Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kissing My Comforts Goodbye


 I know, I know, I just got home from Kenya a few months ago. And you all know what a dream come true that journey was for me. SO many people were sure that I would return home from Africa and just ache to go back, never again content to live life as an ordinary, apron swinging, housewife from the mountains of Maryland.

 And that just didn't happen.

 I enjoy central air, traffic laws that are generally obeyed, identifiable meat on my plate and water that doesn't taste like bug spray. I like predictable routines, letting the water run while I brush my teeth and bubble baths every other day. And oddly enough, I have a new affection for my commode. Gleaming white. Sturdy. Dependable. Secured behind a carefully locked door. Adorned with a spray of silk flowers and a lovely, avocado green seat cover.

I had hopes and plans to make another trip over there in a few years, yes I did. Plenty of time to regroup, save up my dollars and see where God might lead me next. I like my plans. And I like my plans even more when life cooperates with them.

But an opportunity and more accurately a NEED has come up that requires me to book another 22 hour flight to the land of unlocked, hole-in-the-ground toilets. The sweet part of the deal comes when I understand that I will be spending ten days with 43 needy children living together in a home in the Kewempe District of Uganda.

THIS makes me SMILE!

And shake my head with wonder.......

Forget the absence of the comforts of home.....and look forward to spending my days with the children I dance with in my dreams!

The black and white details look like this: I am taking two weeks to travel to an orphanage that our church supports to size up the possibility of starting a sponsorship program. We have worked with this group for over a year and a half and it is simply time to physically assess the needs, weed out potential problems and play hide and seek with those kids!

Now picture me in a photograph with all of the kids in this orphanage, and all of the volunteers who work with them, as well as the numerous, hard working and generous members of our church who have given so much to carry this little band of orphans along the way. In the picture you will find me in the very back row, obscured by dozens of heads and blotted out by a shaft of sunlight. That is the image of my contribution thus far for this mission. I have done the least, so please do not set me up for some kind of award for laying my life down for Uganda.

But I AM willing to go and do what I can to teach and train for the potential sponsorship opportunity, and I am honored to have the gift of time with some of God's most loved boys and girls of Africa. I'm a combination of sleepless excitement and gut twisting dread. I really do not have any idea of what to expect. I will be alone, unless you count the 43 kids who will no doubt be fascinated with my white skin and fly-away hair.And I will probably be very homesick by day three.

This mission is completely separate from my work with Compassion International, but I DO have a twelve year old boy in Uganda who is one of my Compassion sponsored children. His name is Alex and he has three sisters and one older brother who he names as being his best friend. He loves to play soccer and hopes to do well in school and become an engineer someday. In one of his letters to me, he expressed that if he could travel anywhere in the world, it would be to the capital city of his country; Kampala. The orphanage is located just outside the city limits.

As his sponsor, I have the opportunity to request a visit with Alex while I am there. He will be so close....and yet so far! His village is located at least eight hours from where I will be, and while it CAN be arranged, the cost of his journey may prove to be well over my ability to cover, especially on such short notice. So if you would like to help make Alex's Dream come true, I have added a chip in button to the right where you can donate to this fund. Any money raised above and beyond the cost of his trip will go entirely to the basic needs of the orphanage. I would love to set  them up with a good supply of educational books and tools for learning!

Several friends have indicated that they would love to be a part in bringing Alex to Uganda, so there you have it; an easy way to lend a hand. Not to mention the possible overflow onto the orphanage.

Thanks for reading. That was really long. But I wanted to make all of you aware of this fast approaching trip! And thank you for donating and especially for those who are committed to pray for me. I need much wisdom and also a truckload of protection and endurance.

Love you guys!