Uganda Debriefing

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.  Psalm 138:8

I have been home for a couple of days now, and debriefing all that happened in Uganda.  When a major event occurs in my life, I have found that the question I need to ask is not “What have I experienced,” but rather, “God, can you tell me from Your perspective what I have experienced.”

Bishop Grivas Musisi spoke this word to me in Uganda, “The Lord will perfect what concerns you.” Psalm 138:8  It has become my Psalm of debriefing and has helped me to understand our Uganda experience this year.

“Thou hast magnified thy word above all Thy name.” v. 2  God promised to go with us, to watch over our health, and to give us His message for the many churches and crusade meetings we were part of.  But I must say that looking back, He magnified His word.  What happened far exceeded the promise as I understood it when I boarded the plane in October.  The crusade in Mubende was humbling; so much of God and so little of me.  The messages I had confidently written were often set aside while the Holy Spirit created a bond between us and the people.  It is impossible to overcome cultural differences and the fact that we were strangers who would appear for a few days.  In the natural, we had little to offer.  God magnified His word to us and to them.  More than 300 people found Jesus and were baptized into the faith.  Many were healed and delivered.  The Psalmist describes it as worship and praise for God’s mercy and truth.  God revealed Himself as mercy—it is His faithful love that draws the hopeless and the helpless.  God revealed Himself as truth—many repented and turned to God through the foolishness of preaching.  I declare the Psalmist’s words, “Great is the glory of the Lord!” v. 5

We had our struggles this year.  Though far less than last year, we pushed through health and food issues, and trusted God for our material provision.  Barking dogs all night, loud music, smoke from open fires everywhere choked the air; the anticipation of a great chicken dinner turns out to be one small wing and some unidentified sides.  It’s a challenge not to get zinged by the food, and we just laughed when one of us lost the game.  More serious were moments of real sickness, and the Lord reminded me, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me. (v. 7)  We prayed through each challenge, and the Lord was faithful to His word.  We were revived for each new day.

Perhaps Grivas chose verse 8 to speak to me, because it is the promise that keeps us going back to Uganda each year.  “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth thee.”   I think of Life Mercy orphanage, the singing and smiling of the kids, and the land that is now full of buildings and growing bananas, sweet potatoes, beans, and corn.  We asked many people to invest in this place—it is the concern of many; and year after year, we have brought beds, clean water, a functional kitchen, desks, school supplies, and tin roofs.  It is miraculous to see

how God has perfected His work.  A timber cutting machine has provided extra income.  The children ate beans and rice, not the corn mush that was the only sustenance when we began.  Mosquito nets and blankets hung above the beds, and uniforms made on our sewing machines are still a testimony to the details God has led us to “perfect.”  It is His work, and He truly is perfecting it in His way and His time.

What I say about the orphanage could be said about Prayer Palace ten times over!  New construction will provide a sanctuary for ten thousand, and the television station will reach six countries!  It is a glorious work, and God will never forsake the works of His own hands. (v. 8)  Praise and worship, singing, influencing kings—all of these things God mentions in this Psalm are embodied in the powerful anointing that rests on Prayer Palace.

I have returned to a whirlwind of catching up, and I am still trying to figure out when it is night and when it is day.  But that is merely my perspective.  God sees the past month as a baby step by His willing servants in the grand plan to claim Africa for Himself, and He is pleased.  This morning, I say with the Psalmist, “I will praise thee with my whole heart!”

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About thegriefexperience

I have recently published a book for grieving people called Comfort and Joy available at my website, thegriefexperience.com. I received my Doctor of Education degree from the University of Louisville, and also hold a Master of Science degree and a Physician Assistant degree. I lived as a short term missionary in Swaziland, South Africa, prior to my life as a grief coach and author. My story is about the fact that I am an expert in grief, learning through the goodness of God to navigate a life of sudden turns and repeated trauma that brought grief and loss. I have learned about grief as an unwilling student in a life shaken by sudden death, suicide, and devastating illness. I have been widowed three times, and have raised five children in the midst of earthquake life changes. I have counseled, written and taught classes on The Grief Experience because it is what I have learned well. No amount of education or theory prepares you for multiple experiences of death and loss. But I have found healing in Jesus Christ who is the only One who has conquered death. What He has done for me, He will do for you. Visit my blog at TheGriefExperience.Wordpress.com.
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