Saturday, April 21, 2012


When Watoto Children's choir is mentioned, very many people the world over will recognize them. This includes former US President George W. Bush, as well as her Majesty the Queen of England (Who is looking forward to meeting them again this May 2012). Sometimes, the visionaries behind this facet of their vision seldom have their story told. You might remember that some months back I wrote on this blog about a thorough and sobering production that the kids did depicting the LRA war in the Northern Uganda. This production is more impactful than what is doing rounds on the Internet these days about Joseph Kony, seeing that the actors were mostly former Child Soldiers in the LRA.

On Resurrection Sunday April 2012, I attended Watoto Church service, where Marilyn Skinner, wife to Gary Mark Skinner gave a sneak preview of how it was in the formative years of their missionary work to Uganda. I was enormously moved when she gave an account of the civil war in Uganda at the time that herself, husband and kids had moved to Uganda in pursuit of a Vision of 'raising and English Speaking church in down-town Kampala'. Those were tough days when goons would systematically target houses, rape women, kill men, and take everything in their house including light bulbs and sockets! One day, Gary was off to Canada, and these goons came by for Marilyn. According to Marilyn, the goons tried for more than three hours to break through a wooden door but failed. Now that speaks of God's protection, albeit not in a spectacular format to the casual observer.

The most touching thing about this story is this. That Marilyn had just about had it! She was ready to give her husband a piece of her mind when he came back! Not only that, she was done...she thought of going back to Canada and abandoning the whole thing altogether. In a split second of decision making, there would be no Watoto Church. There would be no Children's choir. There would be no Restore Tour. There would be no Watoto Church in Gulu (Northern Uganda), or in Juba. There would be no presence of Watoto church in South Africa.

The crux of this post is that these visionaries have not always had it straight. They have had a fair share of setbacks. We need to learn from them and understand that it is OK to fail. It is OK to accept failure. One of the reason as to why many people do not attempt great things is because we fear to fail. I have come to learn that as long as we are in this world, we will experience setbacks. No one is immune. God himself has experienced set backs...major ones at that. He has experienced setbacks with Adam and Eve, with Abraham, with King Saul, and with King David. He has experienced several setbacks with Lawrence Namale...and in all that, God has been relentless in believing in humanity.

Watoto Church had/has a vision to have its presence in South Africa...and in earnest, set out to partner with a church there. That was about a year was only after six months that the visionary Gary Skinner decided to pull out 'instead of staying there and fighting; a fight which we I could have won'. In life, there are times to accept a drawback. There are times to accept a retracement, or even a complete reversal. The main thing they say, is to keep the main thing the main thing. That even in the wake of a retracement, we maintain our focus on the big picture.

Friend, in life you and I will face situations that are not necessarily encouraging. Our calling at those moments is never to let those 'failures' or 'drawbacks' define who we really are: Visionaries of Life Signatures. Failure is a learning is temporary. When it shows up as it surely will to all the best of us, accept it, hug it if possible, learn from it and move on stronger, better and more relentless to the passion that lies deep inside of you. Have a relentless week, wont you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disqus for Life Signatures

What are your thoughts on this?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...