Friday, June 8, 2012

Church In Africa

If you know me or if you know my Mother or if you have ever been to China with our family then you know...We love to shop. My mom and I especially. We love it. Whether that be good or bad, it's debatable.

On Sunday it was our church and shopping day. The day was overall just amazingness. I wore a pretty dress. I wore makeup. I attempted to do my hair. I didn't have to cut grass with a piece of metal.
It was good day, y'all.

Anyways, We drove to church and when we pulled up I was honestly amazed. It was so beautiful! It was white concrete building that was surrounded by beautiful green plants, red dirt, and beauty in the unexpected. I loved that church. When we walked in we got our seats and the worship began. If you want to be moved, experience church in Uganda. End of story. They sang a lot of songs in Luganda and a few simple hymns in English. Nothing glorious or over done or crazy melodies and whatever else we in America think we need. They have a few microphones, a keyboard, a set of drums, dancers, and the spirit of Jesus. it was utterly amazing and I will never forget it. I was more moved and touched and closer to God in that church service then I have been in my entire life. The last song they sang was "How Great Thou Art" it sent me over the edge. It was beautiful. With the thick accents, the overall just surrender to Jesus and just the beauty of the whole thing. When we got to the "then sings my soul my savior God to thee How great thou art" I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire church. We all had our hands raised and we took it all in. We danced and sang and jumped and praised Jesus with our whole heart. I didn't care who saw me, I didn't care what other people thought, I just didn't care. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness to be standing in the middle of a village in Uganda, Africa worshipping Jesus Christ. It was amazing. I still get butterflies just thinking about the service.

In America, we have a very warped view of church. We don't have a reckless abandon or a true deep passionate need for this man named Jesus. We spend millions on building a church and having awesome sound equipment and making sure everything is just perfect. In reality though, God doesn't need that from us. God doesn't want us to worship in perfection or in $500 dresses. God wants us to come to Him just the way we are; dirty, reckless, ruined, horrible sinners. He wants to meet us at our lows and rejoices with us at our highs. He wants to be with us through it all. I have now learned how fake I play off church. I wear the nice dresses, make myself look 'good', make it all fancy, get there on time, carry a bible, and sing along during worship. That's all great and wonderful. It is. God wants us to worship Him and respect Him. In Africa though, I was dirty, looked like a mess, wore the same dress I had worn earlier in the week, I was so tired, and nothing was the way my American head wanted it to be, but I was so in love with Jesus and learned so much during that 2 hours. It might sound crazy, but that one church service changed my life.

I want to have a reckless abandon and joy for Jesus in America like they do in Africa. I want African church. I want African joy.

Once the service was over the Pastor's wife led us to the top of the church where an orphanage is being built. How AWESOME is that? They are combining church and orphanage. This way orphans are learning about Jesus and the church is following James 1:27. They are living it. It was awesome and I cannot wait to see how God works with this church. They have 5 orphanages already and they continue to expand. God is good! Please continue to pray for them.

Once we left the church we headed to Garden City for a pizza lunch. Of course lunch with 23 muzungus in a mall of sorts is not going to be dull! We had delicious pizza {it might not have been that good, but to me it was little slices of heaven} and the famous glass sodas. So yummy.

Our next stop was to the African Village shopping area. Much to our dismay, from things we could not control, it was blocked off. We found out why by experiencing it first hand and quickly found our way to another shopping center. This is where I earned my name as E.S.P. {aka Economic Stimulus Package} I made a lot of new friends and bought a lot of stuff. I was in my element {just ask anyone on our team} and quickly filled all of my make-a-bags and had to resort to using the regular black bags. We only had about 45 minutes to shop, but it was so much fun! I got a lot checked off of my list, but was thankful we would be doing a little more shopping at the end of the week!

We headed back to the Guest House and went to the baby home for the rest of the night. I snuggled my boy and sang to him about how much Jesus loved him. We tucked all the babies into bed, kissed them goodnight and with that headed back to the guest house.

Sunday was a good day and Sunday made me fall a little more in love with Uganda. Thinking of saying goodbye was already ripping me in half.

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