Moving to (and from) Uganda
Leaving the Work in Capable Hands
Editor’s Note: When Summer moved to an isolated community in Uganda, she was overwhelmed by the cultural differences and spiritual challenges. We captured her journey on film several years ago. Recently we reconnected with Summer for perspective on her experience as she prepares to leave Uganda.
Q: Can you remind us how you started?
My parents cultivated within me a love of God and a love for the nations. When I was just eight years old I told my best friend, “When I grow up, I want to go to the field.” My friend replied, “What field?” I was incredulous, “the mission field” (duh!) My images of missions were not very realistic, but the calling of God in my life was real.
Years later, when I came to Karamoja, Uganda, the harsh realities of living among thorns and warriors replaced my romantic ideals. I soon realized I was ill-equipped to minister to those I came to serve. I had no idea how to do this job.
From that place of utter humility, God raised my eyes to seek His face and then He faithfully did the work that was much too difficult for me.
Q: How have you seen God at work since moving to Uganda?
- The Lord raised up a team to serve with me.
- He led us to people of peace who were ready to receive His words of truth.
- The Spirit empowered us to build a local Bible storying team.
- Each day He has carried His work forward and is establishing His Church in this land.
When I was young, I thought my purpose was missions. It is not. My purpose is to know Christ and to make Him known. I do this through simple acts of love, faith and obedience.
Q: What’s it like to be leaving Uganda?
After six years, I am leaving Karamoja with mixed joy and sorrow: Joy in seeing that the work of God bears eternal fruit, and that God will continue His work until the day of Christ Jesus. Joy in the love that has blossomed in my heart for the Karamojong. Sorrow that I leave my spiritual children behind. I leave them, however, with the Word of God hidden in their hearts, a Loving Savior, and a Holy Spirit to keep and guard them. There is no better way to leave.
See also This World Is Not My Home, in which Summer shares more about the challenges of moving to, adapting to and leaving Uganda.
Stories from the pursuit
Photo Essay – Remembering What God Has Done
Turning points from our 40 years: “We continually reminded ourselves that God didn’t say, ‘Go into all the world where you can get a missionary visa.’ He just said, ‘Go into all the world.’”
Seeking God on the Edge of the Sahara
“There is no easy way for people to follow Jesus here.” Pray for more to seek God, and for those already seeking God to not lose heart.
Opportunity: Learn about Muslims and Islam
Is God calling you to serve in the Muslim world or among Muslims close to home? Go prepared.