Reflections on our life and lessons in uganda
168 hours until we are wheels-up headed back to Uganda…but who’s counting. We’ve been back in the states now for three months and some days were easy and some were just plain hard.
The easy days come from sharing meals with our loved ones from our church and family, from all the reminders of how much we are loved, cared about, and prayed for, from spending days sitting at Legends and studying God’s Word, from visiting all the awesome church fellowships around Denver and meeting with all the amazing pastors, and from the momentary realization that hot showers won’t be this easy in Uganda.
The hard days come from knowing how much we are missed from our ministry in Gulu, from seeing the needs that have arisen since we’ve been here, injuries and sicknessess mostly, from knowing how hard Terebinth is to run with a full staff let alone with Kent Nolley running it on his own while we are here, from trying to keep a positive outlook despite seeing so much complacency about reaching the world in fellow believers, and from the momentary realization that hot showers won’t be this easy in Uganda.
One of those afore mentioned sicknessess hits particularly close to home for us. Pastor Perry who is a Ugandan pastor and a key part of our work in Uganda and Terebinth Ministries was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. Before they knew what the issue was, he was taken to a hospital in Gulu and they said he had appendicitis. They were going to do an appendectomy, but when they got in there, they couldn’t do anything because his intestines were too swollen, so they closed him up, gave him some pills and sent him home. Luckily Kent said that didn’t sound right, so they took him to Kampala for a second opinion and found cancer that had metastasized to his appendix. It’s hard news for us because of our love for Pastor Perry, and we pray for miraculous healing to take place in his body.
I was having a conversation last night about Pastor Perry with a family member, and I had a realization in that moment that continues to resonate with me as I dwell on this whole situation. God can do a miracle and keep Pastor Perry alive for years to come, or God could do a miracle and take him home. The thing is…death doesn’t stop a Christian. I can say with certainty about my friend Perry that no matter what happens, he will be sure to give glory to no other than Jesus Christ.
I’m inspired to look introspectively and question my own life and I hope that you are too. No matter what the circumstance is, high or low, am I getting glory or is God? Am I making known the name of Jesus or the name of my favorite quarterback this year? Am I lifting up my God or my pastor?
It is so easy for us to make idols, but if we can keep a heavenly mindset, than idols aren’t an issue for us. When we remember that we will spend an eternity with Jesus and the only chance we have to do this life is right now, than we will stop wasting time with anything apart from Him.
A bank account or retirement plan, a name that I’ve made for myself (Gen 11:4, and we know how that turns out), what can’t I let go of? I have to ask myself what am I clinging so tightly to in this world? If we allow the Lord to give us a glimpse into eternity for just a moment, into His PERFECT LOVE, than everything else we could ever seek seems worthless by comparison. In light of eternity with Jesus, sacrificing everything else, is no sacrifice at all.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.