I never imagined my life would turn out like this. It's nothing that I dreamed of, but everything I ever wanted. It's incredible how the God of the universe, the creator of the moon, the stars, and the mountains knows and loves each of us. I am confidently a missionary. Do I live abroad? Nope. Well, maybe 2 months per year, broken up into smaller segments, but my heart and my time is devoted to sharing HIS incredible love to those around me, and to those I have grown to love in a tiny village in Eastern Uganda. This photo is what I consider my landing spot in Uganda. A quaint hotel, which shall remain nameless due to safety reasons, where I start my journeys in Uganda and end my journeys. This is the exact spot I like to take in some Ugandan tea or coffee and relish in the gentle hot breeze of Kampala. Many days I have spent here, preparing to lead mission teams to Bududa. Many evenings I have enjoyed freshly cut, fried potatoes and a coke while thinking about the good, the bad, the unimaginable things I have or will be involved in during my time in Uganda. Welcome to my special place. I happily ask you to pull up a chair, a cup of coffee or tea, and join me as I share with you some of the most intimate details of my life as a missionary and Director of a International Non Profit Ministry.
Some ask me why Uganda? Out of all the places in the world I could serve, why there? Well, I don't have an answer. You see, God sent me. I did not plan this and back in 2009 I had no desire to even go to Africa. But on one fateful day, I received a call from a friend who told me she was going to lead a mission trip to Africa. Within moments of hanging up she called back and told me that God said I was going with. I laughed, and said I would pray about it. I had no intention of going. But, God gave me a vision right then and there and I said yes. Send me. The rest is a rich and tumultuous history of ups and downs, births, and deaths, joy and pain. I am grateful for this journey that God has lead me on. And I am even more grateful for how my relationship with the Lord has grown because of it all.
I was naive when I first went to Africa, and for that I am also grateful. I had no idea of how my life was about to change or about the hardships that those I would grow to consider family are facing. I had no concept of corruption or a lack of social services and welfare systems. I was oblivious to drought and living off of a land that sometimes fell barren when you needed it most. I had no idea that I would receive more than I could possibly give, or that I would meet one of my best friends and join in his vision for his community. Even as I have been working in this land for now about 8 years, the Lord still shields me from some of the realities that i just cannot bear and reveals to me some of the things I cannot ignore, often breaking me to the point of collapsing in sobs on my knees. One of the many things I have learned so far is that without God, nothing I have tried to do would have been possible. It is through Christ alone that this ministry even exists. It is through Christ alone that many of the weary and distrusting souls of rural Bududa have accepted and learned to trust and love me. It is through Christ alone that we have a school, and child sponsors, and a staff.
It is my heartfelt hope that through this blog, that myself and those who are involved in our ministry will be able to share our hearts with you. To adequately share the stories of the people we serve. To encourage you to go after your God given dreams..even those dreams you have yet to discover. Please join us on this journey as we serve together and rely on our Savior for strength, guidance, and yes even breath.
This is a photo of some of our missionary team members with Moses, meeting the family he helped rescue from imprisonment and starvation when the father died and the mother and children were thrown off their land. This story has a happy ending. The woman was released from imprisonment, the man who tried to steal her land was imprisoned and told to never return when he is released, and Hands of Action built them a home and provided seeds and equipment for a garden. Praise be to God!
Some have asked for an update on my health since my last post. I am hanging in there. My new diagnosis of Babesiosis is landing me a referral to an infectious disease specialist, where I hope to find treatment. Funny how so many worry about traveling to Uganda where you might contract a disease like Malaria or TB, but this disease came from my own yard in Minnesota. I'm believing in a miracle and moving forward day by day.