Sunday, August 22, 2010

More of Africa

I'll start by saying that jet lag is for real! The first week I was home I was sick and really jet lagged. So now that I have finally returned to Indiana time, I have a lot of catch-up. I wanted to tell you about each day but that is going to take way to long. I loved Uganda! The whole team did. The children in Uganda were so vivaceous and amazing at all they did. They would sing and dance for us each place they went. These little souls would praise God with all of their hearts and just put our little american faith to shame. I was so amazed at their spirit of faith in the midst of poverty and tragic circumstances of the lifestyle of an African. They have the real thing when it comes to true faith in God!! We had the priviledge of living at Canaan Childrens Home for 5 days. That was so fun. Momma Rebecca fixed the best food and Pastor Isaac was a man of God, so full of His joy. These people had needs and never once did I hear them ask for anything. All that came from the mouths of the people of Canaan was praise the thankfulness to God for all that He had done for them! What a testimony. We did not get to hear Pastor Isaac preach- but I imagine that its powerful and life changing. This man was shot and left for dead and God restored him and is using his life to change the hearts and souls of the fatherless! You can sponsor a child at Canaan. If you want to know more, just leave me your email and I will get you the info.
One thing I now think-if you are going to go on a mission trip-dont make it to short. It takes a while to get over your self and be thankful for the stuff you do have. I want to go back-Lord willing- and I would love to take Mia with me. She would have just loved all those kids and the singing and dancing!
In Uganda we went to 5 different ministries. We played with over 700 kids in 6 days. It was a little tiring. Each morning at the crack of dawn, the rooster would begin his mission of waking every thing. Than the muslim call to prayer would begin. And just when you thought that you would get to go back to sleep-the kids would be out and ready for the day to begin. Their school day began at 6 am. The kids are super smart. I was amazed at the artistic talent that so many of them had. At one ministry I spent hours coloring with the children. They liked the bright colors the best! They loved the silly bands, silly string, and the many balloon hats that were made and passed out. One thing that was hard for me- was that we were asked not to give things out to the children. The ministry leaders ask this of us so that the children will learn to respect authority and not beg. I think that is awesome that they do this. Its so fun to give and see little eyes light up with joy, but so neat that they are being taught such good principles. One of my favorite things about Uganda was the day we got to go out on the Nile River!! Such a cool experience to get to see this river and be on it. To know that the very waters that Moses floated in as a baby-I got to float in them too. It was beautiful and a little scary. The boats took on a little water and I am not hugely fond of swimming in large bodys of water. I am so glad that I got to experience all of this with my mom. I felt like we didnt spend just huge amounts of time just talking, but we got to do this together and that will always be a memory that I will never forget.
I also think its just amazing that for 20 some years I have wanted to go to Africa and now I have been! God did amazing miracles too. I never once became sick! I never once got homesick! He kept us safe and sound! My body never once fell apart! And the most amazing just clicked. You know how you go through life wondering " what is Gods purpose for me? Whats that one thing that God has called ME to do?" I think I know:) I just felt a peace in my soul. God called me to something that was huge and way out of my comfort zone. Sure I wanted to do it, but so many things have forever held me back. I then I said "yes"! I went forward in faith and God supplied the money, the good health, Mia did awesome while I was gone, and so much more. I can tell you that if time last, I will return to Africa!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Pearl of Africa

Thank you Jesus for being us safety to Uganda! Its a long way to get here. Well I will start with day #1. I enjoyed my last hot shower and we headed off to church for the early service. We got to the airport 2.5 hours ahead of departure and that was a good thing. First round of craziness began at the ticket counter when the lady helping me asked for my paper tickets. I told her that they were e-tickets and she said she couldnt find them. That began the frantic phone calls to the agency who works with VO. Things were changing by the minute and Mia was starting to be naughty because she was so hungry. So Brett and Mia went to get lunch and I waited to find out what was going on. Well long story short-Ethiopian airlines forgot to push the tickets through and that was the cause of a lot of hassels! So my image of having a nice lunch and spending a little more time with my family fell flat. By this time my plane was going to start boarding soon. I started to cry. The gal had been so nice and was doing such a good job of figuring out my mess, but I just wanted to spend a little more time with the family. So she saw my tears and gave Brett and Mia security passes to go with me to my gate. So sweet of her! So we got to the gate and hung out for a little. By this time it was past nap time for Mia and she was in full naughtiness mode. So we said our goodbyes and they were gone. Then we began boarding. The lady scans my ticket and it flashes "already seated". I am like "I dont think so". So thus began the next round of craziness. Well the man in my seat was so kind and gave it up since he had already missed his connection in Dulles. During this time it began to storm and they grounded all planes due to lightening! Then they said I may not make it so once agian I am calling Mike to find out what to due with my flights! Lots of confusion and craziness later-we were finally all boarded and ready to depart of Dulles. This flight was originally to take 1 hour 49 min. We made it in just under 1 hour:) Got to Dulles and hit the ground running! Ran right into Kari, Randi and Dee Dee. They had been praying for me to make it. So we got all the luggage forwarded onto Entebbe and went to find mom. She was going to have to collect luggage and rebook for Entebbe. So Ernie went with us and we got that all finished in time to board the plane for the next 16 hours! Now Ethiopian air is really good at feeding you like every 2 hours! And I really think they absolutely love waking you up! They shake you awake-plop some food down and smile! We had a fuel stop in Rome and then we were on to Addis. We got there and grabbed some water. Soon we were boarded and headed for Entebbe. We got to Entebbe I think about 2am. We soon realized that most of us were missing our luggage. So we spent more time trying to cross the language barrier and get some understanding about our luggage! Soon we were off to Sophies hotel for to rest for a few hours.
That was a little shocking! We walk into this place and soon realized that the reviews we had all read online were so true:) Lizards on the walls and 3 inch cockroaches in the halls! We are in Africa! They did serve a good breakfast though. Each morning was funny. The rooster would crow, then the dogs would bark and on it went, back and forth! We would soon learn that this is normal. Well that is all for now. Gotta run. I will continue to update each day as I have time:)
May you be blessed-A