Saturday, October 19, 2013


We spent Sunday morning worshipping as a team, engaging in some beautiful praise led by one of my roommates, Jenna, and then sitting at the table to eat from the Word as taught by Alistair Begg.  We are listening to a sermon series about Abraham from Begg called “Venturing in Faith.”  Check it out if you have the chance, the first sermon is rich!

Begg starts this series by talking abut Abram’s background—not something we often look at with Abram, but something we all wonder about with one another.  Where have you come from? What are my roots?  Our backgrounds influence our behavior, our stories, and our lives.  They matter.  Yet I have never spent much time looking at Abram’s background, so I really appreciated Begg’s message.  The main crux of his teaching in this was that God can use anyone, the most ordinary, the most flawed—our backgrounds do not determine whether or not He can use us.  He’s the one who makes that call. 

In the midst of talking about backgrounds, an idea Begg taught about really struck me.  He asked, “Have you come to the point where you’ve asked God “What do you want me to do?”  Where you’ve stopped telling God what plans you have, or making plans and asking for His blessing, but truly laid all that down and said, not my plans but yours.  Begg states, “When Abram asked this, his answer was “Get up and leave all of your security, everything that represents security to you—and go.”.”  He didn’t say where.  He didn’t say for how long. He said leave it all, and go.  That’s what I want you to do Abram.  And Abram followed this call into the unknown, following the One who Knows, the One who is trustworthy and worth it all. 

On some days here, I wrestle with longing for all I’ve left behind—family, friends, a church home, community, wonderful Nashville, secure jobs, {relative} safety and peace, ministry, the known of day to day life.  In the settling in, learning language, meeting people, building relationship, all of it new, I wrestle with wanting to trade all this unknown back in, and get back some familiar.  Maybe even just some bits and pieces? 

Yet God meets me in it and He sets before me Abram’s example.  He sets before me the example of Scott and Jennifer Myhre who are celebrating their 20th anniversary of serving in East Africa, with the majority of those years spent here in Bundibugyo.  He sets before me dear friends who have lived in this country for years laying their lives down for His name’s sake.  He reminds me that this unknown, it is for His glory and renown.  It was never in the deal that it would be easy or familiar.  What was and is promised is that laying my life down is where I truly find life.  Giving my life away is where I will find joy.  Loosing the chains of captives and bringing light in the darkness is where I will find Him and where His banner will be raised high.  And every step, every moment, is worth it.  And I am so thankful His grace is enough to carry me on the days I forget these examples and His promises, and His grace call me back to His purposes and plans for me and this place—glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.  Loving the one He puts before me and pouring myself out for the sake of His name.

In the words of the old hymn, He’s asking me to “venture on Him, venture wholly, let no other trust intrude.”  This is my prayer and hope, that my trust would rest secure in Him, and that in the unfamiliar, His presence would continue to lead and guide me.  I’m full of trepidation mixed with anticipation in this new venturing, wonder mixed with some fear.  And in it all, I feel on the brink of great and glorious things, if I venture out to engage them and find Him.

As Begg concluded, “God used Abram’s leaving the best society can offer, the most advanced city and people of the time*—he turned his back on all this represented and turned forward to all He had to offer.”  As Abram turned to follow God into the unknown, he proclaimed to his generation and all to come:

“I’m heading for a city whose builder and maker is God.”

Amen and amen.  I’m following your lead father Abraham.  Unto that redeemed city will I run, and on behalf of this city will I work for shalom and restoration.   Even in the unknown, I know Whom has called me and where we’re headed.  Today, I’m venturing on Him from Bundibugyo. 

*check out some history, Ur of the Chaldeans was pretty legit…they even had central plumbing y’all!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

arrival and settling

I’ve been back in Africa for close to a month now, and it feels like only days!  I got to spend the first week here in Jinja, my old stomping grounds, soaking in time with friends, seeing my foster baby and precious ones I love at Ekisa, and being in a place that I know, that is like home, that is easy and good and comfortable. It helped ease back into Africa life.

 sweet baby loves at Ekisa

reunion/sendoff dinner with many of my dear Jinja friends

In some ways, it definitely made it harder to say another round of goodbyes to friends there after all the goodbyes from America, but it was also such a time of encouragement and blessing and sending out from this community of brothers and sisters.  It was a sending out with deep encouragements from them for leaving the comfortable and known and choosing the unknown, the risky, the far-flung.

