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Looking Back to Move Forward

Well folks, I cannot believe that we're already in OCTOBER!! Where has the time gone?! These past weeks have been jam packed with so much! September was a hard month for me, both emotionally and physically. Between experiencing my mothers birthday without her, being sick on and off either with a virus or cold, and pretty badly injuring  both knees from falling on the rocky mountain paths; I felt it just wasn't going to ever end. As both Michelle and I are getting ready to head back to the states soon (Michelle at the end of October and I in mid November), I couldn't help but just reflect on the past 10 months. I cannot say enough how much my life has changed and the amount of things I have learned. (You can check my previous blogs to catch up on more of those changes ;))      I think that as we get older both in our faith journey and life (me reaching the BIG 30 soon), we believe that we're mature in our walk with God, our walk with friends and family, but most importantly in knowing who we truly are. But September brought along so many disappointments in different relationships, friendships and even the people I work with here, that I couldn't handle it. I was talking to Michelle and I was asking her, are my expectations to high for those around me and in my life, that I am setting myself up for disappointments? I mean I'm not asking for much from anyone, just reciprocity as I have demonstrated... or is that too much to ask for? I'm trying to better understand disappointment and reciprocity and why it doesn't always look the same to me as it could to the person sitting next to me. But whether people aren't in the same place in their lives as I am, or on a similar journey of faith, or that come from a similar upbringing, I don't know; but what I can say is that I ask God to help me if not fully understand the disappointments in my life, to as least guard my heart from them by giving me discernment in all things. I brought this up because I know there are other sincere people out there that can understand where I'm coming from. You can share your thoughts with me on that :)        I was in church this past Sunday and the sermon was titled, "Do you know who you are?", And as I sat there at the beginning of the sermon I was so confident in knowing the person I am. I was saying to myself, I know I'm a daughter of the most high King. I am loved. I am cherished. I am chosen. I know my purpose. I know I'm in God's will for my life. But as the preacher progressed into his sermon, based on the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13, I felt this sense of guilt. I've had so many moments these past 10 months where I forgot who I was, even if it was for brief moments. I'd gotten lost in all the need and poverty out here that I'd forgotten who my creator was, and my purpose. Pastor Peri was saying that in The Lords Prayer, God says to SAY. That in doing so (SAYING), we please our heavenly father but are also entering HIS dominion, and within that dominion nothing can come against us. It reminded me in that moment, how much power we have as faith believing Christians. That choosing to say the Lords Prayer, reading the Bible, and/or loving those right next to us, are simple yet daily necessities to truly LIVING life.      It hit me so hard because I've truly seen miracles from God out here. Not just healing of those demon possessed, or mentally sick, but those broken even beyond that. People so hungry for true, genuine love that they're willing to do anything for it. I've seen God come through when I was down to no finances and didn't know how I was going to continue helping those that need medical care, or continue to feed hundreds of children. And I was reminded that if God cares for the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, how much more wouldn't he care for me and all the people I'm working with here in Uganda. We are not forgotten, nor forsaken, for what God does in his timing is always perfect and demonstrative that He alone is perfect and in control. Does it constantly stretch my faith to the edge of every mountain, YES!! But then again, what sort of Christian would I be if I didn't truly live by faith and not by sight?      On a lighter note, I had to show you all how nifty I've gotten lately. We're always losing electricity and water. So since it's an outrageous rainy season here, I've been using it to wash my dishes. Gotta make the best of situations, right? LOL! Michelle and I went to visit one of the women from my group that had given birth. We didn't know we were about to experience 'Noah and the Ark' kind of flooding though! The road we had driven on to go to this lady's home was completely gone an hour later when we tried leaving her place. It literally had become a river with extreme pressure, that come to find out the next day, people died because they tried crossing. Michelle and I had wanted to cross it too, but thank God we didn't. Instead we had to walk for almost two hours in pouring rain, water that was waste deep for me (since I'm like short and whatnot), full of cockroaches and other creepy things, and up a mountain that was steep and slippery. Oh, and let me tell you hiking in extremely pouring rain, UP a dirt mountain with slippers (that ended up falling off and I had to hike barefoot) and no rain wear is not fun either. I ended up sick for over a week after this one, and this is just one of the many adventures out here, LOL!!

