Guest post by Sarai Grace Stanford, Communications Fellow
This summer has been a busy time for our Serving and Outreach Ministry with three teams serving internationally—in Mexico, Costa Rica and Uganda. Led by our Director of Global Missions Stephanie Powell, church members served as the hands and feet of Christ through everything from homebuilding, to leadership development and even through hosting a soccer tournament.
In Mexico, the first trip of the summer in early June, our team served through homebuilding with YUGO Ministries. We had 28 team members working on two home construction sites. Team members had the chance to grow in relationships with one another and, most importantly, with the families they were serving. They got the opportunity to worship at a local church and experience the Holy Spirit transforming people in a way they had never seen before. Since this is an annual trip, there are typically a lot of veteran team members who come back year after year to love on a community that has stolen their hearts. At the end of the trip, team members have an opportunity to respond by sharing with one another how the Lord has transformed their lives, and almost every time, they share that it’s watching and serving people who are so spiritually full and trust so deeply in the Lord despite having so few worldly possessions.
In July, several church members traveled to San Isidro, Costa Rica to visit a small church, Amigos de la Fe, or Friends of the Faith, with the purpose of pouring into the congregation and its leaders through spiritual development. They hosted a program for children and adults. Group members preached and shared testimonies with the adults while the children engaged in Bible stories and crafts. Throughout the trip, relationships were formed and God worked through members to encourage Amigos de la Fe. One team member recounts that they prayed, laughed and cried with these people and how this was an amazing example of God’s love.
Read about one of our summer resident’s experience on the trip.
Finally, in August, Christ Church had the opportunity to work alongside Ebenezer Global with Ruth and Joyce Lomo in the Bidi Bidi Refugee Camp in Northern Uganda. There are more than two million South Sudanese refugees in Northern Uganda, and 85 percent of those refugees are women and children. The Bidi Bidi Refugee Camp hosts more than 280,000 of those refugees. The team was able to teach a servant leadership training, do service projects with the leadership teams, lead a women’s Bible study, host a soccer camp, make blankets and provide financial advisement for the Ebenezer Global team.
Ruth Lomo, who has worked closely with our missions team for many years, has a heart to help train the refugees to rise above their situations and to help each refugee reach their full potential. She also desires for Ebenezer Global’s training center to be used to bring multiple tribes and religious backgrounds together in unity.
“Amid such difficult times and situations, the people we worked alongside had tremendous joy,” Stephanie said. “I feel like God is raising up something special from the people in Bidi Bidi. Our Sudanese friends in the camp were like beacons of light shining out into the darkness.”
Thanks to everyone who prayed for our teams this summer. God continues to work in mighty ways throughout the world, and we were honored to be His hands and feet in Mexico, Costa Rica and Uganda. If you’d like to learn more about future international trips, contact Stephanie, (901) 202-6050.