Lord, (do not) send me to Africa

In the 1980s T.V. commercials with Sally Struthers pleading with listeners to save African children from starvation were unavoidable. For only $.70 a day, a child could be rescued from starvation she said. Picture after picture of extremely malnourished children swarmed by flies would appear. As a young girl mesmerized by those images, my heart was broken and confused. And, I felt guilty. I get to eat today. Why do I get to eat today?

uganda-children

At church the stories were similar. Missionaries visiting from Africa would speak about the tremendous suffering from wars and drought. Testimonies were woven with their own stories of personal suffering, sickness, or worse…loss of a child.

Go to Africa? No, thank you. Ticket to “Anywhere, but Africa” for me, please.  Only radical Christians who wanted to meet Jesus asap went to Africa…or so I thought.

Fast forward 30+ years and I’m on my way back to Africa for the third time. Yes, God has a sense of humor. What changed? I wish I could say, “Africa!” Yet, the reality is that suffering remains in many African nations. The radical change was my heart and my perspective.

As a child I used to consider Africa a “hell on earth,” but now – in many places – Africa is a picture of “heaven on earth.” How can I say that?

african-church

Poverty remains, but God’s people are sustained by God’s promises, not the pursuit of possessions or positions.

Land is torn by war or the remnants of apartheid, but the air is filled with musical worship  so beautiful it can hardly be replicated anywhere else on the planet. 

Death is a devastating reality, but new life through Christ is springing up all around.

Persecution of Christians is at an all-time-high; yet, perseverance through Christ invites God’s power to perform the miraculous. 

Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Ministries like Orphan’s Heart, a ministry of the Florida Baptist Children’s Home, take that seriously and are bringing the kingdom of God to hard places in Uganda.

We’ve been invited to join them.

This November, All In Ministries International (AIM) will serve alongside a team from Orphan’s Heart to bring the message and ministry of Jesus to the people of Kamonkoli. As part of the Uganda team, we will be leading a church Bible study and an intensive discipleship conference for women of Kamonkoli, as well as serving through home visits, clothes distributions, and however else we may be helpful.

uganda-women

Jesus instructed us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our mission in Uganda, we hope and pray, will be a small part of God’s work to the Ugandan people.

So, return to Africa? Yes, please. I don’t want to miss where God is working – where heaven meets earth.

You can join this mission through your much-needed prayers. Please pray for the Lord to prepare us well and use AIM for His glory and the strengthening of the church in Uganda. Prayers for God’s presence, power, provision, peace, protection, and pleasure for the people of Uganda and for the team that goes to serve them. (Specific prayer details coming soon.) Thank you!!!

In His Strength For His Glory,
Susan

(Top photo courtesy of Uganda’s Heart, a ministry of the Florida Baptist Children’s Home, featuring Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Uganda’s Heart, Ron Gunter.)