I've struggled with writing anything about our trip because I have way too much to say, while having not much to say.
If you want to hear about a life changing, life giving, humbling, incredible time full of babies and people who love Jesus, I can tell you story after story.
If you want to know how overwhelming it is to be in the midst of poverty but still see beauty everywhere, I can tell you about that. If you want to hear about how people light up because they have the joy and peace of Jesus in their life, despite their real life hardships, I can tell you story after story.
If I learned anything going to Uganda, it is this: He is still good.
In the midst of poverty stricken streets, disease, hunger and fatherlessness, He is still good.
In the midst of children who don't know their parents, He is still good.
In the midst of not knowing where the next meal is coming from, He is still good.
In the midst of women and men taking care of children they did not give birth to, He is still good.
In the midst of trials far greater than anything you and I have ever known, He is still good.
I won't make light of our struggles and hardships; they are real. But I've never been starving. My stomach has never been distended due to hunger. I have never had to sleep in a strange place or been refused medical attention because I didn't have the money upfront to pay for treatment of some sort.
We don't get sent home from school and told we can't come back until our fees are paid when we are 8 years old.
Uganda will make you fall in love. You will fall in love with the people; their hearts. You will fall in love with holding babies on a porch, barefoot, overlooking a scenery that is unmatched. You will fall in love with the simplicity. You will do things you never thought you would do in your lifetime- and all of these things will simply be okay.
And you will want to fix all the problems.
Have you ever thought about how lucky you are? I really hadn't, until recently. Why was I born into such luxury? Why do I not have to worry about starving? Why do children suffer daily from things I've never even thought about? Why do I live in a house with 3 bedrooms and a large portion of the Ugandan population sleep on dirt floors?
It's not fair, in my mind. But He is still good.
Part of being a Christian is this: to serve others.
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
"As abject poverty confronted me every day, I felt deeply convicted about one thing: God did knot make too many people and not enough resources to go around. Because we are living in His world, there had to be a solution." -Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie) **PSA: if you haven't read this book, please do. It will put you all up in your feels and make you cry lots but also make you happy.
While we were in Uganda, we visited several homes; some for babies, some for children of all ages. They all had this one thing in common: Jesus Christ is the head of their home, and they are living out their lives with humble hearts and much worship.
They love Jesus so much.
Sometimes I think we get sidetracked by all the things we have and want. We're too busy to truly worship, because we have somewhere to be at 12:04 after church and we just really can't be late.
We can't truly appreciate what we do have, because the world tells us that if we want to be as good as everyone else, we need more.
We can't have deep, meaningful relationships because we are constantly comparing ourselves to the people we want to befriend, and let's be honest, that just doesn't sit well.
Why? What does any of that matter?
What matters is children getting an education. Children getting food. Children not being denied medical attention because they have no money.
I could say so much more, but I want to share this:
You can help. You can make a difference in a life and it will not go unnoticed.
Okay, true. Helping one child, one life- that may not be shouted from the rooftops. But to the child you help, you are changing their world. You are making sure they have their basic provisions met. No child should have to worry about when they will eat next.
If you're worried I'm about to hit you up for money or something, don't worry- I'm not. But I am going to share some information and ask you to really pray for the people of Uganda.
By sponsoring a child (with any amount of money at places that we have personally visited/stayed at) you are changing a life. It is insane how far $20 from the US will go there. If God has laid it on your heart to serve someone in some way, I hope you'll consider sponsorship. If you are interested in this avenue, PLEASE contact me. You can even go to http://www.canaankids.com and take a look around. Setting up a monthly donation through Christian Aid Ministries is so easy. The kids' profile will let you know who is in need of sponsorship, as well as tell you a little bit about him/her. If you only have $10/month, it will make a difference.
My aunt and uncle, Amy and Rob Montgomery, also have a nonprofit that they started after going to Uganda. Rise Again works largely with projects in Uganda. Most recently, they have been able to gather funds to give a grandmother, who is raising her grandchildren, their very first beds and put a floor in their home among several other life changing projects. Please go check out their Facebook page (Rise Again, Inc.) to follow what's happening with that ministry!
Some other Facebook pages that can give you a look inside life in Uganda are:
Canaan Childrens Home Official
Pillars OfHope Uganda
Ebenezer Children's Ministry
Plans to back to Uganda are already in the works and I really pray it all works out. But if not, He is still good.
Going to Uganda was life changing. Corny, but true. Going to Uganda gave me a new sense of appreciation for life in general. And it made me fall in love with Jesus all over again. Because He does care about you and me. He cares about those widows and orphans. He cares about us all the same. For that, I am grateful.