Recently, I wrote about our trip to Uganda with Love One. You can read more here if you missed that post.
Overwhelmed by the enormity of the experience I found it difficult to describe the trip to anyone who asked. This sentiment was echoed by many on the trip. Some of the phrases that came to mind were: Grace-Filled, Life-Changing, Emotional, Spirit Led, and Interesting.
With each passing day as I am further immersed in the day to day activities required to allow both children to return to school. I feel as though a chasm is growing that may prevent me from fully understanding all that God wanted me to glean from my time away. I pray that I will remember the smiles, songs, and hugs that were so freely given to us as strangers from a strange land. I also pray that I can be the joy filled person that I saw reflected in the eyes of my new friends.
Leaving Nashville at the beginning our our journey, we were 25 individual from all over the US with varying backgrounds, ages, faith traditions, and life experiences. Some of us survived high profile catastrophes and others very personal trials in the past coming together to give back to a community in need half-way around the world. We are accountants, nurses, teachers, students, community developers, business owners, and business leaders. we arrived at midnight in Kampala ready to serve after a good night's sleep (and a cold shower), yet unsure about what exactly lay ahead.
Departing Uganda at midnight in the middle of the following week, we were no longer individuals. As a team, we acknowledged that we were each leaving a part of our heart with the all the people we met on the red dirt roads and playgrounds of Masindi. God changed our hearts. He filled us to overflowing, witnesses and recipients of the outpouring of His grace in so many different ways.
Before we set out to work on our first day, our team leader shared that the veil between heaven and earth was very thin in Uganda. Many of us were unsure exactly what she meant by this comment casually dropped as if if were a breadcrumb.
By the end of our trip-- I knew that she was correct.
God was indeed remarkably present in the Pearl of Africa. In the welcoming, grateful attitude of each person we met-- I saw the glory of God that is veiled in the hustle and posturing or our get-ahead culture. In the simple food-- I saw the glory of God that is veiled in our abundance and multi-page menus. In the joyful sounds of laughter on the playground-- I saw the glory of God that is veiled by our need to hide behind cell phones and screens.
Life in Uganda, and I am sure other parts of the developing world, happens at a much different pace than life in America. I wonder if we are sometimes moving at such a pace that we miss all that God is trying to reveal in a given moment.
Almost two weeks have passed since we returned and the songs of Uganda still echo in my ears. I pray that I may remain attentive to what it is that God wants me to see, who He wants me to love, and where He wants me to serve.
There are many more photos, but these give a snapshot of what we experienced. If you want to see more, comment below and I can share them later. Hugs for now.