A Distant Grief

A Distant Grief

Lately I’ve been slamming the twitter world with what’s happening in Uganda right now through my dad’s ministry. He and my mom are currently there with a team of about forty volunteers ministering to the Ugandan people as they do every summer–treating the sick, ministering to pastors and pastor’s wives, preaching the Gospel and seeing literally hundreds of people come to faith in Jesus. It’s no understatement to say that there’s an actual revival taking place in this nation. And it’s an amazing thing to be a part of.

It’s an incredible thought that one day I’ll be able to look my Ugandan daughter in the face and tell her that because of the work of God that’s happening in Uganda and because of her grandaddy’s commitment to helping reach her nation with the Gospel, she, in turn, is a direct result of this harvest. See, she is currently in an orphanage that is sponsored by Arise Africa, the ministry that my dad has been partnering with for the last 15 years. And in the great providence of God, she will some day soon become our daughter. Incredible! What’s equally incredible is the fact that my sister, Joy, two summers ago was given the enormous task of choosing children for the orphanage. Our future daughter was hand-picked out of literally hundreds of children out of dozens of villages. His providence is astounding.

Some have asked my family, “Why is Uganda such an important country to you? What’s the big deal?” My dad recently answered that on his blog. Check this out.

I have been to Uganda, Africa 20 times over the last 15 years. I have often been asked, “why Uganda? Why do you keep going there?” Here is the story in a nut shell. In 1982 I was a young seminary graduate just starting out in ministry. My mentor professor Dr. Roy Fish recommended that I read a book called “A Distant Grief.” I didn’t know what the book was about but eagerly started to read it because of his recommendation. The book not only challenged my life but also broke my heart. “A Distant Grief” is about the suffering church in Uganda during the days of Idi Amin. The book told of countless stories of brave pastors and other christian leaders who gave their lives for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I finished the book, I knelt down by my couch and I prayed a simple prayer “Lord, if you will let me go I would like to go to Uganda some day and bring help and healing to those broken people.” Fast forward 5 years… in 1987 another one of my mentors, Dr. Sumner Wemp, called me from Liberty University, He said “Rick, I’m going to Africa this summer and I want you to go with me.” I was thrilled at the invitation and I said “Bother Sumner, where exactly are we going?” He Said “We are going to Uganda.” I had no control over those events, but God honored the prayer from 5 years earlier and sent me to Uganda. That trip would revolutionize my heart and life. And now when people ask me “Why Uganda?” My mind goes back to a simple prayer, a broken heart, and a desire to bring help and healing to a shattered nation. The rest is history…

One Response

  1. stan cherry says:

    What a great foundation for the mission lifestyle that is who your dad is and what he lives his life as a testament to. Thanks to you Josh for sharing and thanks to your dad for being open to God’s voice and acting upon it! What a lineage GOd has provided you.

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