I returned from Uganda last week. I always struggle to decompress and to ease back into my regular, everyday life after spending such intense time on the mission field.
This time, my travel companions were two very good friends – Curt and Christian. Curt is one of the pastors of the church my family attends. Christian is a Harvard-educated businessman with a litany of experience in developing long-term plans for businesses, churches and ministries. The SixtyFeet team has been very eager for these two men to see and experience our mission field and pray about how they can become further involved with our work.
Going to Uganda always ends up being a surreal experience for me. I see God at work and I’m blessed and overwhelmed to stand in His presence. But at the same time, I see Satan at work with equal, if not futile, vigor. A week in Uganda often feels like a year back in the States.
On this trip, we spent an entire day meeting with our Ugandan staff (now, 7 strong) planning, assessing, discussing immediate needs and reviewing long-term goals. And, without exception, they all shared my sentiments from above. While our team is at work in and around the remand homes, they see and sense God at work in mighty ways. He’s in our midst and He’s working on behalf of the children SixtyFeet serves. But simultaneously, there is always a very real presence of evil.
In this mission field, there are very few creature comforts. There’s simply nothing to hide behind. No pretention, no games, no putting on a good show for the sake of appearances. Out on the field, there’s good, there’s evil and there’s very little in between. It’s enough to make me wonder what I might be missing in my comfortable life, back home in the States. It’s enough to make me wonder if the abundance I experience in my “real” life is robbing me of a richer relationship with my Lord.
Our staff — Moses, Betty, Boaz, Faith, Fred, Lucy and Godfrey — they see, hear and experience God’s work up close and personal everyday. On this trip alone, I saw them working tirelessly on behalf of the children in so many ways. I realized that while we may have spent one very exhausting week, they do this every day, week in and week out. They deserve and would relish your prayers for strength to continue. May God bless them richly for giving back to their own countrymen in this way and in showing them how God cares for and loves each one of them, despite their current circumstances.
These experiences bring me to my knees, they break me down, they wear me out, they open my eyes and they are always a stark reality check. And at the end of the week, my friends and I packed it up and headed home. We’re the “lucky” ones who get to come in, experience the mission field for a time and then head back to our everyday lives in America. But every time I leave that place, I can’t help but wonder — am I really the lucky one?
Who’s more blessed? The American who gets to go home and live in daily comfort and abundance — or the Ugandan missionaries who live in this field and daily experience God in a very real way? The answer to that one should be obvious.