From the Mission Field: Coming Home

Written by Heidi Allison

This week has been a whirlwind. From the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we started our journey back home, our team has been moving, like busy bees in and out of their hive with their focus on one goal.

Here we are at the airport and I wonder how things will change when we leave. What will happen to all these people whose lives have been changed? What will happen to me when I arrive home?

We saw 20,000 people make a decision to follow Christ this week. If you take a moment to let that number sink in, it’s overwhelming. What will happen to those 20,000 people now? Each one is a person with a story, a family, and a life ahead of them.

For about a year before each trip, the Mission SOS core team builds relationships with local churches. Then, before the festivals even begin, SOS has friends at hundreds of local churches who partner together to put on the festivals and ensure that these new believers are not left empty-handed.

Jesus didn’t call us to make salvations; He called us to make disciples.

– Johannes Amritzer

Last night, after the festivals ended, we invited these pastors to join us for dinner. Mission SOS honored their work in this city and presented them with gifts. And then, Johannes came out with a heavy box. “We have one more gift for you,” he said. Inside of the box were individual sheets of paper with the contact information of each of the 20,000 people who gave their life to Christ this week. The applause was thunderous. Without these partners here in Kampala, we would be missing a crucial part of reaching lost people with the gospel. “Jesus didn’t call us to make salvations; He called us to make disciples,” Johannes shared with us.

SOS festival

There’s something really special about traveling thousands of miles from home, sharing a tiny living space with five other people who you’ve just met, and following a very tightly packed schedule—packed with things that make you think, Do I have it in me? Can I actually do that?!

Some things make me feel perfectly at home. The hospitality here is like I’ve never experienced. “Thank you for visiting our country, mzungo.” The excitement of something new and the adventure of a different culture has given me energy.

Other things remind me of the home that I’m missing. I haven’t had a proper shower in two weeks. I’m craving a coffee from my neighborhood Starbucks. I want to see my friends and my family.

When I’m faced with the big questions and my fears and doubts come to the surface, I’m not in the comfort of home to confront them. But in the space of “not home,” I’m pushed towards the Father. The uncertainty, the fear, and the alone-ness make the way for me to find my foundation in Him.

Pastor Rock Dillamon once said about missions, “Some things are better learned or can only be learned in a different setting. God may need to take us out of our familiar surroundings to be able to give us a different perspective, a different outlook, or a different attitude.”

Each of us on this trip will return home with something different. Some have discerned their calling. Some have grown in their faith. Some have made friends and connections that will shape their future. Some have been impacted by the big-ness of the festivals and others have been impacted by a small interaction with one person.

But all of us return home with 20,000 new brothers and sisters and a renewed focus to courageously follow God’s call.

Thanks for joining us on this adventure!

Read PART 1 about our team’s first experiences in Kampala HERE.

Read PART 2 about our team’s street outreaches HERE.

Read PART 3 about our team’s first night at the festivals HERE.

Read PART 4 about one team member’s experience in the demon tent HERE.

2018-01-17T00:21:57+00:00 June 15th, 2016|Missions|