There are so many times that I wish our friends and family could come join us for church each Sunday, or at least be a "fly on the wall" and enjoy the beauty of God's multi-ethnic church and the work that God is doing here. Writing that probably makes people have a bit of a glamorous picture of our little church, but I think our church makes me smile so much because we have been part of it since its beginning and have truly seen the hand of God as He has grown this group of believers within this community.
A typical church service for us begins with a time of welcoming any visitors and sharing testimonies. This is one of my favorite parts of our service, because people give thanks to God for big things, small things, EVERYTHING. Sometimes the testimony is as simple as "I thank God for my life, that He has kept me alive thus far." Sometimes people share about God's healing or provision or protection. Sometimes people share more about their life story and how God has drawn them to Himself. But the simple act of giving thanks to God for all things is a discipline I have come to appreciate so much. It lifts my focus from myself to the One who created me, redeemed me, and daily sustains me. Truly, I would not be alive at this moment if it were not for Him.
Over the last few weeks in church we have begun a study on relationships - husbands, wives, children, parents, etc. - and how we live out our faith in these day to day situations. The response from people has been both encouraging and challenging. There is one man in our church that has begun to make sure his wife comes to church every Sunday (she only came sporadically before), even to the point that he will bring his youngest children to church early so she has time to get ready and climb the big hill to our church without having to carry them. He also has been asking about how to get a Bible in her native language so that she can better understand God's Word. While this has been encouraging, we have also been challenged as women ask questions about how to submit to husbands that are drunk and abusive. But overall, God is working in these people within our community and it is exciting to see people express how hungry they are for these truths that bring light to their daily lives. Just imagine how God can change this area of Uganda and build His kingdom right here simply through these people following Jesus and letting Him transform their lives!