“Ministering to Our Father’s Children” is a series of articles compiling selected journal excerpts of Brother Christensen, who has travelled to many parts of the world providing charitable service to the poorest of our Heavenly Father's children, many living under the most severe of conditions. Experiences he describes [without editing] have been organized into collections that demonstrate Christ-like attributes or qualities shown by these wonderful people.
“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” (2 Nephi 32: 9)
Over the past eight years, I have travelled the world, seeking out children who have been orphaned by disaster, disease, violence or poverty. This endeavour has taken me to Haiti, the Philippines, Guyana, Japan and many parts of Africa.
Although born and raised in Canada, I have felt a need to help my young brothers and sisters wherever they might be. I have sought out those who could not help themselves and provided the blessings my Father has given me with the charge to, 'Feed my sheep'. These accounts are some of the many wonderful experiences I had through this work in Africa.
Although we all recognize and accept the admonition to share the gospel with those around us, we often have great difficulty in bringing up the subject with our friends and associates. We often determine that they are not “ready” to receive the message or we are concerned that we might offend them or compromise our relationship by bringing up the topic of religion. In effect, we are judging whether our friends should receive the blessings of the gospel in their lives and we are taking from them the right to choose for themselves. We need to pay heed to the words of the Saviour, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1)
If ever there was a situation where the likelihood of sharing the gospel was not promising, it was in this situation in Uganda. Through the experience, I learned that as we sincerely desire to share the gospel and trust in our Heavenly Father, ways will be opened up whereby the message of the restoration can be shared with all of mankind. “Ask and it shall be given you: seek and ye shall find: knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7)
It was my ﬁrst visit to Uganda and I didn’t know anybody in the country. As I exited the airport I got a taxi and explained to the driver that I was here to help children in desperate situations. I asked him where I should go. He had no idea so we just started to drive around. He then suggested that we go to the catholic monastery as he had heard that they take care of children. I thought the Catholics won’t need my help and we kept driving. After a few minutes, the Spirit was impressing me to go and visit the monastery and I relented and instructed the driver to take me to the Catholics.
They took me to the children's home where I saw these young monks truly being disciples of Christ in caring for these challenged children. When I asked why they would choose this as their life’s work, they explained that they felt that this is what the Saviour would want them to do. That made it very clear to me that I needed to help them in this precious work.
We would start our day at 6:00 and have a simple breakfast of oatmeal. After breakfast, we would load up in a truck and head for the children's home. Throughout the day, we would feed the children, hold them, wash them and give them whatever exercise we could. At about 6:00 after giving them their dinner and settling them in their beds we would return to the monastery for the evening. After a simple meal of soup and bread, the monks would retire to the cathedral for their daily instruction from the Father.
The next day was Easter Sunday which is the largest mass in the Catholic Church. The monastery and Cathedral were packed with several thousand people. The corridors gardens and even play ﬁelds were swarming with people. I wanted to witness such an event but could not get very close to the cathedral. I found a bench in an outer courtyard and sat down in my white shirt and tie. The mass started with the administration of the communion and there was a great number that desired that experience. As this was taking place one of the monks found me and said:” What are you doing here?” I conveyed that I did not want to intrude but I just wanted to see a catholic mass. He instructed me to be very quiet and to follow him. As he weaved his way toward the cathedral I was pleased realizing that I would have a much better view.