July 14, 2023
Uganda Mission Trip 2019 | Update #5
September 7, 2019 | Lindsey Stevenson
Every night as we are heading back to our hotel from the Dreamland, I think, "there’s no way tomorrow could top today…" and each night, I’ve been wrong. Today was the best day at Dreamland so far! A huge part of that was having the privilege of attending church service with the kids. It was one of the best church services I’ve ever been to. The kids’ worship and Stanley’s teaching were incredible and had a huge impact on our team. The kids sang about the miracles of God and that He is a destiny changer. I teared up thinking about how true this has been in their lives. Pastor Stanley preached on Mark 10:46-52 and emphasized that the blind man in the scripture had a problem, but cried out to God for the solution, despite the people telling him to be quiet. Jesus answered him, in the midst of a crowd of 5000 people, Jesus chose to heal the blind man. He also talked about pursuing God with passion and action, not just flippantly being a “follower of Christ” when it’s easy. It was a powerful message and brought about a large altar call with kids crying out to Jesus. We also had the opportunity to pray for over 30 kids who were travelling back to school this afternoon.
After the service, a couple students from the Dreamland shared how thankful they are for our team and The Vineyard Church as a whole for our support to them. Stanley shared that God’s timing was perfect for our trip, as they’ve had a difficult couple months at the Dreamland, but that after our visit they feel invigorated and ready to move forward. They asked our team to share as well and through some tears, we attempted to express our own gratitude for the love these kids have lavished on us this week.
We then had the joy of handing each child a fanny pack with some sweets, a balloon, bracelet and colored pencils. They quickly devoured the candy and we helped blow up the balloons for them to play with. We also brought marshmallows for them to roast, which was a huge hit! While the cooks prepared our lunch feast, we jumped rope, played hopscotch and red light/green light, and Phil put together a volleyball net for beach ball volleyball! We have had a blast playing new and old games with these kids. The kids enjoyed a feast of goat, eggs, rice, bread and soda, which are a rare treat at the Dreamland! Once the meal was complete, we got to send off the 34 kids going back to school. They loaded up in two dump trucks and headed back to boarding school in Koboko, around 2 hours away from the Dreamland. They won’t be back for three months, so this was an emotional time for some of the kids. Once they left, we tried to lift their spirits with more games and some worship music. These kids love to sing and dance!
Even though it’s only been a few days, we’ve been able to develop some real relationships with these kids. A lot of our afternoon was spent taking photos together, sharing about our lives in America, and them continuing to thank us for visiting them. It’s such a humbling experience to be recipients of their gratitude and love, especially since we can’t even begin to express our thankfulness to them. Phil said it best earlier today when he thanked the kids for teaching us about hope and showing God’s love. With everything they’ve gone through in their short lives, their faith in God and their confidence in His plan for their future is truly inspiring. They are some of the strongest, most resilient kids I’ve met and I know they are going to change the world one day. We are so grateful to have been a part of their lives this week.
We will spend one more day with the kids tomorrow before we start our journey back to America on Tuesday morning. Jay keeps telling us that we’ll likely be “misty-eyed” by the end of the day and though we’ve laughed it off, I have a feeling he might be right. Until then, we will make the most of the time we have left with these precious children.