Serving in Uganda

I am about to embark on a new chapter in life that will include serving in Uganda.  There have been many events and dreams and trips and growth that has led up to this.

Back when I first started my undergrad at Eastern Mennonite University, a documentary about the Invisible Children was shown as part of an awareness and Q&A event.  What I learned was heart changing and life altering for me.  I had wanted to be a missionary for several years before this for various reasons that had been cultivated by different people and experiences.  However, my interest and passion for missions in Africa were peaked after learning of the havoc the Lord's Rebel Army were causing in Northern Uganda.  Children were kidnapped, forced into slavery, and brainwashed into soldiers, families and homes were destroyed, people killed, and countless other things.  It so affected me that I decided (or maybe God was calling) that one day I would go and work with the people of Uganda.  Throughout the rest of college, my goal was to go to east Africa: Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya somewhere, any combination of the four!

Long story made much shorter, ten years after first learning of Uganda and the Invisible Children, I have not yet been to that part of the world.  I have been many other places traveling, serving, discerning, missions, study, pleasure and almost was sent to west Africa as a mission intern.  A year and a half ago I took a discernment mission trip to Peru when upon returning home, it was clearly apparent to me that going back to teach in Peru was not what God had for me.  However, sometime during the first two weeks of being home again I had a dream/vision.  It is so clear to me still today it's as if I just saw it last night.

If anyone has seen photos of or been to Uganda yourself you may be able to see exactly what I'm about to describe with a lot more clarity and understanding that if you haven't...

I had arrived in a remote village, I know not where, as a missionary, to do I know not what, in a place that I didn't recognize.  I was wearing a long skirt and a short sleeve shirt.  It was warm but not extremely humid, the air was still but not suffocating and the sky was sunny and bright blue with just a few puffy clouds floating by every so often.  Everywhere I looked there was very lush green vegetation--many different kinds of trees and bushes, small fields where people were growing their crops near their homes.  Marshy areas that seemed to be functioning for something.  The houses were made of mud brick with tin or thatched roofs and close to the road but not terribly close to each other.  There were people (they were black) walking about carrying their goods or crops or groceries, people working in their shops or in the fields.  It wasn't crowded but people were busy.  The roads were dark red.  A defining feature and an aspect I seemed to notice with clarity.  I came to a home that was to be where I would live, it had three rooms, a dirt floor, low ceiling, very clean and tidy with windows and a door open to the air and sunshine.  Through the main room where a table and chairs stood was a door that opened into the back yard.  It wasn't a large yard but it had a prospering vegetable garden surrounded by a fence.  The fence had a gate on the back side and not far beyond and down a slight embankment was  river.  A beautiful, sparkling, blue flowing river.  This river was the lifeline of the village--it provided water and food for the people and it was a treasured resource by those who lived there.  I stood in the doorway of the home looking at my surroundings and watching the children run around and in and out.  I was accompanied by a woman who had brought me to the village, though somehow I never saw her and I was brought to the home and a woman greeted me at the door, talked with me and lead me around the village showing me around, though somehow I never saw her either.

I described this beautiful strange picture to a friend of mine who thought it looked exactly like her daughters photos during her time in Uganda.  I wasn't really sure what to say but I wondered to myself if it was a prophetic vision about where God would have me one day.  I shared it with my past sending organization to see if they had any assignments in Uganda but nothing came to fruition so I just let it go and the dream was no longer at the forefront of my memory.  That is, not until a couple of months ago when an opportunity for me to go serve in Uganda presented itself!  As the doors into Uganda continue to open, I think about this picture every day and wonder about what God has in store for me there.  I am so excited to find out!!

I will be arriving in Uganda this month and am planning to work for a nonprofit organization called Awinjo House.  The home is a place for orphaned and abandoned children and widows.  I do not know yet what God would have me do there but I continue to walk where the Lord leads and look forward to becoming a part of this ministry.

There is a link on the main page that has more information about Awinjo Ministries and about the children who live there.  Feel free to check it out! Once I am in Uganda I will have more to share about what is involved with bringing the Gospel to the people there...

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