living in Mt.Renzori Mountain still remain an “unreached people.”  Though there are individual believers, they are few in number and there exists no strong churches.  Pray for the gospel to continue to take root so that the kingdom of Christ can grow in the midst of spiritual darkness.

Compiled by Henry