Greetings from Uganda! We have had power for a bit today, so I’m hoping that it will last until I’m done filling you all in on some of the craziness out here. First off, GOD IS GOOD. No one has gotten sick and despite being tired and a bit overwhelmed by everything that we have been doing and seeing, we are all doing really well. I didn’t realize how incredibly blessed I was to be in this beautiful country with these 9 other people. In the course of a couple of days, I have grown to love them and trust them with my life. I am really sad to even think about the fact that I will not be with them for much longer.. so I’m just not going to think about that. I wish I could upload some photos, our wonderful roommate who was already here is allowing me to borrow her laptop, so I obviously don’t have any photos on here for you. Shannon and I are sharing a room with this girl, her name is Christine.
There is so much joy in this house. We have conquered some pretty intense things together and legitimately seen the power of God at work. It’s funny. I was very curious about why I felt so strongly about coming to Africa, since I never really thought that I had a heart for this place, but I’m beginning to think that I see why I’m here. I have fallen in love with this country and its people. There is one girl in particular who captured my heart from the beginning. She has the most beautiful braids with green beads at the ends. Her name is Peace. The first time I saw her, she walked right up to me and took my hand. She’s a very quiet little girl, but she just looked up at me and smiled. We continued to have a mutual agreement that we liked each other and sometimes we would just stand holding hands and she would look up at me and I would look down at her and we would just smile and sometimes even giggle at each other. I was captivated by her smile and her joy, but I also began to notice that she favours her right hand and has a limp. One day Jimmy, our contact, came up and showed me her burns. They cover her upper thighs and stomach and back. He told me that she had been playing with another kid who had matches. He accidentally lit her clothes on fire and since they don’t have fire education out here, she didn’t know “stop, drop and roll”. Instead, she walked all the way home to get help. By the time she arrived at home, her clothes had melted into her skin. She spent 4 months in the hospital and has only recently been released. Her story blew me away because no one would be able to tell that this girl still lives in excruciating pain. She doesn’t complain. She has the best attitude and tries to be involved in everything with the other children. I was blown away by the truth in her name. She is full of Peace. She is so incredibly beautiful and I love her to the brim. (probably overflowing, to be honest)
We were able to deliver lights today. It’s so incredible to see what a difference these lights make for families. Today one of the families was living in a cement building with no windows. The women are sick with diabetes and cancer and are unable to gather together the money to buy kerosene, despite its terrible affect on their health. We turned on the light that we gave them and the entire room just lit up and they were so excited. The main mother in the home actually gave a couple fist pumps. I feels to blessed to see how these lights are changing people’s lives. Like how unworthy am I to be here and get to see this first hand? I am so thankful. So extremely grateful. Thank you to everyone who helped me get here both by supporting me financially and by praying for us. We have NEEDED those prayers more than I can say.
I don’t know what else to share. There is just so much to say. There are so many things to ponder and reflect upon, and there are so many feelings I have yet to express or even to be realized. I am so glad that I am here. I want you all to know that we are safe and thriving over here. Things are amazing, and we are all incredibly blown away by the hospitality, love and blessings that we experience daily out here.
I felt like I should try memorizing Ephesians while on this trip, so I thought it very fitting to end this with a verse that I memorized today.
“For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us in advance to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Love you all!
ps. they gave us African names and I thought I should share mine with you. They named me Lakeesha which means “full of mercy and kindness”….. I know what you’re all thinking. It’s pretty awesome, eh?