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  • Jenny McPhail

“A Day In The Life” of a Uganda Short-term Missionary

As soon as I open my eyes, I feel God’s overwhelming presence. I look out my small window in our hotel room, reflecting on God’s beauty. It surrounds us here in this place— among the people and the beautiful red dirt we step on. Some mornings I find myself embracing the African rain that comes down ever so peacefully or sometimes I find myself applying extra sunscreen for this extra hot day that has already begun; nonetheless I open my door, eager to eat omelets & pineapple. As I go to the dining area, I find my teammates talking about life—everything ranging from where they are from, what ministry they are apart of, to what type of malaria pills everyone is taking. I sit among my new family and embrace the peacefulness that mornings hold, and for me mornings are my favorite. I get my breakfast and then we all break up for devotional time.


Devotional time looks different for everyone, but for me it is a time to rest in Him. This time for me is the fuel for the day, I get to read my bible and devotion and gain encouragement that I can share to those around me throughout the day. After everyone has had devotional time, everyone reconvenes and then splits up into their different ministry teams. These team meetings can range from splitting up medical supplies to prayer and conversation about the day’s activities. After lots of prayer and anticipation, the day is ready to begin.


Everyone piles into the bus or van depending on where you are going. Today, our team gets dropped off on a red dirt road, where we then walk to get to the orphanage. We get to walk through these lush green fields, filled with agriculture and trees, walking down the same dirt roads many of these villagers have walked down hundreds of times. After doing crafts, teaching bible stories, singing worship songs with the children of the orphanage, our team take a quick break to eat our hearty peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Our lunch consisted of sitting in the dirt, sandwich in hand reflecting on all the beautiful interactions everyone has had with the kiddos. Sadly, lunch means that we only had a few more ministry hours left because around 3, we pack up and get ready to head to dinner.

After the ministry day ends, everyone piles on the bus again with full hearts eager to exchange stories about the day with other teammates. Once we get to dinner, you can feel the excitement and happiness in the room. Not only is everyone excited about Ugandan dinners, but we are also excited to share about how God used our hands & feet to share His love & light to the Ugandan people today. After dinner slows, people trickle back to their rooms to shower and relax before evening meeting and worship.


Evening meetings consist of worship, testimonies and stories about the day. Truly amazing stories about how faithful and abundant God is —truly amazing stories about how faithful and abundant God is, especially in Uganda, Africa. Once evening meeting wraps up, some people stick around to chat and share testimonies with each other, and others go back to their room to get sleep. I occasionally stick around to chat with teammates but tonight, is all about sleep.


As I lay in bed, exhausted, smelly, dirty (even after showering), and simply worn out, I smile. I smile because it is all worth it. God makes each day worth it and no matter the amount of dirt and sweat you still have on your body it pales in comparison to the beautiful works God is enabling our teams to do here in Uganda. I think about tomorrow and the long days to come, but then I think about the rewarding moments that fill each day and smile, ready to take on tomorrow.

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