Children worship, troops withdraw

By July 26, 2007

Uganda (MNN) — The government and the displaced children of Uganda are offering signs of hope and peace. 

Every Child Ministries
has a group of six North American short-term missionaries who've been in the country the past two and a half weeks conducting a camp for children. They are ministering by sharing Bible stories, lessons, food and prayers. About 300 children attend every day.

"The first day of their trip went as planned. "The next day we were met with cheering children standing on the hills waiting for us to come and just welcoming us. They were cheering us, jumping up and down and couldn't wait for the van to stop for us to get out and just hold their hand," said team leader Cheryl Bockspahler.

While they are not sure of the number of children who've come to Christ, several have shared in one-on-one encounters that they are now trusting Christ. 

During worship one day, team member Lorella Rouster recalls a young girl whose worship brought her to tears. "She was just pouring out her heart to the Lord in a way that I have
seldom seen. I felt like she had the whole burden of the whole camp and the whole war on her shoulders and was bringing it to the Lord. She was absolutely pouring out her heart," said Rouster. 

The government is now encouraging families to return to their villages. Once they return,
however, they face many challenges because of the destruction the war left behind. During the team's stay there, the government withdrew the troops that were in place to protect children from being abducted. "That is a big sign of hope, I believe, for the people. And I think it also is a sign that things are safe enough to begin to
return to normal," said Rouster.

"When we leave, I want them to be left with the knowledge and understanding that they can turn to God in every circumstance that they face–and they face circumstances that I will never understand in my whole life. But I know that God loves them and wants them to turn to Him," said Bockspahler.

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