Today we had a surprise visit from a team from Tennessee... They were brought over by my beautiful Ugandan mama, Mama Phoebe! She's a precious, anointed, wise, beautiful, regal, fashionable African woman. She called me up on the phone and said Rebecca is it okay to bring some visitors over to meet you?
We always welcome teams with a line up of our children who sing them a welcome song as the team walk through the parade! It is cultural here to honor visitors and to thank them for their time so we love to welcome them in a sweet way! :)
When they arrived, we greeted them and welcomed them into the line of kids. After the chidren were dismissed back to their classes, Pastor Peter, Mama Phoebe's other half, asked me... so what's the plan?
I didn't know what to say. I asked them if they wanted to play some games with the kids. They told me they only had about one hour and then they were leaving for the airport! The visitors said they came just to hear my story and how I ended up in Uganda!
We huddled into the church with about 30 small children under the age of 5... I suddenly felt put on the spot. The even got a video camera out! Thankfully Michael came and sat next to me, so I didn't feel as uncomfortable.
As I told my story again, like I have many many times, I suddenly was hit with emotion and started to cry a little bit. I remembered those first moments I came to this country! I remembered the first time I ministered to beautiful African children in a dirt poor school. I walked into the classroom and as I began to speak, tears began to fill my eyes and love overflowed in my heart. Here I was...FINALLY! After years of dreaming of this land...after years of dreaming of these children... After all the pain of my childhood because I didn't have my father in my life...here it was. The dream, the destiny, the redemption. The children I had wept over in sleepless prayerful nights...were right before my eyes. I finally composed myself and began to share the message that i have now shared with thousands of children in Uganda. When I first came I had a little brown baby doll I named Suubi (Hope) that I used as a visual aid! ;0)
"I want to tell you about someone very special. Someone who is very special to me. He is someone who is my best friend. He is my heavenly Father. When I was growing up, I didn't have my earthly father. Maybe some of you also don't have your earthly father or even your earthly mother so you know that can be a very sad thing. How many of you don't have your mother or your father in your life? (hands go up!) Well, when I was young, God showed me that He was my father. He told me that He will never leave me. He loves me so much. He is proud of me. He told me that He wants to hold me when I cry. (hug and comfort little baby doll). Talk to me (whisper to the baby doll). Hear my heart. (Listen to the baby doll). and make me feel better inside my heart. He wants to do all of those things for you too. My Father is not just any Father. He is a KING! Not only is He just a King...but He is the King of Kings! If He is a King, what does that make you? If you are His son or daughter. It makes you a PRINCE...or a ...PRINCESS! That means you are royalty!"...etc.
I love to watch children's eyes as they giggle at the idea of being a prince or princess with a heavenly Father who is a King. I love this message. It is my life message to these children in Africa and to the world.
Father LOVES you. He wants you. He wants a real relationship with you. He will never leave you. He's proud of you. He's not just any Father, He is a King. The King of the Universe wants to be intimate with you. You are His Son or His Daughter because of Jesus. This means that you are not just any ordinary person. You are royalty. Called chosen and destined to rule and to reign and to carry the heart of the King. You are a prince or a princess with a royal destiny.
As I remembered those first moments in this country and emotion flooded my heart, something in me was revived. I have been through so much here. Witchcraft, Persecution, deaths, diseases, children who have been raped and abused, gossip, sometimes difficult staff, betrayal on top of the weight of carrying a ministry and believing God for finances...sometimes the cares of the world can make the flames wane...but oh I love how the Lord loves to rekindle.
I sat in the dirt today as little 3, 4, 5, and 6 year olds gathered in a crowd around me. We sang an old song I used to always sing with the children. It is in Luganda but in English it says. Jesus loves me and He loves you. Jesus Loves me and He loves you. Daddy loves me and He loves you. Daddy Loves me and He loves me. Halleluah oh oh oh Daddy loves me. Hallelujah Oh Oh Oh Daddy loves me. Hallelujah Oh Oh Oh Daddy Loves me. Hallelujah Oh Oh OH Daddy loves me. Hallelujah Oh Oh OH Daddy loves me. As we sang, tears filled me eyes and I don't think the children even noticed though they were looking straight into them with sweet little delighted and in awe smiles on their faces. As I sat there, I thought to myself...wow I will never really leave this land.
Thank you God for rekindling love in my heart...for somehow reminding me why Im here...and why I want to be here. Why love Your magnificent amazing LOVE compels me.