We have been posting testimonies from different team members who were on the Uganda mission trip several weeks ago featuring their personal experiences from this time of ministry. These posts will be here on the Fully Alive Website for Abby and Lauren, since they focused on the women’s ministry, and on the Christ Church Website for the men who served on the trip as well.
Here is Abby’s testimony from her time with the team in Uganda:
Sitting on the plane flying from Amsterdam to Uganda, my first journal entry read: “We are on our way to Uganda. We’ve already encountered quite a few obstacles—Aunt Kathy’s passport wasn’t up to par with regulations and she had to stay behind, we almost missed our connecting flight to Amsterdam, and my tickets weren’t booked appropriately which meant I had difficulty at every gate-one thing after another. Praising You that no weapon formed against us will prosper… we believe that this is a sign of the effective work You are going to accomplish as we go for the sake of Your name and the gospel”. At Our last meeting before the trip, we had all confessed our great need for God to supply what He would have us give to the Ugandan Church. Even as we met obstacles, we knew that it was Him who provides what we need to fulfill the task for which He calls us. All we could do was trust Him.
Kathy Tarr, known to me as “Aunt Kathy”, had planned to host sessions for the pastor’s wives and other female Christian leaders in the area while the men in our group hosted a pastor’s conference. And here we were on a plane without her. I had been asked to come prepared to lead the women in worship, but I was not prepared to lead anything beyond worship. As soon as I found out that Aunt Kathy could not join us, I began to ask God to make me a willing vessel if He would see fit to speak His Word through me to these women. I was aware that I would be much younger than most of these women, they had endured hardship that I could not even begin to imagine, they were mothers and wives, and ultimately, their lives were very different from mine. But what I kept being reminded of from Isaiah 55:11 is that His Word never returns to Him empty but accomplishes His purpose and will succeed in the thing for which He sends it. His Word is a sure foundation. This very truth was what my brothers, Nathan, Mark, and Nick were teaching on the day leading up to the women’s session.
So, strengthened by the Word of God from the mouth of our brothers, Lauren and I stood before the women and began to share about the love that God demonstrates to women throughout His precious Word, specifically focusing on John 4. We read Psalm 139 and reminded them that just as He knew the Samaritan woman in John 4, so He knows each of us. “You know when I sit down and when I rise up…You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me…” (Ps. 139:2, 5, 6a). As I looked out over the women, and spoke, I prayed silently that He would be faithful to encourage them with His Word coming out of this very weak vessel. After we finished, we had some time for the women to ask questions or comment. And we were humbled as woman after woman stood up and thanked us for coming all the way from the U.S. to bring them the Word of God. One of them said “we trust that if God brought you from the U.S. to Uganda to speak to us, then He has something to say”. They didn’t care that we were young, single, American and etc. They knew that we shared a common hope, which is Christ, and they wanted to share in the deposit He had given to us. I walked away awed by God and encouraged by these precious sisters.
Fully Alive sisters, we have sisters and mothers in the faith who are fully alive in Uganda. Pray for them. The obstacles they face are different than ours, but they are pressing into Jesus and His word. They don’t have easy lives by our American standards, but they worship and pray with exuberance. Even as Lauren and I were able to bless and encourage the Ugandan women, we left deeply blessed and encouraged. We were challenged to grow in our love for His Word, prayer, fasting and come into His presence in worship with great joy. He is worthy!