Debriefing Uganda, OR God's Got This

Monday, July 21, 2014

Decompressing, catching up on sleep, the digestive system I think (I hope) returning to normal and finally some time to reflect on what just happened in Adacar.  If I had to some it up in just one word, I'd pick hope.

Hope in the smiles of the boys and girls who are growing, getting stronger, bigger, smarter, sweeter with each passing day.

Hope in the caretakers and cooks who have jobs, are seeing more of their own children being sponsored, who now have money to take home.

Hope in the community with more and more adults showing up, saying "thank you," making plans for future improvements around the Carepoint.

Hope in the faces of the teenage girls and boys that know they can keep going if they work hard enough.

And one of the biggest, hopeful-est things is that God's got this, it is all completely in his hands, including Martin.  He's a young man now, he's got opinions and expressed them about lots of stuff,  including the pictures we took with the Polaroid of the kids at the Carepoint (he somehow ended  up with two for himself), like any teenager, he misses his family while he's away, he get annoyed at kids staring at him while he's signing, he wanted a sweatshirt and looked super cool in the black one that Scott on our team gave him.

He's 17 now.  He's growing up.  I believe he has a prayer life with God that goes way deeper than I've ever known because they have their own language, the two of them--and one of these days, I'll know better how to communicate when we meet again, notice I said, "when" not "if." Why?  Because God's got this.

My sister is getting ready to move from PA to NY, her life has been in flux over the last few years, but being in a new location for about two years, she was able to form this really amazingly close God-centered relationship with this woman and disciple her.  This friend just recently told my sister that she wanted to rededicate her life to Christ.  It's moments like these that we sit back in awe and realize just how BIG God is and how perfect his plans are and that it's true, we don't know how the kingdom of God grows, only He does--and it does, it's like how the planets keep revolving around the sun, or how we always have enough food to eat. 

We can't figure it out, but we just sit back and we are thankful. 

To Adacar Day 5

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's been three years and it seems like I'm meeting him for the first time. We hugged and I showed him the picture album I had prepared and he signed his way through it. My team member, Maddie knows sign language. The three of us sat down together and he read my letter. Word by word, sentence by sentence he signed his thoughts as he read.
He said:
You are a strong woman for traveling all this way.
You are a great mom.
I've missed you and couldn't wait to see you.
I love my school and even though it is a deaf school it is a normal school.
You are like a mother to me.

And as we sat under the spreading tree out of the sun I cried and cried and cried.

This boy has my heart.

To Adacar Day Three

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Finally, Adacar.

Yes, words are inadequate to describe what happened today but I can show you this...

To Adacar Day Two

Monday, June 30, 2014

Spent all day traveling to Soroti giving us an expansive view of lush green countryside outside the window. This was our chance to catch up on some sleep and for newcomers to adjust.
We arrived on Soroti around 7 last night at a new team house.
Above is our African sunset.

To Adacar Day One

Sunday, June 29, 2014

We arrived in the Entebbe Airport late last night and settled into our hotel. Joseph Olutu was here to greet us. We ate a full meal around midnight.
According to Joseph the are 15 Carpoints now in Uganda.
It is indescribably good to be back.
God has been impressing these verses the last few days:
Romans 8:15, 16: For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit half testifies with our spirit that we are Gods children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God...

The Beautiful Song of Miriam and Moses

Thursday, June 26, 2014

We return to red Ugandan soil in approximately three days. 


How did 6 months suddenly turn into three days?  There is life, procrastination, too much rumination and half-finished posts.  There's been too much inward reflection and not enough sounding of the trumpet, truthfully.  I've had plenty of time to pray over this trip, our goals and our objectives, the children, and lots of asking God to do big things.  You see, three years ago, God did something really, really big, but He is not one to be outdone, not even by himself, so there will be something to blow things out of the water--or maybe it will just be the fact that they have water now pumped from a well on their own property.  Water that they didn't have to hike and bike miles for and sparingly use as they boil the posho for the kid's daily meal.

I've been reflecting on water here lately, on the cessation of water, particularly--a wall of water, at exactly the right time and in exactly the right place, beginning in Exodus 14.  A place of desperation and panic and thoughts of "Oh God, what are you doing right now?!" turn into, "Whoa, God,  what are you doing right now?"  These frightening initial questions end with a song of victory in the next chapter.  And as we see in so much of our lives, these miracles don't always happen overnight--sometimes they do, but much of the time it takes struggle, persistent prayer, trial.  And it made me think about how much time God took preparing Moses in the desert--forty years to be exact--forty years to become a leader, to lead sheep who are not too far off from our stubborn personalities. But through this toil and yielding and belief came this beautiful song of praise and adoration for a God who sees all, knows all...

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.  In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Which made me think of the work in Adacar.  This will be our fourth time there as a community.  And one of the things that God has been impressing upon my heart is the urgency of investment.

Here is a community that has been ripped apart by disease, infighting, AIDS, a community that truly reflects the national average of 50% of a population age 15 and under.  This is a community ripe for discipleship, for guidance for leadership.

You see God is raising up leaders, young adults by the name of


 These children have been aptly, if not prophetically named because of the potential that lies within their hearts, but their hearts cannot be strengthened unless their bodies are strengthened first, through nutrition.  Their minds cannot be sharp and discerning unless they receive the education they need.  Their souls cannot be brave and know the love a Father who loves them unconditionally and orders their every step unless they receive discipleship. 

How do you raise a generation of children with hearts turned toward their Creator? 

You pour into them.

And that is what we've been doing in Adacar for the last four years, we have been visiting, taking pictures, playing games, telling stories, sharing hugs, sharing food, writing letters, talking with community leaders.  With any relationship, it takes time but it is worth it, we don't ask for anything in return, but we know that there is a return when my sponsor child speaks a blessing over my life, or shares about a Bible lesson he has learned at the CarePoint in one of his letters.  My chest gets that melty, pangy feeling like God is moving and he is working and he is working out both our salvation, because He Is.

I read a beautiful post over here not too long ago by Seth Barnes as he talked about the importance of sponsorship, one worth sharing again and again.

Will you pray for us as we continue to speak life into these young people and make an investment with unbelievable return?

To learn more about child sponsorship, particularly with Children's HopeChest, hop on over here.

What Elsa's Reading These Days

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. Duet. 6: 6-9

I was in the bathroom this morning getting ready for work.  Little A had just received this awesome birthday gift in the mail yesterday and had been busy playing with her when I heard a little knock on the bathroom door.

Her: Look what I made!
Me: Oh cool.  What is that?
Her: It's Elsa's book!
Me (thinking): Neat. Why does that title sound so familiar?
Her: Look!  It's your book!

Sure enough Elsa of Erendelle was enjoying the same Richard Foster title I had been reading at the beach a few days ago.  Do our kids really watch us that closely?  Yep, they sure do.

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