Feeling LonelyBy Kelly Hallahan, Uganda
Whenever you are the new kid in town, you are bound to have moments of loneliness. Missionaries are not exempt from this common experience, despite how often they get to practice moving! When we moved to Uganda, we were warmly welcomed by our teammates. Our boys easily made friends at school. My husband began making friends with his coworkers at Heritage International School. But I was a stay-at-home mom, with my kids in school for the very first time. The days were long with a lot to learn and plenty to keep me busy, but I began to get lonely. I quickly realized I had a choice to make: sit around and throw myself a pity party, or throw a real party and make some friends!
I took my own need for fellowship and turned it into an opportunity for ministry: the Oasis Gathering was born! I knew I couldn’t just wait around for someone to solve my problem. I prayed about what would bless my own heart and created an avenue to bless other women like me. I wanted our time together to be refreshing and life-giving. I didn’t want the Oasis Gathering to become another burden on our calendars to dread, so I scheduled it once a month for two hours. The ladies were welcomed with tea, coffee, and goodies. Candles were lit, flowers adorned the table, and the conversations began in clusters as we greeted one another and caught up. Then we moved into the living room for a discussion question about life: in our city; as foreigners; and as mothers, wives, and friends. Those conversations helped the new missionaries and seasoned missionaries learn from each other—we discovered new restaurants, shared tips on cooking, and brainstormed how to make a difference there in Kampala. My favorite part of the day was when we split into small groups for prayer, because that was when God came to transform and refresh us. Nothing is sweeter than a room full of women lifting each other up in prayer.
As I took my eyes off my own problem and chose to be a blessing to others, God used me and He met my needs. He took a need in my life and used it for His glory. All He needed was a willing heart; He did the rest!
ACT: This month, pray about a way to take your eyes off your problem in order to bless others. Then do it! Whether it is throwing a party like Kelly did or starting a free babysitting network, etc. God can use you for His glory.