I am so sorry that I have not updated sooner. I've been settling in to my post-graduation life, and it's been fast and furious. Plus I've had computer problems. But today, Sunday, I had the wonderful opportunity to just reflect and rest and be. And of course my trip to Uganda was fresh on my mind (even though its hard to believe that I've been back for a month already). And oh, the memories are sweet! Here is one of my first journal entries from my time there.Wow. Uganda. I'm in love with this place. It's so incredible. The biggest thing right now is trying to have a "Mary" heart in a "Martha" environment. It's easy to get caught up in doing, and somewhat difficult to be bale to take a step back and just love on these kids, to recognize Jesus in a situation, to gaze upon His face. But I know that it is my heart that is important, and that all my "doing" will just follow.
Some of the people on my team were talking about how faith without works is dead. And I always hate how I feel like people use it to justify focusing and placing emphasis on works. On how we look. On how we appear to others. Of course, there is truth in the verse. But I just see so many heart problems that go unnoticed (or are excused) in the wake of all the things that we think we are doing "right," that I get frustrated when people use this verse. Anyways, when it was read tonight, I immediately thought of the great Work that Jesus did on the cross. How that out-pour of love on the world was what saved us, and is the reason we live and have hope. How me saying "it doesn't matter what I do, as long as I know that I have faith" is the same thing as Jesus sitting up in heaven saying "wow, I love them so much - I sure hope they find their way to me" and keeping that love to Himself. It was his act of love, overflowing from His heart, that changed the world. It doesn't do any good if the objects of His love don't know that it's there, and it doesn't do Him any good if our faith doesn't radically change our hearts and our lives. Of course, God can see our hearts at any given moment and knows our motives, so to focus on anything besides our hearts isn't fooling Him.
See my heart. Bare it. Continue to restore it and cleanse it and redeem it.
We went to the Akiba Home for children with cancer in Kampala (the capital of Uganda) on our first full day here. The first thing I realized is that I don't know any Luganda (the language in Uganda) and that it's at first kind of hard to love on children without being able to talk, but then I also figured out how: the eyes. They are so expressive and raw. This one little girl - probably about 14, but very small - exchanged a half eye-roll/half hidden smile with me when Sherry started singing "bye bye children, bye bye children, may God bless you!" It was like, we both weren't buying it. It was awesome. And I learned that a smile is so much more than teeth. It's the soul and the eyes shining.
The next day, we did our fist medical clinic in a Sudanese village outside Kampala. Everyone else thought this was the hardest clinic because it was so disorganized and the kids were so rowdy and energetic... and it was. But I loved it. I played with the kids and had this one little boy come and sit on my lap for a good half hour while I handed out de-worming pills. All the other kids kept coming back for more biscuits (what they call cookies), but he was just wanting to spend time with us. After that, I went outside and played with the kids for a few hours. We sang songs, I tried to unsuccessfully to teach them how to play duck-duck-goose, and they thought it was hilarious because I could pick up four of them at once. At one point, about ten of them lifted me up and started to carry me away! Literally. I'll never forget their delighted squeals of laughter.
These days were perfect. Until next time. Great things He hath done.