With Space for Strength

strength in people“We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong.”

This is a Bible verse found in 2 Corinthians 13:9 and is really the theme of my last trip to Uganda.

I’d come across this verse a week-plus before the trip, and I knew it was to be the theme, I just never knew how hard it would be.

Being weak is not easy.

Thing is, standing in strength that appears weak, is in fact part of the space that we are determined to hold at Capturing Courage. For the express purpose that the people we are standing alongside, might know they are strong.

The plan for this trip was to bring a Conference and Crusade to the people in Madudu, Uganda. Then following up on that with a couple of weeks of Pastor Training.

The first ‘weakness’ became apparent before I left – we were not taking enough money to cover the Conference and Crusade; we contributed only 22% of the necessary funds.

I was excited about this, as I knew in my gut that God was up to something, and that we were going to see some mighty work. I just didn’t realize how very brutal it would be in the middle of it.

There may not be many things worse than watching the last of the food being dished out, and with some still needing to eat; the disappointment and disbelief and frustration and anger spreading across faces, with frantic digging through pots to find those stray sweet potatoes hidden amongst the banana leaves. With the lead guy exclaiming, “I followed your advice and now we don’t have enough!”

– We will appear weak so that you might know yourself strong –

Nothing worse than figuring we must cut the conference short a day, disappointing about 300 attendees, and swallowing our pride, and more in the process.

Nothing worse than maintaining that space of ‘God will do something’ and therefore I myself or Capturing Courage, refuse to do anything, “We will not fix this.. ”

– We will appear weak so that you might know yourself strong –

And strength came through. After hours (days) of crushing pressure and disillusionment in the unknown, refusing to lift a finger to ‘make anything better’ other than to pray and pray, that strength came.

It was presented to the people the state of things. That yes I was there to help sponsor, but not all the way. That yes we had food yesterday (barely), and yes we have food enough for today’s lunch, but after that, we are done and everyone will have to go home.

BUT – “If you as the people want to contribute, the conference can go on another day as planned.”

And into a basket went donation after donation, with the people raising over 400K Ugandan shillings, some $200 Canadian. Enough for the rest of the Conference.

Sufficiency

A knowing for them that they are strong, they can do this, it doesn’t all depend on money from the west.

Amen and amen.

This was the work, the real work. Sure I spoke a few times, prayed over a few folk, blessed on the young and old alike, took some medicines to the sick, encouraged the leaders and visited with many, but the real work this time, was holding this space.

– We will appear weak so that you might know yourself strong –

I didn’t call any shots, simply held the space.

From deep within my person living out my rock-solid belief that the people themselves are strong and sufficient and capable of making things happen.

That Sponsors are not the answer. Strength from outside themselves is not the answer. They carry strength and sufficiency deep within. I was determined to prove this, by doing next to nothing, to fix anything.

It was oh so painful, and oh so amazing.

The deepest works of our lives are like this I’m thinking. Where there is not much to show in the midst, but much to look back at and see.

Holding spaces is something we all do. With some spaces such that we wouldn’t want to enter them, and other spaces such that we are ever-after never the same. Some spaces are destructive, others build us.

What kind of spaces are you holding for others?

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