I have always dreamed of going to Africa; I wasn’t sure how or when but I knew in my heart that one day God would take me there.
So it was such a confirmation of His timing and planning that I went with Passion Partners. Seeing how passionately Candice was serving God by ministering to His people was very inspiring. When I got an email asking if there was any interest in going on a mission trip to Uganda, it was a no brainer!
Our first team meeting was right before Christmas. It was a small group of people with a common goal…. to go and serve others in the name of Christ. We continued to grow closer during each monthly meeting. We also got to see God workingboth in us and through us as a group. We prayed together, cried together, and had fun with each other at our meetings. I didn’t realize until later how crucial these meetings were.
July came much more quickly than expected and before I knew it, we were departing. We were blessed with safe travels and finally arrived in Uganda. The next morning the sweet Restoration Home staff welcomed us in a way that I have never experienced. We were met with warm embraces as we were told, “You are so welcome”, “Very glad you are here”, and “We have prayed for this.” This was repeated over and over, along with big, long hugs. We were treated like family that had been separated for a long period of time. It was so incredibly touching!
Over the next few days, we connected to people in that part of the world more closely than I have to the people that live near me. We were welcomed into homes that made me feel honored in a way that I haven’t experienced in the U.S. For someone to invite you into their home and share their heartbreaking and uplifting testimony, to allow you to shed tears, to pray together, and to discuss what God will do in the future, is life changing. We were able to hear and share with the girls and staff of the Restoration Home, the single moms at the Mission House, and to worship with the Sala community church. Each moment was so very uplifting and moving, and I will treasure these memories for the rest of my life.
I am so thankful to have experienced the people and culture of Uganda. Seeing things that you hear about can rock your “comfortable” world. I often hear about people being persecuted for their faith in Christ, but to actually meet believers that have been threatened with their lives by their own families knocked the wind out of me. I knew that water was hard to come by in remote areas of the world, but to actually see people walk far to get water twice a day was a reality check. It made me aware of every drop I have ever taken for granted.
Being around these people who are living examples of loving and serving God was very humbling. It is difficult to admit that God had to take me halfway around the world to show me the condition of MY heart. I am so grateful that I got to experience Africa with Passion Partners. I believe and have faith in what this organization is doing and pray that God will continue to bless the people served by it.
I know I will return to Uganda to serve, love, and worship Christ with my new extended family.
Suzanne DuVall is a guest blogger from Nashville, TN. She traveled with Passion Partners on their Summer 2014 Missions Trip. To learn more about joining Passion Partners on an upcoming trip, visit www.passionpartners.org/get-involved/go.