My Journey to Uganda, Africa:

**Written through the eyes of a BFR teammate that traveled to Uganda in March.

From the moment I mailed in my application for a mission trip to Uganda, with Be Free revolution, a Christ centered organization that sets out to empower, educate and set free ( I immediately tried to convince myself I had lost my mind. I mean what was I thinking? I had just started a new job a few months before, I am a wife and a mom to 2 young kids…. I cant go to Uganda…. No way….Or so I thought.

It all started when I was trying to convince a friend to go. She is about to get married and no kids and I told her she should go while she can! It would be a great opportunity for her and if she felt the Lord’s call then she shouldn’t say no. Little did I know that God would use that moment to tell me to go as well. So I threw it out there in a conversation with my husband and he was all for it. What?! Are you serious? That meant that I would have to leave him alone for TEN days with the kids. To get them dressed, feed them, take them to daycare and church? No way! But my husband, being the Godly man that he is, told me that if the Lord was telling me to go, then I need to go. I had to put my trust in God that He would take care of all our needs and provide the means for the trip. And boy did He ever. Things just started slowly falling into place, and still I fought it. I sent out letters, knowing that I would never be able to raise the money. And you know what, I didn’t, God did! He did it all. I take absolutely no credit for any part of this. God laid it on the hearts of others to give and through their obedience, He was able to use me in that amazing town of Tororo, Uganda.

So on March 8, 2013, I boarded a plane with an amazing team from Be Free Revolution and set out for the un known.

Knowing I was being prayed for and putting all my trust in God, because I am not going to lie, I was scared to death. After a long long flight and an over night stay in Dubai, and then another 5 hour flight, we finally arrived in Uganda. Got off the plane, hopped in a van and started our long ride to Tororo from the airport. I don’t think my mind and heart were on the same page at this point. I just did not know anything to expect.

We arrived on mission the next day at a Christian organization called Smile Africa, ran by the sweetest lady, Pastor Ruth. It is an orphange, so to speak, that houses about 50 kids. But not only that, they take in hundreds of street kids during the day from 9am-4pm. They teach them, feed them, bathe them and play with them. Like I mentioned before, I don’t think that my heart was ready for what I was about to encounter. You always hear about starving children in Africa and other countries, but to see it in person, face to face took my breath away. All of them were filthy dirty. Some naked or half dressed with torn and dirty clothes.

I was so overwhelmed on my first day there, that I didn’t know what to do or say, really. So we played. Me and the other friends on the team, played games, sang songs, held hands, exchanged names, and just showed love to these sweet, some naked, some half dressed, babies and kids.

Through out the rest of our week, God was using different people for different purposes. There were meetings going on behind the scene, photographs capturing moments, teachers teaching about wellness and hygiene, physical therapy happening with malnourished babies and help assisting the nurse there showing her new ways to help the children, teaching the women how to create different necklaces and jewelry, bible studies with widowed women. I feel like my reason for being there was just to show Christ’s love to these kids.

I fell in love with them almost instantly. I could see Christ in their little faces. I knew He wanted me there. I am not a teacher, or a counsler, or a nurse, but I am a mom and I know the meaning of unconditional love and I was determined I was going to literally get my hands dirty and show these babies the love that they need and deserve.

Reality hit extremely hard on the day we watched them leave Smile. I don’t know why I expected them to have parents waiting on them to walk them home, but a part of me did. But there were none. Not one single adult waiting on their babies to walk with them. I was taken back by this reality of their life. They didn’t have sweet loving and warm homes to go to. They walked bare foot and hand in hand with their siblings or older siblings carrying babies on their backs to a dangerous place with little to no food and parents and adults who were more than likely drunk at this point in the day. I was over taken with emotion, I had to walk away and pray that God would just protect these babies. I continue to do this on a daily basis. My sweet friend Lacey, that I have known almost my whole life, one of the co founders of Be Free Revolution, took me a side and counseled me so to speak. I am thankful for her because it was a hard day.

On our last day there, we were able to walk to the village that the children lived in and pray for them and their families. It was an eye opening experience for sure. They have nothing. They live in very small rooms, sometimes with large families. No doors, no air conditioning, not even a bed…. nothing. I feel here in America we are so wrapped up in our lifestyle that we don’t realize how incredibly blessed we are just to have clean, running water much less anything else we have.

We also had some fun while we were there. I bonded with everyone on the team.

We laughed and cried together, even a few moments we were scared together, like rafting down the Nile river (YES THE NILE)!!!

I reconnected with friends I grew up with and probably laughed harder with them than I have laughed in years and amazingly after all these years God brought us together to work hand in hand in Africa.

I “duned bashed” in Dubai. Can’t say that was the most fun I have ever had but I got to see a camel in the dessert so I guess it was worth it.

My experience in Uganda was an amazing one.

I knew by going God would bless me for being obedient to His call. But before I went, I envisioned a selfish blessing. Like He would help me pay my bills because I was obedient to Him or something to that sense. But OOOHHHH how I was wrong. God blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. He gave me a new heart for missions that I had never had before. He opened my eyes to the things that burden His heart. He blessed me with new friends here and in a country across the world. He showed me things that will stick with me forever. And I can honestly say, that I am forever changed because of my trip and a piece of my heart will always and forever be in Africa. If I can do anything else for God, it is to encourage others to get involved in mission work, whether it be in your home town, another city, state or even another country. Do it and don’t be scared! Trust God with all your heart, He will provide all your needs.

-Michelle Pashby
Kuwa Huru “Feel Free”

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