I shared earlier how deeply I was touched in these services. Let me simply say here that amidst the challenges of unexpected anxiety and doing new things, the worship services were an oasis of peace.
I realized it's easy to get into a pattern with our worship. We get used to our favorite songs, styles and singers. When I pushed myself past needing those familiar things, God was able to meet me where I was, and it was wonderful.
5. When God is honored, everything changes.
The Pash's prioritize showing honor to God. They are there to help people, but they know the way to do that is put God first. While there, I heard Dr. Cliff speak on 1 Kings 8:60, "so that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is none else." This is the basis for all they do.
Because of this focus, God has blessed their village in many ways. They have favor with the people, even those of another faith. For example, I was in Uganda during the celebration of the Muslim holiday Ramadan. The villagers have the tradition of going throughout the town waking everyone up before sunrise so they can eat before their day of fasting begins.
In years past, they made a point of being very loud, even obnoxious, as they passed the ATK compound so early in the morning. This year, we couldn't even hear them. Much of the former antagonism has ceased.
God is also changing the economy. Julie founded Project Lydia about six years ago to allow widows and abandoned wives to earn money for themselves and their children. The women create jewelry, hand bags, banana leaf baskets, soap, lip balm and more. The goods are then sold in the U.S. at local shops and through the website.
This project grows bigger every year. The village is prospering as more and more women have money to pay school fees, purchase goods and build new homes.
God is even causing the village livestock to prosper. A few years ago the goats would give birth to one or two kids. Now they are having three and even four! In an agriculturally-based society, this is a big deal.
Deuteronomy 28 speaks of the blessings that come on a group of people dedicated to following the Lord. I saw it in action. Even better, the people there who do not yet know God's goodness are seeing demonstrated among them every day.
My two weeks in Uganda taught me so much and stirred a hunger to learn even more. I grew in ways I didn't expect and realized I can do more than I thought. Finally, it fired up my passion to partner with God in what He's doing, regardless of where it is.
What about you? Do you have a dream that seems impossible? Be inspired to know it's not too late. Take a new look at your circumstances. Determine if some of the things you're wanting to escape are training for what's ahead.
Allow God to stir that hope in you again. It's okay to dream, even when you see no possible way for it to happen. God specializes in the impossible! What's your dream?
Karen Ramsey is a special education teacher and blogger.
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