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...
...it 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!
...it 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."
...it 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