Our first day couple of days started out kind of hectic. We planned on the 75 people that signed up for the conference to be present, but only 25 people showed up off of that list. Then we had the issue with the nametags. Finally, attendance was challenging because last names are pretty difficult and the first names are very common with other Ugandans. The good thing is that even though there were difficulties, everything worked out! We still had a full house and over 80 men and women regularly attended throughout the conference. The lessons were well planned and presented by Jeremiah and the translators.
These people showed up from very long distances and were all eager to learn and experience God. Some traveled over 40 miles! When we began worship, I was amazed at how they could fill a room with their voices and how joyfully they sing and dance to worship God. When it came to the lessons, they asked very intelligent questions and even tried to test Jeremiah’s knowledge. It was cool that Jeremiah knew and had all the Scripture to back up his answers. I really believe this conference made a difference and one participant’s story, Godfrey, stuck with me.
I met a man at the conference, named Godfrey, who traveled about 30 miles to be here. He is a pastor at a Baptist church in his city and he said they are in the process of planting more churches in that general area. I asked him what he does when he isn’t being a pastor and he answered “I am always a pastor no matter where I am at.” Though he has another job as a personal driver, he is always spreading the word of God while giving rides to people. He said that that was what he learned from this conference: He is always doing his job as a pastor no matter where he is at. He doesn’t show up on Sundays and give a great sermon and then forget who God is throughout the rest of the week. He loves God every day of the week.
I’ve realized that what they are doing is similar to what this team and I am doing. We’re traveling far when we have little money (even though we are rich comparing to Ugandans), we’re not working for pay when we may financially need to, we’re eager to learn about the culture and learn how to help them when we may not know how, and we’re doing it for God because He has sent us. Though we may have questioned going, for reasons such as safety or just not feeling comfortable, and though we shouldn’t have questioned it, we still came and are working for God so that more people know about Him. If we had decided it was too stressful to leave work or too scary to travel 21 hours away from home, then these pastors would not be here today to learn. We would have delayed or maybe even stopped what they were planning to do with the information from this conference. That’s delaying 86 people from telling others about Jesus. We’ve come a long way to tell a lot of people how to live out their faith by being local missionaries just like these pastors come a long way to hear how to be local missionaries. Helping 86 people who already love Jesus tell even more people about Jesus, that’s a huge win for this small team.
It’s great that we can see Romans 10:15 right before our eyes. “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” We’re coming to Uganda to preach and the Ugandans at this conference are coming to us so they can continue to preach to everyone else in Uganda as we leave. This mission trip and conference is not only helping the people of Uganda, it is also helping me grow with Christ and see how quickly and effectively He works. The better I know Him, the better I can tell others about Him. If I truly believe and work for Him, others can see Him in me and hopefully one day others will see Him in them.
by Katlynn Menees