On our way to Uganda, I asked one of our team members why she was going back. I wanted to know what was drawing her to take another mission trip with Cornerstone to Uganda. Jennifer told me that she had wanted to go back ever since her visit two years ago. She added, “My heart feels at home there.”
Our weary team of 15 returned Monday night. After spending the previous week on the ground in Uganda, participating in Cornerstone’s work in the small, rural community of Buloba, each one of us shares the same sentiment. Though we are now many miles away, our hearts feel very much at home there.
It would be hard not to feel at home in a place that welcomed us so well, so genuinely. From the moment we pulled our bus onto the grounds of Buloba Community Church and Ebenezer Preparatory School, we were made to feel more than special. We were embraced and loved like family.
We were called the “children’s team” and our focus was on children’s ministry. Much like Cornerstone, Buloba Community Church is focused on raising a generation of Christ followers. Leading children to know and serve Jesus is at the very heart of the church’s ministry. Children’s ministry at Buloba Community Church includes a primary school known as Ebenezer Preparatory School, the child sponsorship program of African Renewal Ministries, a Saturday Center Day and Child Development Program, as well as, weekly Sunday school classes. For Buloba Community Church, ministering to children involves feeding, caring for, nurturing, educating and loving the precious children in their community. For that faith community, serving children is a seven-day-a-week labor of love.
Our team was privileged to participate in every aspect of the church’s ministry to children. Our purpose for being there was to support and encourage their ministry team and their ministry efforts. We taught alongside teachers in the classrooms during the week – teaching math, reading, science lessons and more. We shared lessons on Peace, Respect and Friendship from our Rock City curriculum. We held a very special teacher appreciation event late one afternoon. We led Bible songs and made faith bracelets with the children. We taught the lessons on Center Day and during Sunday school. Each one of us had time to connect with our sponsored children and to see first-hand how this program brings life and love to these children. We also enjoyed great playtime with all of the children and had the opportunity to worship with our new friends.
To be used by God in this way was such a blessing to each member of our team. We were overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for the many opportunities God gave us to experience His love in action in that little community of Buloba and to share in His great Kingdom work there. It was very evident to all of us that God has knit our two churches together for something very special. It is a relationship that is helping to shape a community and is changing each one of us in the process.
Jill Harris- Director of Children’s Ministries