Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Power of Confession

I have a confession to make.  I have been way too slack about confessing my sins to God.  I have taken for granted that Jesus died on the cross for me, that I have received his gift of forgiveness, and that my sins are all gone.  That is all true.  But I can't take it for granted.  I need to confess my sins.  In my daily time with Jesus, I need to make sure that I acknowledge specifically how I need to repent.

I have often noticed a distance from the Lord, like my relationship with him is just flat.  As I am reading through Tim Keller's book on prayer, I obviously came across the importance of confession.  Oh yeah.  I need to do that.  Not just because I am supposed to, but because I need the life that comes from openly, specifically agreeing with God about my sin.

I began listing my sin.  It's worse than I thought.  Realizing one sin helps me realize another.  I'm not wallowing in woe-is-me depression.  I'm just seeing that addressing these areas of "missing the mark" will help me live more like God wants me to.  Duh.

Confession brings life.  Wow!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Friends

We arrived back from Uganda on April 11, late in the evening.  I think everyone on the trip had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Nearly every night since our return, I have dreamed about the people in Wakiso, the district outside of Kampala, Uganda.  Meeting these folks has struck a chord deep in my soul.

Thanks to the work of Scott and Erin Littleton with The Mighty River Project, relationships were established long ago.  On this trip, the Littletons introduced their friends from the U.S. to their friends in Uganda.  It felt like a family reunion.

We visited Sunday through Wednesday in the village, spending the nights at a guesthouse in Kampala.  Every day we were talking with the basket makers, playing with the children, and working alongside the young men.  They received us with warmth and gratitude like beloved extended family. 

On the last day in Wakiso, we shared gifts with them.  The basket-making women received gifts from their personal sponsors and The Mighty River Project.  All the kids received backpacks filled with pencils, notebooks, stickers and toys.  It felt like Christmas.  We were a big family who love each other, sharing gifts from the heart.  They also shared gifts with us.

These relationships have been cultivated for four years.  With this trip, the relationship has reached a whole new level.  Already folks at Crossroads are planning the next trip.  We are planning who will go, whom they will meet and what gifts they will bring.

For me, my prayer is that I will never be the same.  I have seen the world as never before.  I have seen the gospel at work as never before.  To Jesus be the glory!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ugandan Easter

Today we saw the power of the Risen Savior. Jesus showed up in the welcome we received from our Ugandan hosts. At church, we were recognized as friends from the U.S. They allowed our Ugandan matriarch Dorothy to share about The Mighty River Project. Scott Littleton and I also expressed greetings and appreciation for their hospitality. After worship, we gathered at Dorothy's home for lunch and visiting. We shared a meal together, we played with the children, and they sang for us. It was humbling to be greeted with such warmth. I especially connected with Belam, Dorothy's son. He has studied to be an auto mechanic, but ran out of money for his studies. I expect to see him on Monday, and I can get to know him better.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Good Friday to Uganda

Today our mission team is leaving for Uganda to work with The Mighty River Project.  On Good Friday, Jesus laid down his life.  He gave us life as he died for our sins.  His was the ultimate sacrifice.

As we leave for Uganda, I think our team feels more privileged than sacrificial.  How God has blessed us with this opportunity of a lifetime!  We will make new friends, experience worship in a Ugandan church on Easter Sunday, help locals as they begin construction of a kitchen, paint a few rooms, visit with orphans, and witness the work of God in this unfamiliar culture.

We have so much we can learn from them.  We trust God that they can also benefit from our visit.

I am looking forward to meeting Erina, the single mom that my family sponsors.  She and seven other single moms work to produce crafts that The Mighty River Project ships to the U.S. for sale. I hope that our friendship with these folks in Uganda will pave the way for God to transform more and more lives there and here!