Mukama Yebaziwe-‘Praise the Lord’!
*NEW: Well, we have unexpectedly had a bit of change of plans. Due to the increasing risk of violence and rioting because of the upcoming presidential elections in February, Empower a Child is taking all safety precautions necessary in protecting their volunteers. For this reason they have asked us to leave between the months of February- March. I am in no immediate danger and as I said it is just a measure to ensure our safety. This is one thing that I did not financially plan for. I am still in the process of making a decision on where to go over this time.
Currently, I am looking into going to the UK, to stay with Porsche’s family because it is closer than flying home. With this being said I am looking for $1,500 to help cover the cost of the flight and necessities during this time. If you feel led or are able to give please let me know. Thank you!
Keep Uganda’s leaders in your prayers during this time.
Choosing extraordinary when things are less than that.
· What pushes you to be stronger and stand out when everyone else is pushing you to conform and be just like everyone else?
· Why is it that we settle for less then what we deserve?
· We sell ourselves short? For what? Approval. Personal gain. Outward appearance.
· Where does spiritual conviction come from, what is it, and how should you respond?
Spiritual conviction: is the judgment or discernment that we have on those things that come up in our walk/ relationship with God.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please. Or worse, to avoid trouble.”
Every morning of the work week as a team we sit together and share in devotions. We spend some time singing praise and worship songs and then someone in the team shares what God has been teaching them in this season of their lives. It is great discipline to sit down as a team and to be seeing all of these things that the Lord is teaching us both individually and also as a team.
Typically, Tuesday mornings are “My” day. I usually lead the team in a team bonding activity and tie a spiritual/ biblical element into it. Something that will get the wheels turning but also brings the team closer together. This week I woke up late on Tuesday morning and decided I was going to be a little more relaxed and we were going to play a game just for fun and because I had failed to plan a better activity. It was a last resort/ go-to game. During worship I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit more vividly then I ever had.
How? I was tired and unprepared to enter into the presence of the Lord during worship. Unengaged. And to be quite honest in a bit of a mood. You know the kind that you just don’t want anyone to mess with because you just might crack or have a mental breakdown?
As I sat there, the team as trickling in one by one along with the rain. It is currently rainy season. (If you read in my last post, you would have seen my other story about getting caught in the rain. It’s a good one.) I began making lists. I am a list maker. If I can write it down, I will. I started looking around the room looking at everyone’s outfit. “Oh, I wish I could have showered today”, “Does my dirty shoes match my outfit”, “I can’t forget, I have to write an article about a staff member”, “I wonder when I will have to go to the ATM again”, “Where did I leave my favorite pen”, “Should we play four on a couch or fish bowl?”…some of the many thoughts literally while I was singing. These were the words that flooded my brain. So distracted in the time that I should have been looking and seeking the face of the Lord. I was distracted with trivial mindless thing that were not only distracting me but were completely senseless. I couldn’t get my mind off of me for more than five minutes to focus on the most important part of the day and just seek Him. By the time I caught on to this conviction I was mid-way through a song and was missing what I was meant to hear this morning. We were singing lyrics like “My one defense, my righteousness. Oh Lord, how I need you” and “The colors of the sunrise are inside of your eyes…you’re beautiful”, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about you. I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it and it’s all about YOU”
How can we sit there and miss out on lyrics like that?
I went on to spend the rest of the day in a café and continued to ponder this idea of spiritual conviction and how it related to me and if I am truly seeking the Lord in all things.
It came to my attention that if this organization is going to grow our team needs to be unified and in order to be unified- things are going to change. I, as Shannen Kennedy, cannot bring conviction but I can share mine and plant a seed that the Holy Spirit can use to bring that conviction.
How are you letting the spirit work in your life?
I want to challenge you today. Keep each other accountable for the things that you are studying in scripture. Ask hard questions and let’s not be shallow with one another. Lets seek God in a bigger way and share His love. Let’s let His love manifest in our lives.Follow your convictions and stick with them.
We are running into a new season here at Empower a Child and going into a time of planning so our management team has been working on an outline where we can be perfecting the way we plan and we can have a smooth transition into the new year of 2016.
Next week we are headed to the village where we can be far from distractions and we can be focused on what we want to accomplish and see the Lord work in for next year. I am excited to reflect on this last year here in Uganda and see how I can take what I have learned from volunteers coordinating and use it towards the Marketing and Media department. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to plan and prepare for the following year.
2016 is not only going to be a big year for Empower a Child but also for Uganda as a country.