Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Need Africa

More Than Africa Needs Me
April 26, 2011

I have confidence that I am in Uganda as a result of divine placement.  I'm also confident that God made me for the work I'm doing here.  There isn't a question about whether I have a purpose here or not.  I do. The key word, however, in the title of this blog is MORE.  I am also confident that God brought me half way around the Earth to do a work IN me that is more significant that the work He is doing THROUGH me.

Robyn and Blair
For this reason, and what I have observed in others, I do not hesitate to encourage almost anyone in the United States to come to Uganda.  I believe that there may be some things that God will do in people, as they say yes to Him to serve him in a third world nation, that He does not do from the normally predictable confines of their comfort zones.  That work of God more than justifies the expense, the travel, the cross culture experience, and all the other reasons some people give for just staying home.

Many of you know that my two oldest granddaughters accompanied us on our tour this year.  We have all been in Uganda for 7 weeks now.  I've been watching God do some amazing things in sisters Blair (18) and Robyn (17).  I asked Blair for her permission to reproduce her latest blog so that I could demonstrate the kind of work that I see done by the Lord in so many who come to Africa for a short term mission.  She was more than willing.  So ...

here it is ... 

Special outing with the girls
The end of my stay here in Uganda gets closer and closer. Robyn and I had planned on changing our tickets to a farther date, because as soon as we arrived we loved this place. I cant describe the feeling to you, but I'll try. Uganda immediately held a piece of my heart. No one can tell a story without a little bit of background, so here I go. For those of you who dont know, my parents are no longer together and are "officially" ending their marriage. This started only one year ago. My dad is different and so is my mom. I wont say it was mutual but I wont go into detail because this is only a little bit of background :). Since my parents split, along with other challenges in my life, my faith in God diminished. My relationships were failing and I was losing myself. I use to believe that God had failed me as my savior, but I came to the conclusion that I had failed Him as His believer. My life was a struggle and I was hitting the end of my patience. When my sister and I made the decision that this was the year to come to Africa, I wasn't aware that God was the one to give me that feeling. We had to pick a return date when we got our tickets. I picked May 14th, because I believed that it was "just a trip" and sort of a vacation from the stressful life I was leading, so I thought 2 months was plenty of time. To be honest I was sure that I would end up changing my ticket to come home earlier. My mom repeatedly told us she wouldn't be surprised if we decided to stay the whole six months that my grandparents are staying, and my constant reply was "that will never happen". I am shocked by how wrong I was, because usually I am always right ha. I don't believe that Uganda changed me, i dont believe that my grandparents changed me. I know that when I first walked into the airport in Uganda, I felt a change in my heart and soul, because at that moment I decided to let God take care of me while being here and for Him to give me direction and do something in my life. Since that moment God has filled my heart slowly by slowly. So much inside of me has grown up and my perception on life has changed for the better. There was a time when Jesus Christ was my hero and my closest friend who understood me more than any other, and those days were the happiest of my life. When my dads beliefs started to shift into something different I did what any good kid would do, I followed my dads opinions and ignored my own conscience and resistances. Over time I became stuck in my ways and I was confident in my beliefs. I have to admit, it was the loneliest period of my life. I was surrounded by people who loved me and I loved in return, and we had tons of happy times, but on the inside I was alone and hurting. Recently I told my dad to imagine the relief I feel when I say i am happy and it actually be 100% true to my heart. Jinja is my new found home. Under various circumstances I have been forced to let go of preconceived ideas and expectations, and let my faith take lead and trust that everything would be okay. God chose for me to come here. I am His again. Since I was a young girl I use to imagine going to Africa and spending time with other kids. I always believed that one day I would be able to go. There couldn't be a better time for me to be here. I didn't come to make a change in Uganda, I came for a change in myself. Of course I miss my family and my friends, but i can deal with missing those people because something bigger is happening in my life and relationship with God. I am not quite ready to be going home, because God has something for me here and I know He will reveal His plans for me sometime. So I am in the process of changing my ticket to return home later in the summer. Right now I pray that God provides the finances that the change requires. I ask you all to pray with me.

Mopping ... African Style
I have been learning about more then I imagined I could. My faith in Christ has never been stronger or more real. Life will never be the same for me. Sometimes I wonder why God let me fall, but then I think, because I fell so hard, I am stronger for choosing to stand back up. The simplicity of Uganda has fascinated me, and I am in the midst of it all. There was a short adjusting period and then it became my life. God has many plans for me, and I am ready for whatever He lays on my path. Many want me to come home, but what they don't know, is that I am already home. I will be gratefulfor the time that i go back to the U.S and spend time with my family and share life with my friends, but truth is my heart will always be here, all the way in Africa. If it's Gods desire for me to go back in May, then I will trust Him and be obedient, but if God has more in store for me here, then I will have faith that He will provide.

As a footnote, Blair and Robyn have received word from their mother that the Lord has provided, through an anonymous donor, the change fee and ticket increase to extend their stay until July 20th. They are both SO happy.

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