Hopefully my previous post left you wondering if Nathan, my mom and I ever made it back to Uganda again. Unless you aren’t a regular reader, most of you know that Nathan and I made it back to Uganda last year. We spent 4 weeks and 3 days in Kampala in the process of getting our daughter approved to leave the country and return home with us as her legal guardians and then we completed her adoption in the U.S. Despite my desire to drag my mother along with us back in November, I really needed her at home with my other two kids creating normalcy and being a comfort to them while we were gone for such a long time. She again amazed me with her sacrificial living during that time of my families need. But when will it be her turn to go back?
A few years ago she sent letters out asking for support to travel to Uganda with a medical missions team. Shortly thereafter she and my stepdad both lost their jobs, their 2 dogs passed away, and they were in the process of selling their house to move to a better market. Based on all the circumstances, it wasn’t the right time to travel. She canceled her trip and thanked her friends for the loving support as she made such a difficult decision. As the years have gone on she has been feeling like her chances of going back to Uganda, aka reuniting with that piece of her heart, were fading away. The job and housing markets have continued to drop and the “right” time never seemed to be at hand.
My mom’s love for Uganda has never waned. Recently she was looking through some websites she frequents and saw a team that would be going with an organization called Loving One By One. The description of what they would be doing and the interactions they would be having with the street children of Uganda made her missing heart piece start to pound, beckoning the heart in her chest to come. She sought God through prayer and the counsel of Scripture and believes that NOW is the time to return.
This is a HUGE faith step. She will be going alone (without Nathan and I) this time. She doesn’t have the money saved in an account somewhere and is currently working only part time. There is no practical explanation for the timing of this trip other than she knows she is supposed to go. Her spiritual walk has grown leaps and bounds since her first trip so I know that the impact she is going to have will have a new depth to it as well. Hear about the trip in her own words:
Dear friends and family,
In 2006, I made my first trip to Uganda, Africa to build homes for orphans. In 2008, I hoped to return to work with street children and help orphans in other ways than I had before but the economy sank and Bob and I both lost our jobs. Recently, God put this dream back on my heart and although we are still struggling in a way, I am convinced that my God is stronger, bigger and more powerful than any economic issues we may be facing.
I am planning a trip January 12 through 27, 2012 with a group called Loving One by One (www. lovingonebyone.org). Being a part of this amazing, compassionate group will allow me to be more hands-on with street children in Kampala, Uganda administering de-worming pills to villages, visit hospitals and orphanages as well as assist in teaching classes at a Christian school. I feel very blessed that God has put this dream back on the front burner of my life as I was afraid I might be getting a bit senior to travel like this. I am SO excited and am in fervent prayer that the support will come and help me visit Uganda one more time.
The estimated cost will be $4,000 per person. This cost includes meals, transportation/flights, housing, vaccinations, Uganda entry Visa, passport, and contribution towards medications, supplies, etc. They will be arranging airfare no later than November and ask for full funding by December 1st. I know God will be faithful by touching hearts on behalf of this obedience to His call.
I know that I can depend on you and your prayers to help me in fulfilling this commission. I am passionate about changing the lives of children all over the world and this trip will be a huge blessing and assurance of what I know God wants me to be doing. Please consider supporting me so that I can continue to build a legacy of love through the parentless and poverty stricken children. I am limited – merely a human vessel but as a child of God I want to share His love as much as I am able. God does not call the equipped, He equips the called and that is one thing I am sure of: I am called to return to Uganda.
” … I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” Romans 9:17
If you would like to be a prayer partner for the entire trip or for specific days, please let me know. I crave your prayers for the entire team as well as strength for me personally.
May God bless you abundantly in any decision you make. Scripture tells me to present opportunities for people to bless others and there are many ways of doing that. I thank you for being a friend and a partner in Christ’s work.
