Page Eight: The Letter & Recap

The Entebbe Airport

Farewell Uganda,

I've cried multiple times today. As my last day here in your beautiful country I've been loved well and I'm overwhelmed with my emotions while sitting within your airport.

I have no idea what exactly my God has planned for my future but you've opened my eyes to things He needed me to see. I've learned community and unconventional love as well as a better understanding of the brokenness of this world. You've taught me more about our God and His work here as well as what I am being called into for the future.

You are the home to many, many beautiful people. Those who are living on the streets or moms praying for school fees to send their kids to school. You hold refugees trying to build a new safe life. You also hold Students of all ages who are learning so they can be the next generation of leaders.

Your lake is big and your ants are many but you hold treasure in your hands.

So Uganda as I leave you, I pray for your people, your Muslims and their families, your economy and your growth. But I pray for your understanding of your creator. That your people keep loving openly, worshiping freely and spreading God's love. Your church is so alive and my life has been impacted by its love.

Stay beautiful,
A traveler

It took me all summer to write my Uganda story down and it still wasn't enough time to process everything. I am grateful for the entire experience and everyone involved. Thank you to the Doors Family for taking me in and being open about your stories & life in general. Thank you to every missionary who took time out of their crazy busy schedules to sit with me over a smoothie and some kind of pastry and be vulnerable. 

Now that the story is written, here are the collected pages. Read on & enjoy. 


Page Seven: My Advice to You

When I first emailed the volunteer coordinator for Doors I explained my heart and why I wanted to see what they were doing in Uganda. Ever since my freshman year trip to the Philippines, my heart has grown a passion for mission work but I wasn't sure when or what the next step would be. That is why I ended up in India for two months, which didn't answer any of my questions about long term mission work then left me with even more questions.

So I explained this and she said she was going to schedule me some one on one's with other organizations and missionaries so that I can talk to them, ask questions and hear their stories.

I honestly had no idea what that would look like before getting there, I just trusted God was going to map out my trip just the way He wanted it to be.

So let me just say how amazing it was. I got the chance to talk with amazing people who chose to listen to God's voice and follow Him over seas into crazy situations. Some were single, some married & some with kids. Different ages & different purposes but all for the same God.

This was hands down my favorite part about the entire trip & every person came to our meetings with something to share with me. So all I had to do was sit & listen & cry just a little because of their God Stories.

So here is their advice, all thrown into a list. 

Advice to the one interested in long term mission work.  

1. You are seeing this idealistically. Your time over seas will be hard. You will not change anyone’s lives, God can, but it will not be quick changes. It will require showing up, repetitively.

2. Fight fears with prayer. This is the only way to survive.

3. Balance relationships between expats & locals.

4. Do you want to be a "missionary" or a Christian open to what God wants you to do?

5. Read "When Helping Hurts", this article & watch the documentary "Poverty, Inc".

6. Before you leave, build your resume. Do mission training, become certified in something. Prepare in whatever way you can.

7. When overseas, set your rules & follow them. These rules are meant to be your constant way of keeping yourself safe. These should be built with the culture in mind and should serve to protect you (& your things).

8. You are not going to fix things. You are going to serve.

9. Sometimes a bandaid is all you can do.

10. Have community. Have community at home to remind you why you left. Build community where God places you. This is going to be hard and you won’t make it without this.


Page Six: Mother's Day (5.23.2017)

The women sang
And they danced
They screamed for joy
As they gathered in a safe place.

So my friend started a ministry within an Uganda slum called Uniquely Woven. They meet on Tuesdays for fellowship and then the team goes on Thursday to do home visits. So my first Tuesday I got to experience an open room full of moms coming together and being celebrated. 

Mother's Day is a day of recognition. A time to share in the celebration of Moms everywhere who deserve a day to be seen as more than their actions but as their sacrifices. In the States it is a day of pampering but there, these women aren’t often recognized for their day to day actions or the love that they do their best to express.

Mother's Day was a blessing to witness. The moms were told that God values them and their gender doesn't change a thing. They were told that they were worth celebrating. That the word strong doesn't even begin to describe them. 

Before it began I just sat on the back row and looked at what God was doing, where He was moving. I could see Him within this place. Take a culture that says women are less than, that their purpose is to serve. They are expected to cook, clean, make babies, and raise them too. And many of these moms are doing that alone & add in a Jesus and His love and you see something so beautiful. 

Worship was probably my favorite part. Don't get me wrong, some of these women are here to get something, but some were there to receive truth. Worship in Africa can be described as vibrant. It's full of life, laughter, shouting and dancing. It's full expression with no fear of others thoughts. When a song was sung specifically for moms, a Jaja (grandparent) came in who is so short and wrinkled and full of life you can't help but weep from the sight. As soon as she started dancing around and jumping your heart would have caved in too. They are perfect examples of unrestrained worship. 

We got to feed them a feast but we had so many moms we ran out of plates! We had to wait and wash the plates when they were done then serve some more. On their way out they received a healthcare gift and everyone was very excited. 

In the end the moms left happy, hands full, 6 gave their lives to Christ, and hopefully with a tiny bit of understanding of Gods love. It is beyond amazing seeing God’s hand at work & His presence in those with willing hearts to serve.

Learn more Here // Uniquely Woven