Have you discovered that it is much easier to quote or pray God’s Word than it is to actually live it out? Like this verse, “May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” Psalm 19:14. Man, that verse just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
I was on my way to Uganda traveling with Chris Bond of Designs for Hope in Birmingham, Alabama. Chris and I have worked together before drilling wells in Cuba. Chris had invited me to tag along with him to Uganda because he believed that TREC and our model for missions could be beneficial for the church in Uganda and reaching the lost in this area of the world.
I’m in my seat flying somewhere between Ethiopia and Uganda. It’s the fifth leg of this long two-day journey to get to Uganda. It’s been two days of hard international travel; I’m tired and cranky, and I’ve had this mask strapped to my face for the last 48 hours. At this point in time, the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart were not very pleasing to the Lord. I’m tired, I’m complaining, and I’m not having good thoughts. “Why am I even in Africa? We have more than enough to do in Cuba and Nepal.” (Granted, we aren’t able to get into these countries right now). We finally make it to Uganda and have one more flight until we reach our final destination. We board the single engine plane and take off. You know life is going to be interesting when you land on a grass landing strip.
We spent the next four days in the village of Bware, Uganda. This village is very close to the Uganda-Congo border, and approximately 14,000 people live there. In 15 years of being involved in missions, I have never seen people work so hard to get water. Designs for Hope had just completed a very successful well project that consisted of a large well that supplied water to 5 water stations scattered throughout the village. As we walked through the village we saw women and young girls with jerry cans (containers to carry water). One completely filled jerry can weighs about 40 pounds. Before they had this well the women in this village had to go to the reservoir where the government provided water, and most of the time it was empty, or walk 6 kilometers to the river for water. I heard the prayers of people thanking God for water; good, clean water. They thanked God that their children were no longer sick. They asked God to send rain for their crops so there wouldn’t be famine in the land. I soaked all this in and later that night I was reminded, yet again that as an American I take many things for granted. I’ve never had to worry if I was going to have water, and can honestly say, I’ve never prayed for it. I don’t know what it’s like to carry water from the river to my home every day to survive, and I’ve never worried about living through a famine.
Why was I in Uganda? Why has Cuba or Nepal not opened up? The answers: I was in Uganda because I have been entrusted with the Gospel and a commission. If my schedule had been filled with work in these other countries I may not have made the time to go to Uganda.
You can’t see what I saw and simply turn your back and do nothing. My prayer has been, “Lord, what do you want us to do and where do you want us to start?”
We feel lead to begin work in Uganda in the following ways:
1. We will begin to assemble and train evangelism teams to work with the Nyabagundo Baptist Church and share the gospel with them at the water stations in Bware. We pray that as the people come to get water they will have a radical face to face encounter with the Fountain of Living Water and never be thirsty again.
2. We have been asked to help build a maternity ward in Bware that will be run by Nyabagundo Baptist Church. The plan is to have 12 rooms with 32 beds, and they anticipate helping approximately 40 women a month give birth. In this area there is a high infant and maternal mortality rate. Most women give birth in their homes, and when there are complications there is no help for them. The cost to construct this structure is $65,500.
3. We have begun to research small business opportunities for the local church and the pastors. These include coffee exports, pig farms, and fish ponds.
I’m asking you, our TREC family, to pray about how the Lord might lead you to be involved in the above list. Maybe He wants you to go and be a part of one of the evangelism teams. He might want you to give towards the maternity ward or be a part of one of the medical teams to actually go and work there. He might be leading you to donate your upcoming stimulus check or a portion of it for this cause. He might be leading small business owners to go and help TREC as we develop small businesses. I don’t know how He will lead you. I just simply ask you to pray and be obedient to what He tells you to do. I didn’t understand why I was going to Uganda, but felt the Lord leading me to go, and, after taking the step of faith, the “why” became very clear.
I’m thankful for the life lessons learned while in Uganda, I’m thankful for water, for rain, and thankful that He forgives. I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart will be pleasing to Him. I look forward to what He is going to do in Uganda and what He has in store for Cuba and Nepal! Thanks for TRECing with us!
- Jeff McFarland
Don’t forget to sign up to receive these newsletters by email. We will be discontinuing the hard copy at the end of May. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jeff at 334-303-2626 if the Lord is speaking to you about how you can help in Bware, Uganda. We welcome your gifts and talents as we TREC to Uganda, Cuba, Nepal, and beyond. Be a part of making a difference in people’s lives and sharing your faith. There is no greater calling than to be in service to the King. We love you and count it a blessing to work with you.