This post was written by Kiri Mcginley, our adopted Philadelphian, (from C.C. Richmond, Virginia).
I sit here still trying to begin to process all that we have seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled. My heart is aching full with the thought of all our God has done and all that is yet to be seen only when we reach eternity’s shore and are truly satisfied awaking in His likeness. Truly if there was a theme that was sufficient to capture a glimpse of all that happened on this trip it would be that “In our weakness, His strength is made perfect”. It is difficult to find words to explain how it felt to be so exhausted, drained and poured out in every way imaginable and yet still have the power of His Spirit carrying the team and giving strength to our hands and our hearts.
The Lord taught my heart so very much. This trip truly has changed my life. I knew when I heard His words telling me to go that it would be I that came back changed and blessed beyond measure. One of the most beautiful parts of the trips was seeing the true Body of Christ with Him as the Head. As the team was together strengthened by the Word through Colossians we saw first hand the picture of His bride and His perfect hand of faithfulness.
Col 1:17-20 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have the first place in everything. 19 For it was the Fathers good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth to things in heaven.
We were not two churches or two teams from opposite sides of the world but we were one body, with one purpose, one spirit with one Father of all. I can honestly say that there is not a single person that did not lift higher all others before themselves. As I sit here seeing the images of our trip in my head I can see all the brothers and sisters that made it safely from the first boat through the storm praying and weeping together not knowing where our other men were, a brother wet and freezing runs into the cold dark wood slatted church we were huddled in and shouts with great joy “they made it!”. I’ve never run so fast or seen a whole team run so fast to the shore through muddy streets and fields to see the faithfulness of our God. I see so many people crammed on the boat sleeping on each other, warming each other, praying, worshipping and weeping together. No partiality, no divisions, not age, not culture, no height or depth, not a single thing could separate us from the Love of Jesus Christ. To see the beauty of complete strangers enjoying together the depth and fullness of His love in His children was more than words could describe. I also see all standing huddled around a fire passing around and sharing one cup of coffee.
My heart is full thinking of the worship of the saints back at C.C. Entebbe after the islands. Lugandan and English intermingled yet all praises, all prayers rising as a sweet fragrance to our faithful Father and King. Truly His strength was made perfect in our weakness and all glory is given to Him.
I could go on and on, there is so much to be said of our God and all that has happened these last two weeks. My prayer is that of Paul’s,
“that hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom all are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col 2:2-3
I see faces of all the little ones and all the men and women and my heart is encouraged that each one is known intimately by my God. Each has a name, every hair is counted and known. Any work accomplished was by His perfect hand and we simply had the privilege and honor of not being needed but yet being wanted and used by our Maker. It is with a grateful and full heart I sit here praising our God.
Our CC Philly/ CC Entebbe Missions Team – taken after a long week on the Islands!
Enjoying some local food. “Rolex’s” are basically a scrambled egg rolled inside of “Chipati’s” which is like a flour tortilla.
Dr. Shushman getting close to the local wildlife on the island of Zinga.
Malcolm and Mike sharing the gospel with the older kids on Meyende Island.
Dr. Reeju at work.
Early morning wake up call. 5:45 a.m. !
Kids and cows.
Julianne and some of the children on Kimi island.
So, I guess to start where I left off from the last post, the warfare satan used to try to keep us from going to Zinga island on that Wednesday was not successful, and the Lord blessed abundantly as we hosted the medical clinic there for two days. In addition to treating many,many people who desperately needed medical attention, we also got to host a kids club for younger and older kids on both days, as well as share the Jesus movie in Lugandan for the village on that Thursday night (the generator we brought finally worked)! I would say that around 50 people came to a profession of faith in Christ over those two days, and that is not including the kids. CC Entebbe is working with the local church and school on Zinga, and I would ask that you would join us in praying that those who gave their lives to Christ would take the next step and get connected to the church. Please also pray that they would grow in His Word, by His Spirit daily.
I cannot overemphasize how much we appreciate your prayers for this trip. They were much needed, and many times while we were on those islands, we would be encouraged at the fact that so many were indeed praying for us back in the U.S. I would say that the theme of “His sufficiency in our weakness” was very prevalent on this trip, as well as “standing back and watching the Lord work in His mighty power”. I’m sure most of the team is still trying to process all that they have seen on this trip, as well as all that the Lord did in their hearts. We are thankful for the partnership that we have with CC Entebbe, and are looking forward to what the Lord has for our two churches together in the next few years. Stay tuned for some guest posts from some of the team members of this trip!
