This was my 6th trip to Uganda. Each time I go I leave there with a full heart. Full of love, full of sadness, full of hope, full of awe..full of so many feelings. But, this trip will hold a special place in my heart. On this trip I got to see our work, our trips, our love, and how it has made a real difference. I have never doubted that by traveling there and spending time with the kids and ladies that it is time well spent and that we are truly being the hands and feet of God, but this time I have 100% clarity on the mission.
To explain this, I have to go back to my very first trip to Uganda. On this trip, there was a day nearing the end that we went to the town of Jinja and had lunch in a little cafe and did some souvenir shopping. As I sat at the table eating lunch, I saw Pastor Schlie go sit on some steps on the side of the store next door. Next thing I know, he is talking to a “street” kid. This little boy had a smile from ear to ear as he tried to overcome the language barrier and communicate with this funny Mzungu.
This “street” kid was Abraham. He also had a buddy - Ashraf. These two boys became a part of our hearts that day (especially Pastor Schlie and the Bishop in Uganda - Pastor Bameka.) Over the next few years, we started working with them, putting them in school, boarding them and trying to get them off the street. It was not always easy. Growing up on the streets lends itself to many bad habits that are hard to break. But we never gave up on them. They had many people praying and supporting them.
Fast forward to this trip. I sat in a village in a dilapidated structure that they call church/school. If you have never been to church in Uganda, well, you need to settle in. The services are long and hot. So, I sat there singing and enjoying the service when I realized it was time for Baptisms. This is something they do a lot when they know there will be a mission team in the service. I watched the babies being brought to the front and then I saw him, one of our “street” boys going up to be baptized. As if that was not enough, there were confirmations after that and both boys were also confirmed. I can tell you that I bawled like a baby at this.
To see full circle how far these boys have come made my heart so full of joy! Their names are now written in the book of life. I will someday walk with them down streets of gold, praising the same Heavenly Father. THESE BOYS ARE GOING TO HEAVEN!! Two boys who were living on the streets in cardboard boxes just stood before me declaring my God as their God. If mission teams accomplish nothing else in Uganda (which I know won’t be the case) we have been the hands and feet of God to these two boys. We have loved them and many more. God led them to us and allowed us to be part of their lives.
So, this trip was special. I still tear up when I picture those boys coming forward. My mind flashes back to that day years ago. God is Good. He knew these boys needed Pastor Schlie and Pastor Bameka in their lives. I thank God that he let me be a witness to what good we can be. He let me know that being his hands and feet really does make a difference. I will forever be grateful for him allowing me to travel to Uganda
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.