Experiencing God in Missions

By Fiona Lewis

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

My trip to Uganda with the RIBHO team was a trip of many firsts. My first mission trip, first trip to the continent and first time meeting another Fiona. If I could summarize this trip, I would use the phrase “we experience more when we plan less.” I don’t know who coined that phrase but it sums up this trip perfectly. Like many, I am a planner and want to know every detail before I agree to do something. Also, like many, I have a difficult time giving up control. I am glad that God used Dr. Mukaire to invite me to experience Him through less planning and more trusting. 

The nature of our trip was such that we moved from one village to another every day or every other day. Although we were given a schedule, the schedule could not capture the day to day activities and the real time adjustments our team was constantly required to make. As I reflected on the entire trip, I realized that we were privileged to receive on the job discipleship training that required us to set aside our preplanned lessons and teaching models. In doing so, we gave the Spirit of God free access to work through us.  God could use our health promotion, mental health, and spiritual care expertise in whatever way He chose. Oftentimes, God didn’t use any of those things.  Instead, a smile, a listening ear or the exchange of a warm hug was all God asked of us. The most fulfilling moments during this trip turned out to be the ‘in-the-moment” experiences during our service in the health promotion group classes and non-communicable diseases screening clinics. I also appreciated the unity that developed over time among our team as we all became more aware of God’s presence among us. To plan less and still experience more in proportion seems counterintuitive to being a professional but God’s ways are often counterintuitive.  

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