"What inspired me to go to Uganda actually first began with a song by Leeland, For Your Glory. The lyrics are, 'we have only one life, and it soon will pass. And only what’s done for Christ will last. Jesus you can use me, Lord. For your glory!'” explains Hannah Kaiser, a former Hope Radio employee who just completed a year at Frontier School of the Bible at LaGrange, WY.
All first year students at Frontier are required to take an Introduction to Missions course, said Kaiser. "I learned about the importance of missions and how all Christians have an obligation to be a part of missions whether it is being a 'sender' or a 'goer' based on Matthew 28:19 and 20. This class really changed my view and opinion about missions."
The more Kaiser learned, the more the desire grew to experience missions from an "up-close and personal" perspective. After hearing testimonies from a Frontier student team that had gone to Uganda the previous year, Kaiser says she continued to "think about and ponder" a missions trip to Uganda herself. Then a Ugandan Pastor and his wife visited the Bible college.
"After Christmas, Pastor Morris and his wife, Ida, came to visit Frontier. They each shared their testimony and I was amazed at the work God had done in each of their lives and that there was still a great need for missions in Uganda. A desire to help those who are in need and those who still need to hear the truth of God's word grew and I believe God was telling me that Uganda was the place for me to begin," states Kaiser.
When asked what some of the challenges were that she faced, Kaiser replied, "Raising support financially to go on the trip, communicating with people who may or may not speak English (and still struggling to understand them even when they did), overcoming my fear of sharing the Gospel, my fear of sharing my personal testimony, and overcoming my fear that what I had to say in my testimony wouldn’t be relevant to the people of Uganda."
But Kaiser also says that God provided a way in every single one of those obstacles.
"By the time we left for the trip I was completely covered financially and I was in awe by the people who felt led to support me even when some of them didn’t even know me," she exclaimed. Seeing how God met her needs encouraged her. One supporter even unexpectedly supplied her need for sufficient luggage and comfortable longer skirts, which were required apparel.
"There were also many people who also supported me through prayer which was so important," Kaiser noted. "The trip would not have gone the way it did at all without support through prayer. Prayer is essential!"
"The communication challenge was overcome by the help of some amazing, loving translators and also through prayer that I would be able to understand and the people that I talked to would be able to understand. The challenge of overcoming my fear of sharing the Gospel softened after my first experience sharing hut-to-hut in front of a group of about 10 people. But it quickly went away when I realized that it wasn’t through my power that hearts were changed but through God’s power and His living and active word (Hebrews 4:12). I was also able to overcome my fear of sharing my testimony after I had the opportunity to share it at several different schools. I quickly found out that much of my testimony is something many of the people were able to connect with and it was amazing to realize that God had planned that from the very beginning."
The entire Frontier team consisted of five students, Kaiser, Christian Trujillo, Tom King, Kris Kasper, and Sam Foster. Their team leaders were Frontier staff, Deb and Steve Roderick. Both Kaiser and Trujillo worked with children during Sunday school and Children's church during the Crusades that allowed the adults to focus on the messages and testimonies.
"We also worked with a group from Rocky Mountain Bible Church, as well, so in total there were about 19 of us (although we did not always work with them)," Kaiser stated. "The team was also a part of the hut-to-hut evangelism during the week, and also had the responsibilities of sharing their testimony during the crusades and school ministry, as well. In addition, many of the men who went on the trip were responsible for doing a sermon during church and/or leading adult Sunday school, also."
Kaiser says there were some unforgettable experiences from her time in Uganda. "One of my best memories would have to be when the Frontier team went to a children’s home land dedication, and we were playing with a whole bunch of kids outside of the church. There were the kids who were going to live in the children’s home but there were also a whole bunch of kids from the surrounding area who came to see the 'mzungus' (white people). I had kids climbing all over me, hugging me, touching my skin and my hair, pinching my cheeks and saying “so pretty” over and over again. Many of the kids did not speak English so I wasn’t sure if trying to share the Gospel with them would go well without a translator, but when they wanted to hear me sing, I taught them Jesus Loves Me. I pray that they do remember that Jesus does indeed love them and that they would come to know Him one day."
In closing, Kaiser says, "Something that God taught me during my time there was actually after we did our second day of hut to hut evangelism. It was a Muslim holiday and while I was talking to a woman and sharing the gospel with her in front of her hut, some Muslim girls walked over and began listening to what I had to say. I shared the gospel with them and talked some with them but I quickly grew discouraged and frustrated with myself for not knowing how to tell them that what they believed was not true and that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Later on in the day, though, I realized that I was putting the responsibility of changing those girls hearts on myself when I don’t have the power to do that. Only God has the power to change hearts. My job is simply to be the messenger and take the Gospel where it needs to go. I also realized that that can be applied here at home in the United States, as well. We often are afraid to share the Gospel with our friends, family or neighbors because we’re afraid of what they might think of US or how they might react to US. But when we take the focus off of ourselves and focus on the fact that our job is to share the Gospel and God is the one who changes hearts, it gets a lot more simple."