Since I last had a chance to write a blog, and access to my website here in Uganda, a LOT has happened! First off let me just say it has been one amazing adventure of seeing Gods abundant grace over and over again. I’ve had the honor of seeing people change, both from local villagers and volunteers. I’ve seen life altering decisions come to pass, and I’ve come to understand the importance of sticking it out through good and bad. The biggest lesson thus far has definitely been the change within my own life. I don’t often talk about how being in my early thirties and single out in the world has a not so great effect on your capacity to live with other people. As those close to me know, I’ve been independent and on my own for many years now. There’s comfort in being independent. In the last four months, living with volunteers here at our Mission Campus has been challenging and rewarding. You see, volunteers whether they come for two weeks, or five months, eventually leave. They go back to their homes and their lives. And though I’d love to know that true impact is made in every person that comes to volunteer, I’m learning that God also wants me to grow, trust, and lean on the help of others. In life we get so used to being alone, doing things on our own, that it’s a comfort we’re almost never willing to give up. I can’t express enough gratitude for all the volunteers we’ve had thus far, especially my long terms Andrea, Bia, and Flo. The investment in each other and our local village family is something no one will ever be able to take away. What has been sewn will produce fruit one day, and that is because we have learned the great art of vulnerability, depending on each other for help, and bringing others up along with us. I am truly grateful to those that stick it out with me, through thick and thin. It is not only deeply appreciated but infinitely life changing.
I was looking at how I feel and comparing it to the villagers I now call family. They’re always asking if I’m going to leave them too. If I’m just here for a little while and will abandon their hopes and dreams, that they’ve so eagerly shared with me. I always tell them I’m not going anywhere, at least not any time soon in this next decade. But at the end of the day, we can’t make promises of never leaving because we don’t hold time. We don’t hold anything really except the hope for a better tomorrow. But I’m learning that with the hope I hold, and the hope of all those that come out here to lend a helping hand, we’re extending that hope into the lives of those less fortunate. And you know what comes with Hope? Dreams, possibilities, and a light that life will get better at some point and purposes will be fulfilled. Since my last blog in August, we’ve had amazing volunteers come through and help us complete our construction on the Missionary Home and the Medical Clinic. Our campus is now fully functioning to accommodate and house volunteers, both short and long term, and three of our staff as well.
Very few people will really understand the hardships of sleeping in a car for months, bathing in a basin with a cup in a dirt room, and praying I won't freeze overnight up in the mountains because it's so cold. Or understand what it's like to pray for rain in the dry season so that you can wash your dishes and clothes, or collect rain water to boil and bathe. And though I could go on with all the obstacles I've had to face and endure to get to this point, the countless hours I didn't sleep, the anxiety of finding people to trust and work with, it is a miracle that we are in a beautiful house now, with running water and solar electricity. That is enough for me to be beyond grateful and continue to serve those less fortunate around me and give them a better life as well. It is a blessing for me so that I can be a blessing for everyone else around me. We’ve been fully booked with patients in our Clinic (please check our Facebook posts for more information and pictures from the opening) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Patients that for the first time in their lives are getting the right medical treatment. Patients that are getting a second chance at a better quality of life. Children that have the possibilities to run and play and just be free. They don’t have to worry about whether they’ll grow up to have a career or be left behind because of a handicap. The amount of people we’ve seen in such a short time has been astonishing truly. Most our patients need basic care, but every so often we have patients walk in that are on their last hope, about to lose a limb or die from infection. We do so much more than just provide medicine or care. We take patients from A-Z, in whatever it is that they need to be healthy, and that is because of our gracious and big-hearted donors. You guys are impacting beyond the borders of your own lives.
Our other projects with the Women, Kids Feeding programs, Education and more have also continued here at our camp. We have grown and continue to grow in numbers. The women have continued to hand weave beautiful baby bassinet and doggie beds (you can PM me if interested in purchasing one or any of the other beautiful products in our collection), that support and provide for their families. Our kids feeding program along with education, has continued as well. We have over 100 kids show up for class to learn, as our village doesn't currently have a school. We are excited that hopefully within the next year or so we'll be able to build a proper school. From clothing to backpacks to shoes and so much more, we have 60 children enrolled and sponsored to go to other schools for now. It has been an intense but giving season here at our camp, and we have so many to thank for it. Though the chaos of single parenting, construction, the Medical Clinic, and continuing our other key projects keep me on the edge of my toes, I am reminded tonight as I write this blog that I indeed am thankful and blessed. May we start seeing the value of investing in humanity no matter where we live or what we do and are. The greatest commandment our heavenly father left us was to love one another. I hope we can all do more of that in this day and age.