Monday night we had a group discussion about poverty. We were challenged to make a personal connection to the problem of poverty, to acknowledge that it is a bigger problem than we know, and that God is much bigger. As we discussed we recognized that God engages almost recklessly to bring healing, as he has compassion, and brings about transformation. Here are a few stories from our time visiting Mulago hospital.
Camille shares, "there's nothing like holding a one-month-old little baby girl in your arms and discovering she's suffering from TB, then remembering where she is in Jesus' heart. It seems to me that there is no sense in her suffering, and the only comfort I find is in Jesus' words: 'let the little children come to me.' I've realized I don't really know anything, but I do know she's safe in God's arms."
Wai writes, "it's so hard to share everything I've been going through in one paragraph. I've been here five days and I already know I'm not going to be the same when I return. But, this change will be in a good way. We went to a hospital the other day to share the gospel and pray for people. My roommate and Ugandan friend, Ibrah, and I must have prayed for six people in one hour. I can't tell you what it was like. While I was in the hospital I managed to place all of my feelings into a box, where they did not need to be immediately dealt with. When I left the feelings all poured out, and so did my tears. That afternoon God reminded me several times of James 5:16, the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. Please don't forget that back home. I am blessed to be here, but this is only worth it if I have the Spirit of God leading me, step by step."
As we wrapped up our group discussion we read Isaiah 58. Two verses stood out to me: If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." As we press into life in Uganda I am reminded that Jesus is faithful. Though there is scorched land, there are people who are afflicted by war, disease, and hunger for food and clean water, I have an invitation from God to be one who satisfies, heals and restores the broken people and places in our world. This is what each member of our team is figuring out - what is my part to play in the work of healing that God is doing in the world? What is yours?