Just today the Lord laid on me to put a portion of this mentioned in the beginning of the Uganda book I'm writing, re-writing, re-adjusting. I was amazed that He anticipated that I place a piece of Prologue at the beginning which I never would have anticipated. SO, even though it isn't truly like this, it will be referred to mostly of Pastor Max and FAITH ministry. When I wrote this portion, with is inComplicated portion of the book, it gives an idea of when and where and how Cary will be going. So, I'll pop that portion of the chapter in and you'll see how Cary is prodded to head that way. More other things happen to her before it is in place, but this is the beginning of grabbing her heart to go. Can't not share it, because the Lord laid this portion of the Uganda book on me today from a portion of "Annie" book. Another new sense of intention from my Lord. And it's a little too long, but sharing as I can.
..... Cary had decided to give herself a break. For this day and probably the next, she was doing the least amount of work possible. It was a vacation without leaving home. Annie could either go out to eat with Luke or fix soup and sandwiches at home. Cary wasn’t going to cook, period. Cary was even pretending she couldn’t get on her email account. She was reading, journaling, thinking, processing, dozing, and watching British comedies that made her laugh and think of the Brit friends she had been blessed with in England and Uganda.
Around noon, Cary put a bag of popcorn in the microwave and poured a glass of cranberry flavored iced tea. After enjoying this “lunch,” she planned to soak in the bathtub for an hour or so while she continued to unwind.
The phone rang. Cary was tempted to let the call go to voice mail, but, since she was standing right next to it waiting for the popcorn to finish popping, she gave in to the urge to pick up the receiver, and after saying“Hello”, she heard:
“Cary, Pastor Max here. How’re you doing today?”
“I’m doing pretty well. Relaxing, especially now that Christmas is over and Annie is back in school. Spending some time getting caught up with my spirit life and giving my emotions some down time. What’s up with you?”
“Well, I just got a phone call. We have a contact in Uganda who just let us know about a need. It’s in the town of Soroti. Do you know anything about this place?”
“First off,” said Cary, “I know it’s a place I’ve never wanted to go. About ten years ago, when James and I lived in Uganda and were preparing to come back stateside, a pastor asked us to go to Soroti to begin a school, teaching and administering it. We didn’t even have to think twice about it. We said ‘no’.”
“Why?” Pastor Max asked.
“We had been told there was only one phone in the town and no international connection. I knew I’d have to travel at least sixty miles to call the kids and I just couldn’t handle that. I was very homesick at the time and being buried so far away was something I couldn’t face.”
“What about since then? Do you know what’s been going on?”
“I know that Joseph Kony and the LRA1 invaded the area a few months ago and the people have been suffering as a result. I was just discussing this with my friend, Kim, a couple of weeks ago when she called. She and her husband have Ugandan friends in that area. However, we agreed we did not want to go there. It’s a difficult place to live any time, but with this invasion it would be terrible in terms of housing, food and other basics. We agreed to pray for them and watch the situation carefully. We know how to get money into the area, so helping that way is what we plan to do.” Cary paused. “However, if you’re calling with a question like that, I expect you have something on your mind.”
“Actually, I do,” said Pastor Max. “An American relief worker connected with a Baptist outreach in Soroti has to come home because of a family emergency. She doesn’t know how long she’ll need to stay, maybe a month, maybe as long as three months. In the meantime, someone is needed to step into her place. She’s helping distribute funds through an umbrella organization called FAITH that provides resources for Ugandan pastors who are coordinating food, medical, and other crisis help for the refugees. The pastors and some of their staff can probably take over, but they are so overwhelmed with the needs this would be just one more job for them. When I was called about this, I immediately thought of you.”
Cary sighed, seeing all her plans for the immediate future crumble before her. “Pastor, I don’t know. As I said, I’ve never wanted to go there. I feel like my hands are pretty full with Annie. There’s a lot to think about. I understand the need. I really do. But I’m sure there’s someone out there who’s a lot better equipped to help than I. When do you need to know?”
Pastor Max said, “As soon as possible. FAITH will pay for the plane ticket and provide enough money up front to get there. They will give you access to their Uganda account. Any money you spend out of your own pocket will be reimbursed. They are really very well run, so, unlike the horror stories you’ve probably heard over and over about people who reach someplace and then are basically stuck, this should go smoothly.”
“I can’t see myself going, not right now, but I’ll pray about it. I’ll let you know within a couple of days.”
“If you do decide to go, how soon do you think you could leave?”
Cary thought. “Well, I suppose I could be ready to go within a couple of weeks. If it’s something God wants me to do, then I’m pretty sure he’ll bring the rest of it into place.”
Pastor Max said, “I’ll wait to hear from you. I trust you to hear from God. Talk to you later.”