Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mukana Yebazibwe (Praise the Lord)

“I saw what I saw and I can’t forget it
I heard what I heard and I can’t go back
I know what I know and I can’t deny it.

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul.

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
And what I know of love
Your courage asks me what I am made of
And what I know of God”

~Sarah Groves (1997)

“I came to learn to love and I am still just at the beginning of that journey today. I am just starting to learn how to love more. I believe this is my lifetime goal. I want to love God with everything within me. I want to love my neighbor as myself.” ~Heidi Baker

And O, that He fulfilled may see the travail of His soul in me. And with His work contented be. 
~Dora Greenwell

I am home after two full days of traveling across three continents. It is amazing that we are able to fly hundreds of feet up in the air; and this fact of height and the realization of how small you are compared to the vast expanse of sky and earth below cause many people to focus on other things during flight (sleeping, making small talk with your seatmates, etc.). My favorite thing to do is stare out the window- you see the frozen tundra of Greenland and the icy Hudson Bay, and the distant sparkles of Christmas lights on houses far below.

It is good and hard to be home. It is wonderful to see my family and friends who are like family to me, and to be home in time for Christmas. I feel clean again- after a warm shower and getting to wash my clothes in a high-powered machine. I do not have to worry about purifying water or sleeping under a mosquito net any more, and have a much-needed break from the nasty beef flavoring “royco.”

And then there are the challenges- tears waiting on the brim as I grieve the new distance between my 11 Ugandan brothers and other friends I made, and as I process all that God is teaching me. Walking into Target, which has always been at least mildly overwhelming to me, sent me reeling with the sheer amount of stuff… wishing I could take the entire clothing department, and all the extra clothes in my closet, back to the slums with me for those who do not even have a pair of shoes to their name.

This is a season of needing rest as I slowly adjust to the 11-hour time difference and drastic temperature change (there are no true seasons at the equator).  My heart is weaving between gratefulness for this experience and the incredible choices and opportunities available to me, and being brokenhearted for the excess that we have in our culture. My bedroom is larger and more insulated and cleaner than many of the huts I saw in the Ugandan slums. My family has a beautifully decorated Christmassy home, and I know another family that has only a simple 3-foot strand of lights as the only decoration they could afford. My emotions sway from desiring to share about the experience to being overwhelmed and needing time to ease back in to all the well-meaning questions about the trip. And I miss black people, and the beauty of worshipping God in multiple languages at once.

Here is my hope: our God is a rock- He has been my unfailing refuge and unshakable foundation in every challenging and uncertain time in my life. And just because this is a hard time, does not mean it is bad, awful time- I can consider it a joy to face this adjustment back home, knowing that God uses times like this to smooth out my rough edges and grow me in perseverance, character, and hope. And I am confident that as I press into Him, He will not let this experience go to waste in my life, in those I have met in Uganda, and in those who will hear my stories.

I pray that in the midst of whatever is going on in your life, that you will pause during these next days to come and adore the Lord, Jesus Christ.

May His peace reign in your life!
Lindsey ( : 

goodbye cards for the boys

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