This blog is long overdue and I apologize for not keeping everyone up to date like I should be. These past 2 months have been pretty incredible yet extremely hectic. We started an orphanage! With the help of many people along the way we successfully have taken in 17 children and are providing them with everything they need to make it in everyday life. It has been an incredible journey and living with 17 kids has not been easy. Every morning they get up at 5:30, take a bath, do their chores, eat breakfast, and go to school. Luckily we have hired 3 wonderful people to help and essentially raise these children. I moved out of the apartment roughly 2 months ago to move into the house with the kids and make sure the transition for them and our new staff ran as smoothly as possible. So far so good. The ultimate long-term goal is to move out, hopefully in about a month, and see how everything runs without Allen and I being here. We want this to be fully sustainable without us having to be here and want the kids to be raised in their own culture by their own people so they can grow up and be leaders in their own community.
These past two weeks Allen and I have been with our church from back home serving in Kenya and showing them everything that has happened in Uganda. Oh how great it was to see some of our best friends. Kenya was a great break for both of us. I have been over here for 4 months now and just now went on my first safari. It was everything I thought it would be and I am thankful to have been able to share it with the people I did. When we got back to Uganda I had a pretty big surprise waiting for me in the form of my little sister!! I had no clue she was coming and when I heard her voice I was stunned. It was a real blessing to have been able to share everything that has happened in my life over here with both of my sisters. Today was a hard day for me because I had to say goodbye to everyone. It felt like they had just gotten here and I already had to say goodbye. I thought that it would be easier the second time around but it wasn’t at all. I’m blessed to have been able to share these past two weeks with such wonderful people but at the same time I am reminded of what great friends I left back home. Even with this mindset it does not take me away from my mission here in Uganda. I am reminded of that every morning at 5:30 and not a morning goes by where I am not in awe of everything God has done through Allen and I and for these kids. No matter what kind of mood I may be in I cannot go a day without lifting up a prayer of thanksgiving for all that God has done in these kids lives. To be able to witness it first hand on a day-to-day basis is the most powerful display of God’s intervening hand I have ever encountered.
At the end of every mission trip that Asbury goes on they give out a washer with a word and a verse on it to wear on a necklace. The circular shape of the washer is to symbolize the unity that we shared while serving together. There were four washers that we got to choose from and each had its own word and verse: Truth, Faith, Hope, and Love. I received two washers, one for Kenya and one for Uganda. In Kenya I chose the washer with the word Faith. The verse for Faith is 2 Corinthians 5:7 “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” I got this one to remind myself that without faith I wouldn’t be here in the first place. If I had walked by sight I would have listened to everyone around me telling me not to go and the lives of these 17 children would have ceased to exist or worse, remained the same. In Uganda I got the word Hope. The verse for Hope is Psalm 71:5 “For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.” This one I got to remind myself of the hope that now lives inside of each of these children and myself. Both of these words go together for me. Without Faith, Hope would not have existed for these kids.
Please continue to pray for our mission here in Uganda and especially for the children of Sozo. The transformation that has taken place in each of these kids lives would not have happened if it hadn’t been for the faith those back home have displayed in their giving. To that I say thank you and ask for you to keep it up!