As I sit here on our flight back to the USA I’m trying to keep steady as we are bumping all around above Greenland. (Actually it’s getting to be a little much for me personally)! It seems to be a fitting analogy though of our last 10 days in Uganda. We definitely had some bumps along the way, and a few very serious ones as well, but the Lord once again proved to us how steady He is in a storm, and how faithful He is to us even when we were lacking faith. As a team we had been going through the book of Colossians together during our trip and before our 1 week trip to the islands we were discussing how Paul takes quite a few verses (especially in Ch 1) to write about God’s power particularly found in His Son Jesus. We all were amazed as we discussed 1:16-17
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
At that time, little did we know that we were going to receive a first hand lesson on how powerful He really is.
Our team of 14 joined up with Calvary Chapel Entebbe Island Mission which is the churches medical ministry to the many islands that surround Entebbe on Lake Victoria. They also had about 30 people including Doctors, Dentists, Surgeons, HIV testing, translators, cooks (remember there are no kitchens on the islands let alone electricity, bathrooms, running water, and
any others first or second world comforts) as well as some interns who would sterilize instruments and also some that would help out with Children’s Ministry. So we totaled 42 with ALOT of stuff. Hospital beds, a surgical bed, dentist equipment, bags and bags of meds, children’s supplies, food, big pots to cook over a fire with, wood, tents, our clothes, you name it, we probably had it! It was like a traveling circus when our 2 boats came to the islands filled to the brim with people and supplies.
We landed on the first island Myende on Sunday late in the afternoon and immediately began to set up camp. I don’t think it was even an hour after we got there when our first patient came to us. She was 8 months pregnant and was in full labor. With the help of our CC Philly nurses, a healthy baby girl was delivered in less than 2 hours. Her hospital was a church with a mud floor and drift wood walls, with a thatch roof – the one we were currently eating dinner at……in the dark!
The next day on Myende when we were to start our full day medical clinic we got out first look of what satan was going to use to try to discourage us and keep us from traveling to the other islands that week…..RAIN (and lot’s of it)! Besides soaking us and a lot of our things as we set up the clinic in the rain, it also kept people from coming out to receive help until it stopped around 11:30 am. The Lord is sovereign over all and despite the slow start we got to treat many people, share Christ with many people, and run a full kids club broke up into two age groups where the gospel was given. Both young and old came to receive Christ as their Lord that day!
Tuesday we loaded up both boats and travelled about 30 minutes to Kimi Island where we had camped at last year for a couple days. Thankfully this year we had the pleasure of serving there for only the day. Unloading (and loading) our gear from the boats takes about an hour with all hands doing their part, this proved to be one of the more tiring tasks each of our days on the islands.
Kimi was also great and despite a little rain to try to keep people away, The Lord blessed and many adults received Christ through the preaching of the Gospel.
On Wednesday morning we woke up, packed up our tents and camp, had breakfast, loaded up 2 boats with people and our gear and headed out on what should have been a 3 hour boat ride to Zinga island where we were going to set up our base camp for the rest of the week. Well, the enemy did not want us to get there apparently! A huge storm rose up as we were traveling and one of the boats (filled with most of the 40 people) got lost and ended up very far away from their destination. The waves had pushed it off course and what should have been a 3 hour journey ended up being 8 hours of soaking rain, big waves, and a very terrifying experience. As for the second boat- the boat myself and 4 others were in (which basically had all the gear) we ended up with a motor that broke half way through the trip, lost like the other boat, and the waves nearly tearing our boat in two. If it wasn’t for the Lord’s providence and power we would have sank. To make a really long story short, after the boat that had all the people in it eventually got to Zinga, they turned right around to look for our sinking boat. They found us and were able to rescue us and follow the sinking boat to the island to be repaired. The verses we were reading a couple of days earlier about God’s power became very real to us that day. Needless to say, on Wednesday night we had a great worship service thanking and praising Him for His protection that day.
We spend both Thursday and Friday ministering on Zinga island. The Lord did a great work those two days and we all knew why the enemy did not want us to get there safely on Wednesday.
I’ll write about those two days and some things the Lord showed me through these experiences in my next post.
Thank you all so much for praying for us. We truly felt them, and even in the midst of some very scary circumstances the Lord was ministering and comforting our hearts with the promise that He who is in us is greater than he who is in this world!
More to come in the next couple of days.