The Three things I learned while on my last trip to Uganda …
On my last trip to Uganda I didn’t really know what to expect … I had been there three times before, but I didn’t know on how God was going to use me differently or change me. To be honest, I kind of thought it might be the same old experience. My heart would be broken, then I would come home and cry, I would long to go back for the first few days, and then I would kind of wait it out until the next time I would be able to go back… I was totally wrong! God changed me! God changed my heart more then I could have ever imagined. He changed the way I look at the people of this great big world. He changed me.
Love. Sadness. Special.
LOVE. This trip it was my goal to change the kids. I hoped to change the poor orphans in the villages, the filthy kids on the street, the tired care givers, and even all the random people I came in contact with. I wanted to show them the everlasting/never failing LOVE of Jesus. I wanted to give them the sweet warmth of a hug or the cozy feeling you get when holding someone’s hand. I wanted to be a light in their lives. I wanted God’s LOVE to shine through me and bring them hope, peace, joy, and LOVE. God has a way with things, there he goes flipping you upside down, shaking all your plans right out of you, sticking His own well made plans in their place, and then setting them all in motion. God used some of these kids from a Christian orphanage to LOVE me more then I could have ever loved them. They genuinely LOVE because they fully understand the love our Lord has for them and they know how to give it back to others. They LOVE.
SADNESS. This trip I was hit repeatedly with SADNESS. I was hit with the SADNESS of how good I have it and how badly they have it. They were so thankful for what little they have, and I sadly complain when I can’t find something to wear out of my whole closet full of clothes. Three women quietly bowed down and kissed my dirty hand because they were so thankful for the $1 tip I gave them after they were done braiding my hair, and I’m mad when I get jyped $1 at the drive through. Now my parents and I don’t always see eye to eye and while that stinks, at least I have parents, an awesome two of them in fact. Two parents I can say I love you to every night. Some of the kids I saw and loved maybe had one parent if they were lucky. SADNESS is meant to be felt. It’s meant to be known and it helps make you stronger and more determined. It helps you grow, realize what you have, and understand. SADNESS helps you heal.
SPECIAL. This year I had the awesome privilege of working in a SPECIAL needs orphanage called The Gem Foundation, which was founded by my friend Emma. Before being in Uganda I hadn’t had any experience with SPECIAL needs kids. Honestly, I was a little scared … not scared of them, but scared of how it would be working with them. Would I hurt them or would they understand me? Hundreds if not thousands of questions like these were flying through my mind the first hot day we entered the orphanage. Once we entered, God immediately took away all my fears and all doubts. The kids loved just like any other kids because they are just like any other kids! They laugh, they crawl, they dance… Boy oh boy, do they dance. I’ve always kind of wondered why kids with SPECIAL needs were called SPECIAL needs. It’s crazy how God used a trip that would take me half way around this great big world we live in to find the answer. God created these kids SPECIAL. He created them to love in a SPECIAL way. He created them to look super cute in there own SPECIAL way. He created them in His SPECIAL image. These kids are SPECIAL no matter what difficult or harsh challenge they may face. They have a caring Lord who loves them and that is the same loving Lord who made me, you, and all the people of the world.
God used this trip. God used the people of Uganda . God used the orphan.
To change me.
What’s stopping you from being changed? Pray about it. Ask God “How can I be changed ?” Tell Him, “Lord change me!” Then be open to his calling on your life and for His plans to be revealed.