I miss Uganda. So much.
Before I left, I was dreading leaving my beloved home and spending so much time in the States. When a dear friend, Natalie, found me in my little self pity party, she told me, “Melanie, going home is not punishment, it’s a blessing!” And she was right: it has been a huge blessing in so many ways, but I still wake up every morning and go to sleep every night longing for my Uganda.
Soon after I got here, I was talking with my friend, Madi, and thinking about some of the things that I love so much about life in Uganda. One of those things is waking up every morning with a purpose. In Uganda I knew each day what the goal was: whether learn some new vocabulary, successfully interpret a story in Luganda, prepare to teach Sunday School, minister to my missionary friends, or just work to make my little Ugandan house into a home. Here in the States, the weeks I got to be a missionary for VBS were amazing! And waking up on those days was a joy and a thrill to get a taste of that same purpose I get each day in Uganda. But that’s not every day. Some days I get to spend with my family, or with my friends. And I love those days! But they don’t usually bring the same sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. I don’t go to bed each day knowing I made a difference. But as Madi and I talked, she reminded me that as Christ followers, no matter where we are, He has a purpose for us in each day. So we can wake up each morning asking, ‘Lord, what purpose would you have me pursue in this day?’ And while I’m still learning to make that an intentional part of each of my days, I am seeing Him do incredible things in me and in the people around me!
For my time here, the Lord has given me a couple of broad purposes to pursue:
SERVE my family
It’s easy to serve cute little black kids, no problem! But I was convicted early on this summer that Jesus has called me to be a servant of ALL. And many times throughout my life, my family has not been included in that pursuit. I know in my head that being servant minded should not change from continent to continent, and my prayer has been that just as in Uganda, I would be mindful of any opportunity to serve those the Lord puts in my life, especially my family. Once I started looking for opportunities, they haven’t stopped!
SPEND time investing in my friendship with Jesus
I was inspired by one of my favorite pastors to start prayer walking, and I have found so much comfort and encouragement by walking in the cool of the evening talking to my Lord. It is truly amazing the difference movement makes in keeping me alert and on focus as I commune with my Friend!
SPEAK out about the needs and opportunities in Uganda
I was so blessed to teach as a visiting missionary in a couple of VBSs. The kids in each one were just so wonderful, and it was amazing to see the Lord work in their hearts over the course of the week. By the end of each time, I had at least a couple of kids come and tell me that they thought God wanted them to be missionaries too! What an encouragement to see the Lord raising up the next generation of ministers of grace!!!
Tomorrow I have a meeting with members of my board to make some decisions on what my ministry in Uganda will look like when I return. After spending the first year in Uganda in a learner’s position, seeking to absorb the language and culture, I now have a different perspective on the needs and opportunities for ministry. I believe I also have a bit better idea of what the Lord would have me to do to meet some of the needs, and I’m so excited to share those details with you as soon as everything has been approved! I would so appreciate your prayers for the wisdom and guidance of the Lord to rule our time together and the decisions we make tomorrow.