Wednesday, January 26, 2011

5 days

so, i'm 5 full days into this journey to Uganda, and I feel like I have so much to share and at the same time so little. processing a lot, so more to come. but here's 5 things I've learned so far:

1. doing PE with 25+ children ages 2 thru 7 is kinda hard but incredibly hilarious.

2. church and Bible study under the trees is pretty stinkin' incredible! makes church in a building seem weird.

3. when things don't quite work like at home, we make it work Africa a sticker over the hole in a beach ball. it worked perfectly!

4. herding goats is absolutely hilarious and is easier than i thought it would be. at least the 5 i herded back next door with my friend simona today. they came through a hole in the fence and we volunteered to help get them back home...with no idea of how to do that. somehow, we figured it out, with one of the kids watching and laughing the whole time.

5. i LOVE the kids here and loving on orphans! i cannot picture a more humbling, beautiful, precious picture of how my Jesus loves me!

here's a picture of one of my buddies here, who is coming home to nashville sometime soon (pray for his family who is waiting and his precious heart as he waits!)...this is after a day of goat herding and PE...hence, i look a little rough...but my precious friend is too cute to not share:

Friday, January 21, 2011

here i am...

I am officially in UGANDAAAAA!!!!!!!! Day 1 at Amani has been wonderful, I am in LOVE with the children here already! Cannot wait to share more, but adjustment is happening, I am so excited to get to explore Jinja and know more of this amazing country!

Thank you for prayers for safe travels, I was incredibly blessed by traveling mercies...easy flights, easy transfers, rows to myself on both of my long flights (meaning lots of sleep...or at least as much as possible with my being crazy stoked to get here), and just the best travelling imaginable. So thank you! Please keep praying for adjustment, seeing hardships and poverty here and knowing how to respond rather than be paralyzed, and Christian community! Thank you thank you for all your prayers already! They are so felt! And thank you to everyone who wrote me encouraging notes...I've read some and feel SOOO loved forward and encouraged incredibly!

love from jinja,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Into the Wild Blue Yonder...

Well, off I go! I have safely made 2/3 of my journey....Nashville to Chicago to London complete!!! I'm sititng at Heathrow, waiting for my gate assignment for my plane which will carry me to Uganda!!! Flying in over the twinkling lights of England was quite magical this morning! I LOVE London and England. Hoping I'll get to come back here for some extended time sometime in the future. Here's to hoping!

Please praise Him for sweet traveling mercies all day (including a row all to myself from Chicago to London=lots of sleep!), and pray for them to continue! Onward and upward!

love from London,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where in the world...?

Where am I going? The basics: I'm going to Uganda. Winston Chrurchill nicknamed it "the pearl of Africa" for its amazing beauty. It is in East Africa, surrounded by Kenya to the east, Sudan to the north, Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Rwanda, Tanzania, and Lake Victoria to the south...see:

More specifically...I will spend my first three months in Jinja, Uganda at Amani Baby Cottage. Jinja is on both the Nile River and Lake Victoria...aka, I will see both of those very soon!!! It is in southern Uganda. I will be spending my days volunteering at Amani Baby Cottage and hopefully connecting with a number of other ministries there!

I will then travel to Kampala, Uganda...the capital of the pearl of Africa! I will serve with Watoto Childcare Ministries at their Baby Home in Kampala, the Bulrushes. Their ministry is pretty stinkin' awesome from what I hear and see...this video conveys their heart and captures mine...

*If this video does not work, you can view it here as well

This is where I am on my way to...all glory to Him! Let me know if you have any questions or anything! The journey is about to begin...

so much love and joy to you!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Why am I going to Uganda? Or to Africa at all for that matter? The answers to that could probably fill a small book, for there are many. But some of the biggest reasons are these... is a GIFT and response—a gift from my compassionate and loving God, and a response to His great love and mercy. This opportunity to respond to the great love of my beautiful Jesus is SUCH a gift! My soul must sing! I in no way am the one giving up things..I am the one with the joyous gift of going, of responding in love to the love I have been shown! I cannot put it any better than this portion (emphasis mine) from one of my favorite books Crazy Love:

"We are always the recipient of His great and manifold gifts.
Not the givers. Never the givers. David Livingston, a missionary to
Africa during the 1800s, once said during a speech to students at
Cambridge University, 'People talk of the sacrifice I have made in
spending so much of my life in Africa.... I never made a sacrifice.
We ought not to talk of 'sacrifice' when we remember the great
sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give
Himself for us.' "

Oh what a gift. What a joy to respond! is a calling. Since high school my heart has been drawn to Africa. I have no specific moment that I "discovered" this, but a series of events that helped open my eyes to the way that engaging with Africa makes me light up. It's like very few other things I've ever encountered other than Jesus. Seriously. The way I feel when working on an Invisible Children event, or sharing about what's going on in South Africa, or learning about politics and issues in Sudan, or thinking about non profits and their impact all over Africa, or when I am in Africa LIGHTS ME UP. It is what makes sense to me. Being in Africa has been laid on my heart for almost 7 years now. That is no random act. It is, I believe, a call. As George Bernard Shaw said (also stolen from Crazy Love):

"This is true joy in life, the being used up for a purpose recognized
by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a
feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining
that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." is Biblical "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" -James 1:27

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Big questions...

I've had a lot of people asking me for awhile some questions about going to Uganda..."Where, when, how, WHY?" I want to try to answer some of those before I go/as I go, so over the next few weeks I am going to attempt that! Please let me know if you have other questions, if I don't answer something fully, or what you think! I'd love to clarify and engage more so on these issues! Thanks for reading this!