Africa. I can’t really explain to you the reasoning behind my overwhelming passion for this place, but its where my heart has always pounded so loudly for me to go and love on the people there. Seriously, if you know me, its all I talk about. Ever since I was a little girl, this was the destination and the people laid on my heart, waiting for the right timing to venture over, never actually feeling like it could happen. But… IT HAPPENED PEOPLE! I went to Africa! Holy smokes, it still doesn’t seem real. My life dream, actually happened! How cool is it to say that?
I had the unbelievable privilege, with the support of so many friends and family, to travel and spend 14 days in Uganda, or heaven on earth, if thats what you prefer to call it. 14 days to experience complete F U L F I L L M E N T. 14 days to indulge in an all-consuming joy, and overwhelming bliss. 14 days to tangibly watch God change my life and my heart and my entire soul. But it took only 1 day, 1 step, into this country, to fall in love with this place, and these people. Everything here is lush, and lovely. Beautifully grown and made. Full of beaming happiness, appreciated sweat and hard work. Oh… and lots of freaking mosquitos… LOTS!
Before leaving on this trip, I had this reoccurring conversation with God. I asked him to completely break my heart, and rebuild it with all of the right pieces. I asked if he would completely rid me of myself, and do away with the things that had been consuming me. To use me in whatever way he saw fit. To love people, and impact their lives. To just have me see things threw his eyes, and break down these massive walls I had created for myself, that were keeping me at such a distance from him. To give me that purpose I have been so desperately searching for. That maybe, just maybe this trip would give me the answers, out of the darkness I had been so lost in.
That prayer my friends was answered, but in the most unexpected way. My world was completely turned upside down. I may have been used to make somewhat of an impact in Uganda, but God was using these people and this place to restore me and my soul. My broken soul. Every experience that I had here, were Gods building blocks. Teaching me patience, in holding a medical camp, and having a community wait from 8am to 7pm in the scorching sun, just to be seen by a doctor in the unknown if they could be helped or not. Showing me P U R E humility, in a family spending an entire day preparing for us to come into their home and feed our group, and shower us with love, when thats what we were there to do for them. That experience stopped me in my tracks, and I couldn’t help but flood with tears, because that generosity was truly overwhelming. I was taught sincere thankfulness and appreciation in taking a basic sized birthday cake, and cutting it into crumb sized pieces just so that every student could have a small share. Boy did that tiny crumb of cake make their day. I was taught to embrace T R U E love when the children of the church came running to welcome us with hugs and a helping hand out of the bus on Sunday morning. There was no care in the world about what baggage and weights of the world we were carrying with us. He was teaching me to find joy in the simple things, like singing worship in the middle of a hot living room for hours, with people that you barely know, but make you feel like family. At that very moment, I had never felt joy like that. Never have I have ever felt so full. He gave me a vision of what true faith should look like, when a father that had two babies suffering from Malaria, made his way to church to ask for prayer because he knew God would take care of it. You look at your faith differently, when faith is ALL you have. Man oh man do I want that! These building blocks gave me all my answers. They gave me purpose to live my life fully, and to LOVE radically.
Going into an experience like this, you don’t get a book the entails what to expect, or the moments you will have that tell you how your life is going to be impacted for all of your days, or the things you will learn. Things that in all 20 years of living, I haven’t learned, but grasped in 1 moment here. Your perspective changes, your heart changes, and I could not be more thankful for it.
May we love like this, laugh and find joy in the simplicity like this, and be content in the nothingness because we have everything in the non tangible things. Things that give us life. May we disregard the fear we have of being bold in our faith, and embracing one another because that is living. Africa was living. I can’t tell you that it is all easy, because its not. It is the hardest thing you will probably battle, to find this kind of peace. Believe me when I tell you adjusting back into the everyday life here in America is more difficult than I could have ever expected. But, it is simple. It is simple to strive for this kind of happiness. I hope you my sweet friends, got to taste a little of what Ive found here, and that you will find it for yourself.
So many thanks to the people that put their faith in me and supported me to Pursue a dream here. See you soon my Ugandan Family. Miss you already.