(August 7, 2015)
As I sit and write an update for those whom have prayed, supported, and loved us through our Journey to Uganda I am humbled at the love our Creator has for each and every one of us. The last two days I have been witness to the life changing effects love has on an individual, and how God can take the broken, the discarded, and the lonely and give them a home. One huge part of this process is believers that have received His grace, mercy, and love be compelled to act. Myself and John were talking earlier about what this world could be like if every Christian were willing to lay down himself for his fellow man. Something we talk about often in church, but when it comes time for action we are slow to respond. Maybe it’s the American in us that tells us “live life and be happy” or “it’s all about what makes you happy.” But I believe God has a bigger purpose for us: one in which true joy is defined by the Holy Spirit joyfully crying out when you fulfill Jesus’s teaching. This is backed up by three verses in John 15. John 15:10-11 says “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Here we have Jesus telling each and every one of us where true joy is found. It’s not found in money, or toys, or sex, or drugs. It’s a gift from God when we carry out the words in John 15:12 ““This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
I say all this to bring to our attention that we don’t necessarily have to go to Africa to live life as God intended. It actually starts organically in our day to day lives. Going to the store and striking up a conversation with that cashier who looks particularly unhappy because she’s stuck at work is just one example. If you can coax a smile, see how that brightens not only her day, but your day as well. Taking time to tell fellow employees they’re doing a great job and how much you appreciate them, or telling someone that you love them. Those words are left out of our vocabulary far too often. When’s the last time you told someone that you loved them with nothing to gain?
As for our Journey here; the above represents what God has further reinforced in my own life. A journey I’ve been on spiritually for a long time. We are so blessed to be able to share our lives with some of the most beautiful of God’s creation. Lulwanda has been a really cool experience. There are many children and many names, of which I fail miserably at remembering. One thing that has stuck out is the importance of relationships in Uganda. Every morning I am to greet and acknowledge all the workers, because if I were to do otherwise, the perception would be I was mad or did not like who I failed to greet. As an American this may seem weird but in Africa relationships are worth more than time. I find that very refreshing and a welcome change. Today myself and John went to a few pharmacies and picked up an antibiotic for Tracey, a beautiful girl with an infection in her leg. Being able to bring her joy by delivering her medicine was a wonderful experience. She told me towards the end of the day that she was already feeling better which further made my day.
Tomorrow we are harvesting maize or feed corn at the farm with the P-6 and P-7 students which will be a good opportunity to further bond with some of the children. Please continue to pray for Megan and the kids, that they will adjust and get on a good routine. Everyone is healthy and doing well, but sleep schedules are off and a feeling of being out of our element can still be present. Be praying that God will affirm his desires for our family and that we will be at peace in our hearts. Be praying that Audrey will being to be more exploratory with her palate. Be praying most of all, that each and every one of us will make ourselves available for God to use in a mighty way, both now and in the future in the lives of those we come in contact with.
We love you all,
Ryan, Megan, Audrey, Simon, Lucy, and Norah