Freed to Love – by Jess Hanson

It is crazy to think that this time last year, I was gearing up to go to Uganda for 3 months! I remember this very well, because as the weather started to get cooler, I just kept reminding myself that I’d be in Uganda and wouldn’t have to worry about the cold until January! Now here I sit, gearing up to stay here for the sweet polar vortex, instead of hearing about it on the news in Uganda.

peter pabI thought maybe I would stay in Uganda forever. I really love Jesus and for me that has often meant doing the craziest, most difficult, most upside down thing I could think of. That sometimes plays itself out in dumb legalistic ways and other times in awesome ways. There were some days in Uganda when I was covered in dirt, living in a house alone and feeling really sick and I would think…, “What in the world am I doing here?…Who am I really helping?”


My sponsored child, Christine, and her family

I think it was in those moments that I realized that sometimes we don’t necessarily need to come up with the craziest thing to do for Jesus…but we just need to say, ‘yes,’ to something simple that’s being asked of us. It might be agreeing to help someone who needs you, it might be inviting kids to live in your home, it might be giving money, it might mean praying for someone who asks for it, it might mean washing the dishes! I mean, just look at how many Ugandan kids’ lives have been changed by hundred’s of people simply saying, ‘yes,’ to sponsor their monthly needs.
jess 1I said at the beginning that I really love Jesus and that’s why I love doing crazy things for him. What I have learned, by his grace, is that the root of it all is not that I love him, but that he loves me. He loves me enough to invite me into bringing his upside down Kingdom to earth. He came that we may have life and have it to the full! He came that we might find freedom in him; freedom to love. Freedom to be generous. Freedom to forgive. Freedom to choose joy and thankfulness. Freedom to pursue lives that lead away from brokenness and into healing and wholeness. How sweet that we also get to be a part of leading each other away from pain and brokenness and into freedom and redemption.
Galatians 5:13-15
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Loving our neighbors as ourselves isn’t always about the little moments, sometimes it’s about big yes’s that really hurt or stretch you! For instance…adding another whole Care Point to the Orphans of Teso is a BIG yes! It will be stretching and scary and sometimes discouraging, BUT…it is so worth it for each child whose life is changed and for each sponsor whose life is changed, because each encounters Jesus in the flesh in the love of the other. Some friends of mine have a 9 year old boy who was asked why it is better to give than to receive. His response was, “Because it just feels better!” How generous is God to us that it just feels better to love others than to spend all of our time thinking about ourselves?

So let’s say YES more! Whether we’re in the craziest place in the name of Jesus or in the most boring, routine place! Ok…now let’s practice!! Practice makes perfect, folks!!

Are you ready!?! :)!!!

  • Would you like to be a part of bringing healing and hope to the children and their families in Uganda???
  • Would you like to sponsor a sweet kid of your very own!?
  • Would you like to ask your family and friends to sponsor an amazing kid!?
  • Do you want to go and MEET your sponsored kid 🙂  !?!

I don’t know about you, but if the tables were turned and I was the one in need of a little help…I would really hope that someone with the means would just say, “yes.”


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