I'm leaving for Uganda today

I don't know when it all started, but I know that I had a heart for Africa as far back as elementary school.

I remember sitting on a picnic blanket with my best friend eating cherry tomatoes fresh from our garden and having as much of a deep conversation about world issues as you can as a child who hasn't reached double digits yet, about starving children in Ethiopia.

Several years later in middle school youth group I remember listening to a missionary from Sierra Leone share her experience in pictures and being engrossed by her stories.

In high school I had filled out the paperwork for a mission trip to Africa with Youth With a Mission,
I even got my pastor recommendation letters, but after I spent hours writing and rewriting my donor letters,

I just couldn't manage to find the courage to send them out.

Perhaps I was worried that I wouldn't receive the funding for such an expensive trip.

Maybe it was fear of rejection.

Quite possibly it was just too overwhelming for me to think of a little Indiana girl like myself taking a trip alone, not knowing a single person and being so far out of my comfort zone.

It could have been a combination of all three.

Three years ago, as a church, we had the opportunity to come along side World Vision as they started a new area development project (ADP) in Buliisa, Uganda.

Pictures of children in need of sponsorship were plastered around the sanctuary.
Child sponsorship had been on my heart for quite some time.
My parents have sponsored children with World Vision for as long as I remember.
I grew up seeing pictures of our sponsored children on the fridge.
As we walked around looking into the eyes of children in need, reading their story, looking at their birth dates, all five of us settled on a little boy named Moses.

Moses was just a few months older than our youngest son Owen and he was from a family of five, just like our family.

Moses had the most adorable face and these big brown blood shot eyes.
It could be that he had been crying when the picture was taken,
{I'm told that getting their pictures taken for sponsorship can be quite scary}
or it could be because it was noted in his description that Moses was in unsatisfactory health.
Regardless, we chose Moses.

That day our small church joined in sponsoring over 100 children in this rural Uganda village.
Over the past three years we have sent letters to Moses.

We have stuffed envelopes with stickers and prayed for Moses and his family.
We have thought about him on his birthday and we have received letters from him with the most adorable scratch pencil drawings.

Around Christmastime last year, Moses sent our family a letter that was a fill in the blank questionnaire.

One of the blanks had the question "what would you like to ask your sponsored family?"
Moses question was loosely translated to say "why you no come visit me?"

Ugandan children walking for water

This week I will have the opportunity to meet Moses and his family.
I will get the chance to visit with him, see their community, spend time in their schools and churches
I am traveling with a group of 12 from our church.
This group consists of a family of three (mom, dad and 13 year old son), a dad and his 11 year old daughter, several husband and wife teams, our head pastor, a school principal and myself.
It's an eclectic group.
I know all of them but not really.

And if I can be honest, the group dynamics is one of the things that makes me the most nervous.
Would you pray for me as I head out on this trip?

The travel is long, the risk of illness is huge, I'm leaving my family behind and joining a group that I don't know all that well and I am jumping so far out of my comfort zone I hardly know what to do with myself!

I am more than ready to finally be able to take this trip.
Twenty years ago, it obviously wasn't in the plans,
but today, today it is!
Today I go.

I'm told that internet is spotty at best.
But if I have the opportunity, I will post any pictures and updates on my instagram page.
You can follow me at HolyCraft1
I will use the hashtag #ugandavisiontrip
I will covet your prayers and I am excited to share with you my experience in the field!

1 comment

suzieQ said...

Good luck on your journey. I hope it is as rewarding as you hope it will be and I wish the best for Moses and his village.

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