By: Jennifer Roeland
Prayer. Provision. Praise.
Those three words are prominent in my mind as I process the events of the last ten days spent on the ground in Uganda.
I have recently been reading a book about developing a “strategic” prayer life. It is a great book that leads to a plan to develop a focused, intentional prayer life. After being with the people of Uganda, I am honestly embarrassed by needing to read a book to remind me of the importance of having a strong prayer life. The Ugandans do not have to be taught this! They believe with their whole heart that the only way to overcome the many obstacles they face is by prayer and God interceding on their behalf. This is evident in many ways, but on this trip, the following story exemplifies this truth.
While we were at the Rwemikoma school, we met a pastor named Wilson. He invited us to come see and pray for his church, affectionately named the “Happy Hill Church” by Trip 48 team members. After we completed our work at the school, we crossed the street and went up a hill to see the church that Pastor Wilson and his congregation are building. He shared with us that God had told him to build this church on the hill. They prayed and believed. He and the 18 members of his congregation have been praying for the Lord to provide for the completion of the building. While they are praying, they are not just waiting, they are working. They are building what they can and continuing to pray. We joined together with the pastor and a couple of others to pray for what God is doing on that hill.
We arrived to find that the church has one “wall” located at the back of the church made of tarp. The other three walls are partially complete with bricks. Some walls are about 6 rows of bricks high. About 1/3 of the building has a roof of metal sheets held up by thick tree branches to provide protection from the sun and rain while they worship. There were about 15 plastic chairs and a bench to sit. Although they have only 18 members and very little money, they have been obedient and started building the church. They have been obedient and God has provided. They have completed what they can thus far. While we were there praying with them, God led some members of our team to help by giving toward the building of the church! Once again, Jehovah Jireh provides!
The lack of a complete building does not keep them from meeting together and worshipping God. They are proud of what God has accomplished and continue to pray and believe that God will provide. When our team gave the pastor the donation, he was so grateful and praised God for providing once again! Within a couple of hours of leaving the church, we learned that Pastor Wilson had already used the provisions to purchase more cement and sand. The workers were even scheduled to be there the next day to continue building.
Each time I return from Uganda, I am so renewed and refreshed by God’s faithfulness and provision. There are countless times I have heard accounts of individuals, churches, schools and other groups praying, believing and moving forward, knowing that God would provide. I pray for that faith and obedience to be so evident in my life.