Monday, August 13, 2012

Saying Yes

It’s been quite a summer. A summer in which we finally found our house and got all the paperwork together for NGO status and met a bunch of super cool people and grew as a program. A summer with a lot of hard and a lot of anger and a lot of fear. These last three months have not been an easy road to walk but they were necessary for me to really and truly be able to say yes to this life. To say yes with certainty and with a little less naivety then before.

I’m finally ready to say yes.

I’m saying yes to hard. And maybe I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. I knew I was saying yes to bug bites and the power going off and weird illnesses and babies dying and people in desperate situations. But I didn’t know I was saying yes to people not liking me and drama I thought I left behind in middle school and slander and malice and pride and wondering every day whether I am responding in a godly way or joining the mess. Wondering where the line is between gossip and speaking truth and how I know when I’ve crossed it.

And I’m left terrified because I honestly don’t know if I have it in me. Because the more time I spend here the more I realize how much I don’t know.

I’m saying yes to uncertainty. I’m saying yes to I don’t know. I’m saying yes to saying goodbye to my family and my friends and my comfortable life. I’m saying yes to unplanned futures and service and feeling unqualified every single day. Maybe I’m saying yes to failure…. And hard that is too hard.

But I’m saying yes. To a wild journey with God because I want to see Him work miracles and I want to see families stay with their children.

So here’s to a wild year. A year where I believe we will raise $115,000 and finish school and pack our things and say our goodbyes and move to Uganda.

A crazy filled year.

Bring it on. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When I first landed in this country I believed in miracles. I had read enough books and blog posts and sat through enough inspirational church services with the missionary from Africa telling their incredible stories. I thought miracles happened every day here.

But the thing with books and blog posts and sermons is that nobody likes to hear about the time the baby actually died or the father who is still an alcoholic or the mother who never got saved. We only share the success stories.

Last fall three children who I had known and worked with died within a six week period. It got to the point where I was afraid to even check facebook each morning because I was terrified another one was gone. I prayed and prayed and still children died.

When Ajuma died I said to someone that I just wanted a miracle… one of the miracles I was always reading about and hearing about. Why was it that when they prayed kids lived? And when I did they all still died.
And they reminded me what exactly a miracle is. It’s uncommon. It doesn’t happen every day. This is Africa. The healthcare is awful, these kids were incredibly sick, all the odds were against them. We always pray for a miracle but if we got one each time then they would cease to be miracles.

If miracles stopped being miracles would God get the same amount of glory? These children were meant to be with Jesus and we can rest in the assurance that it is all within His will and that they are with their savior.

So a few weeks ago I met a baby in the village who was malnourished and sick. I took her and her grandmother back to Jinja with me and had her checked out at the local hospital. They prescribed medications and special high calorie food. I was not confident that her grandmother would be able to keep up with the medication and diet so I tried to get her to stay in Jinja for a week or two. She had another grandbaby at home under her care so she said no and went home with the medications and food.

A month later I went back to visit her with nothing but negative thoughts filling my head. I was more than ready to find a sick malnourished baby and a grandmother looking for an easy fix I couldn’t provide. I was terrified that I was going to have to just let this case go. I was leaving in three weeks and without the grandmother’s willingness to come to Jinja I didn’t know what else to do.

I was prepared for the worst as we walked up to her home but instead I found a miracle. I found a beautiful little girl with meat on her bones and a smile on her face. Her grandmother proudly showed us how she could now stand all by herself and thanked us enthusiastically for our help.

The thing was though that it wasn’t us. This baby girl in front of me was one of those miracles I had been praying and asking for. This was the answer to my plea to God to show me that He was indeed working here and that he did see these children.

“Miracles are retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see”
-          C.S. Lewis

She had God’s fingerprints all over her.