Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Missionaries Among Us, Part 2

(This is the second in a series titled "The Missionaries Among Us." To read the first post, click here.)

He seems to have boundless energy. Or perhaps it is the fuel of a passionate heart intent on serving his God that blazes inside.

Whatever he does, Pastor Samson performs it with a vigor, whether pastoring, building, planning, teaching, overseeing, training, evangelizing or discipling.

Having first come to the islands in 1998 as a builder, he has since been responsible for oversight of the construction of all of SHIM's buildings, all of the structures of Lingira Living Hope, the two island bases of YWAM, as well as other many structures built on the waters.

Pastor Samson with his youngest, Susan
While building is his trade, his true passion lies in building the Kingdom of God, whether in the islands, elsewhere in Uganda, or beyond his country's borders.

Wondering folks have asked him, "What enticed you?" They figuratively scratch their heads as they wonder what would cause this skilled and charismatic man to leave his home area of eastern Uganda to live, work and serve in the islands - a place of backwardness, underdevelopment, sketchy characters, darkness, and a lack of many of the conveniences of mainland life.

Yet, he does not regret the sacrifices he has made. Rather he is confident that he is doing the work God has called him to, in the place He has appointed. And until that work is done, he will remain faithful at the plow.

More than a decade ago, he and his young wife moved to Namiti Island, more than five hours across the lake from Jinja, making it their island home.They are raising six children in that remote place.

Teaching island pastors this week

One of the founding directors of Shepherd's Heart, Samson carries a wide and heavy load as he is in charge of the Discipleship and Evangelism ministry, the Water and Sanitation branch, is in charge of all building projects for SHIM and the school, oversees the Namiti Health Centre, pastors a church in Kirewe, travels and organizes seminars and crusades in the islands and elsewhere in Uganda, and raises a family.

Shepherd's Heart's Administration Building, which Samson oversaw the construction of several years ago.
 His wife, Joy, who lives up to her name, is a strong and suitable companion for a man of such passion and varied responsibilities. While he is often away, she cares for their growing brood, and also is a needed light in her community. (And, she is an excellent cook and a great hostess to all her enter their simple but welcoming home.)

If you ask Samson what gives him his endless supply of energy and burning passion for the ministry, he will likely answer in his enthusiastic manner with a broad smile, "It is God!"

Love those smiles! Samson and his lovely wife Joy.