I wanted to share a little about why I am taking this trip.
Romans 15:13 is a blessing that says "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
I love to think about that phrase "abounding in hope."
When I heard Luis Palau speak a few weeks ago at Mount Hermon, he shared that hope in God's terms does not mean "hope so" but instead is a "sure expectation" that He is here and He is at work in our lives, no matter what we are facing.
I am going to Uganda because I was challenged to use an unexpected 3-months off in my life to travel. And Uganda came to be at the top of my list because it is a country I have heard so much about in the past few years thanks to Invisible Children and other organizations documenting the atrocities of the LRA. This is a country that is entering a period of needing true forgiveness and reconciliation as they hopefully enter into a complete end to this violence. (Here is a video that touches on this subject, and the need for genuine forgiveness:
As Jesus has turned my life around by teaching me about His forgiveness and reconciliation, I hope to be able to share my story with others and walk alongside people who are learning the same lessons in very different circumstances.
As I go to Uganda, I eagerly expect God to teach me many things. I am working with the Street Child Project, a small Christian organization that provides children who used to live on the streets with individualized tutoring, psychosocial support (through art therapy and mentoring) and spiritual guidance. I will be meeting the 11 boys who now live at the Street Child's facility, and getting to know other boys who still live on the streets and are not yet ready for change or waiting for a sponsorship. I get to teach the boys arts and crafts and games, provide tutoring, play soccer with them, and teach them what I know about Jesus and the abundant life that He offers to each of us.
And no, in many ways it is not "safe" to take this trip, but it brings me such joy to know that I am living life to the fullest, placing each day in God's hands and care. I believe that God uses our prayers very powerfully, and so ask you to pray for this country, and the boys I am going to meet, and for me as I prepare for this experience. I eagerly expect that God will use my life to bring hope to others, and fully know that this experience will stretch me and change me in many ways.