Hello world and all who inhabits it! (Or at least those that care enough to read this post) This whole blogging thing is very new to me, so bear with me here.

            All I want to talk about is the team’s first day of rest. Adventures in Missions tries to allow all of its missionaries one day of rest a week. It’s supposed to be a day to catch up with our individual time with God, fellowship with the team, and explore the country that we are currently living in. So far, today was our first day of rest. This team has been working so hard to go out and share Christ’s love in this city. We are having a fantastic time, but to be honest, we go to bed every night feeling exhausted, and we wake up feeling like we didn’t get much sleep. Though the team has powered through like champs, this day of rest was extremely anticipated. Most of us woke up this morning at the late hour of 9:00 AM with breakfast at 9:30. Personally, I woke up at 9:29, threw on a skirt and a t-shirt, and ran down the stone steps of the compound to meet the team for breakfast. Our day was planned out before us. We were going to have an hour or so to read our bibles and pray individually, then we were going to pack into vans and drive into Kampala. (We are staying in Entebbe which is just outside Kampala) For those of you that don’t know, Kampala is the capitol of Uganda. In Kampala, you don’t so much see huts as homes or orphanages full of children in need of love. It’s citified, and though different from America, it seemed far more familiar than the dirt roads of Entebbe (even for this small town, southern girl). So we drove into Kampala with the intentions of spending a few hours at the local craft market (Sarah, Rachel, I bought gifts and you will love them. Get excited), eating at a local restaurant, possibly returning to the craft market if time permitted, then returning to the compound for the remainder of the evening. Not extremely restful, but it was a fun day planned. The craft market was amazing. I spent a ton of money, and I’m not even mad about it. We get through lunch, and it was fantastic. It was a nice break from the rice and beans we had been eating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my rice and beans, but if I can have a double cheeseburger and a coke I’m going to have to accept. So lunch, then returning to the craft market, and finally we thought we were returning home.

            That’s when things changed. Pastor Mulunde, the pastor that is hosting us for the next few weeks, told us there is a church he would like us to visit. The church was pastored by a friend of his, and he had made a promise to bring his “American visitors” by. Apparently people had been waiting all day, though we had no idea of this until we heard about the church. Reluctantly, we agreed to visit. I mean, it’s our day of rest, right? We weren’t supposed to do ministry today. This was supposed to be a fun day. Right? But here we are, cramped tight in two separate vans, headed towards this church. Most of us had serious attitudes at this point. It’s a group of eighteen girls after a day of shopping, what do you expect? We were not in the right mindset to do ministry. But here we go.

            As we pull up to the church, which looked more like a pavilion/tent, we could hear singing. Not just singing, but worship. We piled out of the vans, and somehow, I ended up in the lead. I was front of the line that we made so we could walk through the doors, and as soon as I walk in, there were cheers of joy. These people had literally been waiting all day for the “Visitors from America”. The cheering and applause was practically deafening. My immediate thought was “This is how celebrities feel. I’m a celebrity to them”, but they didn’t even know my name. I kept walking through the crowd, leading my team behind me. People were parting far me as I took steps. Children ran up to hug me and adults put their hands out for me to shake. I felt so important. I was led to a seat in the very front row, and my team followed right behind. Each of us were given seats in the first or second rows.

            I sat down, and my mindset immediately switched. I was smiling. Children would come up and hug me just so they could touch me. I started to check my thoughts. “Why am I important? Why are they so excited to see me?” The answer? I’m not. It wasn’t me these people wanted to see. It was Jesus. This thought humbled me greatly. I wanted to shout above the crowd “I’M NOT JESUS! I’M NOT WORTHY OF BEING PRAISED! IT IS JESUS WHO SHOULD BE WORSHIPPED! LET’S WORSHIP HIM TOGETHER!” but it was so loud. There was no way I was going to be able to get that point across to everyone. Luckily I didn’t have to. It was late, and these people were as tired as we were, but all of the sudden it didn’t seem to matter. We took the stage and each of us shared our names. As a team, we felt that we should make up for making these people wait for us all day. I was handed a microphone and immediately I began to sing. (I want to make something clear. This was not my idea. It was one of our fabulous leader’s, Alysa’s idea) I started to sing “I’m trading my sorrows. I’m trading my shame” that one. I’m not exactly sure of the name, so hopefully you recognize it. The people in Uganda certainly do. They began singing with us, but it still felt like a show. Like we weren’t truly worshipping, just singing for these people. Tyler, another girl on the team and a close friend of mine, had the idea to actually go into the crowd and engage. The rest of the team followed her except for Maddie and me, as we held microphones. People began jumping out of their seats. We praised God together. We worshipped together. I was dancing and clapping and singing (and honestly running out of breath but I didn’t have it in me to stop).

            In this, I saw heaven. I was worshipping with people from different tribes, tongues, and nations. All I could think was “This is what heaven will look like. This is it. Everyone will be worshipping God, but I won’t feel tired, I won’t get short of breath, I won’t need to stop. We will never need to stop praising God in heaven.” This thought was liberating. It made me want to keep going. So we did. We sang and danced for as long as we could, but unfortunately, we are still on Earth, and our bodies were still becoming increasingly tired. Eventually, we had to stop.

            I walked out of that church changed. I was humbled. I had a new mindset. But let me tell you, I was not rested. But let me tell you something else, it didn’t matter. I’m typing this, ready to go to sleep, but I have to get this off my chest. I’m not rested and I don’t care. I’m not here to be rested, I’m here to do the lord’s work. I’m here to do exactly the opposite of rest. And I can’t wait to do more.