Here I am sitting in Uganda, Africa. I feel that I am home. I can truly say that at this point. Sure I miss America. Mostly I miss the people involved in my life there. Sometimes (okay…quite often) I dream of one of my mom’s home cooked meals. I miss receiving a weekly paycheck so that I don’t have to feel guilty about spending money. But what I miss most is the moments that I am missing. The memories that never were and never will be because I am not there. Such as RCM 2011, hurricanes at the beach, my best friend Madeleine growing up, game nights, family trips to the cabin, and so much more. When Ugandan friends ask me what I am thinking about (which is all the time) it is typically this. It is how different my life would be right now if I were not here. BUT I am here. I am enjoying a world of moments that so many will never take the opportunity to make. I am making friends that I know will last a lifetime. Through God in my life I am impacting the lives of many as they impact mine.
I sit here alone in my room watching the storm outside my window listening to worship music and reflecting. These (almost) three months have changed me. I feel like I am a stronger person. A person willing and able to stand up for what I believe is right. A person who understands more and more how much culture impacts who you are and how experiencing another can make you stop and think about what you have thought all your life is right because of what your culture tells you is right. And then when you are in another who thinks differently…are you wrong? Or are they? OR are you both wrong?
I often reflect on ‘why am I here?’ Am I really doing anything? Am I making a difference? Is this all worth my time and your money? I still have a peace that I am where God wants me to be. I don’t want to doubt him anymore. I want faith that can move the mountains. Maybe I am not here to move mountains, but overcome a lot of hills. These past few weeks there have been a lot of these ‘hills’. It’s been challenging not having that ONE organization to fit with here anymore and instead going here and there every day.
*it was a blessing to be here when my friend Ronald died. It was good to be able to be with his family on that day. It was great to have been able to see him once again this year. Sure I wish I would have taken the time out of my “busy life” to hang out with him when he called wanting to be the first friend to come visit me in Namirembe.
* Then it was clearly a God moment that I was here to pay Abbey’s medical bill. His family and friends were wailing , watching the one that they love slowly die. I mean that’s what was happening. He was sitting in a clinic, internally bleeding not wanting to “bother” me. I am grateful that he is still around to hang out with. I know that I hold tightly onto money and it was a growing experience for me to let go.
*Then the other night when I arrived home at dark, I was locked out. Five of the kids that live in the house across the street came over and asked if they could hang out with me because they were scared. They were home alone with a teenage cousin who was abusing them and trying to scare them. W e hung out and I learned about who they were and we had some good laughs. Even after Julia arrived home I stayed out with them into their mom got home from the salon.
*Yesterday I went back to the house that I stayed in my first time to Uganda. I was able to spend some quality time with the now youth that I lived with. It was great to catch up on life with them. When we were headed to town 2 others who stay there were also going. We joined and went together. I asked them to join us for lunch. We all had chips and chicken with a Mirinda Fruity. The bill came to about $10 for the four of us. They were sooo thankful. It’s the simple things.
My prayer today is that I continue to walk where He leads me. That I will be willing to answer to His calling. I have not written this so cry out ‘why am I here?’ I LOVE it here. I am glad that I am here. I want others to be able to experience this with me. That is why many of you I always ask when are you coming. I am so glad that Julia is able to experience this with me. It’s always easier when you have a friend by your side.