Monday, July 19, 2010

Mosquito Nets, Namasujju, Wells, A Wedding, Bugs, Squatty Potties, African Friends and Big Plans...Oh My!

(I do believe I need to work on my paraphrasing skills.)

Fact: Today at breakfast, I ate the most delicious banana I have ever tasted in all my days. Today we went to Gaba Community Church and picked up some volunteers from Gaba Youth. Martin's been with us since they got us from the airport but we went and picked up Angela, Eddie, Sylvia, Ivan, Andrew and Ms. Mary. They are hilarious and SO much fun.
We got to give out a few mosquito nets today in some of the villages after eating lunch at The Kasirey's house in Namasujju. It was delish. The people are all so lovely here and so beautiful! The kids are just SO precious!
There was a pretty big rainstorm and the roads became super muddy. We decided to walk the rest of the way to see the next well site. {Red dirt roads become Slip'N'Slide's after rain storms.} It's so exciting to see a little plot of ground that will bring forth life to so many people soon. I can hardly wait for them to have it.
Sadly, as we were walking to the well site, there were about three thousand and five flying ants buzzing around us at any given moment. In the hair, mouth, nose; everywhere. It. Was. Not-so-Awesome. The blondes on the team had the lovely advantage of visibility of the said bugs in hair. I love my brown hair when it comes to bug infestations. If I have ants in my hair, you can't even see them. ha! Also, if you run backwards with a scarf on your face, you can hardly tell that you are surrounded by bugs and they stay out of your mouth. But try not to run if it has just rained. Slip'N'Slide roads are not ideal for running.
We were going to distribute some more nets while we were out except there were no people around. Everyone was gone. Where were they? At a wedding! What did we become? Ugandan Wedding Crashers! It was the most exciting walk on a slippery orange road ever in my whole life. We showed up and the kids were laughing and yelling and so excited. Some of the older village men invited us to come speak. Matt got to share with them about the Well Dedication being held tomorrow at the Kasirey's house where we will be distributing more nets. We left enough with the village chief to distribute to the widows who would not be able to make the long walk to Namasujju tomorrow.
On the walk to the wedding today though,{the slippery one.} Matt began to tell me about the internship coming up next year. I am SO excited about it and can't wait to email home to mom and dad about it. Haha. How ironic. I've been praying for You to make your next steps clear for me Lord and You present this as I'm sliding and slipping and nearly dying all over a road. You direct my paths, even when they seem slippery to me. You hold my hand and you see every bump on the path. You are faithful to see me through! I'm so excited to see You continue to lead me where you will have me serve. Your will is the only place for me to be.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Uganda, May 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th (2010)

A Few Journal Excerpts:

“On the plane from Atlanta to London. About 5ish hours away still. Right now there is a simply beautiful lightning storm below us. BEAUTIFUL. It’s amazing how from underneath the storm clouds, everything seems so threatening. From above, it’s so small, you can’t even hear its noise. It’s just a beautiful masterpiece. Ephesians 2:4 “But God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” We can see all things with a higher perspective because of Christ giving us new life and new eyes. Thank you Jesus. Give me your eyes to see what you would have me see in all things.”
Facts about London:
Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way…that’s about it.
We walked all around town today. We saw Big Ben, West Minster Abbey, and we went on the Eye of London. We ate some fish and chips at a precious little pub and then headed back to the airport on the tube. The architecture there is beautiful. Overall, a pretty great day trip with the brother and some new friends. :) Found a shower in the airport and I feel cleaner than I think I’ve ever felt in my whole life. It must be psychological but it’s still amazing. We’re now on the flight to Kenya where we will have a 6 hour layover and then a 1 ½ hour flight to UGANDA!!! I cannot wait! Thank you Lord for these opportunities.
Crazy eyes on the London Eye. P.S. That chocolate that I bought in London was the wisest investment I think I ever made.
Flight to Kenya is slightly delayed because of foxes on the runway. Our lovely pilot said so kindly in his African accent “It will be about five minutes until we leave because they are trying to chase off some foxes.”
5-28-10 Kenya Layover = extremely long and not very exciting.
Except for a miracle.
I went to exchange some money to pay for my visa for once we get to Uganda. I was searching my chaotic backpack (that I’ve been living out of for three days now) for my wallet and began attempting to reorganize it. Sadly, it was a failed attempt at reorganizing. I ended up putting my passport organizer on the money exchange counter and LEFT IT THERE. Epic lame move of the year. I had gone to the bathroom and an extremely honest man, who must have loved Jesus, found my brother and asked where I was. He was like “Umm, Whyyyy?” The man had seen us together and figured my passport would be safe with him. I had over $100, my passport, and my atm card in there. Luckily I had copies of my passport but you can’t exactly make copies of cash money. The Lord is a miracle worker for certain.
Who knows what date it really was...
Finally in Uganda! It’s breathtakingly beautiful. We went and got settled into our guest house, drove around the city a bit and went to the grocery store.
I had forgotten how heartbreaking it is to see babies begging in the street. There were multiple children begging tonight but one in particular ripped my heart in half. She must have been about 2 or 3 years old. My sisters’ ages. She was absolutely precious. Most people’s little girls at her age would probably be at ballet class right now in a pink tutu instead of in a street begging for money in shredded rags. Some things I don’t think I’ll ever understand. And I’m sure God can’t stand those things. She eyed us from the median and dodged two lanes of fast moving cars to get to our bus. Her little eyes didn’t even glance at the cars that were grazing her small body; I doubt anyone has ever taught her to look both ways before crossing. She came up to our window and reached up her little hands to our half open windows. It was all I could do to keep from sobbing or snatching her up to come with us. God, you know how many curly little hairs are on her sweet head and I just beg that you would protect her from harm and show her just how valuable she is to you. I thank you for allowing me to hurt for what hurts you. Move me to action and please don’t ever let me stop. Thank you for bringing beauty up out of ashes. Thank you for using what the enemy means for evil for good.
We also visited a mosque tonight. I hurt so badly for these people that have set their whole lives around something they believe to be truth. They are lacking joy and you can just see the worry all over each of their faces. My heart breaks for them and I pray that their eyes will be opened and that the good news of the freedom in Christ will reach their ears and hearts!
So, I just woke up in the complete dark to the sound of a Muslim prayer on a loud speaker and I’m soaking wet. (Hahaha. Oh where to begin explaining...) 1. Muslim prayer on loud speaker. I was heartbroken for them last night. This morning I’m even more heartbroken. That poor man is in such bondage that he has to wake up every morning before the crack’o’dawn and sing on a loud speaker. (some mornings the man was more talented than other mornings.) 2. It took me a while to figure out what in tar-nation has happened to make me soaking wet. Turns out, I fell asleep on my half opened, nearly full water bottle and it is now still half opened but only has a few drops left in it. I managed to lay on it and squeeze all the water all over me. I was terrified that I had somehow been in such a deep sleep that I had gone and peed myself. Praise you Jesus.
P.S. African soda is like, ten thousand times better than American soda. As in: I hate soda at home and love it here. We ought to use cane sugar in our soda. For. Reals. We also need to start importing Stoney…now that is what I’m talkin’ about. It’s a ginger root soda that is muy delicioso. And...Yes, sometimes I do praise Jesus in my journal for allowing me to not pee myself in a foreign bed in a foreign land.
More stories coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Uganda. Numero Uno.

