Yesterday Kira and I slept til one o’clock in the afternoon in the bed we share in our apartment in Uganda. I have never done that in my life. My body of course was confused after crossing the globe for thirty hours, and no one bothered to stir us because I am the boss. They probably figured I must have done that on purpose. It was a horror for me! After we gathered ourselves we joined the children again at the home for afternoon greetings and fun. They are so accustomed to my appearing that it is no longer this major occasion. I’m glad about that. I like to walk in and have it feel normal to everyone. The laughter that comes from the home is intoxicating. I am a junkie for it. The wide smiles on these faces are a life force.
It is my great honor to bring Erica back with us to the family this trip. She’s been a personal friend of mine since I first moved to Arizona. We met in life group at church. When I moved away from Arizona our friendship became even stronger! That’s how I knew it was the real thing, the kind of friendship that lasts a lifetime. When we began orphan care she was there by my side waiting for her job. She joined us the first trip I took after we opened this new home. She met these children the same day I met them.
During that trip she promised to do our bookkeeping for our organization. She began working with Phiona who sends her every receipt to reconcile so we can prove that the money we send for the work in Uganda is used to run our home and help the children. Seems simple enough but believe me it’s a tedious, time consuming labor of love. Erica is a giver. If she has it she wants to give it to you, especially if it means helping these children have the opportunity to know love, God and fulfill their potential in life. Erica is God’s great gift to this ministry. She has persevered when it was unbearably difficult to comprehend foreign receipts. I am so thankful she is always there to support and encourage me on this journey.
This trip will be focused primarily on team building and structuring of work schedules and job descriptions. Sounds simple enough but it has taken us two years to understand what we do exactly. Now to be able todefine it and structure it feels like dumping a box of lego pieces on the floor that came from an elaborate kit, assembling it without directions, and then write the directions after it is put together. I know we have a beautiful structure in that pile. We just have to work as a team to put it together in a way that makes sense and can withstand the elements of time.
I know we can do this because the one thing we have that is beyond normal is a mutual love between the team members. We already begin this exercise with unity. Our challenge is open communication, vulnerability, and flexibility. Sometimes it is easy to blame all our difficulties on cultural differences. I’m ready to stomp on that excuse. We are a team of Jesus followers committed to living our lives on the principles of the bible, and that erases all boundaries. When I first came to Uganda and sat with pastors to teach them about the sanctity of life from God’s word I was struck by lightening as I realized the unifying effect of God’s word. There I was a white woman from Texas deep in the village of Uganda and these people wanted to better understand something that we both highly valued as most important in life: God’s word. That was the hook. That was the moment I understood God had something for me to do for him in this place. As we have journeyed these four years following God’s prompting into what often felt like ridiculous scenarios all I knew to say was, “yes Lord.” I understand one thing about walking the faith journey with God. Being inside his will for my life is the safest and most rewarding place I can be. And the opposite is also true, being outside his will is the most terrifying. I’m so thankful for the people like Erica and Christopher and the team working with the children here that they too continue to say, “Yes Lord.” With that to unite us we have nothing to divide us.