The Cupps are in Kampala, and I have been left to man the fort for the day! This has left me with a few quiet moments to write down a little of what the Lord has been teaching me over the last few weeks... A team from my church left a week ago, and what an incredible blessing and encouragement it was to have such close friends here! They served with such joy, and it was beautiful to see the body of Christ come together and work alongside each other to serve these people and be the face of Christ in these villages. Each one of them came with full assurance that the Lord had called them here for “such a time as this” and I saw the Lord use each of them in a unique way. Hundreds heard the Gospel that week, and I have no doubt that the work that the Lord did through them in the hearts of these people is far greater than we could ever know. To the team- thank you for your obedience in coming to serve the people of Uganda, and thank you for allowing Christ to shine brightly in the big and small things. In your flexibility, in your boldness, in your service to each other, in playing soccer, in sharing your testimonies, in doing dishes- in everything, it was done to the glory of God and I am thankful to have such a church family. To my church family as a whole- The unity that God has worked in our church over the past two years is a testimony to the incredible grace of God. Your support of global missions through the team that just came, through my time here, and through many other missions across the world is beautiful. Your prayers have been a large part of the work God has done and is doing, and your support displays the way the Church is to function as one body. I am praying for you, and that you are seeking to make disciples right where you are. Paducah needs Christ! “May we run together this race that is set before us as we look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith!”
I can’t believe that my time here is quickly coming to a close. What a journey the past few months have been.. I have gotten a glimpse of what it means to be completely satisfied in Christ. Things that used to temporarily satisfy me (Starbucks) are not available way out in the bush of Uganda. In my attempt to instantly bring myself satisfaction I would often run to things other than Christ, and because they were so readily available to me, I never realized what I was doing. Since being here, all I have is Christ, and I have learned to be fully satisfied in Him and Him alone. I have learned to constantly run to Him and allow myself to be filled and strengthened in His presence. Not long after I arrived here, the Lord convicted me that I was not concerned nearly enough about my own sin and that I should be asking Him to reveal my sin to me so that I may be forgiven and cleansed of it. Reluctantly, I began to pray that God would reveal my sin to me, and He placed me in situation after situation that revealed the sinfulness of my own heart. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was answered prayer. I realized that instead of using my talents to serve Him, I was being asked to lay them aside in order to serve Him. To me, that was a completely foreign way of doing things. I’ve always understood that you use whatever you’re gifted in to serve Christ, but sometimes He asks you to serve Him by doing things that are for His eyes only and that have nothing to do with your giftedness. Sometimes he asks you to serve Him in a way that you aren’t comfortable serving. Sometimes, he asks you to serve in ways that you will never know the impact of- and it’s then that you realize you are serving Christ not for the results, but for the simple joy of serving Him and being obedient. In all of this, my prideful heart was revealed to me and I saw that my definition of serving Him was a lot different from His definition. When my sin was dealt with, and my definition of serving was redefined, there was a new kind of joy that came in serving Him and spending myself for the sake of His name alone.
Sometimes I worry that when people hear of someone serving in a different country, that they are looked at as a hero or as someone that has a higher calling. Let me be the first to say that missionaries are no heroes, but they are sinners saved by grace just like everyone else. Their obedience to God’s calling may be more obvious, but it certainly doesn’t mean it’s more important.
As I am wrestling through my own sin, my own sanctification, and my own walk with Christ, I am reminded more than ever of my need for His grace. I am thankful that His mercies are new every morning and are enough for each day.
As believers, we can be so encouraged that “our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” - Philippians 3:20-21
I am anxiously awaiting the day that this struggle with sin will be no more!