As we approached the simple structure, a woman came out with her arms opened wide to greet us with a hug. She received our simple gifts of maize, beans, soap, and a loaf of bread. “I have not tasted bread since the last time your mission team visited my home.” Our team in Uganda had first begun to minister to these people living in the region of Kikirara in May of 2017. There was a famine caused by severe drought.
Our churches in Rukungiri traveled into the area and went house to house and discovered the deaths from starvation. No one else was providing any assistance, and the people were hopeless. White Fields assisted our churches to bring maize, beans, salt and other simple supplies that allowed these people to survive. Now I had the opportunity to visit the community and travel with Pastor Bryan and Onesimus.
What a surprising realization that a loaf of bread was beyond this women’s affordable cost of living. She was impoverished, and any income would be used to buy the least expensive form of food–maize. But now she had a fantastic opportunity to attend a church in her village.
I put my arm around her and listened as she began sharing how the church had changed her life. She attended regularly and was not a believer in Jesus before the church started meeting. She had a concept of God but had placed her trust more in the way of the witchdoctors and was in bondage to their demands. Once Pastor Bryan began studying the Bible—she listened intently until the day she gave her life to Jesus Christ. Now she said, “I can greet you as a sister in Christ, thank you for coming to our village.”
On the ride back to our lodging after our team had finished an exhausting day visiting homes of people living near the new church, one member shared, “Love Travels Far.” He was reflecting on how the Lord had moved in the heart of one twelve-year-old girl to donate the proceeds she earned selling her handmade hair bands so that we could purchase the food we delivered.
At the beginning of our journey that day we had stopped at the market in Rukungiri and loaded the back of our van with maize, beans, soap and some loaves of bread. These gifts were given to the houses we would visit as we walked through the neighborhood around the new church. This young girl had seen the pictures of the starving people and decided to do something. No one organized her adventure; it was just her and her mom along with friends from church who supported the idea that someone living over nine thousand miles away could express her love by raising funds to bring food. These simple gifts expressed that someone loves these people; they are not alone.
White Fields partners have given funds so a pastor could minister full-time in this impoverished village. The expression of love had traveled over 9,500 miles. That’s a long journey for love, but when it arrived the impact in the lives of these families was tremendous. Pastor Bryan was able to give the gifts to families attending church and even to people living nearby but still not open to the church. One more step of showing the people that hope is available.
A few days later I visited a village surveying the potential to start a church. We visited homes and listened to people share their lives. I posted online that the government leader of the community informed me that I was the very first “American” to visit their village. He was excited to receive me, and we visited together regarding the difficult conditions they face in everyday life. In response to my note, another friend asked, “How can we show these people that we care and love them?” I answered, “We just did today by proclaiming the gospel. When I shared that we would like to start a church so they could study the Bible together, the people rejoiced.” You can make a difference!
Through your support, we are spreading the love of our Lord Jesus Christ into the needy places that without your prayers they face only darkness and despair. Thank you for sending your love on the long journey!