Open My Eyes, Lord!

On January 30th of this year, Christie Hayes sent me (Melanie Pigg) a text saying she’d been praying about a woman to accompany her on a PCM trip that was leaving on March 29th – would I possibly be interested? My immediate response was basically, “Thanks, but no thanks – that’s not nearly enough time for me to prepare for something so important and so involved! But of course, since you asked me about it, I will pray!” As I hit send, there was already a stirring in my heart and the Lord was telling me that I would be going to Uganda in March.

 

Melanie and Christie at Equator

 

My husband and I prayed fervently about it over the weekend knowing Christie needed an answer quickly. A particular song kept coming to mind over that weekend which soon became my prayer for this trip and, in a way, was a confirmation to me that God wanted me on this team. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Paul Baloche, but just in case you’re not you can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/d8ful0cmPNQ. Every time I thought about the trip, this song would run through my head. During the weeks approaching the trip, I heard it on the radio, sang it in church, and just before we left I remembered that PCM Choir #2 even sang it on tour last year!

 

In Ephesians Chapter 1, Paul writes, “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

 

My family has been involved with PCM for many years and we are SO THANKFUL for our Ugandan family and we pray that they will know the Lord better and better each day. I have prayed that not only the eyes of their hearts would be opened, but mine as well. I wanted to see God among the children of PCM and the people of Uganda with my own eyes, and I wanted to be His hands and feet to these precious ones! I knew I would be embarking on a life changing journey.

 

During my time in Uganda, I have SEEN The hope that He gives these children. They KNOW they have a glorious inheritance in His kingdom, and they KNOW the POWER He gives to us as believers.

 

I HAVE SEEN the hope God gives in the eyes of Godson and Amos as they continue healing from a terrible boda boda (motorcycle) accident back in December. They know they were and are in the palm of God’s hand. We are grateful that Amos was alive to celebrate his birthday while we were here!

 

Amos with Tim

 

 

Godson

 

I HAVE SEEN God’s hands in the opening of Omwana House. These beautiful babies now have hope for a better life because of the services this refuge will offer.

baby house with Gerald

 

 

baby house with Harriet
I HAVE SEEN with my own eyes the pride that these students have in the few things they use or own – pride in the eyes of our precious daughter, Gloria, as she shows me the desk where she sits at school. The joy on her face as she shows me where she sleeps each night and points out the treasures she has tucked away in her trunk – our family name (Pigg) being one of the things taped on the inside. Do we have this same response at having so little? “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20

 

Mel with Gloria

 

Gloria with bed

 

Gloria with desk

 

Gloria's trunk

 

I HAVE SEEN and participated in the incredible spectacle that is the welcome you receive at the schools. No one can fully prepare you for this experience – there’s NOTHING like it on earth. Singing and praising God at the top of their lungs as if their very life depended on it. The love and joy that is in the hearts of these children in need can ONLY come from knowing the love and joy of our Lord and Savior.

 

Mbarara welcome sign

 

Rwemikoma welcome

 

Sanga welcome

 

I HAVE SEEN and heard the wise teaching that is being imparted to these students. Their teachers and caregivers LOVE them and give them the best that they can. They are doing an INCREDIBLE job of teaching these children to hide God’s Word in their hearts.

 

baby classroom at Mbarara

 

 

boy at Rwem reading bible

 

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

 

I HAVE SEEN a student’s eyes light up when you tell them you know their sponsor! Just that small connection to the family that loves them in America means the world to them. Oh, how they love you, dear sponsors!

 

Melanie with friend's sponsored child

 

 

Bubba with his sponsored child

 

 

I HAVE SEEN how much happiness the gift of a simple frisbee can bring to these little ones. How many toys do our children have that they never use?

 

frisbee pic

 

frisbee pic #2

 

I HAVE SEEN the contentment that God can bring to one who trusts in Him for ALL of their provisions. These students at several of the schools eat the same lunch and dinner each and every day. Beans and posho. How would you respond if you had to do the same? They did have a special treat of soda to celebrate Easter though!

