Monday, January 11, 2016

Masese Fire: Beauty For Ashes

Thursday evening we got a message from our friend David that a fire had ripped through the slum near the church where he pastors.  Over 20 families lost their homes. Imagine pastoring a community of some of the world's poorest people and then watching helplessly as fire destroys their makeshift housing structures. Commenting on a place where people have nothing David wrote, "Many have lost everything."  Nathan could not stop thinking of David and the Masese community and asked our leadership how we as a team could respond. On Sunday our team rallied together and went to Masese to pour some hope and love on the ashes of suffering and loss.

We worshipped together in song, dance and study of the Word. Here are the children of AGC Masese with our WGM missionary kids.  
The kids had a blast playing jump rope and tag!
Here are Alex, Seth, Sumini, Isha, Lukiya, Mercy, Fatuma, Florence and Nathan. They are among the 25 families who lost their homes. A leader of the community said of the fire victims, "Some thought maybe they would just throw themselves in the lake."
This bed frame is all that remains of a burned home. It's been pulled from the ashes and set aside with the building materials for the new structure. 
Within 3 days of the fire this resilient community has already started to rebuild! 
 This community is filled with witchcraft. In-fact, many believe that the fire was caused by a spell by someone practicing witchcraft. What I love about this photo is the reminder that right in the center of the community are Christians who love Jesus. Yes, their homes were destroyed but their faith in God reminds. 
A child's school work remains among the ashes. 
Here is an example of what most of the homes in Masese look like. 

Jajja could not stop smiling! She received new cooking pots, a new mattress and food. 
Each of the 25 families received new mattresses, food and clothing from AGC Masese. Many of our close friends here in Kampala donated clothing to help. As I opened the bags that kept piling on our front porch I was so touched to see some of our friends very best clothes in the bags. I love the body of Christ!  
After we arrived home Pastor David called Nathan and shared with him that many in the community are already talking about the Church's response. It is our teams prayer that they will visit Africa Gospel Church Masese and ultimately come to know Christ as their Savior!

Friends, I must confess that 
only six hours from our departure in the dark of the night I was plagued by my desire for comfort. As I have shared here before, I struggle with the "what ifs" and fear. I tossed and turned in the night struggling with my thoughts. I prayed through fear of possible car sickness on the 2 hour journey there. I prayed through fear of what our kids would see and experience. I pleaded with God to forgive my desire for comfort. God is so good to meet us in our need, isn't He?

One of us did struggle with car sickness and it turned out okay. Our kids saw hard things and we had the most beautiful conversations about how Christ is no stranger to suffering. Ezra prayed a heart-wrenching and God-glorifying prayer that night for those who lost their homes.  
Christ continues to call us to go, to step out of our comfort zones and to be with people. I praise Him that He keeps calling. That He wrestles with me through through my fears. That the being with people is always, always worth the "Yes, Lord."

1 comment:

  1. God is great. He is watching over all of you. I am sure you guys have seen many different things and the children are blessed. So curly keep going forward give all your fears to God. I love you guys, and all the goodness you share. We love you.