Friday, January 30, 2009

Around the World

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. From Waco to Portland to Africa and back. I have hit the ground running in the new year.

I just returned a few days ago from my second trip to Uganda. My time spent in "The Pearl of Africa" was relaxing, reflective, rejuvenating. While I was there, I had the opportunity to really experience the people and culture. I lived in a mud hut in the "bush". I worked alongside many of the locals who are employed at Restoration Gateway, an organization founded by my aunt and uncle which will eventually include orphan homes, school, church, hospital. While stacking bricks, I talked with Moses about the loss of his 6-month-old son whose only sign of illness was a fever. While digging with William, he told me of his 15-month-old's episode of malaria which causes intense vomiting and diarrhea. While sifting dirt with Joyce, I learned basic phrases in Lwo (the native language). While sitting under a mango tree with John the 90-year-old watchman, I learned the serenity of silence.

I felt humbled as I gave pedicures to the women workers. I felt privileged as Francis told me his dream of someday returning to school once he had saved enough money. I felt joyful as I slipped a new pair of Crocs onto the dirty feet of young Judith. I felt patriotic as Chris expressed his excitement about the United States' 44th president, Barack Obama - an African-America. I felt valued as Julius told me he would pray that I return to Uganda and become a citizen of their 3rd world country.

My time spent in Uganda has given me a more open mind, a purer heart, a more adventurous spirit, a fresh outlook.

It's interesting...
It’s interesting that the majority of missions are geared towards the poor people of the world. While giving to the poor and needy is what Jesus taught us in His words and actions, "poor" is a relative term. Some of us are poor in wealth, some in friendship, some in love, some in spirit. If we would all reach out to others regardless of their outer appearance or palpable needs, our world might be a more balanced place. The world is a mission field.

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