In early August I met my team in Kampala (the capital) and spent a few days there getting groceries, going to an English-speaking church (Watoto, which I LOVE), and spending some time getting to know my team.  The team who is here now is comprised of people I had not yet met, and whom I had been praying for good connections and community early-on between us. The Lord richly answered those prayers, even from the outset with sweet conversations and connections! I am thrilled to be here with these current teammates, they’re the bomb!  They are deeply rooted in the Word and the Lord, and they are working for the Kingdom, each in their own ways.  I am blessed to know them and serve alongside them here.

The drive out here was long and!  So green, full of little villages and people all along the road, going who knows where, carrying all kinds of things on their heads, their backs, their bodas, or their cars. Men standing on top of cows in the backs of trucks, women and children carrying jerry cans of water, school children on the way home, and so much life happening outside our windows.

driving through the green-ness

Then we got to Fort Portal, the closest larger town, and had a little breather in the clean mountain air. Then, onto Bundibugyo, toward the mountains!  Oh how beautiful they are! So high, so green, so different than anything I've ever seen in Uganda. The clouds are so close you feel like you can touch them, the road so curvy you feel like you might find the cliff edge around the next turn.  The mountains spoke deep to my heart of His majesty and creative heart and mind.  They are magnificent!  

early view of the glorious Rwenzori Mountains

We drove around the top edge of the mountains, then cut back down toward Bundibugyo town and then toward our homes.  I was stunned by the drive. It's breathtaking and awesome.  It is His handiwork on display.  And I get to live at the foot of these mountains and see His glory day by day. 

daily view...this doesn't even begin to do it justice

These last few weeks here I have been seeing the town with Ann, who is my mentor for the time here and also does new team member orientation.  I’ve been to market, we've been around visiting friends of hers, beginning to learn the language, seeing town, getting to see Christ School where I'll be focusing (SO exciting), and doing some orientation for the bundi life! I have begun making some friends here, and for that I am very thankful!  Two girls, Edith and Ida, are becoming sweet friends. They took me touring around town and to their homes yesterday, and we have plans for getting together this weekend as well.  Thankful for relationships happening already!

It's been fun, exciting, tiring, good, full, and just much.  There are moments I can't believe I'm here, that this has actually happened and all come together and this is my home for two years.  And then there are moments I feel totally inept and ill-equipped for learning a new language, building a whole new community and life, and living out the gospel before those I meet. So thankful that He is faithful to meet me in each of these and be truth and life and joy and peace, equipping me for what He has asked for today, for this moment, and asking me to trust Him with the rest.  It is in this that I keep walking, knowing He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that He has given me manna to feed upon for today, and that is enough.

More to come on Bundi life, what I’m learning, and all kinds of fun…stay tuned

Friday, June 14, 2013

what am I DO-ing?

 As I get ready for this journey to Uganda, I thought I’d fill you in on a little of what I’m up to!


Finding Calcutta by Mary Poplin was written after the author spent two months in Calcutta serving with Mother Teresa. It is about her time there and also about how she applied what she learned to her life moving forward. It is about finding her own Calcutta and investing love and Christ there, every day, in each person she meets.  It is wonderful!

The Peacemaker by Ken Sande is assigned reading from World Harvest and I
am loving it! It speaks biblical truth to conflict, resolution, and is all about grace and truth and love…really, it’s about Christ and what light the gospel brings to
conflict. And that, my friends, is beautiful.

Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers is a compilation of the beautiful stories of the five women mentioned in the lineage of Christ.  Rivers paints these women’s lives into reality and speaks truth throughout each of them

eating: all kinds of good American food I can get my hands on : ) Chickfila, Zoe's, Burger Up, good coffee, strawberries and peaches and all kinds of delicious fresh fruit

working: babysitting and spending a few more days as part of the Frothy Monkey family down in Franklin! I am having such fun working at a coffeehouse, something I've wanted to do for quite some time!  So fun to get to be a part of a wonderful company in this season! 

listening:  to lots of country because it just sounds like summer. You feel me on that? Check out Parmalee's song Carolina. So fun. Put your country on and roll the windows down, summertime.  And also a lot of Kari Jobe and Matt Redman who speak truth to my heart through song.  Got them on repeat.

learning: I am going through Sonship with World Harvest and I am learning about how I am such a big sinner and Christ’s work on my behalf is SO amazing, full of so much grace and love….I am learning this freshly and much more deeply.  As John Newton said, “Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”  Just learning that. Over and over. And over again. Thankful for the cross and for grace.

