About 3 months ago, I went to Africa for the first time.
Unexpectedly, fell in love. Made a promise. And now a few weeks later...as promised...I am heading back!
Thank you God for letting me come back far sooner than I ever imagined even bein' possible!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The last words I said (Jolly translated in Acholi) to Anena Grace and the rest of the ladies before I headed back to America was this:
"I know you guys have been hurt by Americans in the past - who have come, helped, and then left and never came back...so, I don't expect for you to trust me.
I know exactly how I must seem to you ladies...
I probably remind you of every other passionate little white girl who came to Africa...
And that's okay. Because I want to earn your trust.
And so I want to make a promise to you all...
I promise to work as hard as I humanly can for you ladies.
I promise to give you all my everything.
Even when I'm back in America and you can't see me...
I will be working for you ladies.
Ohhhh and one more thing.
I will never leave you.
I promise, I will be back."
Below is a "throwback" post I wrote 3 months ago in my journal on the flight to Uganda.
5 | 19 | 16 FIRST TRIP TO UGANDA
Today is an unbelievably wonderful day. Right now, I am on a plane headed to Uganda. Can I just stop and take a moment to just say….
Y’all. I can’t believe this is happening. I’m going to Africa. I am actually going to Africa!!!! I….I….I just simply cannot believe this day has come.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have always wanted to go to Africa. I always had this special somethin’ towards da continent. This special feelin’. This special love for it. This special interest in it. And it’s funny…because I really do not exactly know why... I just do. I always have. And it just never really went away. For years, I have dreamed and prayed someday I would go. And now, “someday" is today…and I simply cannot believe it.
Today, my dream is coming true. Today, my long time prayer has been answered. And today, my soul’s flame is burnin’ a helluva’ lot brighter.
Wow God. Thank you for answering my prayer. And truly making my heart’s deepest desire and longing come true today. I am so so grateful for this opportunity to go. And I am so so excited to let you work 100% through this lil’ body of mine. I want to give every single moment of the next three weeks to you. Yes, of course, I want to give you my whole life in general. But I’m human. And I need to start small. And so I’m gonna just focus on this little 3 week chunk of adventure that is ahead of me.
Every single day, from the moment I flutter my eyes open to the second they shut, I want to give every moment of everyday to you. I want to give every part of me to you. I want every word out of my mouth, every expression on my face, every single thing I say or do or think to be like you.
These next three weeks, I’m asking you to come live inside me. To work in me fully. So that when others see me, they don’t really see me…they see you. I’m gonna FOR SURE suck at this. But God, this is my hearts deepest desire. To look more like you. To live more like you. And as a result, to help bring more people to you. My deepest desire is for this world to know you, love you & be saved by you. God, show me how to be apart of that. I want to be apart of that more than anything. I want you, if you will let me, to use me to help others get to know you. But I need you to teach me, God. Because my mind is spacey. My vision is double. My memory is undependable. And I need you. ‘Cause me alone…I don’t have what it takes. But I know, because I have you within me, all things are possible.
After reading about your crazy hand picked selection of disciples, I know you don’t use just the “perfect ones,” but instead you pick the ones who want to be used - the ones who just want to come and follow you. The ones who want to give their lives and be faithful to something they can’t even clearly see or understand but know is true. Thank you God for that. You don’t care if we suck at all this. And our suckiness doesn’t even surprise you. You just want us. Because in our weakness, your love is made perfect within us.
So God, I’m telling you right here and right now. I am yours. I am all in. Teach me all that I need to know. Forgive me and save me and deliver me from all my sin- my selfishness, my fear, my insecurity…ect. Rid me of myself. ‘Cause I don’t wanna be like me. I wanna be more like you. Cause when I’m more like you, I have never felt more alive. You are for real. So use me and my life in anyway you like. Open my eyes. Change my mind and heart about the things that kept me far from you. Break down those walls and reach through to me. I am so excited for this opportunity to love and exist in a way that knows no limits, bounds, expectations or rules. Have at it, God. Have your way with me.