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Grey Dreads

This trip has had more ups and downs than I can explain to you. Living here in Bugiri, Uganda had been an experience I could have never imagined. It’s beautiful, strange, mysterious, broken yet healing, and most of all, in need of what we, those who follow Jesus, have to offer: the love the Father has given to us. When we are exhausted, and sticky and smelly and hungry, we remember that love, and push on. Our hope is this: In running the race with diligence we will see the light through the cracks, we will dance upon injustice, and we will encourage those who are sick to “Get up. Take your mat and walk.”

We have ministered in the Bugiri hosptial on a few different occasions, and for me, it is the most difficult area of ministry I’ve encountered. Praying for the sick can seem hopeless. Seeing these beautiful people dying of cureable diseases is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before. During on hospital visit last week a group 3 girls, including myself, prayed over a man named Israel. Israel was paralyzed. He told us a witch doctor had come to him and hit him on the back, and now he could not move. Israel was emaciated, just skin and bones. So we prayed. Us three girls, Jenny, Molly, and I prayed with hope that this man would receive healing.

The next week, we looked for Israel. Finding he wasn’t in his bed, Jenny and I just looked at eachother with a similar thought in mind. We both thought we would not see him again, that our prayers were not enough. After seeing the empty cot, I went outside the hopstial wards to pray with Becca.  While listening to Becca pray over me, I lifted up my head, looking at those walking by. A minute goes by and I begin to see a familiar face.  Actually, familiar dreads. I could never forget those crazy looking, grey dreads. Those were Israel’s dreads! Israel was walking! All he had was a small cane and a bag, of what I assume was food. He turned to me, with a smile on his face that said “I am healed”, and just waved.

Luckily, I wiped the surprised expression off my face in time to smile a huge smile and wave back to Israel. The emotions flooded over. “The joy of the Lord is our strength” had never had so much meaning to me until this moment. God had healed him, and used us to help. Many times we forget that we sew the seed, but God makes it grow, and we do not always get to witness the fruit in this life. It is our joy to see the Lord working through us, our hope of things unseen, and our reward is the love that fills our hearts from the movements of God’s hands.  Ministry in the hospitals is still hard, but hope continues to fill the halls and each room we visit, and that is healing, in and of itself.

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