“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do everything through Him who gives me strength…” Philippians 4:12-13
1) Content in the midst of worry
As we made our way to our first flight’s gate, I could barely contain my excitement! This was it! We were finally leaving for Uganda! Little did we know that the flight had been overbooked by 9 seats. And who wants to guess how many people we had flying on our team? You guessed it, exactly 9. However, despite the worry I “should” have been feeling, I felt perfectly content and at peace. I trusted in The Lord. I knew He had not brought us through all that preparation to have us miss our first flight. So we prayed. And The Lord answered. Our God is faithful! Nine seats were available and we excitedly boarded the plane on our way to the country God had called our team to.
2) Content in the midst of joy
Throughout this trip, God has blessed me with more positivity and joy than I thought my heart could handle! I don’t think I have went more than 30 minutes without smiling or laughing during those first three days! My heart is so full! Our first two days of serving were spent at Kadacar Primary School where I ran, danced, laughed, served and sang with all that was in me. I learned some of the Ateso language and many of the children’s names. It is a goal of mine to truly know the people I come into contact with. I don’t want them to just be a face. They are so much more than that. They are created in the image of God, and they are deeply loved by the Savior. And it is after that love that I am striving to model my life. So I run and sing and dance some more until I’m soaked in sweat under the African sun and my sides hurt from laughing so much! And I am content in this joy. This pure joy that is from God alone. I am content because I can feel Him working out His purpose during this trip. He is changing lives and bringing hope.
3) Content in the midst of sickness
Tuesday was a wonderful day of serving and loving like Jesus. We got back to Kumi hotel with bright eyes and radiant spirits. After dinner, however, I got sick. And when I say sick, I mean sicker-than-I’ve-ever-been sick. I don’t need to go into much detail for you to imagine the kind of sick that left me in the bathroom until 1:30am and several trips after. Despite this illness, my heart was so full of gratitude and heavenly peace. How, you may ask? Because I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Because I am held by a Heavenly Father (when my earthly father is half way across the world) who brings me peace and comfort in times of trouble. I was able to be thankful after each time I threw up because I knew that God created our bodies to react that way to disease in order to heal. I was thankful for my lovely team members, Joy and Allison, who have treated me like their daughter when we are so far from home. I am so grateful for God’s provision in these two compassionate, godly women who have showed me so much love. They cared for me and provided me with what I needed without making me feel like a burden. They encouraged me with kind words, and they joked and laughed with me when I would feel good for a brief time. I am thankful for a prayerful team and “get well soon” flowers from Amos. The Lord is faithful. He gave me strength to be positive even through all of this. My God is Healer. Even though it has taken two days of lying in bed, sleeping lots, and trying to replenish my body, I am finally feeling back to my old self! I am still a bit dizzy and weak, but far better than before. Praise God!
This trip has taught me so much already. It has taught me to trust in The Lord in all things. It has taught me to minister to everyone I touch, wether it be a team member in need of encouragement or a young student from Uganda in need of love and care. It has taught me that things may not always be picture perfect, but there is still always a way to bring God glory no matter what the circumstance may be.
Please continue to pray for the team. Pray for healing and continued spiritual strength. Most of all, pray that God would be glorified in and above all things. We will be distributing mattresses tomorrow (Friday) in villages as well as saying goodbyes to the children of Kadacar. It will make me sad to go, but I know The Lord has done great and mighty things so far and will continue to do so as we go into our second week of serving. And for that I am thankful and content.