Many others may minimize themselves. Underestimate their potential. Never consider their purpose.
She was just a village girl. Not really unusual for this part of the world. Most Africans come from a village and have a village. And, her background resonates with so many others.
Death swallowed up her parents at such a young age that she doesn't have even a single memory of them. After spending a little more than a decade with a caring lady in the village, who loved her, she was literally taken by a cruel blood relative aunt, who didn't love her. There, she was used, abused, and despised until she had enough and left the that woman for the capital city of Uganda at the tender age of 18.
It was easy to get lost in the metropolitan city of Kampala. It was there she discovered she was a person of consequence way more than she had ever imagined!
As God would have it, a customer of the electronic shop in which she worked, brought a friend with him. The friend was a white man from America who was constantly looking for opportunities to love people for the glory of God. Her introduction to him coincided with a song someone had shared with her. That song spoke to her lonely heart and resulted in a desperate surrender of her life to Jesus Christ.
|2014 Medical Team from Oklahoma & Texas|
The relationship that began with that "chance encounter" in Kampala developed into a family relationship. One that resulted in a move to Jinja. One that resulted in becoming a volunteer for Next Generation Ministries. One that resulted in being a part of various short term mission teams simply because her family hosted them. One that resulted in an awakening of a desire to become a medical professional.
Rebecca Nakanjako is now a full time, international student at North Idaho College. She will complete her first year in the month of May. Her first semester was academically gentle. But it was her only experience out of Africa for this village girl and the culture shock was in full form and one new experience was followed by another.
|Rebecca with Evanlene|
Half way through her second semester, Rebecca is now fully immersed in a challenging academic pursuit of medicine and has found favor with many at NIC. With her identity firmly established because of her intimate relationship with Jesus Christ she finds freedom in living life ... a life that has resulted in the discovery that she is a person of influence.
She is now President of the International Students Club at North Idaho College. She has brought an awareness of the medical needs of her Third World Nation to both the campus and the city in which it is located. Rebecca was featured in an article published by the school newspaper and picked up by the local newspaper in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
|Rebecca on a medical mission in Uganda|
Her influence also resulted in several students joining a medical mission team that is going to Uganda the last two weeks of May to work with Next Generation Ministries. This team will be lead by Dr. Brian and Maren Snyders who made their first trip to Uganda last March. Each of them were graphically awakened to even the most basic medical resources the poor nation of Uganda needs. This was when the Snyders met Rebecca and became aware of her interest in medicine. Maren was the key person responsible for getting Rebecca a student visa at NIC as an international student.
|Rebecca with a fellowship in the lab at NIC|
As a result of Rebecca's influence on campus, the International Students Club adviser suggested that the club raise funds for medical resources the Medical Team can use when they go to Uganda. This idea has caught momentum and there is hope that thousands of dollars will accompany the team. Rebecca will have responsibility and accountability for this effort and it seems apparent that she should be a member of the team. She, along with Evanlene and Shaina are the key players in the fund raising effort at the college.
|Rebecca & Shaina|
These are Rebecca's own words, in an email to her parents, regarding being a medical missionary to her own nation:
It is really crazy for me to think that God is sending me on a medical trip as missionary to my own country. How is that? I don't get it, but that's how funny God can be!
Before I shared with you the reasons why I think God wants me to be a part of the medical mission, I was already struggling with him, asking and wanting to be really be sure if it's what he wants me to do. And because you had told me that "when God guides, he provides too," I was questioning Him about where I am gonna get the money to pay for the airfare and other expenses. During that time, I decided to seek Him relentlessly so that I could hear Him. I was so desperate and I remember yelling and screaming in my mind at Him. All I wanted was to hear what he had to say. And here is what I heard him say to me, "Where is your faith? Am I not the one who brought you here? Am I not the one who provides for every need?"
From there, I knew that I was falling back on having faith in Him ... that He can and will always do immeasurably abundant things that I can ever ask for. I know He has made me a student at NIC to be part of something bigger than me. I know it is His plan that I am one of the leaders of International Students Club. And that He is using me now and the others to bring awareness to the medical needs that NGM will encounter while operating in Uganda. I know He wants to use me in bringing Jesus closer to students who don't know Him yet ... those who are already in the club and also those who will be inspired by what we are doing so far. It is the first time something like has been done at the college. So, it's not going to be the last time. I'm sure He has made me His ambassador for both Uganda and America. Therefore, I want to follow Him wherever He leads me without having any doubt, or worry how I will be able to manage this kind of responsibility.
It sounds a little crazy that this village girl went to America to study medicine and now God is sending her back to her country to be a medical missionary! ... but, it's not the first time God has done such a thing and it won't be the last. Let's see how much this girl from Africa matters to the purposes of God on this Medical Mission.