Thursday, March 27, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
February 23, 2008... we arrived at the airport in Entebbe, Uganda on time and WITH ALL OUR LUGGAGE. That was a HUGE answer to prayer as you can see from the picture above, we had a lot of it. Each of us brought at least one suitcase plus the big footlockers full of supplies for the missionaries-- everything from peanut M&Ms to solar panels!
We flew over Bundibugyo, and thanks to Paul Leary's narration, I was able to capture images of the town Nyahuka, where World Harvest Mission is located, as well as Christ School and the Health Center without really knowing what I was capturing!
Our first team activity was to go and see Melen, the widow of Dr. Jonah Kule. Jonah gave his life to the treatment of the people of Bundibugyo during the Ebole epidemic this winter, leaving behind his wife and 5 daughters-- and just recently Melen gave birth to a sweet baby boy! We came to sit with her and to give her a framed edition of Harvester dedicated to Jonah's life. And this is where our team's tears began to flow...
So dream a little, dream for me in hopes that I'll remain.
We finished that first day by making homemade pizzas in the Myhre's famous brick oven! Every Thursday the team gathers to scoop out the dough, top off the pizzas, and enjoy time together. It was a great first step into their lives... and a very full first day.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
My brain must still be on Africa-time because I couldn't even wrap my mind around what I was doing or thinking this time last year. One of the many benefits of journaling I have found is the ability of really revisiting where I was, what I was thinking and experiencing a year ago.
So this morning, in an attempt to think about that question, I pulled last spring's journal off of the bookshelf. Among many things, I found this poem I had written one Friday afternoon at work at Trinity. At this point I was six months into my job here, and it had obviously been a tough afternoon. But rereading the pages this morning reminded me again of my call to be here now, and how sweet it has been the past year. So a break from the Africa narrative to share these thoughts...
a very busy friday, even more than most
a phone call and messages when i leave my post
my feet pound out my to-do list
that rambles through my head
what to do first, and next, now vs. then
frustrated, and now tired, my arms they carry on
my heart wishes for a helper
or just to hear, "well done."
around the sanctuary, office, down the hall
check in, move on, what's that? who called?
and now my heart is restless,
"they're asking way too much!
i simply cannot do it... i've had about enough."
then calling from the middle,
the central room to all
is a voice i seem to recognize--
calling, soft and small.
someone's playing musc, alone
but full of hope;
the rythm draws me closer
can't help but take a look.
empty room of worship, filled
with one guitar's sound,
here my heart can rest, here my purpose found.
i walk softly toward the back,
to get a bigger view;
a cross stands tall and mighty
somewhat lonely, too.
i remember why i'm here now,
and why i care so much,
because You had a purpose
with your unique touch.
i stand in awe of beauty, love and grace
and let your voice remind me...
"I called you to this place."
Sunday, March 09, 2008
I was sitting on the living room floor of Doug & Sarah Granger's house, playing with their three oldest children-- Abe, Annabel, and Oak-- while Doug and Sarah were at the hospital in labor (or so we thought) with Granger #4.
Ellen, my roommate, kept texting me and asking me when I was going to be home because we needed to talk. Being the one who panics about conflict, I immediately called her and asked her if she was mad at me! She assured me everything was fine, and it could wait until I was done babysitting.
Apparently it couldn't because an hour later in walked Ellen, Clark, and Katie Pennock-- my great friend and the Assistant to Missions at Trinity (www.trinitycville.org). I thought something must be terribly wrong for all three of them to come over. Ellen, again, quickly assured me everything was ok, in fact everything was great.... "Your friends want to send you to Africa," she said.
Heart, breathing, thinking, motor control, the ability to communicate-- it all stopped.
"WHAT!??" I squeeked out.
Then the story unfolded... how there was a spot on a team going to visit the World Harvest Mission (www.whm.org) team in Bundibugyo, Uganda... how these three saw fit for me to be the one to fill that spot... how the church gave me the time off from work... how I miraculously had NO plans for the 9 days the trip was planned.
I know Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
But to experience the Lord fulfilling in me a desire I did not even know I had! I can't explain the shock::joy::tears::gratitude that overflowed.
In that moment so much was fulfilled, and yet only begun. In the next 24 hours all of my support for the trip was raised by the generous and wonderful family and friends surrounding me, confirming this was indeed God's plan for my February. Plane tickets, luggage, and long skirts followed suit (in Uganda women wear skirts below the knee almost everywhere).
The beginning of the story... much like the beginning of THE story, begins with God's goodness.