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