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  • Alex Ann Hicks

NorthStar Values Overseas - Cora's Reflections on Her Experience in Uganda

In early June, staff member Cora Crump had the opportunity to serve through soccer beyond the youth in the local Birmingham communities, but to adults and children overseas in Uganda. Her team used NorthStar's core values: responsible, resilient, and reverent at the center of their conversations and intentions with those they engaged with throughout their stay.

Below, Cora reflects on her experience and highlights how NorthStar had part in preparing and equipping her for this adventure.

"During my trip to Uganda, the Lord equipped me for overseas ministry in diverse ways—some through skills I’ve developed with NorthStar, and others through unexpected avenues. One significant manner in which I felt the Lord working through me during this camp was simply by being present and allowing the Spirit to guide my actions. I often felt my role was more passive.

Early in the soccer camp, I noticed a group of young women playing and asked if I could join them. Little did I realize, this small gesture made a lasting impact on several of the girls I came to know throughout the week. Additionally, I spent significant time with the younger children who unexpectedly joined the camp which was originally intended for men aged 16-30. This was especially exciting for me because my experience with NorthStar has primarily been with this younger age group, and I felt better equipped to engage with them.

Playing soccer with these men, women, and children and sharing whatever knowledge I could was a blessing. Despite not being the most skilled player or the most knowledgeable coach on the field, the Lord still used me in meaningful ways. I had the opportunity to connect deeply with young African women. I listened to their stories, we shared our struggles, and discussed the similarities and differences between African and American culture. Our team actively used NorthStar's values to guide conversations and encourage Christ-like behavior during our soccer sessions. Through this, we even got to witness three men give their lives to Christ.

Stepping outside the comforts of Western culture allowed me to immerse myself in Uganda's rich and beautiful culture. I encountered some of the kindest and most caring people I have ever met, and despite language barriers, we connected and learned from each other. I believe this embodies the essence of our work with NorthStar—being present, rooted in the communities we serve, walking alongside one another, teaching one another about Christ, and witnessing the Spirit's transformative power within our local communities." - Cora Crump

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