This year, for the first time, Cornerstone Christian Academy offered a high school mission trip to Uganda, Africa. Uncertain what the response would be to this new trip, and the commitment of traveling half- way around the world, our GO Week organizers were thrilled with the CCA family response, and the Uganda trip was the first of the three concurrent GO Week trips to reach capacity last September.
On Thursday, March 15, 2018 our team of 17 students and 3 chaperones left DIA traveling for over 30 hours as they made their way to Entebbe, Uganda, where they spent the next 9 days catching a vision for God’s Worldwide Kingdom. Author and priest Brennan Manning said, “We grow complacent and lead practical lives. We miss the experience of awe, reverence and wonder… God intended for us to discover his loving presence in the world around us.” We are so proud of our students who stepped out of their comfort zone and opened themselves up to seeing and serving God in a new way.
The following is the testimony of one of our student missionaries, Megan:
“Hi, my name is Megan Montoya, I am a junior this year at CCA. I took a big leap of faith and decided to travel to the ends of the earth and go to Uganda, Africa. Going into this trip I was very nervous about being away from the safety of home and being in a place where medical treatment may not be accessible. My fears drove me to almost not go, but I let God take over and went regardless of my fear.
When we were in Uganda, there were so many different experiences that showed me my mind had deceived me into thinking this country was scary. I was pleasantly surprised to see everyone was friendly, and accepted me as I was. I was stretched beyond my comfort zone to open up to my classmates and put trust in them.
God showed me many different things about myself, and Him, it took our relationship to a new level. Through worship on Sunday morning, He showed me that culture, and language have no barrier when praising Him. Through the people, He showed me a little smile, or a hello, can break even the most somber of people. Through this trip, He showed me strength, and what strength actually is.
I was challenged on this trip to really take time to reflect and open my heart to hear God’s voice in a whole new way. This put me in positions where all I wanted to do was sit and cry, because I was so exhausted. Yet God pushed me to my limits and had me put my faith in Him, to know that I was going to be safe.
This trip has really let me see who God really is, and has showed me strength in him. Uganda has given me a better understanding of what fellowship and worship truly mean. Today, I am able to show strength in my faith, and let nothing hinder me from working in God’s plan, because of Uganda, and God’s amazing work in that country.”
In Africa, our students like Megan, toured and participated with ministries such as Restoration Gateway, Recreation Project, 31 Bits, St. Monica’s Tailoring School for Girls, and the African Hospitality Institute, as well as viewed amazing wildlife on a safari.
Our students literally got their hands dirty and their clothes covered with red dirt as they served through grounds maintenance at Restoration Gateway’s school, helped calibrate a community well and mud a school building. Our students poured out their hearts through running a basketball clinic for school children, aiding elementary teachers, sewing with foster moms, and playing with children.
Though they stepped off the airplane 12 days later, clearly exhausted, our prayer is that each of their lives and hearts will be marked like Megan’s by their time in Africa and their first hand experience of God’s work in them and in the world.