These posts will be a little out of order, so sorry. This one is about the first church service we went to which was at Dove Church. 🙂
Nobody does church like the Ugandans. The service was filled with so much joy and passion that it was impossible not to see God working and moving among the people. The service lasted over three hours, but we could have stayed there all day singing and worshiping with God’s people. When the team arrived, a member of the congregation had already started a Bible study. She shared from Job and Isaiah, and Pastor Davis translated into English for us. She spoke about standing with God even in times of trouble. Even if one foot is slightly off the path, we will fall. We must stand completely with God because it is only then that we are strong. God holds us up and gives us strength to keep from falling. God allows us to pass through difficult times so that we may be strengthened and will be brought closer to Him. God promises that He will not leave us as orphans, but He will always be with us. So we wait upon the Lord and be patient through our suffering. We must stand in the suffering we are in, knowing that it will not last forever because Jesus is already victorious, and one day He will wipe away all our tears.
The Bible study portion was followed by the youth choir and children’s choir singing songs. Three people gave testimonies about what God had been doing in their lives, then the adult choir led more worship songs for the whole congregation.
The songs were so lively and passionate. People were on their feet dancing, clapping, shouting, lifting hands, singing, weeping, moving, bending their knees and bowing their heads. So many emotions in one room and so much movement of the Spirit. I cannot imagine a more joyful celebration! If these amazing people had been there to witness the site of Jesus’ empty tomb, this is what the celebration would have sounded like.
But who were these people, the members of Dove Church? They were just common people living in the bush of Uganda. They were people struggling to find and keep jobs in a corrupt system. They were people trusting that God would provide for their families, believing that God would give them each day their daily bread. They were people fighting diseases, sufferings, loss, and poverty that we, wazungu, could never even imagine. Yet they were still raising up their voices to bring glory to their Heavenly Creator. We stood together with them in the same church, praising and worshiping the same God. How blessed we are to be a part of the same body!
This is the part about Dove Church that I remember the most and hope to never forget. I also wish that more western churches could be like this — unafraid and unashamed to just shout to God for joy or to moan and weep in despair.
The rest of the service included welcoming the wazungu, where we shared some of our own songs, Pastor Davis’ sermon, more singing, and greeting each other at the end. God has already blessed this church and this community, but I pray that He continues to provide for them and build up strong leaders like Pastor Davis so that they can fully accomplish the mission and vision that God has placed on their hearts.