I can’t believe I forgot to mention this here, but if you think about my mom, dad, and sister in the next two weeks, you’ll be sending your thoughts, here, outside of Kampala, Uganda. They’re participating in a two and a half week missions trip, partnering with a ministry called Embrace Uganda. You can see them in the picture that I linked to, all huddled on the left hand side. They departed last Saturday morning, and they return two weeks from today.
Now, I know that for those of you unwashed heathens, the word “Missions,” or “Missionaries,” perhaps conjures perhaps images of that awful movie, “At Play in The Fields of The Lord,” which you know was fiction because Daryl Hannah was married to John Lithgow. That movie also treated us to our very first Kathy Bates nude scene. Hooray!
Missions also conjures images of forced conversion, tract-wielding hippies, and bike-riding Mormons. It’s an unfortunate stereotype, unfortunate because like all stereotypes it’s somewhat earned.
Let me offer you a different image. Doctors Without Borders. For these two weeks, my dad, Dr. Suburban Family Man, will be treating HIV patients in a small village in Uganda. He will be The Man, supervising any and all medicine practiced in that village.
Mission work in the 21st century is more about serving, and giving. For weeks, my parent’s bedroom has become a clearing house of goods collected for this village. They packed, and paid for, 12 suitcases full of shoes, medical supplies, and clothes. My mom texted me and told me that the workers in the clinic openly wept as they went through and selected new shoes for themselves and their families.
The cool thing about going on a service trip like this, and although I’ve never been to Africa, I’ve done a little of this type of thing here in California and Mexico, is that you are forced to surrender your agenda. Even on a vacation, you’re in charge of your fun, and (at least for me) there’s always this lingering feeling of, “Are we having enough fun?!!?” With a trip like this, that pressure is off. There is no agenda, save whatever God places in front of you in the moment. It’s a very liberating experience, surrendering your agenda.
Now, for those of you who know my family in person, the idea of these three camped out in a Ugandan village is pretty awesome and hilarious. Erica and I are seriously hoping that they get converted, rather then the other way around.
Pray that they will be able to bless those with whom they come in contact.
Pray that the goods and money that people in our community donated will make a lasting impact on those receiving the gifts.
Pray that my family will get their heads spun around and put on again, unable to see life the same way ever again.
Pray, above all things, that God will be honored, and Jesus’ kingdom of justice and mercy will be advanced in small but significant ways.