praying: that the Lord will use these next 6 weeks to prepare my heart and soul well. That I will have time to spend with those I love in these last few weeks.  That all my packing and to-do’s will get done and not make me {or those around me} too crazy : )

traveling: to the lake to hang with some of my team while we're in the States...then Canada for pre-field training...Philly for my deployment meeting...Florida for Crane family vacation...then.....UGANDA!

watching: I’ve gotten hooked on Call the Midwife thanks to my mom.  It’s a beautiful narrative of so many lives, of birth and death and all that’s in between. It’s about life and people and full of good stories…good stuff.

enjoying: time with my family and friends at the lake and time with friends and family in Nashville as much as I can...

sweet friends here for Summit IX

Lion King with Mom and Emily (thanks daddy!)

Austin's graduation party

anticipating: the big move to Bundibugyo, my new community that comes with it, my stop in Jinja on the way, and my first trip to Canada!  SO much to anticipate!  Adventures ahead.

Thanks for being a part of this journey with me!  I am working on getting into this blogging business on a regular basis!  Let me know what questions you may have or what you’d like me to write about : )

Friday, February 15, 2013

I'm Going Back!

The rumors are true...I’m returning to Uganda!  I know many of you may know this already, for those who haven’t, here’s a little bit of an update! More regular blogging to commence

I have felt the Lord leading my heart to Uganda for years, and spending 2011 there really confirmed my love for the people of Uganda and the Lord’s work there.  Alongside my love for that place, the Lord has exploded my awareness and love for orphans and vulnerable children. He has done so through my dear friends at 147 Million Orphans, through my time spent at 3 different orphanages in Uganda, and through watching many dear friends bring children home to their forever families and care for vulnerable children worldwide.  What a joy and privilege to be a part of and witness so much of God’s heart for the orphan, the Father to the fatherless, shown through the hands and feet and lives being given away around me! It is a delight!

Through all of this, I have found that the marriage of Uganda and caring for orphans and vulnerable children absolutely LIGHTS. MY. HEART. UP. 

From here, with my feet planted in the US, a large chunk of my heart and time have been spent advocating for that place and these ones I love. And my prayers have been that the Lord would show me if He would have me continue to care from here, or do so in-country, day to day, life on life.  The answer? It’s time to go and hop in, life-on-life. To be the hands and feet of Christ. To be stretched and grown and challenged in new ways, in a new place, for the glory of God and the delight of my heart!

I’ll be joining World Harvest Mission’s team in Bundibugyo, Uganda for a two-year commitment as an apprentice and the program assistant for their Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Scholarship Program at Christ School Bundibugyo.  As an apprentice, I am stepping out to say I believe the Lord is calling me to serve missionally and cross-culturally long-term and I want to learn to do this well from people who have gone before me and be grown in my love for the gospel and the Kingdom.  With the OVC Program, I will be a part of overseeing and engaging the spiritual and academic growth of the students in the program as well as leading the communications from Uganda to the US about the program.  

So basically, I get to love on orphans and vulnerable children every day, advocate on their behalf with my feet and life planted in Uganda, and learn what missions long term looks like from some wiser folks than me.....WIN!

I will be supervised by Michael Stevens, who also works at the school, and mentored by Ann Kieser, a fellow teammate.  I will join a team led by my old babysitter and her husband, Travis and Amy {Lang} Johnson.  I will be on a team alongside many others laying down their lives for the Kingdom in the areas of water, medicine, nutrition, education, discipleship, and more...all with the hopes of making disciples and glorifying God.  I am thrilled, honored, humbled, and full of anticiaption as I journey toward Bundibugyo. 

I would love to invite you to be a part of my journey back! I need both financial support as well as prayer, and I welcome it all! My goal date to leave is May 2013...soon!  If you would like more information on how you can join my support team, please email me at sarahkcrane {at} gmail {dot} com. I'd be happy to mail/email you info, just let me know!  You’re also welcome to go straight to my page on WHM’s website here

For some creative support, you can check out the beautiful printables my friend Mandie Joy made {she has made some of my favorite verses and quotes into beautiful things for your home and heart!} and the hair ties I’ve been selling.

I am excited to tell you more about this place, the reasons I am going back, and my journey of support raising and all in the coming weeks and months. For now, I wanted to just get the news out and shout it: 

Uganda here I come!!!! Woohooo!!!!!!