When You Want to Change the World
More and more I am convinced that the only way to effect change in Uganda is to focus on the heart.
To focus on healing. And to focus on raising up a generation that has the Kingdom of God first in their life. No matter how much education, no matter how many skills trainings, no matter how much teaching on business, the poverty that pervades the culture is more than not having. It is the poverty of spirit, the lack intimacy with God. The pain of unforgiveness. The ugliness of greed. This first week back in Gulu has been full of happiness, but also sadness, spiritual warfare, and challenges.
In our Congolese home I have seen little girls as young as 6 and as old as 12 with their hands raised towards heaven, tears rolling down their cheeks because of the power of God. Little girls who just a month ago were suffering rape, or being forced into the sex trade by those older than them because they were told “It’s never too early to learn.” Little girls who have burns on them from being left in a house that caught fire while they were trying to prepare dinner for younger siblings, while their mother was at the disco because its the only job she can find to feed her kids.
Now they don’t worry about starvation. Now they pray and they know there is a God who exists who loved them enough to rescue them from that life. I am touched by their innocence. I am touched by their praise. And when I look in their faces I am touched by the fact that most of them are not yet tainted by the desperation of this country that has corrupted the hearts of men.
But I’m also sad. Sad because there are some who would want to use our compassion to profit for themselves and it is difficult to know who to trust.
We are in a season of transition as we seek the Father for what He would have us do next. Our Acholi girls are graduating our program soon and have the faith, confidence, and skills to start a new life. As we do exit interviews with them I am grounded more in the belief that it is the healing and counseling which has changed them the most. They all say, the greatest thing they received was the teaching on forgiveness and love. And as I look into the future and try to see from heaven what God sees for Gulu, I see a center for healing, a place that focuses on teaching, and transformation of the heart. I dream of it.
And it is a spark as I walk onward in the darkness.