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Elizabeth Huber got to take a group of Ugandan teens to the zoo, and share her testimony over lunch.

Little Did I Know: My Summer in Uganda

By Elizabeth Huber, Oct 11, 2022

I was in a season of doubt leading up to my internship in Uganda this summer—a very long, difficult season of doubt. Honestly, I was not looking forward to this trip for multiple reasons.

When I first said I would go to Uganda with MTW for the summer, I was excited beyond words, but as I wandered further and further into a season of doubt and distance from God, my excitement shrunk a tiny bit more each day. Why?

First, I wondered why I chose to spend the whole summer away from my family. I could have been saving up money, spending time at home, passing the days visiting coffee shop after coffee shop. But instead, I chose to go to Uganda.

Second, I felt so far from God. Not a brief dry patch, but months and months of doubt accumulating so that each day was a growing struggle to believe what I had always known. I knew, I knew, deep down that this trip would force me to face all my feelings of doubt from the past several months. I knew in Uganda I couldn’t continue pretending I had it all together. Someone would know.

I knew.

Last, I knew this trip would give me clarity on what I really need to do in my life. For the last few months leading up to the internship, I constantly reframed what I wanted to do, saying “overseas work” or “living abroad” instead of saying what was true: missions.

I knew.

And here I am, only a few weeks later, changed.

God has used this trip, these people, and this place to radically change my heart. I am so infinitely grateful for each moment that led up to this. Even in the trials, even in the doubt, God used it all to lead me to where I am now.

The last few weeks of my internship were nothing short of absolute joy. There were highs and lows, of course, but there was so much joy in the midst of it all.

That is one of the main things I learned on this trip: how to truly seek joy in the midst of any circumstance; how to praise the Lord even when we wonder why.

Uganda

Here’s a journal entry I wrote a few nights before the end of my internship:

7/19/22

I'm sitting here in tears. Today it really hit me. I was at a café with Kim [Church, MTW missionary in Uganda], and we were doing our weekly Bible study. She mentioned how she could not believe how soon I’m going to be leaving, how there are only 12 days left in my internship. She asked if I’m sad to leave. She said she felt like I have just been enjoying the past couple weeks so, so much. She said she felt like I was so happy at church on Sunday.

It’s hard to put into words the feeling that overcame me in that moment, but it was a mix of joy and sorrow. I have really allowed myself to just be present here and stop thinking so much about the future. I have been filled with more joy than I have felt in months. 

Every second of this trip has been a blessing. Not every second has been easy, no, but every second has been a blessing. The culmination of the built-up anxiety, doubt, ungratefulness, lostness of the past months all exploded on this trip. I have been able to experience true rest because I rested in the Lord. I let go of all these ideas and worries about religion that have consumed me for the past few months and instead I learned to just seek Jesus. For months, I pushed away what I know in my heart I am supposed to do. For months, I found ways to rephrase what I want to do after college. For months, I tried to push away what I was seeking:

Missions.
The gospel.
Loving other people.

Loving others in Uganda

I always knew it deep down, but in my farthest moments from God I thought of all different career paths I could take to have better options financially, or to be more comfortable, but the things I have been scared of confronting have come forward on this trip. This joy, this joy, only comes from the Lord. From pursuing wholeheartedly what God puts in front of you, regardless of the sacrifice it may cause.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I told Kim I don’t even want to think about leaving because I’m just so happy here and love it so, so much. All the past months when I was doing everything in my power to run away from Him and His plan for me, He knew all along that I would find my way here again. He was just waiting with open arms for me to come back and be reminded of why I am here.

Honestly, this trip was really scary for me, but now that I reflect on it, it wasn’t scary for the reasons I originally thought. I think the real reason I was scared is because I knew this trip would reveal the truth in my life: the truth of what God has called me to do. I did not want to face the realities of it, I did not want to love this trip to the point where I was crying at the thought of leaving. I look forward to every moment I get to spend with the Ugandan people because I enjoy being in their presence so much. The thought of going from a lifestyle of simplicity to one full of greed and wealth sounds repulsive. But that is exactly where I am. 

And I am grateful for this. Even though it has been a long journey getting to this point, it was all in God’s timing. And not a day earlier.

That journal entry sums up my feelings about this whole experience. This truly was the most beautiful, vulnerable, and inspiring summer of my life. God completely transformed my heart from the beginning of the trip until now, and I have been reminded of so many things I once held true: vulnerability, sharing with others when you need encouragement, the joy of the Lord, praising Him in the hardest times, and being obedient even when it may not be easy or comfortable. Our relationship with God is not defined by emotions, or how close or distant we may feel each day, because He is always here.

And last, I surrendered to the Lord in His call for my life. 

I am so grateful for each moment I spent in Uganda learning from the Church family, building relationships with the Ugandan people, and growing closer to the Lord.

So, so grateful. Thank you, Jesus.

Elizabeth Huber is a student at Belmont University and served as an MTW summer intern in Uganda this past summer.

Interested in exploring missions? We’re now accepting applications for 2023 summer internships. Learn more at mtw.org/internships

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