As children, most of us dream of growing up to be or to do something significant to change the world for the better. Along the way, the dream often gets lost in everyday trials, troubles and struggles of life.
Reality interferes with the dream and we see that there is little hope or chance of doing something really good, and living above our circumstances. If we look at life in purely human terms, we know we don’t measure up to what we’d hoped to be. This is a good thing! We are not able to measure up, but there is hope, because God created all of us for a purpose that he planned even before we were born.
As a young woman in my 20’s I’ve gone down enough dead end roads to know that there is nothing in this life; not money, education, good looks, fame, talent, traveling all over the world, children, friends, partying, or living for myself that would bring the kind of inner happiness or joy that would make life worth living for another 50 or 60 years. The life I lived might be the envy of others less fortunate, but inside there was a bankruptcy that could not be ignored or pushed down for long.
It kept rising to the surface, not to be denied. I realized I desperately needed a complete makeover. It was only then, that I was willing to look outside myself to find what or who could do that total makeover. A friend had been telling me about her discovery that the Lord, is real, and it is He that we all are truly seeking as our answer. In my mind, He was absolutely not the solution to my dilemma, but I had tried just about everything else and had left a path of bad choices and hurt people behind me.
My resistance began to soften to the idea as I decided to at least consider the possibility that there is a living God, one that might even be interested in each person He created. The walls started slowly crumbling down from around my heart as I began to read about one woman, with a view of life similar to mine, who also reached the end of herself and finally was willing to consider God. Her story gave me the courage to let go of my conception of a God somewhere out in space that created all things but really didn’t involve himself with his creation.
Listening to others, and reading about others who had come to give up on the way they were doing life, brought me to the point of surrendering to this living God. Finally, I allowed him to see deeply into my destitute soul. The surprising outcome was not a sense of condemnation for all the wounded people and wrecked opportunities I’d left along my path, but a deep sense of being accepted as a loved child. I condemned myself but he did not. It was only then, that a sense of hope and peace crept into my broken heart, and our Creator, the Lord Jesus, began the total makeover.
This is not the article I had intended to write for our wonderful hometown newspaper, the Chewelah Independent. It was to be a story about someone else doing good things in Uganda and making a difference there – living a life of significance. But after having an inner discussion with the Lord, requesting he help me write something worth reading, I sat down at the keyboard and this is what he had me write. We all need to know that we are misfits and need the Lord, the one who created us in His image. He made us and He wrote the manual for living, the Bible, through many of his people and it brings life to us as we read it and begin to walk in a new way.
This is why Hands Across Nations, a small nonprofit Christian organization, is now teaching the Lango people of N. Uganda how to read in their native tongue, so they can read the Bible and know this wonderful loving God who created them. They will also know how to live the abundant life that he intends for every person because he created each one for a purpose, and will guide us into that purpose if we let him. If we admit we are internally bankrupt and need a makeover, and look to him to do it, he will. It often comes suddenly and quickly, sometimes slowly and deliberately. He works with each of us creatively and uniquely. It is rarely boring, not always easy, but never hopeless. The Lango people in the prisons and villages where we have reading classes, are finding new life after decades of war with the resulting chaos in their families and communities.
Daily we hear their stories of how God is intervening because of their learning to read and not only that, but to read His message to them, the Bible. They are starting to read a newly translated version in an easy to read Lango language form through our Bible translators Richard and Victor. Though those two men are tucked away in Lira, Uganda, they are living the abundant life given to them by God. They are humbled that He has allowed them to perform such a daunting task which will positively affect their entire tribe and region.
Thank you, to all of you who are supporting this effort and are bringing real life to the Lango people. They may be half way around the world, and they may not know your names, but they are thanking God for his heart for them, and for giving you a heart for them.
I have returned to Chewelah for several months and am available if you would like me to speak to your organization or church about the work going on in Uganda through Hands Across Nations. Also please save the date of October 1st when we will have a dinner, and special auctions, to benefit Hands Across Nations: sharing the love of Christ in practical ways.
You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Submitted by Hands Across Nations