There are so many different directions that I could go. I could talk about what I've done in Uganda for the past two weeks. I could talk about the massive cultural differences that have left me exhausted but so, so full at the end of each day. I could talk about the continued provision that the Lord has blessed me with in my time here.
So. Many. Directions.
But out of all of these, I have decided to share with you the ways that the Lord has comforted my heart with the familiar in these past two weeks. I was convinced that I could take baby steps up until the point where I got on the plane, and then life would quickly shift to massive, whiplash-inducing bounds. But Jesus knows my heart better than that.
If you know me, you know that I love to be comfortable. I can't sleep without a fuzzy blanket and clean feet and the thermostat at 70-ish degrees. If I don't have a hair tie on my wrist, it's going to be a rough day. If my schedule gets interrupted, I pretend like it's okay (but it's really not okay).
I have manufactured a bubble for my life and I float along inside of it, content and in control.
Well, despite my best efforts, my feet are real dirty and I don't even know what day it is.
Every day I see or learn or smell something new. I see Jesus in a way that I didn't before. I grumble and bellyache at what is to come, and then really enjoy the thing once I get to it.
Thank you, Jesus, for being patient with me and helping me make my bubble bigger, even when I grumble.
My first week here was spent meeting the other WGM Missionaries, who are all lovely and kind and powerhouses for the kingdom. (Have I put them on a pedestal? Absolutely.) I am now living with the Hallahan family: chaplains of Heritage International School Kelly and Josh; seventh grader Caleb and sixth grader Seth, who both love Harry Potter (thank you Jesus for that small gift); and my two shadows, five-year old Elizabeth and four-year old Rebekah. Every evening I get to come home to an American family. It's been such a blessing to watch Boy Meets World and giggle and play and just live like things are normal.
My first day of ministry came last Monday. I was really anxious and nervous and wondering where my place would be here. The other students and I walked to Kampala International University (KIU) and began engaging freshmen (here they are called first years) in conversation, handing out cards and inviting them to United Faith Chapel (UFC). If this doesn't sound familiar to you, that's okay; I've done this exact thing literally every semester since my sophomore year with the Well.
On Wednesday I got to join some sweet little girls, including Elizabeth and Rebekah, in their ballet class at Heritage School. I will be assisting the instructor every week from here on out until December.
On Friday, I got to sit in on a meeting for The Dignity Project. They are writing a book about female dignity and how Jesus treats women in the Bible (um, yes please). I am now to edit this book in my free time and we have two more meetings this week.
Okay, God. I see you.
These are all things that I have done before. They are familiar and comfortable and cozy and things that I enjoy. God could have thrown me to the wolves right away and taken me completely out of my bubble, but instead He chose to introduce me to things that I already have a heart for.
Here's what I've learned: the person I was in America is the same person I am here. My passions did not suddenly change on the flight (and for some strange reason I thought they would). The God that I praised in America is the same God that is here in Uganda. He knows my heart. He knows what I need. He knows what I'm good at. He knows why I'm here.
Is anything going the way I thought or planned? Absolutely not! It's far better and sweeter than what I was imagining. And it's just the beginning.
Lord, I praise you for the ways that you so tenderly minister to my heart. You don't have to be that grace-filled and thoughtful, but you are. Help me to be more like you, and for others to see you in me. Amen.
Please pray for the following ministries, that the Lord would continue to use them to build His kingdom: United Faith Chapel (part of the University Discipleship Movement), Heritage International School, and the Dignity Project. Links to each of these are above, but you can also visit the WGM Uganda page.
Please pray for the university students, that they will see truth and submit their lives to Christ. We currently minister to Kampala International University (KIU), International University of East Africa (IUEA), and Cavendish University (I haven't been there yet).
Please pray for the finances of each of the organizations, as well as the WGM: Uganda missionaries who live here. There are 13 of us, plus families, and two more families on the way in October!
Please pray that the Lord would reveal what opportunities He wishes me to pursue while I am here. It is very easy to go all in on the many different programs, but there is also a time to say no and choose rest. Yikes.