First Time in Asserting Myself as a Leader

After the loss of my husband, I prepared to go to Uganda as a full time missionary. Arriving there, I stayed with an Apostle and his family while doing some work for them. They had a ministry that was falling apart. Seed Faith Ministries was the supplier of finances as God used me to help rebuild the minstry of the Apostle. I remained subdued as I worked with them for , still in shock at losing my husband. At the same time I was building my own relationships to begin the building of Seed Faith Ministries in Uganda.

I was introduced to an Ateso Pastor in Eastern Uganda. In finding the Pastor’s Bible only had deuteronomy in it and the congregation had no Bibles, I returned to Kampala and purchased Bibles for them.

I began planning a return trip there, taking along a team from the Apostle’s ministry. It was a poor area with many needs. I arranged to buy used clothing as well as food to feed the village. As I was doing the planning, the Pastor that was going to be traveling with me asked if we could stop in a village on the way they had been doing ministry in and was it possible that we could do a feeding of the village also.I had no problem with his request and adjusted my purchases to accommodate the change of plans.

Departure day arrived, everything was ready to pack into the van, the team has been instructed to arrive very early. Since time is not revelant in Uganda, to be on time is just a number. Needless to say we left later than my scheduled plan.The drive is going to take us 5 hours with no stops. However, there is always stops where evryone gets out of the van and start going in all directions. Then it is round up time trying to get them all back to the van. Always, there is a stray, so someone will try to find that person. The first thing you know, everyone is getting out of the van again and the whole process is repeated. The five hour drive can turn into an all day trip to arrive at your destination.

Finally we arrive at our first destination, now to find our accommodations for a two night stay for everyone. That si not an easy task when you are in the remote areas. A house was rented to us, Praise the Lord. Dinner would always end up being at 10 PM or later. All I wanted was to be in bed by that hour. We were always up for prayer at 5 AM for an hour, then everyone would go back to bed. Now I am wide awake staring int the dark, waiting for daylight to come.

As the day progressed I learned the Pastor had been going through the clothing for my orginal program. I was not happy about tht at all. Finfinf him, I asked “Why are you in the clothing for the next program?” He replied ” I am going to give some of these clothes to the people here.” I stood staring at him, trying to decide if I should say anything concerning the situation. I kept quiet however. I was disturbed, he had not come to me forst to discuss the matter. Inside of me I was trying to calm myself, knowing this was a mission for my ministry and I changed my orginal plan to accommodate this stop. As the day progressed, I noticed the Pastor taking charged over a few things which should have been discussed with me first. The tension inside of me was growing. Preparing for bed I decided to not join everyone for prayer the next morning. I didn’t want what I was feeling to hinder the group prayer time.

Later in the morning I came out of my room, still trying to contain my feelings. The Pastor came to me asking “Mama are you alright? You did not come out for prayer.” I thought for a moment, this is decision time. Everyone was in the room. I looked up and said “No I am not alright. I need to make some things veru clear here to everyone. I am the leader for this mission trip, not the Pastor. This mission trip is for Seed Faith Ministries and not the ministry of the Apostle. It is also funded by Seed Faith Ministries. It is van of Seed Faith Minstries. You were invited by me, as the leader, to accompany me on this mission. I see one of you ladies acting like a princess, having other cater to her needs. That will stop right now. You are not any better than anyone else in this room. Pastor, you are not free to take things that have been planned for my program without consulting me first. You will consult with me first on any changes you feel you have the freedom to make without me.” There was dead silence in the room. After all a womanis not supposed to asset herself much less be a leader.

Later in the day I had to assert my postion once again. This time with my driver. We were going to go to a big rock that was so high when you climbed to the top, you could see for miles. My driver was on the veranda with several of the team members. I stepped out to ask him to prpare the van for our excursion. He looked me staring in the eye telling me ” We cannot use the van.” “Excuse me, we cannot use the van? Why not” I asked. ” Because it has chickens in it.” I looked at him staright in the eye repling ” So take the chickens out.” Now everyone is watching this, and understanding my English very well. My driver is challenging me right in front of them. The sky was blue but eyes were seeing red. Time ti beware driver, I thought to myself. I stepped up close to him, never dropping my gaze, looking him straight in te eyeslike a cobra ready to strike and giving him the look that only a woman can give. ” You will take the chickens out of the van and get it ready to travel. Do you understand?” “Yes .” he answered. As I walked back into the house. I could hear some of the team repeating to him what I had jsut said. I knew it was ambarrassing for him. At the same time it was a good lesson for him.

That day was the beginning of brakthrough as a leader of a ministry and the starting day of the journey to gaining respect. It has been a long journey from then to the present, where I  am highly regarded as the leader of Seed Faith Ministries

Advertisements

Missionary life is full of blessings and challenges. Dick Mills, a Prophet once spoke these words over my late husband and myself at a marriage retreat, ” Blessed coming in and blessed going out.” That was it. I was so disappointed as we sat there listening to all of the wonderful things being said to others. It was many years later in the mission fields of Uganda that I came to know the full meaning of those words.

I have learned so much about myself that God has helped me to change. Living in a third world conutry is very different. It is a must to learn how to blend the two cultures together to fully accomplish the vision God has set before you. Almost everything operates differently, requiring patience and flexibility. Those were two of my short suits that I have had to learn to adjust about myself. That in itself was a large undertaking. However I have made great strides in that area.

One has to have discernment in many relationships being formed. I had prayed for that for years, never knowing that God had given it to already. It proved to be one of the more valuable assets as a missionary. I met many Pastors and people everyday that had stories that would cause so much compassion to rise up in my heart that discernment is neccessary in helping you to feel by the spirit what is true and not true. When I would discern that something was just not right about the person, the Holy Spirit would give me questions to ask them that were challenging to them. Many would just turn and walk away because they were exposed right in the moment. Discernment helped me in every aspect of being a missionary and leading a ministry.

Faith and believing God will fulfill His Word are the two key foundations to being a missionary. Because we are in the flesh, we sometimes fall short, until we get our eyes back on the Lord. When things got hard, believe me when I say “That happens” I had to draw on Faith to get me through. I had to believe that God is there with me and His Word is true. He will not allow His work to fail. He will not allow me to fail. He will fulfill every need in the ministry and myself. My Faith had to rise up, my trust in Him must come to another level. Today my Faith and believing Gods Word has grwon so much. Do I still sometimes fall short in that? Yes and I repent to my Lord for that. He has never forsaken me in the trials and tribulations that I have passed through in both ministry and my personal life.

The blessings have been many. Just to love and be loved by those you meet along the way  has enriched my life to the fullest.

By

Donna Kowalsky