This past week was intense. It was so intense that I praised God for the rain on Saturday morning because I was unable to go walking. God knew I needed the rest and recovery. Monday is usually my day off, but I was fortunate in that I got to go with our Senior class on their mission trip to a primary school in an area called Namwango. Namwango is only a short distance away and the need there is tremendous. As we stepped onto the campus of this primary school, I felt so small and so inadequate and yet, I knew that my God wanted to accomplish so much. I was so proud of our Seniors during this trip. They made the decision to be intentional and work through the uneasiness of cultural blending. It was difficult at first, but they allowed for the leading of the Lord and prompting of the Spirit they finished so well that day. I was so proud to watch them serving as they did. I got to do a small devotional time and I focused primarily on teaching the kids the greatest gift that they could give God, "their time". I explained that as a Holy Father, what He wanted more than anything was to spend time with them. At times I've sensed the lie that Satan has spread here that people are not important. It can be seen in many aspects of the culture and it is a lie. I explained to them that as they pray, Jesus studies their faces and loves the time with them. My prayer is that this penetrated their hearts. I got to speak in Luganda a lot which was fun and funny. God's message through us was met with a great warmth and an abundant love. I learned from them more than they learned from me. I praise God for Doors Ministry and their willingness to be the hands and feet of Christ here. I praise God that we got to be a small part of what they are doing here.
The second day of our mission trip with the Seniors, was spent at a place about an hour and a half outside of Kampala called Mpigi. There is a place called Kampiringisa which is a prison for children. There are no bars or fences because there is literally no where to run. The closest city is Kampala and it would take them forever to reach it. Let describe the dynamic here. This is where a combination of kids are placed. There are juvenile offenders who have committed all kinds of crimes and they are there serving time. There are also kids here who's parents or guardians have just become frustrated with them so they take them here and drop them off. Then at different points in time, the police will do what is called a "sweep" and literally take groups of kids off of the streets. Some of these are homeless, some are simply working, some may be on their way to or from school and or from the market. Once they are swept they are brought to Kampiringisa. Can you imagine if you this was your child? I cannot go into details about facility, but its been so incredibly heavy on my heart this week. The kids that I saw and talked to and played games with had unimaginable stories. This place and all that in encompassed was so much bigger than me. Because of the low staffing there, the prison relies heavily upon NGOs for support and PRAISE GOD FOR THEM! The NGO that we were with allowed us to come in and do praise and worship time, play games and just talk with many of the kids. One of the stories that we heard was that the smaller kids will often find the lap of a visitor, climb into their lap and then fall fast asleep. They do this because it is one place that they feel safe. Once we arrived, we moved quickly to the dining hall and their we participated in the loudest praise and worship services known to man. Here are kids going through hardship that I can only begin to grapple with, yet they worshiped Jesus as if He were in the center of the room. Honestly, I believe He was.