Thursday, September 22, 2016

Chapter 22 - Update #8 - Raining Hope Ministries Sunday Services

The week of crusade & conference began with Sunday Services at Raining Hope & culminated with services the day before I flew home.   These two Sundays became beautiful bookends that supported the week of miraculous events that were just waiting to blossom in out growing bouquet! 
Interpreting music is a gift that God has given me to communicate to the deaf.  What they cannot hear with their ears they can see with their eyes and feel with their heart.  Through the years we have discovered that hearing people can hear the words, yet interpreting music allows them to see with their hearts.  
As I was preparing to speak at church both Sundays and at the conference,  I realized how much interpreting music is an important part of who I am.  It is not just an add on to a message to bookend the opening or closing.   This particular journey I understood in a new way that music is what is unique about me and how I am to communicate His love to the world.  
Have you ever caught yourself listening to a song over and over but never really knowing the words?  There is a show called, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” where contestants will hear a song from various decades, and sing alongside a karaoke-style video screen until the music stops.  They have to fill in the missing word.   I have been shocked at some of the oldies but goodies that I had no idea what the words actually were.  
Today, with modern technology, you can find lyrics to songs with a quick search on the internet.   Somewhere along the way, I went from just enjoying the catchy tune to a song, to really getting to know the words behind the song.  
Hang in there with me because this is key to the whole trip.    Godfrey gave me the assignment to speak both Sundays, sign music at the crusade, and be the main speaker at the conference.   Our theme was “Christ in You - Hope of Glory.”  The scripture that I discovered to communicate this truth was “To whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27.   Throughout the week, all of 1 Corinthians 4 was the scripture my speaking was based on.  
 I had the scripture, a lot of truths, ideas, inspirations, and examples all excitedly dancing around in my head!  But honestly, I was having a hard time trying to put it all together on paper.  It was as if the words were not compatible and they just wouldn’t stick.  
Then two things happened that bonded it together like super glue. 
  1. MUSIC.  I began to just listen to music.  Unlike just listening to a catchy tune, I really LISTENED to the music.  I breathed in words.  I interpreted my own music for my own heart.  I realized that songwriters must be inspired by their own journeys.  As I began to listen, I felt like Danny Gokey or Jason Gray were the ones occupying seat 17B!  We seemed to have been on the same trip!   I can almost envision us having a conversation saying , “Yes, I understand!  I have been there too!”  Songs have helped me to know I am not alone.  Words have helped to pull me out of very difficult times.  Words have helped me to smile knowing how much God really loves me.   I began to really LISTEN to WORDS.     The week began to come together.  The words from songs began to inspire me, help me to focus & dig deeper in Scripture.   But the second point is why the week became effective. 
  2. THIS IS OUR  JOURNEY .  We had our own story to tell.  We effectively were writing our own songs this week.  The words began to flow because we were telling our own story.  To help you travel with me through this incredible week, I am going to include links to YouTube that should bring up the song for you to listen to.  I could give you all the words like I have done in the past.  But listening to the song itself should help to bring the week to life!

Two songs set the tone for us before Sunday.  The first one was “Stolen” by Jason Gray. Some of the key lyrics have to do with the fact that nobody is looking for heartache.  Sometimes we get broken down, busted and bruised from the inside out, but God uses that to build us up again.   The words that spoke highly to me and to the kids were this: 
“If my life never would have got broken, then my hands would have never been open
And my heart never would have been stolen. But Your love came to me at my lowest
And I've been singing ever since that moment.  Hallelujah, my heart has been stolen”

We started this Sunday recognizing that it has been 10 years since I was called to Uganda.  That first trip many of these children were only 7, 8 and 9 years old.  That first trip I met Godfrey who was not yet married to Irene.  That means all four of his children were not yet born.  That first trip I began to discover stories of how broken the lives were of some of these precious children.  After coming home from that first trip I entered a very broken & devastating time in my own life.   Yet, this song rang true for all of us on our first night together.  Our lives being so broken allowed God’s love to break in and take a hold of our hearts.  We were praising God this night knowing we have so much to be thankful for. 
You can take a coffee break and listen to the song… -  “Stolen” - Jason Gray.  LISTEN to the words and experience what we did.  Interpret the words to minister to your own heart!
On Saturday night, before we were to launch into the week of ministry,  a song by Kari Jobe called “We Are” was confirmation of living out 1 Corinthians 4:5-6. “You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves.  We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness.”  has made this light shine in our hearts so we could now the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”  
We are the light of the world.  We are the city on the hill.  We are the light of the world.  And we gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine.”  
We entered into our week of crusade and conference knowing that we are the light of the world in a very dark world.  Our Raining Hope kids were ready to shine!  You would be SO PROUD of how bright their lights were this week!   Picture Raining Hope with encouraged hearts as you listen…  - We Are - Kari Jobe
Sunday, we began to tell the story of how the first two years we were all filled with so much hope as we began this journey together.  But then life seemed to come crashing down.  We spent the next six years walking through some difficult valleys & discouragements. We were all told to give up because what we were doing was impossible.   Many felt their dreams slipping away from them.  Ronald, our young man that got in an accident three months ago, became a picture of our story.   He was just walking on the road and suddenly he was blindsided by a taxi.  He was lying helpless on the road.  In the heat of the confusion, someone thought his legs were crushed.  Thankfully, only one leg was broken, not crushed.   That is our story.  At times we felt crushed.  Yet, we were only broken.   Yet in our brokenness, these kids believed the promise in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.  They knew God would restore us if we stayed obedient to His call seeking Him with our whole heart.
It all changed in 2014 when the Ugandan Dream was born.  You know the story of how God rescued us and brought us to our new home and our new lives.  The song by Danny Gokey, “Rise” became our theme song for this week.  It is our story.  
There was a brokenness inside of us.  There were wounds that reminded us of the fear, shame and rejection we all experienced.  We knew we should get up but we felt defeated.  But there was something inside we couldn’t deny.  We heard the call of our creator.  He made us for more so we unlocked the door.  He wanted to restore our glory.  We are shutting the door on yesterday, leaving what happened in the grave.  We were made to rise, we were made to shine.
Do you find yourself needing to rise? This song will inspire you as it did our children.  I signed this after speaking on the first Sunday.  After signing it once, we did it again, this time the whole congregation signed with me declaring that they too are ready to RISE! - Rise - Danny Gokey 
Raining Hope is not only about food and fees.  We exist to make God known.  We exist to bring Him glory.   Our children have become ministers of the gospel. They are rising.  They are an army of hope! 
Ronald is doing well.  He is healing.  He will be in crutches for a total of six months.  But he will walk on his own again.  He will run.  He will rise on his own.  
Raining Hope has thrown away the crutches.  They are standing on their own two feet.  They are running with joy!  They are RISING believing that they were made to shine!  
The second bookend will need to wait until the end of the reports.  That Sunday was the culmination of the week so I will wait to draw it all together!   God is doing great things in a little corner of the world on Sundays at Raining Hope Ministries!   
Remaining Speechless, 

Mama Eydie Kisakye 

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