One of my favorite things that I get to do here in Uganda is lead some of what we call “Arise Africa Staff Missions.” Staff missions are when we take our staff and go out to some of our more remote village churches that U.S. volunteer teams are not able to reach. We go and camp out in tents, eat with the locals, train pastors and church leaders, do evangelism, and even plant churches.

The one thing that has made these trips even more amazing is when I get to take my daughters along with me. This past December, we finished out the year with a week-long trip to three different villages, and I took all four of my daughters with me. Taking four little girls into remote villages for a week could have been a recipe for disaster. However, it turned out to be an amazing week. We saw more than fifty people commit to following Jesus Christ, and our team brought some very needed practical training for our churches.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 1.39.31 PMMy favorite part of the whole trip was watching these girls of mine give away their own clothes and toys to other kids in the villages. Before we left, they packed three crates full of their own things to give away during the week. Watching the love of Jesus overflow out of the lives of my girls did something to this daddy’s heart that I’m not sure I could ever explain. They are so full of childlike faith, love and wisdom, that my own faith is often challenged.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 1.40.29 PMDuring our stay in one village, we encountered a “satanic prophet” (the first I had ever seen). I categorize him as such because he showed up on the first day saying, “Trust in Satan!” The locals told us that he would often throw himself into fire and would come out unharmed. He ranted and raved all through the day and sometimes night. Exasperated, my daughter, Karis (age 5), exclaimed, “That crazy old man needs to get saved, and he needs to go away!” To which I shouted, “Amen!” Later, he showed up at three o’clock in the morning and I had had enough. I went out and confronted the man. He said that if I agreed to meet with him the next day, he would go away. I agreed, but he never returned.

Please pray for that old man, that the Holy Spirit would break through the darkness and bondage in his life. Pray for the new believers in these villages. Pray for our churches that they will continue be a light in the darkness. And pray for us as we get to lead more of these trips in 2015.

– Smooth