Guest Blogger: Gerald Delacruz
Today is Thursday and slowly the team woke into another perfect morning here in this beautiful village named Jinja. The chill sweet touch of heavens grace filled our presence. One can’t help but smile of this expression of God’s hope on the move. It is very beautiful to witness this team greet one another. The family unity of love on mission is evident in everyone’s hello to one another. The sound of encouragement, prayer and laughter fills the room as the team eats the perfect breakfast prepared by the guest house cook Ivan (which means: Gift from God).
Today’s meal was fresh banana bread, definitely an excellent source of tasty fuel for today’s outreach. Everyone enjoyed each bite because of the sweet taste of the bananas cooked into the warm fresh bread. The warm sweet taste of the fresh baked bread was a reflection of the morning devotion as we learned about God’s empowerment.
We learned that we must GO in the name of Jesus Christ and expect God’s miracles and healing. We prayed for the sick and weary within our mission team and left devotions empowered to GO and proclaim God’s goodness.
We had the honor to serve at the Jinja Sports Academy Soccer program. We went expecting to see God at work. We packed the van with the 3 big duffel bags of donated soccer jerseys, shoes, and supplies and headed to the soccer field. His plans were perfect because his spirit was there amongst the players, ages ranging from 9-19 waiting for the event. They were ready to receive from the Lord.
We first greeted the sports academy in a classroom. Antoinette was Invited to pick up her guitar to lead praises to God with all the players and proclaim God’s goodness. It’s amazing how the simplicity of God’s children singing thanksgiving, with no other agenda but to praise our living God, had so much of HIS presence. We were again empowered to GO.
We headed to the soccer field after splitting the players into 4 teams. It was a blessing to watch each xHope team member GO and pour into the Academy sports players. There was genuine joy on everyone’s faces, as well as sweat trickling down those mighty Ugandan soccer players as they were taught through 4 stations about endurance, power, praise, and purpose. We ended the outreach with an xHope vs. Academy scrimmage and the joy continued. After the 1-1 tie we headed back to the class to give out our gifts and end with more song and praise. Antoinette once again picked up her guitar to sing songs of praise and more prayer for the needs of the players. Such a powerful and sweet moment with Christ. It was God’s Love on the move! It was time to go after all the players received the gift of God’s presence as well as the donated gifts from our partners. We went there expecting to see God move on the soccer field but got to experience so Much more, certainly feeling the same JOY as scoring the winning “GOALASO!”
Departing back to the guest house tired and sweaty, some of us experienced a little surprise. Half the team partnered up and took a ride on a motorcycle taxi back to the guest house because we only had one van to transport our team of 20+. We returned to another great meal of cheese enchiladas and rice and more great fellowship. God is great and his Love is Sweet and powerful! Praise God. We are celebrating yet another “win” today and are continuing to expect God to go before us as we prepare for our next outreach.