I may be the only person you know that can honestly say I have been chased by both a hippo and a crocodile on the banks of the Nile river in Uganda, or slept on the floor in a house with a black mamba creeping around (we didn’t know he was there until he popped out one day and surprised us all). I spent an entire summer in Uganda, absorbing the culture, getting to know my surroundings and some amazing men and women of God very well. All the other mission trips I have ever been on I felt like a visitor. Spending an entire summer in Uganda helped me gain a sense of what living there was really like.
God did amazing things in my life that summer. I saw miracles happen with my own eyes–Stuff that I won’t write about here because if you don’t know me very well, you probably think I was looney.
I believe my experiences that summer were the seed God planted in me that would take root and bloom the rest of my life. I saw poverty and injustice there that I know could not be left alone. I saw starving children. I saw women abused and neglected. I saw a country war-torn and ravaged by an insane dictator.
In all of this, I also saw men and women alive with the power of God. I saw a church alive with the fire of God. I saw the difference people living in poverty not knowing Christ vs. those who did not know Christ. The contrast was stunning.
God was at work in me that summer. Little did I know that the impact of that trip on my life would be so far-reaching. When I was out walking today, I had this image in my mind of God planting the seed of “Africa” in me, and it sprouting and growing into “India” and “the ends of the earth.” I am entirely thankful for this experience-snakes included.