My wife Angie and I traveled with a mission team to Uganda. Our team was a part of the work done by One More Child / Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. They work in our state and in 13 other countries to relieve the plight of suffering children.
It was a long journey but one filled with mercy. While in the cities of Komankoli and Soroti, our team ministered to children in various ways including Bible teaching, crafts, games, serving meals, and just hanging out. We made visits to the homes of sponsored children and met their families.
I am still processing all that happened on the trip. It was one of my best experiences. The Ugandan believers are a gracious and happy people. They are generous and loving. I could easily find myself spending a lot of time with them.
Serving alongside my wife is always a treat. But this was different. She is like a “Pied Piper” for children. Even when there was a crazy mob of kids surrounding her, she is calm. In fact, she is infectiously joyful. And kids know it. I say it a lot but never enough… she is just the best person I know. I’m a truly blessed man.
On the Sunday of our trip, I preached at the Komankoli Presbyterian Church. It was an honor for their pastor to translate the message; though many in the congregation understand English. The church’s worship was loud, even raucous. It was sincere and passionate. When the time for preaching the Word arrived, they were locked in and happy to receive the message I had prepared from Psalm 91.
That morning, I spoke about the sheltering work of God. The psalm speaks of how God protects His people… how He never forgets them. Later in the week, we had dinner at the home of Pastor Charles and I thanked him for being such an easy translator to work with. His response was what I should have expected. He replied with a huge smile and told me what a joy it was to feed on the sermon while he translated it. This man who serves without boundaries simply needed to be spiritually fed for a bit as well. He, like the whole church, simply enjoy receiving the Word of God.
As I continue to process the events of the trip, there will likely be more posts about it. But until then, let me make three recommendations:
- Investigate One More Child as a significant mission partnership. It is one of the ministries that I highly recommend for pastors to consider. It is helmed by Jerry Haag, one of the finest leaders I’ve ever encountered. They have a rich history of great work.
- Plug into the One More Child mission trips. Their global work offers over 100 mission trips a year for you or your church to participate in. They are organized with excellence and participants have a powerful impact on the mission field.
- Consider Child Sponsorships. It is a simply, inexpensive (to most of us), and life-changing way to help a child. For example, in Uganda, the average annual income of a family is less than $400 USD a year. Your donation of $35 per month changes the dynamics in an entire family. It provides food, bedding, education, and medical care to a child and his or her family that would otherwise live in extreme poverty.
Millions of children live in dire conditions in Florida, in the USA, and around the world. The church is clearly called to answer the plight of the orphan. Let us not forget to show compassion to the vulnerable as we carry the eternal hope of the Gospel to them.