Thursday, April 14, 2011

Uganda Stories: Soon

There was a moment, towards the very end of our trip, that brought all the swirly thoughts in my head and all the conflicting emotions in my heart to a complete stop. During this moment, it was as if nothing else mattered except the truth God was trying to show me.

We were visiting Royal Hope Academy and had received the most jubilant welcome of anywhere we had yet been. When we got off our bus, there were hundreds of children lining the long pathway to the school's chapel. Hundreds of singing, clapping, smiling children shouting a Ugandan-style welcome song for us. Drums pounded in the distance and got louder as we approached the chapel. Entering the wood and steel-plated building, we were greeted with the site of balloons and colorful cloth wrapping the worn wooden beams which held the structure up. It was a celebration and we were the guests of honor. My cheeks literally hurt from grinning so broadly at this incredible welcome.

But this was not the moment.

The moment came later, after a number of wonderful songs and dances from the various age groups and a warm welcome from founder "Auntie Becky."

The children's choir began leading the room in worship. The worshipful hearts and postures of these children blew me away. And the it came. The moment. The children began singing a older gospel hymn that I have heard and sung myself a number of times, called Soon and Very Soon:

Soon and very soon we are going to see the King 
Soon and very soon we are going to see the King
Soon and very soon we are going to see the King
Halelujha, halelujha, we're going to see the king

No more cryin there, we are going to see the King
No more dyin there, we are going to see the King
No more suff'r'in there, we are going to see the King
Halelujha, halelujha, we're going to see the King   

It hit me then and the world stood still: crying, dying, suffering... these things are daily realities for these kids. This song means something to them. It isn't just a nice song with touching lyrics about Heaven that might get you to close your eyes as you sing it, especially if you've had a rough week. This song meant so much more to these kids because they live in a world where the destiny of "seeing the King" is something they cling to - something that invokes hope and joy and endurance in their lives. Something that I do not understand the way they do.

I stopped singing then. It didn't seem right to sing along with these children as they expressed their deep-felt joy and hope for Heaven amidst their deep experiences with suffering, dying and crying. It was a moment that was theirs alone, because they sang this song with an understanding that I will likely never have. It was something sacred to witness and something difficult to realize. It was something I will never forget.


  1. What an incredible and humbling moment. I love seeing/reading what God is doing in your life lately! :)

  2. The first half of this blog reminded me very much of our arrival at the Good Samaritan Orphanage during your first trip in 2006. That was the moment I will never forget from that trip, I think most of the team would agree. It's amazing how little children can totally humble you just by their sheer joy of your arrival!

  3. I just got my cross in the mail today!!! Can I place an order for 4 more....Christmas gifts for my husbands office staff??


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