WOMEN'S PROJECT

The Women's Project has been nonstop, which is a great thing because I'll be coming home with some beautiful products for everyone! As you know from my previous blogs, we we're doing this project outside at another Missionary Home. But because we've been in rainy season since the end of August, it was becoming so difficult. The women were getting sick, the equipment was getting destroyed and so on. I was praying, asking God to provide either a bigger home where I could move the project in with me or a place where we could at least not be outside. And so I went looking for different places, but they we're so outrageously priced that I couldn't afford to rent them and continue running all the projects I have right now. So I just let it go, and continued to pray. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING SO AMAZING!! Not even a few days after giving up I got a call my from neighbor telling me the family of 8 living next to me on the other side was leaving and if I would be interested in renting that space as well!! I cried because God gave us a place that was convenient for the women (they all walk to work from the village about a 40 minute walk every morning and evening, come rain or shine), I could finally have a guest room that wasn't full of medical and education supplies, I wouldn't have to keep lugging supplies for the women every day to a different place, AND one of the women from the project was able to move in the other room with her 2 yr old daughter and her newborn son. I mean, talk about God coming through in better ways than I even imagined! This place is beyond a blessing and what an adventure it was moving all our equipment to the new place too, LOL!

     Michelle has been very busy not only being an amazing and great help to me, for anything I need which I'm so thankful for, but she has been pouring into these women every day. She spends one on one time with each of them teaching them English, praying for them, listening to them (which is such a big thing for them, truly) and financially helping some of them and their children with school fees, food,etc. She's been so great at helping me when we go out to the villages, teaching the children different lessons, singing, playing and praying with the kids, helping us feed all 200+ kids, and even helping with medical care. As someone that has no experience in the medical field, I'm so proud of her for even stepping up to be near it and being willing to help in everything I need. She also doesn't complain that she has to use a mini wood table and kiddy plastic chairs when teaching, lol.. sorry Michelle, it's all I can afford for now :)) 

Bugira (current construction project)

    Just a quick update on the land and construction project in Bugira. I've officially started leveling the land, well not me but the locals here, LOL! But let me tell you something, it is so darn hard finding trustworthy and qualified men to build or work. They all promise they can do what you're asking but soon enough you learn differently. But as I'm running around, with a dear friend here that's helping me, looking and researching for the best prices and the best materials and so on, I'm finding that I like construction. Go figure, hahaha! It all seems logical and pretty straight forward to me truly. It might have to do a bit with the fact that I love math and numbers, but who knows.       Anyway, we're moving forward so if come FEB 2018 you want to come out here and help me build or can financially help out, it would be super awesome and such a blessing not just for me but for the hundreds of people that will get help because of it all. 

     Though things aren't always easy and rosy, I have to say that I wouldn't change anything I've gone through these last 10 months. I've become a wiser and better person because of it all. I can wholeheartedly say that my single life is full of purpose for God and those that are the least of us. I have so much more I could impart, but as just about everyone here in Uganda says, "poram poram '(slowly slowly), all in due time.      I will be visiting the states come November and December, so I'm truly excited and nervous to see you all and share more. Excited to hug all my dear family and friends, to have long conversations full of raw emotions, and hopefully some really great coffee; but also nervous to the reality of being back in America. Not an easy thing to adjust to after living in a third world country and knowing it's where you'll be living for for years to come. BUT, one moment at a time, right? I hope this blog shed light on the journey I'm on and have been on thus far. I hope you learned something and are willing to leave your comfort bubble to share whatever is it you can offer.

xoxo, Lily

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