Lillian Kalemera

For this week's message we are doing a video piece about generosity and giving. I wrote part of the script for this piece about a close friend and hero of mine. 

I thought that I would post this portion of the script on my blog for several reasons. Lillian is very dear to my heart, and what is below I have voiced to many people in the past month or so, but have never been able so say it quite so clearly or concisely. Also, her life was about impacting people with the love of Jesus. There were often times when I thought that her face literally glowed with the very love of Jesus. So I pray that this short recounting of her story will impact you in such a way, that you too will give your life away. And in giving your life away, that you may truly find it.

Have you ever
met someone who was so selfless it changed your entire perspective on the

When I was 17, I
had the opportunity spending several months in Uganda, Africa working with some
locals who ministered to the poor, the downtrodden, the widows, orphans and
aids victims.

In a country
where there is so much need, the work is never done. And it was there that I
met a woman who forever altered my perspective.

Lilian Kalemera,
a Ugandan national, worked with Arise Africa. In the past few years, her heart
has been drawn more and more to thousands upon thousands of orphans that walk
the streets and dusty paths of Uganda.

Lilian has been
in bad health for many years. Many of her American friends have offered to
bring her to the states so that Doctors could properly care for her needs. But
most often she refused stating that she had too much work to do in Uganda. Who
would care for these women and children if she left?

This past
August, I had the opportunity of spending some time with her again. She was as gracious
and loving as always, but I could tell she was not in good health. One morning
I asked her “Lilian, how are you feeling?” Her reply was “God is good.” To
which I responded, Lilian, I know God is good, but how are you feeling. She
said, “What does it matter, how I feel if God is good?” I asked her, Lillian,
what can I do for you? She asked me to pray that God would allow her to build a
playground for the orphans so that just once a week they could forget the pain
in their lives and just be normal children.

On Sunday, September 7th 2008, Lillian went home to be with Jesus. In very literal sense, she had lost her life for the sake of the Gospel. But in the end she gained an eternal prize, and she heard those words I long to hear: "Welcome home, my good and faithful servant."