Anna's teammates in Uganda have been able to get to an internet cafe and do a good bit of blogging this week. Though we've not heard directly from Anna in about a week, we have heard good things via the team blog. God is truly doing incredible things in and through this bunch of young adults. One such team member is Beth Grosz. Here's what she had to say about their first week so far in Africa:
STRENGTH IN CHRIST by Beth Grosz
I'm having a difficult time knowing where to start this blog after all I have experienced these last few days. God has proved faithful in our time in Mbarara, Uganda, and I am continually amazed at His provision and guidance. We have amazing hosts, Pastor Solomon and his wife Lillian, who have provided us with a place to stay and 3 meals a day. I have been amazed at how the Lord works. I cannot even begin to describe all that I have learned by living here. We have no electricity, no toilets, no running water, and I am more content than I have ever been in my life. A lesson that I have learned is that less is truly so much more. The joy that is found in the laughter of these children and the smiles of the Ugandan people is inspiring . There is so much to learn from them and I am so grateful for the relationships that I am building with these people. I came on this trip with the sole purpose of helping others and telling them about Christ. God is taking that and doing wild things with it, but He is also shaping me and teaching me through the lives of others. He is showing me who I am as His daughter.
We have had many opportunities in ministry so far. This week we were able to go to the school and work with the kids. I was in the classroom with 5-8 year olds and I was amazed. These kids can write and speak English so well. I have never seen 5 year old children write as well as they do. They are bright, well behaved, and beautiful. Last night we had the opportunity to do hospital ministry. The Lord broke me. The heaviness and lifeless feeling you get walking into the hospital is almost overpowering. But our God is One of strength, and I had to continually ask for it. I was in the group that visited the children's ward (imagine that :)) and I honestly had no idea how I was going to do it. Looking into those kids' eyes, seeing their hurt and pain was heartbreaking. Each ward has one room. One room filled with beds pushed together. It's dirty. Crammed. I had to keep reminding myself that these people didn't need a bunch of Americans walking through crying and staring at them. No, they needed smiles. They needed hope. They needed Jesus, and I was happy to bring Him. It was an experience that was very difficult and draining, but the Lord showed up for me and gave me so much faith and confidence in Him.
There are so many more stories I want to share, but if I were to do so my blog would never end. All I can say is I will never tire of the sound of children giggling and sprinting toward me. I will never tire of watching these people worship, seeing their authenticity. I love this country and seeing how much the Lord loves each and every person here with a powerful love. We will be in Mbarara until June 23rd, and then we will be on our way to Kenya. Please keep us in your prayers as we spread God's love to these people. God is good and I am so happy to be able to proclaim that fact to all who will listen.
Photo by another of Anna's teammates, Tess Ottinger.