It is interesting how time and perspective distort reality. I can only tell the story from my viewpoint as others claim it started differently! Years ago I began a course of study to become a midwife, something I always wanted to be. At that time, my selling point for the investment was that it sure would come in handy on the mission field. That day, I went to the computer and did a search for places needing midwives. There was an article indicating that 6 countries were begging for midwives. Uganda was the only one where English was prevalent. We had a winner! So much for seeking the Lord’s guidance and all those things we spiritual people are supposed to do. From that moment on, we met people going to Uganda, coming from Uganda and those who were Ugandan. The list of “here is Uganda again” required a scroll to record.
We got to know missionaries to Uganda, the Bolithos. Johnny made a trip to see them and assist with their ministry and teach at a local Christian University (AfRU). The first day he set foot in Uganda, he knew he was supposed to be there. As he visited the children’s home with the Bolithos, he was very touched by their prayers for Bob who was very sick. He was disheartened when one of the children confided that they had not eaten for 3 days. The Bolithos jumped to action.
We began to send a little money to help and then Johnny returned a year later and brought a team of us with him to focus on the children’s home. We fed the children a feast each day, conducted Good News lessons, gave gifts and supplies and we worked on buildings and fences. Then… we left. It was sad to think the children would go back to their meager meals of posho.
We worked to share the orphan stories and gain sponsors to assist in meeting their needs. A year later, we returned with another team. What a difference regular, healthy meals can make. What a difference love can make. The smiles, the interaction, the playfulness and creativity overwhelmed me. The difference was stunning.
This time we focused on the children. We spent a lot of time talking with them, playing with them, reading to them, giving to them, teaching them and sharing the Gospel with them and their caretakers. We shared a field trip to the zoo and playground along with a picnic on the beach and school backpacks full of gifts. That trip, they became our friends and we learned to love them as individuals.
It would be convenient to wait until our son graduates from high school and Johnny is old enough to collect his retirement but if we have learned anything, it is that ministry is not convenient. There is never enough time or enough money. It just is and it doesn’t come in nice, neat packages. We go because we are compelled and we can not resist ……although we’ve tried. I thought it was all my idea. I started this thing and then it ran away from me, way out of my hands. Johnny was the first to go and he just knew. Did it start with him? Rachel always wanted to adopt little African babies. Did it start with her? I think God would say it started with HIM working all things and people together. He will do it. He will keep it. He will bring it to its glorifying conclusion….because HE IS.