Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The last few days in Uganda were hard.  Goodbyes aren’t easy.  And who knew that such a mix of emotions was even possible? Not me.

My last day at the school was special. They threw me a party with the money they didn’t have. Oh, the sacrifice I have seen in the last 6 months.  While I played with the little ones for the last time, they prepared a feast.  Each student got a meal of cassava, matoke, and meat (a huge treat).  We all gathered in the church to eat together and then had speeches.  The first speech came from a girl named Flavia, who spoke on behalf of all the students.   She started crying, which made me choke up.  Then Sylvia gave a speech on behalf of the teachers. She started crying and, which made me cry.  Then they asked me to give a speech.  Haha great.  So I worked my way through a farewell speech while trying my best to hold back the tears.  Then we ran out of time and had to let the students go home, so I loved on every child for one last time before they went home.  And then they were gone.  I was somehow relieved after that, because I thought the hardest part was over.  I just hate saying goodbye.  What a sweet day, though.  They really know how to make a girl feel special.

I stayed overnight on Friday so I could be there all day Saturday.  I slept in one of the teachers rooms, who was out of town for the weekend.  Nakato, a 4 year old orphan, followed me around all day until decided that she wanted to sleep with me.  So, she came into my room and contently sat while I was journaling and then before getting into bed, cleaned up the things I had on the floor.  She then curled up at the end of the bed and fell asleep.  When I got into bed, I looked at her gently sleeping and was reminded that she is a child of God. Her life is in God’s hands, she is diligently cared after by her Creator.  I have grown to love her so much and was worried about what her future held.  I want her to be successful, to have everything she needs, to have an education.  So I prayed over her before I fell asleep and gave it all over to the Lord. He is the ultimate Protector and Provider.    On Saturday, I got to spend some time with friends, and on Sunday, I had to say goodbye to everyone at church.  The worship team came up when people were saying bye, and proceeded to pick up my entire body and throw me up and down…in front of the entire congregation.  Think of it as crowd surfing but being bounced up and down. Amidst the sadness they made me laugh and laugh and laugh.  Going home Sunday night was the hardest, because I had to say the final goodbyes. Goodbyes are hard, but God is good and I believe that He’s got it all under control.  So I said, “See you later” to all the sweet friends the Lord has given me in the past 6 months.

So, here I am, back in the 757.  Home sweet home.  I have certainly come a long way from Uganda.  Things are so incredibly different.  We are blessed beyond measure, and that’s all I can say.  While I miss people, smiles, little dirty feet, the Lord has given me a peace about being back home.  And I’m thankful for that peace.  I am where God wants me and I am trusting that He will guide the next steps in my life.  Let the new adventures begin! 

If you are reading this and wanting to meet up or talk about anything, I would love to! Feel free to message me/ call me.

                                 The group of children at the door on my last day. 

                                 The whole school (I'm somewhere squished in the middle)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Thankful. I’m learning to be thankful.

“You never know what you got till it’s gone” is one of the truest sayings. I am sitting in the dark because there is no power.  I am thankful for power.  I just went through a funky episode with my left eye.  I am thankful for normal eyes and vision.  I meet people who struggle and often fail to get an education. I am thankful for the opportunity of an education. I’m thankful for running water, food, and paved roads. The list could go on.

With every setback I encounter, it makes me all the more thankful for the little things.  I don’t think you can truly be thankful for what you have until it is taken away, even if for a short time. 

Isn’t it true? When you are sick, you remember the good days when you were healthy.  It makes you so thankful for your health. When your health is taken from you, you become more aware and grateful for it.

The same is true for the luxuries we have in the States.  When you see the way other people live, and furthermore, start living as they do, your whole perspective changes.  I have become more thankful, but also more aware that so many of my possessions are not needed, as we so often think they are.

The thing that I have become most thankful for is here is Jesus.  I am thankful for His sacrifice.  He came from heaven (which I’m sure is hoppin’ with great things) to earth.  He came from the highest place to the lowest.  From the greatest to the least. And he didn’t look at the least, he LIVED with them.  He was born in the humblest of places, a manger. He was the son of a carpenter.

Being here, living this way, with these people makes me all the more thankful for Christ’s sacrifice.  I am just tasting a bit of what He went through. I merely peeking into the kind of sacrifice He made. And it is humbling beyond compare.

Thankful, oh I am so thankful.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shallow Love vs. Deep Love

I often get asked, “What is God teaching you?”

He has taught me so, so much. But something He has been developing within me, which I am discovering now, is to love DEEPLY.

I’m really good at shallow love. I’m good at loving people just enough but not too much. If I love everyone too much, then my heart will hurt more. I don’t want that. If I love people too much I will care too much and it will become inconvenient for me.

But God tells us to love DEEPLY.

