This summer, I had the privilege of traveling to Pallisa, Uganda, to meet and work alongside Pastor Sam and his wife, Mercy Mwesigwa, for two months. While there, I learned so many valuable lessons such as living a selfless life, showing the love of Jesus to others, and the way we should effectively do missions. As someone who has been on multiple mission trips, including those within the states and all throughout various parts of the world, it was interesting to learn more about creating a ministry like Kerith Children’s Home and what it means to be missionaries within your own culture and country. At times, it was personally difficult to see the poverty and the struggles that these people are faced with daily. Struggles that most Americans will never be able to comprehend. I believe that it’s important that people go on mission trips. It changes your perspective on life and what it really means to love and follow Jesus. I know it certainly has changed my perspective.

Pastor Sam has a heart for reaching people with the gospel, discipling believers so that they can grow deeper in their faith, and church planting. He has planted churches in places where people have never heard about the love, hope, and grace that we have solely in Jesus. Mercy’s heart for orphans and other vulnerable children is evident in the work of Kerith Ministries. In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus instructs his followers that the world will know they are his by the way they treat others. Mercy and Sam are the living examples of these verses. Through their actions and kindness, they show Jesus to the very least of these. What a selfless example they are of being Jesus to a lost and broken world.

During my time at Kerith, I taught at the school. I taught English classes to multiple grade levels, which allowed me the opportunity to meet and interact with children not only from the children’s home, but from the surrounding community as well. As an educator, it was exciting to learn about the education system in Uganda. Kerith Ministries is constantly growing and has an exciting vision for the future. Kerith is equipping their students to have a chance at life once they reach adulthood. It’s horrifying to think where some of these children might be without Kerith. Most of the children at the home were rescued by Mercy. The stories of their lives prior to being rescued will bring you to tears. The children’s home, school, health clinic, and farm are some of the many ministries that make up Kerith. It was a privilege to serve with them during my time in Uganda.

My life has forever been changed by my summer in Uganda. At times, I felt so inadequate being there. How could someone so insignificant as me make a difference in the lives of these children? I came to the realization while in Uganda that I can’t change the circumstances of every person I meet, however badly I may desire, because only Jesus can do that. However, I can be present in the life of that child and show love to them while I’m here. As a follower of Christ, I am called to simply love others just as Jesus loves me. So with every hand held, every cup of porridge served, smile and hug given, and every broken English word learned, I am constantly learning to simply be love.

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Virginia is a senior at the University of West Florida. She is currently student teaching at a school specifically for students with special needs. After graduation, she would like to teach high school students with special needs. She would also like to get more involved with mission work.

Have A Heart For Missions?

Harvesters is committed to helping encourage a passion for missions in the hearts of those God allows us to meet and to offer opportunities for them to serve, grow, and learn. Internships, short term trips, and even actively participating in our work here in the U.S. are all great ways to be part of what God is doing through our ministry partners. Anyone interested in any of these opportunities should contact Doug Radford to learn more. He can be reached by email at doug@harvesters.net or feel free to call him at 252-230-9742.