Recently we were blessed to have our good friend and former Rising Star board member Valerie Calderon join us here in Uganda for a week of training with our staff. These are some of her reflections on her time here with us.
Reflections on Uganda
By Valerie Calderon
God is a God of all nations and all peoples. God can show us so much about His boundless creativity and unhindered love when we take small steps outside of our cultural comfort zones. On my recent trip to Kampala, Uganda, God gave me a glimpse of His work and purpose in and through his missionaries and the people that they love. It was a joy to watch Matt and Brecka investing in the lives of young Ugandans working at Rising Star Ministries, and I was humbled to greet and encourage our church’s most recent missionaries to Uganda, Caleb and Suz, who are learning, living and loving people in and around Mbarara.
At Rising Star, there is a special group of young leaders who are serving children through coaching, mentoring, teaching and prayer. It was a privilege to see these young leaders eager to learn and grow, so that they can pour their gifts into the lives of the youngest Ugandans. As they are leading Rising Star Ministries, Matt and Brecka are modeling how to follow God and obey Him in big and little ways. Because of their obedience, God’s love is being multiplied through emerging leaders. At Rising Star, God is knitting together a community of servant leaders with unique gifts. Together, they are helping children to live purposefully today and inspiring them to have hope for tomorrow.
Since I was a little girl, I’d dreamed of visiting Africa. I was grateful to experience the kindness and grace of the Ugandan people and to hear and see the unique sites of the African landscape. God’s handiwork is amazing! We need to carefully consider the dreams that God places on our hearts. Our God is a sending God. He sent His son to be with us and take on the sin of mankind and redeem the creation. God is now calling and sending His people to love the nations that He loves. There are so many ways that you can join Him! Invite God to give you the courage to step outside of your cultural comfort zone to witness His creativity and love in new places and spaces. You might find that the nations live next door. He may call you to pray informed prayers for missionaries like Matt and Brecka and Caleb and Suz and their sweet kids. Your prayers can influence His work across the oceans. He may lead you to share your resources to support His work, and God might even open a door for you to go, learn, serve and work alongside others in a new place. New places can be far, and sometimes those new places are not so far away at all. Sometimes there are needs just across town that God is calling you to meet. Ask God to give you the eyes to see and ears to hear what He is saying. Look hard and listen well because our God is a sending God!