1 Peter 1:22
“… Love one another deeply, from the heart.”

And to be honest, I don’t think we are able to do this without the Lord. I don’t think it’s possible for our sinful and selfish hearts to love the way Christ loved us. Not even close. I think we are capable of shallow love. But with Christ I think we are able to love deeply. It’s something He has been giving me the capability to do more, to more people.

It’s not me, it’s Him. Again, I say…I am good at shallow love.

About a month or so ago the Lord burdened my heart to start a bible study with some preteen/early teen girls.  So I ignored it for a while (I’m really good at that haha). But forreals when you are burdened and it’s from the Lord, it doesn’t go away so easily. Ya feel me?

So I gave up and did it.  The second week I was with them, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with them on a personal level and the vast majority of them gave their life to Christ.  Their attitudes, actions, and smiles have changed.  I am beginning to really and truly invest in them. To love them deeply.  To hug them, pray for them, teach them, laugh with them.  I have done this with students since I have been here. But this is different because God is opening up a much deeper love for me to pour out.

I am sinful and capable of shallow love. But I am being transformed, from the inside out. I learn to love from the One who loved me first. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

More Than Faces on a Page

Uganda used to be so foreign to me but it has now become a second home.  For the first month or so I was taking it all in- the new sights, smells, and sounds.  I was adjusting to being the only white person.  Everything was new and interesting.  I am now at a point where everything here is normal to me. It’s normal for me to see babies on their mother’s backs. It’s normal for me to see women carrying a heavy load of just about anything on their heads.  Power off and on? Used to it.  No AC? Used to it.  Everything that was so foreign has become so normal that when I go back home, everything that was normal will seem foreign.

I used to see pictures of Africans suffering and it made me sad. But I could go to bed that night and sleep just fine. I could throw it out of my mind in a matter of minutes.  It’s not that I was insensitive, I just had no concept of reality with those pictures.  It was almost as if it were not really happening.

But it’s different when you come here. It’s different when you meet those people.  It’s different when you learn their unique personalities, their laughs, and their individual names.  They become more than faces on a page.  They become real people.  They become your friends.

Yesterday a woman came to our school to register 2 of her children.  I thought it was just another mom coming to enroll her kids, but then Sylvia told me what she had been saying.  This woman has AIDS. Her husband died of AIDS.  She knows she doesn’t have much longer and she wants to make sure her children have a place to stay and an education when she’s gone. 

You see, before I came here that would just be a story to me.  But now.  Now I have seen her, talked to her, seen the sad faces of her children.  Can you imagine being one of those children? Coming to a school, trying to figure out what to do, knowing that your mom doesn’t have much longer?

The whole day my heart was broken. Being in this place, knowing these people, and feeling so small…it really can crunch your heart.  It forced me into this state of prayer I’m in- asking for wisdom and vision from the Lord.  Please join me in this prayer as I’m seeking the Lord.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Partying for P7 Results

I have had very little sleep the last few days and I will have very little for the next few but as my dad always says: you can sleep in heaven!

Let me share with you my experiences this last week, and yes, they were QUITE the experiences.  On Monday we found out the P7 results on their final test called PLE.  The results are a big deal because they show how good your school is and they determine if your P7 students can go to secondary school.

Sylvia was super nervous but we found out what they were and…they were all good! They were the best grades that the school has ever had.  Of course that caused some major praising…

That night we had worship team practice and the whole worship team caught on with the excitement. We sang and danced a little more than normal, which means we were gettin’ down.  At one point we ran in a line around the church singing and shouting on the top of our lungs. Never in my life have I experienced that at an American church.  Jesus really does fill you with joy, and when you get it, sometimes you just explode!

The next day I came and little to my knowledge, they were planning a party to celebrate the good grades.  A few things about that day were…different.  First of all let’s talk about goats.  There is a plentiful supply of them in Uganda.  Well, on this day they decided to go all out so they got a goat for the party.  They bring a big goat and it is obvi scared, I mean I would be too if I were that goat.  So I ask, “Who is gonna slaughter it?” Then they point to one of the deacons. 

Well anywho I preferred not to see them slaughter it so I stayed away from that area for a while.  Then, minding my own business, I walked past it.  The goat. Poor thing.  The throat was slit and they were cutting off the skin and fat.  Ew.  Sorry for any vegetarians out there- disregard this part!

As that was happening, I got summoned to go with the P7 students around Mutungo on a truck.  They painted the results on a big sheet and hung it on the truck so we could show people and attract more people to the school.  

We boarded the back of the truck, blasted music, and rode around Mutungo shouting. It was. So. Fun.  If we did that in the U.S. , the po-po would catch ya.  Oh the thrills of living overseas…

We returned to school and the goat had turned into multiple shishkabobs.  We started the celebration, and at the end we all ate goat.  I thought I would have a hard time eating it after I saw it slaughtered, but call me crazy, I ate it and it was delish.

                 Roasting the Goat(I thought it would be better                       to not take a picture of the actual goat....)

                            P7 PLE Results