Since we’ve been here, we’ve met more muzungus (whites) than what we have met in the last three months and have seen that Uganda and Congo are almost like night and day. Here in Uganda, you can go out at night without many worries, the people speak English, there isn’t a war going on and the level of development is far more advanced… Oh how we long to see the DRC in such conditions!
Since we’ve been here we have met a few other missionaries who have been here, but the most important people we came to meet are not on the base. One of them is staying out in the villages and the others are coming to Uganda within the next week. Since we don’t have a specific duty at this time, we have been helping wherever we can, watching, listening and learning….
Recently, we went with two of the pastors past the town Mityana to a small village where WOMF built a church and a school almost 15 years ago. We greeted the children, the pastor and teachers and brought them a quick word of encouragement.
We also went out to another village nearby to learn some of the logistics of buying land for a church plant. WOMF is planting a new church and they sent the pastors to negotiate the land and write up an agreement. We witnessed how it was done and learned a lot about logistics of how to plant a church. Some may figure, it can’t be that hard… just teach the word of God and dedicate some land. But there are a lot of details involved with such a thing. What land do you dedicate? Is the organization responsible for building or buying property? How involved will it be? Etc . . . These are all fine tune details that can get hairy if a system is not in place. Andrew and I really took the time to learn a lot from these Ugandan pastors and we appreciated it.
After the visiting the pastors and buying the land . . . We stopped at a local farmer’s property and they taught Andrew how to plant and harvest Cassava. These are valuable things that we need to know as missionaries and Bible College just won’t be enough for that.
On the way back we heard stories from the pastor of how he began his ministry over 25 years ago in underground churches. We asked him, what are the biggest pieces of advice you can give to us? The pastor thought about it.
“Patience,” he responded, “there are few in this world willing to work at something for a long time. They stay for three or four years and then they leave everything they had before they even saw any fruit.”
The second piece of advice he gave us was, “faith, you need to do everything you do in faith, because things won’t always seem wise or in your favor,” he said, “but do it in faith.”
We are not sure what God has in store for us in Uganda, but our goal is to serve, create relationships and learn. The missionaries who started this base are much older than us (actually they are in their 70’s now) and they have successfully transferred the key duties of the base onto the local Ugandans and now those Ugandans are passing it on to the younger generation of Ugandans. This is an example of a healthy, effective ministry, something we want to have in the future. The only way to do this is to humble ourselves and learn from elders. WOMF is an elder; pray that this time in Uganda will be fruitful… There are lots of plans ahead. Stay updated . . .