Friday, June 24, 2011

28 Days

 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

In 28 days I will be in Uganda. The journey to this point has been encouraging and has increased my faith. God has provided more than I could have asked or imagined. While this reference does include financial and material needs, it more importantly refers to the ways He is working to prepare me spiritually. It also refers to the changes in our itinerary and the curiosity it brings to my heart and mind. 

I initially signed up last December to go to Ethiopia, but felt God was leading me to Uganda and switched teams in January. I wondered why God was leading me this way and how He might use me on the team.  My training and experience is in education and counseling, and in my human mind I could not imagine (from the mission trip description) how God might use these.

A few months ago, a relatively new ministry was added to our itinerary. A Christian organization, 60 Feet (from the US), is working alongside Ugandans to minister to children and teens who are imprisoned, often for very minor incidents or none at all. Many have been "swept off the street." I learned more last night about the 3 children's prisons we will visit while in Uganda. M" is for children/teens (approximately 120, but fluxuates); "M3" is a "holding place" for children before they are "sentenced" and transferred to "M". "M4" is "protective services" for children under the age of ten, several whom have special needs. The fact is that each are prisons and the conditions are extremely poor in each setting. 

A few nights ago, I read this and learned that a counselor joined the staff working with "M" last month and is now working one-on-one with some of the children. Earlier this month, a mission team member (also a counselor) joined him for sessions. Also, I have heard about potential counseling opportunities at Canaan's with children and teens who have suffered loss. 

I do not know the Lord's plans for me in Uganda, but I am excited about the possibilities and am praying that He will continue to prepare me. I am praying for discernment as I "think outside the box" and brainstorm regarding donations to take. I am also praying that God will help me trust Him to lead and guide me according to His plans! 

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
Proverbs 19:21

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