When I was in college I had an opportunity to go to Botswana, Africa for a year with the Peace Corps. However, the timing was not right and I felt God leading me in another direction; namely marriage, family caregiving, eventually three wonderful daughters and a career in Christian counseling. And then, 25 years later, the door that had been closed for so long creaked open and I heard God calling me back to Africa, this time to a small town in the mountains of Uganda called Kasese. My daughters were all independent, my husband was supportive, and I joyfully embraced the opportunity. I felt Jesus saying, “Follow Me”, and it became clear that the time was right for me to heed His call. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 reminds us, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” I decided that it was finally my season to go half way around the world and enter the mission field in Africa!
When one goes on a mission trip, theoretically the idea is that we are going to help others, to represent Christ and to “make a difference”. And certainly we try to do all of that. However, I found another reason that will ensure my return to the mission field, and that is what we are given. I have to say that in Africa I found a faith that I had not yet experienced in my life. It was one of the very few times that I had to make a conscious decision to place my trust entirely with God. When we pulled up to our hotel at 2 am our first night in Africa and were greeted at a solid iron gate by a combat clothed, AK 47 toting guard, it became clear to me that nothing I had experienced prior to this had prepared me for this trip. In fact, I wondered if perhaps I had made a poor decision or had misinterpreted God’s calling. Maybe he meant Hawaii! But there was no turning back now so I made a conscious decision to let go and let God. And boy did God deliver!
God’s love and support began with little things. His attention to detail was incredible. One of our doctors lost an heirloom cross necklace sometime during the 28 hours of flying and it mysteriously appeared in the dirt outside of the Entebbe airport at midnight, sparkling in a guard’s flashlight beam. From that point forward, we just assumed that God would take care of every detail and He did. At times God even provided a Coke Zero for my Diet Coke “addiction”! When we arrived at our ultimate destination, the Kamaiba School in Kasese which is run by the Bishop Masereka Christian Foundation, we were blown away by the joy reflected in each young face we encountered. These children were in dire need of food, clothing and adequate shelter but they were happy! They had faith and they lived life moment by moment. They surrounded us with love and exuberance. They danced and sang for us, presented us with gifts, proudly showed us their school classrooms with dirt floors and no power where they squeezed five children into a desk made for two, and taught us that God was alive and well in Kasese. Yes, we took money and supplies and worked alongside their doctors and teachers helping the best that we could. But we were given so much more, an example of faith, trust and joy that was so generously shared with us.
And so I found in Africa that God was true to His word. If we listen to Him, He will grant us peace and we will be untroubled by fear of harm. My ears are open now. The question is can I keep them open?
Molly Meeks, LPC, Summit Counseling
If you are interested in learning more about the Bishop Masereka Christian Foundation you can visit their website www.maserekafoundation.org