Praise God! I cannot believe it was already our 10th day on the ground and our last day out in the communities. It has been challenging to articulate words for how moving this trip has been, but I am so blessed to be here and be able to experience the Lord moving in so many ways.
Our day started out with breakfast and a long bus ride through long dirt paths that lead us to a village called Pigwini. We were greeted so warmly with drums, singing, dancing, and worshipping. We were able to take part in a youth conference that was taking place from kids all in the area. Part of our team shared with them about relationships, idolatry, and self-control, while the other half of us went out to visit a home in the community. The home visit was definitely heavy to see the brokenness and poverty. They are living in a hut with 9 children, 6 whom are oprhans and 3 of their own. Their stories were heart wrenching, but Joelle was able to share the Gospel with them in such a loving way. She shared the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water, and how all Jesus had to say to Peter when he started to drown was, “Come to Me.” The way she so gently portrayed the love and message of Jesus was incredible, and two of the boys accepted Christ into their lives. Rain fell for the first time since we have been in Gulu right as they accepted Jesus. It was such a cool picture of God washing our sins away. We were able to lay our hands on them and pray. Praise God for our two new brothers in Christ.
After the visit, we returned back to the community center in Pigwini to reunite with the other half of our team for lunch. After our meal, Klotzy suggested that I go to the well and try to balance the water jug on my head like all of the children and women do. I continuously failed at keeping it balanced, and it will be remembered as a very humbling experience after I watched several of the women and children do it with so much ease. I began pumping the jugs full of water from the well, and many children and women started lining them up for me to fill. We sang more songs and danced as I pumped, and they also taught me many Acholi words. It has been so fun to break the language barrier by being creative and teaching each other parts of our languages and also through dancing and worshiping. The language of the love of Jesus is universal, and it has been so evident here.
In the afternoon, we headed to a village called Lugutu, where we were greeted with precious children singing to us. We were able to run a short soccer clinic and play a game against the village team and the sports outreach staff. After a lot of rain, sweat, and smiles, Charlie was able to share his testimony with the opponents and the fans that watched our game. Klotzy shared more about Jesus, and 5 more people came to know Christ. Soccer is a gift and platform to be able to lead people to Jesus. I think this is how the Lord designed it to be, and the way he is teaching me about my sport to be used to glorify Him!
After a long day, we returned back to the farm at dark. We had time to reflect, encourage, worship, laugh, cry, and praise the Lord for what He is doing in the hearts of the people we have been interacting with and our own. God has used this place in so many ways to reveal His goodness and power through these people, staff, and our team. I’m so thankful that God uses brokenness to reveal His goodness and love, and I am incredibly humbled and honored to serve here. Praise God for the work He is doing and for the 7 children that accepted Him into there hearts today. We are serving, but we are continually being served. I’m so empty, but I’m so full!