Dancing Before Him

March 3, 2014 - Jinja, Uganda

It's so hard to believe that I only have a month and a week left here in this place.  The True Impact team comes in just a couple of weeks.  While I'm so so SO excited for them to come, I have also almost been dreading the time just because I know that it's going to be the time when I start counting down my final days.  I've started to feel more and more at home in this country, and God is definitely putting it on my heart at least right now to come back, and much longer than for 5 months next time.  I just continue to pray.

Althought I have loved almost every aspect of being here, one thing that I have really struggled with is worship.  Yes, I feel as if I have been very connected with God at some points, but there are also Sundays where I have walked out of the church and been just frustrated beyond belief wondering what I just sat through 5 hours of a service for.  Yes, the first few weeks I was so in love with the passion behind the worship, the generosity and love of the church, and the screams "aye aye aye aye aye!!!!" of the Ugandan women, but I'll admit to you right now that all of that has become normal for me at times, which I definitely want to try my best to avoid at all costs.  I want to look at all of those things with fresh new eyes and see the way that God's presence is moving in every single moment, even when I don't understand what they're saying.  Although the message is translated, it's still very hard for me to understand sometimes, as the translating can be happening so fast that one person is speaking in Lugandan and the other in English at the same time.  Just to give you a little perspective, sometimes I feel as if I'm moreso at an auction than a church service.  Especially after being gone for 5 months from my church that spiritually uplifts and feeds me on a weekly basis, it's frustrating when I really need an uplifting service but I am not able to understand it.

Many of you know how much I connect with God through music.  I serve on the worship team at Eaglebrook Church back in Woodbury Minnesota, and being involved with that team absolutely puts a new spirit in me.  Nothing gets me happier and more fulfilled than singing at the top of my lungs (and maybe a little too loud for my family listening to me around the house) praise and worship songs to God.  I can be in the worst mood ever and then start singing and automatically the spirit within that song moves within me and I feel the presence of Christ radiating in my heart and mind.  It's something I cannot even explain in words.

That being said, I suppose many of you can assume that I'm not necessarily singing the same songs here.  In fact, I think there are a total of about 2 English worship songs that I have sang with the entire church congregation.  Most of the songs are all in Lugandan, and although equally as beautiful and praiseworthy, it's hard for me to know that my voice isn't heard by God and isn't exalted up to God because I don't know what the words are and what they mean!!! Yes, I've done my fair share of trying to learn some Lugandan songs, but there are so many every weekend and its very hard to keep up.  Needless to say, I'm missing my worship songs...in my own language....in a church that I know and get fulfilled by.  That may sound selfish, and I absolutely know that it is.  But when it's something that I hold so dear to my heart and something that uplifts me so much spiritually, it's hard for me at times to spiritually get connected when I don't have that aspect of praise in my worship on Sundays.

God gave me new eyes yesterday at our Sunday Service.  For the first time here in Jinja, I got involved with the praise and worship team.  Now I have done this before in Mityana but haven't looked at it with as open of eyes as I did yesterday.  I think God really put something new in my heart.  Most of the time when people think of praise and worship teams, it's music oriented.  I'm sure that many of you can guess that in Africa, it's so much more.  It's shaking your hips, it's moving your feet, it's swaying your body back and forth, it's clapping til your hands hurt, it's screaming "aye aye aye aye aye aye aye aye!!!" at the top of your lungs, all ontop of singing.  I've danced with the people here at a service in Uganda plenty of times, but like I said, God really allowed me to see something that I never thought about or saw before.  Yesterday I was spiritually filled in a new way...God taught me how to dance.  And really dance for HIM.

I didn't know the words of any of the songs, but God really taught me how much of a blessing not only singing to him is,  but dancing.  Just freely moving the body that God blessed me with and listening to the beautiful Lugandan songs being lifted up was encouraging to me in a whole new way.  I loved looking at Martha, Barbara, Shamim, Mwajuma, and Victor (the teenage youth girls that dance every Sunday on the worship team) up there dancing with me and just seeing their smiles brighten as they see me pathetically trying to move my body like theirs.  And even though it's far from perfect they get more and more joy the  more they see me intently focusing on their every move in attempt to make myself look somewhat similar.  They nod at me in encouragement after I struggle to get back on beat after royally messing up.

I thought....isn't it the same with God?  Seriously...no matter how many times I screw up, he's looking at me with that exact same love and smile times a million.  He encourages me in multiple ways to get back on track whenever I stray away from his beat.  I screw up SO many times in my life, and if my life was literally a dance, you'd think even after 50 times of messing up my teacher would just say "Screw it you can't dance I'm done bothering...."  But the teacher of my life dance will never even come close to saying anything like that to me.  Because no matter what I do wrong, he still makes me righteous through the blood of my Savior.  Because he is persistently pursuing me even when I just want to give up and sit on the sidelines.  Because he and only he knows my full potential so long as I concentrate and keep my eyes and heart focused on him.

Those beautiful girls dancing with me yesterday reminded me of all those things with each glance and laugh they showed me.  And that love and encouragement I received just made me want to dance all the more.  So it should be with God and me--the more I see his mercies and his love and his joy and his encouragement in my life, the more I should be willing and eager to dance more and more in his way rather than my own.  That is my prayer as I go through this final month and through this transition and onto whatever song may come next for me when I get back.

"I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my king.  Nothing Lord can separate this passion in my soul."

"Oh worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; dance before him all the earth."--Psalm 96:9

Don't forget to dance today :)

Be blessed,
Nabaka Sarah


2 Comments

vi:
March 4, 2014
We all dance to our own beat. You are just finding yours.. You do not always dance to what you hear, but to what you feel.. It's a blessing when it is both.

Extra prayers for you in this last 6 weeks. Know you will find the strength to feel it all and do it all…

Much love, Vi
Jeff:
March 4, 2014
Sarah, its great seeing you trying your best the African particularly the Ugandan way. God has positioned you in every aspect of life so as He can show how good, kind and loving He is to you. DANCE and SING for Him for that's what you can do for Him. Thank you for serving Him and looking onto Him always even when you feel not going the best way as a son of man can think and see. HE still looks at you and see how perfect you are to Him. LOVES YOU.
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