216 Dennison St.
Little Rock, AR 72205
If you would like to make your donation tax deductible, you may go through Loving One By One mentioning my name. The address for donations:
78206 Varner Road, Suite D-294
Palm Desert, CA 92211
To say I am excited for her, would be an understatement. I am thrilled that God is calling and she is obeying despite the obstacles that stand in her way. This just proves how much she has grown in the LORD, that she would go b/c He said so and not because she “can.” I wait with her, in anxious expectation of what God is going to do and WHO God is going to raise up to support this trip prayerfully and financially. I ask, challenge, propose to you the idea of prayerfully considering if you are a member of her support team too. You don’t have to know her to be a part of the story God is telling through her life. Some of the sweetest and deepest friendships I have now came as a result of a stranger stepping up and getting involved in our adoption journey. Could you be one of those people in this story? Every prayer said on her behalf bears fruit and every dollar given toward her cost of getting there plants seeds of hope in the lives of those that she will touch.
Thank you ahead of time for taking part in what God is going to do in my mom’s life and in the lives of those she serves while in Uganda. I promise you that the impact she can have on someone is life changing (Im an example of that!) and with God as her strength, now it can be eternal.
The #1 thing I hear from people in response to our adoption is: “Isn’t it really expensive?” I want to step up on a soapbox every time and remind them that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and what He promises He provides and all that Truth! But lately I have started to see that common question in a whole new way. Truth is, adoption is very expensive. It costs a lot more than just dollars and cents though. So if just the money thing scares you, then you probably aren’t ready for adoption. Dan Cathy said, “A God inspired dream will never fit in your checkbook or calendar.” That is so true. Adoption is a God inspired dream for us. We were not qualified by the size of our savings account, for sure! We weren’t qualified by how practical it seemed to add another two year old into our lives a few weeks after moving, changing jobs, leaving family etc etc etc. Adoption can cost a lot more than money. It has cost us our comfort, our “normal”, our sense of control, our plans, our understanding, our pride and the list goes on.
I don’t claim to know how she feels. I never will. Even as a junior higher in a neighborhood and school where I was the minority, I will never have the experiences and be able to relate to the way people make my daughter feel on a daily basis. But I can say that the taste I experienced for 31 days while living in Uganda gave me a perspective I hope I never forget. In Uganda I looked different. I stood out. I was stared down with questioning eyes by every person that passed by me. I felt untrusted and guilty. I was quoted different prices and given less customer service than a person of the common race. They make Tshirts about my skin tone. They even made Tshirts in response to those race naming shirts to laugh at how common the generality of them really are. In Uganda I am a Mzungu. I am white. I didn’t fit in visually and I was made to feel like I didn’t belong. There were days when I would keep my eyes to the ground so I didn’t have to face the stares that felt like accusations. I would walk and try not to notice all the people stopping in their tracks to catch a glimpse and make assumptions about who I am b/c of what skin color I had.
In case you haven’t been following my blog for long, for the purpose of this post you should know that my family is in the middle of adopting internationally. While I have technically been in the process since June 2009, this dream was placed in my heart in 1997. Needless to say I have been waiting a long time for this promise to be fulfilled. Sure I’ve had a lot of steps to take in the midst of the waiting but it has always felt like waiting….a distracted waiting but still waiting. Well most of the distractions have been intentionally pushed to the side in my life over the last few months so the waiting has become really intense and focused. Nothing shakes my thoughts from the reality that my daughter is not home. I wake up thinking about it, spend the day thinking about it, and try to sleep while thinking about it. Its a hole in my life. It takes everything I have to not collapse in a puddle of tears periodically throughout the day.
But as I seek God daily it is confirmed in my heart that I do not lack faith in the depth of my waiting. I know God is the author of this process and I trust that how He has it planned, it will come to be but that doesn’t make the waiting hurt any less. I don’t see this waiting as something God is doing TO me, but as God doing something IN and THROUGH me. I am reminded during these long periods of waiting that getting to where God wants me to go isn’t as important to Him as becoming who God wants me to be in the process. Am I uncomfortable with His timeline? YES! Do I wish God’s calendar was more like mine? YES! But all this waiting reminds me of how powerless I really am. And the more powerless I feel, the more dependent I become on a power beyond myself. Like Pete Wilson says in his book PLAN B, “This waiting may be the most important something you can and need to do.” So while I may feel, and look, like a weak and wounded believer during this waiting, I know that as I become weaker, He becomes stronger and that is all that matters.
We have created a way for you to donate to our adoption and get some great gear! Just go to our online store and snag some rad shirts, sweatshirts, or bags for yourself and your friends and family! All the proceeds go toward our adoption from Uganda, Africa.
Check it out http://is.gd/4leMO