Thursday, December 26, 2019

Sitting in a circle

A few years ago I felt led to begin a Bible study for the support staff at Heritage.  We have a team of staff members at Heritage who are the "unsung heroes".  This team of our Ugandan brothers and sisters take care of security, housekeeping, maintenance, and cooking for all 400 students and 100+ staff members.  It is not an easy task and yet they do it with smiles on their faces.

And so, I offered a weekly Bible study for these men and women and very soon found friendships I never expected and a 30-minute oasis for my soul.  I also found a place where I can learn from these dear brothers and sisters.  It has been an absolute joy to open God's word with them.

Then another idea came to me in an email from a colleague.  "What about a chapel service for the support staff?" Wow, what a fantastic idea!  And so I shared the idea with them with one caveat, I would take care of the logistics of the service but they would do the leading (singing, speaking, praying, etc.).  The idea was warmly received and the slots to sign up for leadership roles took about 60 seconds to become full.  God was moving!  I have to tell you that Fridays at 2pm are another oasis for my soul.  I sit in the back of chapel and watch my brothers and sisters lead one another into the midst of the Almighty and I can't help but join with them in worship.  I don't understand a lot of the songs and I certainly don't dance like them, however, God is in our midst and it is an amazing time of worship.

My heart has become full when I sit down with my Ugandan brothers and sisters and open God's word together.  My heart is full when I stand with them in worship and do my best to dance along with them. My heart is full when I see them on campus and they refer to me as Musumba (Pastor/Shepherd in Luganda). And then one day my heart overflowed.  On a certain Monday I walked into our Bible study time and noticed a change in the seating arrangement.  Normally they set up the chairs with me in the front and them in rows facing me.  There is a distance between "leader" and "student".  But then I realized that a change had occurred.  They made a circle!  We now sit next to one another as we open God's word.  I felt tears well up in my eyes as I realized (I am a bit slow) that for a couple weeks now this has been the seating arrangement.  The distance between us has been removed.  We are together on the journey.  Oh, what joy!  I praise God for my friends and being on this journey with them.  Thanks for standing with us on this journey.  You are part of our circle!

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