Why are you going back?

June 5, 2011

Today in church we announced officially that we will be going on this trip.  How exciting!  What a day it was too!  There was a baby dedication at church and just a beautiful day so the church was full.  It is such a joy to be able to stand up in front of the Artisan church community and talk about the next steps that Artisan is taking with The Ugandan Water Project.  We just funded a tank this past Easter and now we are sending people back to Uganda.  (Plus I get to be one of those people going!)
Someone asked me at church today, “Liz, why are you going back?”  I love that question.  It is honest and probing.  It makes me think it through all over again.  I have done a lot of missions trips and had a lot of experiences doing different types of categorical church missions work.  However, when I went to Uganda with The Ugandan Water Project this past February, I had a chance to spend time with people.  I got to meet them and talk to them and share stories.  I made friends and started relationships with those people.  It is a new idea for me to go back to a place where I went for a short term missions trip.  My previous experience has been that only long term missionaries “return”.  Just because that is my experience does not mean that is how it should be, needs to be, or really is.  I am excited to return.  I get to continue developing relationships that have begun through this partnership with the UWP, Artisan, and Pastor George’s church connections / communities!  I get to see my friends again!

I  have found that the best things in life come out of relationships.  Business opportunities, jobs, creative projects, etc.  There is something to the phrase, “It’s all about who you know.”  In order for that phrase to be true, relationships have to be built, so that you can know people.  I have also found that ministry is done best within the context of relationship.  I think that I have something to offer when it comes to ministry and at the same time think that the Ugandans do as well.  Going back provides an opportunity for me and my communities (Artisan, Finney, my family) to minister to these people while also giving the Ugandan communities an opportunity to minister to us!

The answer to the question I received at church is, I am going back because I get a chance to build on the relationships I started in February and I get a chance to give and receive ministry within the context of community here and over there.  What a powerful way for God’s people to work!

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