Beauty for Ashes

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jesus said to love the least of these

We've been in Uganda a few days now.. and already the Lord is teaching us so much. This is only my second time to a third world country, and I am still learning that even though we come to help these people, really they end up teaching us so much, and we have so much to learn from them.
We flew here with 3 of our team members that we met in Brussels, and we made it with all our bags (we were shocked!). Then, the rest of our team came from meeting in London the next morning. Since they were all jet lagged, we went around doing different things to keep them awake to get on track. That first day we went to the children's home, which is the orphanage that Ken and Sherry started with Loving One by One Ministries. 17 children live in the childrens home, and they are so wonderful. They call us all uncle and auntie:) Some of our team played soccer with them, which they LOVE to play.
We also visited the New Creation School, where about 65 children are able to go to school with sponsorships. The children welcomed us with songs, and we danced with them :)
We also spent that day exchanging our money and getting some food to make pack lunches.

Yesterday, we first went to Mulago Hospital. We were told that about 80% of the people who go to this hospital end up dying there, because it is a government hospital and is free to go to, meaning they have the bare minimum. We visited children, prayed with them, painted their fingernails (and the adults too!), and gave them biscuits (cookies), sweeties (candy), and stuffed animals. Ben passed out biscuits, and I painted nails. They loved the bright colored fingernail polish. Even these children and mamas had so much joy. Then, we were given the choice to visit the burn victims in the burn unit side of the hospital. We were warned it would be very hard to see. Ben & I and most of the team ended up going in. I cannot express how emotional this was. There were babies and adults burned so very badly. Most of the babies are burned from stoves/ boiling water. I was able to pray with a woman named Ruth, who was burned on most of her body. I thought to myself, what could I possibly do to help this woman? Then the Lord reminded me that the only thing I have to give is His love, on my own I have nothing to give. I prayed for peace and healing, she was in so much suffering.

Then, we went to a school for disabled children. There were over 150 children with mental and physical disabilities. We played with the children, sang with them, gave them candy, de-worming tablets (they get these twice a year to prevent worms in their intestines), and just loved on them. They were so full of life.

Today, we went to an elderly home. The elderly here at the home usually have outlived their children from AIDS. They stay at the home, and we were able to hold an eye-glasses clinic for them. Many of them could not read anything without these glasses, and they were so excited to be able to read. One man sang to us from his song book once he could read again. Also, a woman named Anna Maria came to the eye glass clinic, but found out she was not going to benefit from the glasses, but needed to see an optomotrist. She was not able to do this because she would not be able to afford the visit. She was found in her home alone on the floor, all of her family had passed away, and she was brought to this elderly home 3 days ago. Sherry ended up sponsoring her to go to the optomotrist soon, and she will get the treatment she needs (which may be surgery). She was SO excited of the thought that she might be able to see again.
But, the main thing the Lord showed me today was His great compassion for His children. I am convinced that if He were here on earth, He would be here with these people.
I sat with a girl named Annette. Annette is 24 years old, and has spent her whole life at this elderly clinic. She has physical and mental disabilities. She was abandoned outside of this elderly home. We found her laying on the grass, with flies all over her. Aaron, Kathleen, and I rubbed the bug cream we had all over her, and the flies went away. My heart broke thinking of her laying here, abandoned, and so malnourished, with so many special needs. Please join with us and pray for Annette.

Thank you Jesus for sending us to this beautiful place to love these beautiful people that You love so much. My heart is full. Tomorrow, we start medical clinics. Praying for open doors to treat those who never are able to see a doctor, and through that share Christ's love.
"We love because He first loved us."  1 John 4:19

"For Christ's love compels us." 2 Corinthians 5:14

Moo-comma-auka-cu-may (God Bless You in Lugandan, the language here :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Two Weeks & Counting!

It's been a while since I've blogged! We moved into a new house & have been getting everything settled before we leave for Uganda.....in TWO weeks! We are just a little excited.. Can't believe it is almost here. We are so blessed to be able to say that our trip is has been fully funded thanks to those of you who gave & also those who bought our crosses! The Lord has been faithful to provide through you & gives me grace for ever doubting that He would.. I heard this phrase that kinda stuck with me "God FUNDS what He FAVORS" This tells me that ultimately if He is leading you towards something that will further His Kingdom-- He has already decided how He will fund it.. you need just walk in it and say yes.

Not only have you been so generous to give towards sending us, but we have had some precious ladies make pillow case dresses for us to take to the girls in Uganda (they love these). Here is a picture of some of them. They donated 100 total! Wow. I cannot wait to show you how much they love these. Thank you to Carla Stanford for organizing this and to the Pontotoc County Homemakers for making these!!
We've also been able to talk with some of our team members across the US, which has been really encouraging. Can't wait to meet them halfway across the world :) Got our luggage & name tags in the mail! Just get me on the plane already! I feel like I've been saying this since I got back from Kenya.

Lately I've been reading David Platt's new book Follow Me, and one chapter really stuck with me about God's Will. He talks about how we always ask, "What is God's Will for my life?" It's so true... we all do it. God, what do you want me to do with my life? And we have all of these methods that we like to try to figure out God's Will by.... coincidences, still small voice, miracles, you name it. But, the reality is.. God's Will has never been hidden from us nor is it something we have to go and find. He layed it out for us in His Word.. So instead of trying to search out God's Will for every little decision in our lives, if we just study His Word... He doesn't leave it a mystery. He tells us to LOVE Him & the people He made. And He tells us to GO and make disciples of ALL nations. All throughout the Bible there are so many scriptures on missions.. Old & New Testament- that is His Will...that all would come to know Him.

Most people know the love chapter, but I heard it Sunday in the message version:

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith to say to a mountain, Jump, and it jumps, but I don't have love, I am nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor, and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. 
So, no matter what I say,  what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

If you want to keep up with us on our journey to Uganda in a few weeks, you can "like" Loving One by One Ministries on facebook and friend Sherry Schaeffer Roberts-- they will be posting updates & pictures. Thanks again for all the prayers!!