Uganda Reflections : Christa Freyhof
I shouldn't be surprised that having the opportunity to spend time in relationships with others puts wind in my sails. God said it was not good for man to be alone. He created us for relationships - with Him and each other. Yet, I struggle in my day to day routine and busyness of life to leave ample time in my schedule to be with people. While I was in Uganda, God consistently showed me how important relationships are.
He showed me that serving with others from my church is one of the best ways to take relationships to a deeper level. It's one thing to text a friend or have coffee together, but it is a whole different level of relational building when you serve together in the name of Jesus. James tells us that faith by itself it dead. The opposite of that is also true, faith with action is alive - and doing that side by side with brothers and sisters in Christ has brought about some of my most treasured relationships that I will ever know this side of heaven.
He showed me that "action" in ministry can look like hard, sweaty, work but it can also look like two hours of listening to someone share their life story.
There was a moment in the refugee camp when I (sadly) felt a bit of guilt come over me because I wasn't being "productive." I had been sitting with two of my teammates talking with two precious refugee teenagers for about an hour. I lost track of time and for a moment I felt bad that I hadn't jumped in to help them with something - laundry, cooking...whatever. I asked one of the missionaries if there was anything I should be doing. His response, "You sitting here with these young ladies and giving them a chance to share their life with you is exactly what God wants you to be doing right now." So I learned that "faith in action" can and should look different depending on the situation...in this case, the action was building a relationship with Victoria and Joyce. I'll never forget their joy in Jesus despite the horrific tragedies that they both had endured.
He showed me that there is a huge need for building relationships with those who are serving on the mission field. We can't all be passionate all the time about every single ministry or missionary. But we can do our due diligence to use the Spiritual gifts that God has given to us by connecting with the ministries that we are wired for. We have all been given a purpose (Ephesians 2:8-10). Because of my time in Uganda and having the chance to spend a week with the Harper's, Ward's, and Elkin's families who are serving as missionaries, I came home with a desire to advocate and pray for them. I am grateful that I got a glimpse into their lives and could watch how they serve and lead their families to do the same. Spending time with them has now connected my heart to them in a way that only God could accomplish.
So relationships...God is really showing me how critical it is to spend time with people not only for the sake of giving ourselves to each other but especially so that we may offer up our time to a lost and hurting world. I will close with a solid piece of Truth in Hebrews, "23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."