 

lunch line at Rwem

 

eating lunch at Rwem

 

 

I HAVE SEEN the Church worship together as one – Ugandans welcoming their American brothers and sisters in Christ to their Sunday morning Easter service. What an experience! Sweet Pastor Emmy even invited a member of our team to present the message that day.

 

Shawn preaching

 

Easter Sunday service

 

As a side note, Team 49 decided to share an American Easter tradition with our Ugandan friends and handed out marshmallow Peeps after the service and again later at the Mbarara school! They were thankful for the gesture, but many said they were too sweet!

 

peep pic

 

peep pic #2

 

As I finish writing this blog entry on the plane back to America, I pray for the 21 members of PCM Choir #3. I continue praying that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened to the needs of the people they will encounter while in America. Yes, Americans are the needy ones – not these precious Ugandans. I pray that these students will RADIATE the joy of the Lord to all they encounter and that they will have an opportunity to tell them about the One who died so that we might live.

 

choir in front of waterfall

 

Will you ask God to open the eyes of your heart so that you are available to be used for His glory?

 

Melanie Pigg

And so it begins…

It would be impossible to chronicle all of the adventures of the 3rd PCM Uganda Choir, but there are too many sweet moments to not try to share some of them! After a severely delayed flight out of Uganda and a missed flight in Dubai,

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the choir was overjoyed to finally reach Texas soil!

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And there were many who were anxious to meet them when they arrived.

Timothy met his sponsor for the first time right after getting off the bus. It was hard to tell who was more excited!

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Probably one of the most special things about that first day was seeing meetings like this. Families who have prayed for, written to, and loved on their Ugandan sponsored child for years hearing their voices for the first time. The hugs, the instant connections, and already strong bonds grew deeper roots with each passing minute.

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For many, it was a sweet reunion!

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In just a few short days they have already done so much! Their first night here, a group of students poured in to them and lead them in worship.

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They even got their first taste of cookie cake thanks to the Great American Cookie Company in Tyler!

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At the VIP concert, there were more meetings between sponsors and sponsored children.

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And there was even time for a little dress up!

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As the choir worshipped and danced for the Lord, it was hard to believe that they landed in the states the day before!

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Full of energy, they had the crowd help them lift Jesus higher!

All week long we wondered if the weather would cooperate for the fun that was planned for today, but it could not have been a more beautiful day!

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It was the perfect day to learn how to hula hoop if your name is Milly,

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and eat a snow cone if your name is Angella.

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Teacher Emmy warmed up his jumping and is ready to go,

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but Gerald was laying down on the job from beating the drums so hard!

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So much fun already and we are just getting started!

One story that we can’t leave out has to do with a certain young lady named Angella and the Jones family that sponsors her. For years this sweet girl has been asking team after team if they know her sponsor. If you have been to Uganda with PCM, you know this is not uncommon. However, what is a little less common is the other types of questions that Angella has asked. I will never forget in December of 2012 the first time that she asked me if I knew what her sponsors’ front door looked like.

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This picture of Angella standing with her American family in front of their front door is a reminder to me how powerful sponsorship can be. Angella represents hundreds more who long to not only know their sponsors, but also long to be known by them. I have never seen her smile brighter than I have in the last 24 hours!

Thank you Lord for an amazing start to the Hands of Hope choir tour.

Thank you Lord for allowing us to spend the coming weeks with these amazing children.

And so it begins…the best is yet to come!

 

Be sure to click here to see the full schedule for the Hands of Hope choir tour!

The Time Has Come……Mukama Asiimwe

 

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We are thrilled to welcome our 3rd PCM Choir to the US today. Thank you Lord for making a way for these children, young adults and leaders to share about YOU with so many people.

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Never in my wildest dreams did i think it would be possible to bring so many PCM kids here to America. We count that as a great privilege.

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Lord we pray for good health for these children. Fill their mouths with Your words.  Help us to be inspired to worship You like they do and to love others as You have taught them so well.

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Thank you Jesus for the PCM staff and many volunteers who will take part of PCM Choir Tour #3.  They are heroes to Kiconco and me.

Thank you Jesus for these Hands of Hope.

Epa