Worship in the Midst of Suffering
Steve recently went to Uganda on an e3 church planting trip. After returning, he took some time to put his experience down on paper. This is the trip told through his lens:
The main objective of our trip was to make disciples and then train them on how to make other disciples, leading to communities of believers that form reproducing churches throughout Uganda. As the days passed, I came to realize that the encounters we were having with the people there were undoubtedly arranged by God. We trained three different groups of leaders in the mornings and spent the afternoons in the harvest, sharing the gospel with anyone who’d listen.
“We heard countless stories of evil and violence, but each of those stories were followed by statements of praise and worship.”
We met and ministered to Sudanese refugees from the Nuba mountains and the people of the Katwe slums outside of Kampala. We heard stories of horror and grief that God had turned into stories of hope and redemption. One woman from the Nuban tribe told us how she’d spent 28 days in the wilderness with her kids, on the run from the enemy in Sudan. They had no food or water, but God provided nourishment for them. And any time the enemy got close, “it was as if God cloaked them so that they could not be seen, nor found.” They eventually found their way to a settlement camp where they are now, and although they have very little, they are content and filled with joy, constantly thanking God for their safety.
We heard countless stories of evil and violence, but each of those stories were followed by statements of praise and worship, reminding us of what Jesus says in Matthew 5:10-12.
One woman shared about her struggles to provide food for her family and asked for prayers to help her drunken brother and father, but then, despite all of those things, she praised God for all He’s done for her and began singing “Lord I Lift Your Name on High.” The passion and heartfelt sincerity in her voice as she sang sent shivers through me.
“The Christian Sudanese refugees and Ugandan people taught us what true worship looks like.”
The Christian Sudanese refugees and Ugandan people taught us what true worship looks like. I have never seen people who can so openly worship God and praise Him in the midst of their suffering. These people are a city set on a hill in the middle of great darkness. They are a dichotomy in having so little, yet so rich in Christ.
My heart is broken for these people and I fully intend to continue doing what I can to help them. My prayer now is for God to open and close doors accordingly for my whole church to become active in missions for Uganda.
It’s amazing to see how God is using the e3 Field Ministry to not only change the lives of the people they encounter abroad, but also the people they bring with them from the states as well. Steve’s heart for the people of Uganda and his prayer for his home church are testaments to that.
God is on the move in Uganda and God is on the move at e3 Partners!
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