The Lord laid Uganda on my heart about two years ago. I began praying that the Lord would take me there someday and allow me to serve the Ugandan people.

I had no idea then what Uganda looked like, where it was on a map or how incredible it’s people actually are.
May 28th, 2010 My brother and I along with 16 others from our group arrived at Entebbe International airport in Kampala, Uganda after 20 plus hours of travel. Most people would have arrived feeling grungy and gross after such a long time sitting in airports and on planes and traipsing about London. Not me. Was it because I was just so excited to be in Uganda? No, not really. My friend and I tracked down a shower in the Kenyan airport and with a three ounce bottle of shampoo, a few paper towels and hand dryers, we managed to become the best smelling people on our team.
As our plane was descending, you could see lush green trees everywhere and even a few monkeys in palm trees. It was surreal. There were men on Boda-boda’s, or motor bikes, driving down orange dirt roads with bananas strapped on the backs. It was the most beautiful place I’d ever flown into. I couldn’t wait to get off the plane.
Finally, we made it through customs, found our bags, and met up with our in-country hosts. They were so warm and loving and excited to see us. They weren’t the only things that were warm though. We stepped out from the airport and slammed into a wall of African heat. It felt just like summertime in North Carolina…Hot.
We piled into a greyhound type bus with Chinese lettering all over it and began our adventures in Uganda. Along the road to Kampala, there are banana trees, little mud houses and small children running around. Colorful clotheslines that go beautifully with the green trees, orange roads and houses. Men are outside making furniture to sell and people are napping under trees. My full blown excitement to be in this place that I had prayed for so long was just about bursting forth.
Soon I would see the true beauty of this place. I would see a living picture of the true beauty of Christ. It is truly like light shining out of the darkness. The beauty of Christ is among these people despite their circumstances. Despite Malaria, HIV, poverty and the scars of war, Christ is visibly working in lives and people are truly living. Soon I would see just how much God means it when He says He can bring beauty up out of the ashes of our lives when we allow Him to work. The Lord would use Uganda to shake my soul yet again and change me forever.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where to begin...

Hey Blogger Friends, I'm sorry it's been ten thousand years since I've posted. This has quite possibly been the busiest, craziest summer of my life.I'm going to give a brief overview of the past 2 months which I will elaborate on later.

  • Uganda is amazing and beautiful and you see God's hand just about everywhere. He is moving there in a tremendous way. The people are amazing and I have fallen head over heels in love with them and hope to work with ministry in Uganda extremely long term.
  • I will be moving to Tennessee in January for a one year internship with Safeworld Nexus. We will be working on a campaign to help eradicate deaths caused by Malaria in the region of Uganda that we worked in in May through mosquito nets and medication. We will also be working on some long term orphan care projects in the same region as well that I am overjoyed to be able to work on. The Lord is opening some pretty amazing doors and I'm excited to walk through them!
  • Solomon is home!!! He has been home for almost three weeks now! We are excited that he is finally here with our family. Everything is new!
  • Solomon and I spent a week in Tennessee at Precept Ministries Boot Camp studying 2 Timothy and had a spectacular time. I think it was a good introduction to school for Solomon!
  • I've been working various camps this summer that the Littles have gone to. It's been super fun but I'm pretty ready to just take care of five kids for a little while! :) We're off to the boys' track meet now....hopefully I'll get to posting more about Uganda soon. I can't wait for you all to hear the stories and see the pictures!