This is my discovery...
There is HOPE!
Things I Discovered On Our “Discovery Mission Trip 2017:
“God provides where God guides” is a TRUE statement! This is very personal. The Lord is my Shepherd, and He provided then, as He always does all that I need. I had reservations about my physical stamina before going on this trip because of my age (I’m 65) and I’ve had multiple neck surgeries. My spirit was willing, but my flesh felt very weak! But I was amazed daily, hourly at my body’s ability to ‘carry on”! My Shepherd renewed my strength.
And there was no fear of anything, not even the narrow, dirt roads that traverse the mountainsides of that beautiful land. My Shepherd was my Guide along those paths for His Name was to be glorified, even through the darkest valleys, I wasn’t afraid because His rod and staff were close beside me to protect and comfort me.
I also discovered that there is so much more to Hope Ministry Uganda: USA than the orphanage! Yes, there is much to be done, but those fields are ripe for the harvest, a great harvest of souls for the Kingdom! And I discovered that Pastor Gerald, his wife Barbara Tegume, and Gerald’s brother, Richard LOVE Jesus first and have trusted Him with everything, putting feet to their faith, loving the people of this land with Christ’s love unconditionally! They left comfortable, much more lucrative lives to go and serve the Lord here. Pastor Gerald has sought the Lord in finding other men to disciple, planting churches among the Batwa community, so that they no longer believe the lies of the enemy, but hear the Truth of the Creator of ALL people—that they are precious and have value in His sight and a place here and in eternity! There is HOPE!
I discovered that believers in Uganda are just like believers in America when we are following in the footsteps of our Savior. We can’t hold back our worship and praise of Almighty God, although our expressions may differ; love for one another and the overflow of that love is easy; we weep with compassion when we witness suffering and injustice and we want to act to make it right; we treasure God’s Word and seek it for wisdom, comfort, daily bread and encouragement; we love to talk about our dear Savior in prayer privately and when we come together because we are confident that He hears us and takes delight in our conversations. These are just a few of the ways I discovered Ugandan and American believers are alike.
There were many discovery moments in these two weeks, but I want to share one that was intensely personal to me, one that I haven’t shared with many, perhaps because it is difficult to put into words, but I want to try. The first night we were at the Gorilla Lodge, Rajab came to my bungalow around 1:30am to say that Steven, another of our Ugandan team, who suffers from recurring bouts of malaria, was “very sick”, unable to move or talk, and groaning with pain. I immediately began to pray for God to help me see what I needed to see because this was way out of my comfort zone and didn’t want to cause any harm! Steven’s mother, Robinah, was one of my roommates and she, of course, went with me to Steven’s bedside. When we arrived, we found I a young man who did indeed appear gravely ill. He hadn’t felt well for several days and had gone to a clinic two days before, where he had been given medication. But this night his friends and mother, who were familiar with this disease were worried, and I, who had never seen malaria, was pleading with Jehovah Rapha to show me what He wanted me to do, because these dear people were asking me for help! So, I did my “nurse stuff”, took his temperature, blood pressure, listened to his heart and lungs—everything was normal!! But the picture I saw before me didn’t match. I’d been around this young man enough to believe him to be genuine in his faith, kind and gentle, a true “Steven” -- he was no “faker”. I asked God “What is going on here? What do you want me to do?” It was unmistakable, the Lord said, “This is a spiritual battle. Satan does not want this man healed—PRAY!!” I felt like I had been transported into another world, not sure who was even in the small room, but I KNEW the Holy Spirit was present! I told those present that Steven’s vital signs were normal and that the Lord said “PRAY!”. And that is what they began to do! I’ve had some great times of prayer privately and with others, but this was the most powerful time of group intercession I’ve ever experienced. I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised had the room started shaking! It was truly a Holy Moment. I don’t think it even lasted long time but I will never forget it. At the final “Amen”, Steven’s eyelids fluttered and he began to move around a bit. I asked him a few questions that he answered coherently. He said he was aching, so I guess the nurse in me just couldn’t help it, and I gave him something for pain, which he swallowed without difficulty. The others were thankful, praised the Lord, but didn’t seem as amazed as me. I’m guessing because this wasn’t unusual in their world! This was my “Discovery”—about God, about prayers of faith, about myself.
Oswald Chambers said, "If for one whole day, quietly and determinedly, we were to give ourselves up to the ownership of Jesus and to obeying His orders, we should be amazed at its close to realize all He had packed into that one day.” I discovered how very true this statement is! Every day of these two weeks was filled with discovery, more than I can recount here. But I’ll save that for another day.
One last thing I do want to say about Hope Ministry Uganda: USA. I discovered for myself that this is an honest, pure, Christ-honoring, disciple-making, compassionate and Biblically based ministry. Every person in this ministry that I had contact with exhibited the love of Christ for the people they served with humility. God is being glorified daily in the work among the Batwa people and in the surrounding communities, providing the hope that is found only in the eternal truth by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been involved with many ministries in my life, some good, many have been found lacking, but this one I trust, having seen it “up close and personal”. I personally have no reservations about Pastor Gerald Tegume and Sonya Schweighardt! May God continue to pour out His blessings on this ministry, the people served, and all those who serve.
Beth D. /NC/July,November Discovery Mission Teams