Listening...Like Jesus

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Greetings from Uganda once again,
I have so much to tell you about but instead of trying to smash it all into one long update, I will share a little at a time. So many incredible things happened while I was away on my trip that I want to bring you into my heart and reveal them to you!

I will begin with an encounter I had with an elderly gentleman in Ireland. He was the host of my AirBnB where I only stayed one night. He raises horses for jumping competitions. We spent the first couple of hours I was at his house caring for his horses while he introduced me to each and told their stories. He shared a bit of the area as well as his family and personal history in the area. His story was filled with swearing, talks of fights, certain shall I say ‘advances’ as well as some inappropriate jokes. While I was listening however, I experienced a deep love for this man. I could see his heart was hurting and he had a large wall against any form of love being revealed through Jesus, even though he had a picture of Jesus on the cross, as all good Irish Catholics do. I began to ask Jesus how best to love this man and I heard a response to simply engage with his story. So I spent the next few hours becoming deeply interested in his life, his heart and his pain. He shared quite openly of some very deep wounds he had experienced in his years. It was nearing 10 o’clock, which is a bit past my bedtime, when he changed his focus onto me. I was tired and really just wanted to sleep however I could sense a beauty on this time. I began to share of my life and my heart, my time spent in Uganda and the purpose of my time in Ireland. After about ten minutes of this, he made a statement which deeply impacted me. He said he ‘never would have guessed I was a Christian.’ Upon hearing this at first the enemy tried to shove shame in my face that I was not representing Jesus well or that I hadn’t preached the Gospel upon meeting this man or that I was compromising my beliefs by allowing such coarse speech in front of me. But as I continued to keep my heart open to Jesus’ words as well as this man’s heart what I heard was quite different from those statements. Instead, I heard that other Christians he had encountered over his journey had been judgemental and forceful in sharing their beliefs with him. He had never had a Christian engage with his story and his heart in such a way as I had. This made me realize that though it is a powerful and encouraging statement to hear someone say ‘I always thought you were a Christian’, at times it is also encouraging to hear the opposite. Our love can be revealed just by being open and asking others to share, which I did of Jesus’ overwhelming love for this man. We are still engaged with one another’s stories on WhatsApp and I am deeply thankful for such a heart connection. Jesus revealed Himself to me through this man that though my story at times has coarse words, talks of fights and maybe even some inappropriate jokes at times, He still desires to engage with my heart.

A couple of notes regarding my return to Uganda, and mostly prayer requests regarding my return. While I was away, quite a few intense hurts occurred and I am now full force engaging in those. One of which is among my watchmen. There were serious character issues which arose as well as extreme breaches in contract which will be resulting therefore in serious consequences. I ask for prayer due to a common belief that once forgiven, there are no consequences. Each of these watchmen have repented, though one chose to repent in part and lie in part. I have forgiven each of them however I believe consequences are a part of renewal. Please pray for me to do justly as well as seek mercy for these men. I have come to care for each of them and so I also ask for prayer for my heart which is experiencing some deep disappointment.

Secondly, I ask for prayer among the missionary community here in Tororo. One of the families has shifted back to the US and at this point there is extreme brokenness within their marriage and ministry. This has devastated relationships here. I ask for prayer for unity and comfort.

Lastly, I ask for prayers of deeper love. The crime levels here in Uganda continue to increase in severity as well occurrences. I do not feel any peace in leaving Uganda due to this so therefore I ask for more prayer for love to cast out all fear, for love to speak to the hearts of those committing these crimes and love to bring comfort for those who have been impacted by these crimes.

I am deeply grateful for each of you in my life. Your prayers, encouragement and financial support continue to bring me deeper to Jesus and therefore empower me to follow His invitations here in Uganda, and beyond.

With Love,

Kelly Rompel
Executive Director of Global Redemption

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