And just like that, the three-month-turned-six-month experiment comes to an end. We leave Uganda on Sunday, and this week has been a series of goodbyes, in the congregation and in the ministry. Today I gave one of my newest studies my own bible, because she has been praying for one and because they are always in short supply here. She was overjoyed, she kept hugging me and thanking me, I almost started crying. Such a simple thing, my old dirty worn in bible, and she was so grateful.
I’ve handed over most of my progressive studies now, so I’m happy they are in good hands and I pray they will continue to make progress. One of them, Sowed, I’m most amazed by. He was raised Muslim (you can tell because of the name, everyone tells me) but at 17-years old he is so hungry for Bible truths. When I met him in January, the first lesson he picked in the Good News brochure was lesson 10. Whoa. I handed him over to another need greater brother who continued studying with him until he left, and I picked back up. He is a deep thinker and reasons and then accepts what he reads in the Bible. He was so grateful he got his own Bible, and he started reading it right away. He started coming to Sunday meetings, and soon after his little 10-year old sister asked if she could study too. Now they both come on Sundays and they just brought their 18-year old sister with them last Sunday and then asked if I could study with them together after the meeting! I’m going to miss all three of them so much.
If I haven’t said it before (I have) – it’s been such a wonderful experience to be here. The brothers and sisters thank us for our sacrifice in being here, and most of the time we feel like “what sacrifice?” Yes we gave up jobs and material comforts, we are living in less than optimal conditions, we walk a lot and get dirty and sweaty and rained on, the roads have more potholes than Detroit (if that’s possible) and I probably get ripped off by someone at least once a day. But still we think, what sacrifice? We have been overwhelmingly blessed by being here, of that we are all very much aware. What you’ve heard is true, when you put yourself in an situation to be blessed, Jehovah gives until there is no more want. For the first time since pioneer school in 2004 (and maybe even before that) my ministry felt alive! Finding so many people interested in learning what the bible has to say, finally learning the truth about God, really showed me the urgency of our work. It also made the truth that more real to me, being given opportunities to defend my faith. Learning to use lesser known verses, answering questions about fasting, testimony, tithing, and so on, has broadened my bank of go-to scriptures. And besides the ministry, meeting like minded brothers and sisters from all over the world who have also chosen to volunteer their time in Uganda has really enriched the experience. Last Saturday we spent the evening with people from England, Denmark, America, Rwanda, and Uganda all with a common purpose, and we had a mighty good time.
It is still my plan to come back next year, as soon as I find a job and save up some money. But even if something drastic happens and I’m not able to come back that soon or at all, I will never regret a moment I spent here. And if you’re reading this thinking about maybe serving in Uganda or anywhere else, I hope this is the extra push you need to go for it. It will be your best decision ever!
We are leaving Uganda, but not headed home quite yet. We are going to take a little (big) detour through Europe before landing in Croatia for the Special Convention in Zagreb (another huge blessing!!). I probably won’t be posting much here anymore but I wanted to say thanks for following the blog and Instagram, and I hope to see you all in person very soon!