Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dear beloved

Dear beloved,
You were seven years old when we first met
I remember the way you would yell out my name when I'd arrive at your place
You and the little one used to shower me with hugs
You always found a place in my lap and climbed straight into my heart
I remember how you used to shine like a diamond
You always made me laugh with your facial expressions and sassy replies
You were your mother's little helper
I remember the day we baked a cake at your place
You sat on your brother's back in a family heap
You used to love when I took your picture
I remember how we danced in church
You were always the first to find me even after a late arrival
You used to hold my hands and laugh with me
I remember the day before you were hit
You sat with me at the office for lunch
You shouted "bye" when I told you, you were leaving without greeting me
I remember seeing your broken body in that hospital
You consumed my hours and days in desperate prayer
You were loved by so many who hoped we'd get to hear your laugh again
I remember the pain of unexpected goodbyes
You were too young to be buried in the earth
You were seven years old when we last met

Dear beloved, 
We still miss you here
I see the way your mother looks at your pictures
I find the courage to ask her which ones she loves the most
We comment on your sweet face and glowing smile
I still cry when I talk about you and the time I spent with you in the hospital
You still touch our hearts and shape our lives.

Dear beloved,
We love you
It's hard to let you go

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The end is just the beginning of something new

This year is quickly coming to an end for me here in Hoima. It's hard to bring it all into words as these last two months have been a whirlwind and mighty challenge in light of the year I've spent here. I have about two weeks remaining in this land that I call home and enough loose ends to tie up to keep these hands full and busy.

Despite the busyness and sadness I feel to leave Hoima, I am overjoyed with the firm call God has put on me to serve a second term in 2014! So this visit home will serve as a time to refresh, see my family (my HUGE nephew who is no longer a baby like I remember him), spend the holidays with those I love and raise funds for my next year term. I am looking forward to seeing all my friends and family while enjoying the luxuries of America that I've missed (like cereal, real milk, pie, ovens and good coffee)!

Knowing that I will return to Hoima will make this transition of leaving a little easier, although I know I will still miss the friends and family I have built here in love and ministry.

I would greatly enjoy if you could pray alongside me over a few things as I get ready to visit the states:
  •  I'm trying to wrap up my work permit and get it all taken care of for the next year. This process over the last year has been quite the real struggle so I could use favor and ease to make sure I don't find any problems in leaving the country.
  • There's a missionary/pastoral retreat from November 3rd-8th in Jinja, Uganda that I know would be a great transition and healing time before heading home. The total cost will be about $285 for me to attend this week. I'm believing God for total financial provision to make this possible! If you'd like to donate for this retreat please email me at or use the link on this page for my PayPal account.
  • I need to find a good house to rent for the next year. Pray for the right connections, good location, safety, and an affordable price!
  • Pray that I would be able to accomplish all I need to before I go for this trip home! The list always seems to be growing on what I need to finish up and set up for my two month absence.
  • Pray for our FAITH Project, which I'll temporarily be handing over to a faithful church member, pray for our village clinic that I've been overseeing, I'm also temporarily handing that over to one of our pastors who works as a doctor, for our Wednesday Bible Studies that I've been teaching, Thursday home Bible studies that I've led, sports ministries at the Secondary Schools and Campus ministries that I've taken part in!
  • Lastly, pray over this great community that I've found here. The love I've received from them has moved my heart in tremendous ways and the thanks that I give to God for them is a continuous testimony to His goodness!

On the Nile at the retreat center in Jinja
Look for another post in the next week with some highlights and beauty from this last year!
Thank-you all for your continued support, love and prayers from across the world. You guys are such a significant piece of my work and life here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The blood of a broken world

I wash off the blood of a mother's broken and bleeding heart. As it falls into the basin I see you there, unable to move because the grief of burying the one you carried in your womb since you were fifteen. It hits you with a blow that tells you that you'll be crippled for life. The dirt from carrying your weeping body to the grave of your girl splashes down as I find a moment to clear my mind. It's hard to believe it's been almost a week since that car smashed into your little body on your way to find us at the office. It's been a blur of concrete floors, sleepless nights and a harrowing hospital where you breathed your last. We didn't sleep the first night. We had to take shifts to hold your broken body from pulling the little support that held you. When you survived the journey to the government hospital in the capital, hope found me strong. After hours of talking with the nurses and doctors, seeing if we were doing all that we could, questions upon questions, seeking out the best options... after all the hours of prayers I poured over your body, tears I wept into your dark skin, moments of despair met with the Word of God... hours reporting to the family, contacting surgeons, monitoring, reporting, monitoring, weeping, finding your sweet presence in the nothingness and then the end. Praying over a lifeless and bloated body, resuscitation, breathing life into your mouth, praying desperate prayers of faith but it ending in nothing but pain and loss. Ending in grief that knocks the wind out of you. Ending in sleepless nights and pain that finds you in the darkest hour. Ending in the strong hold of a broken mother with tears I can't imagine. Ending with questions without answers. I held the bleeding heart of the mother as my world spun. Days of holding tight the broken pieces, praying comfort, speaking peace, singing truth and I look at you without an answer. My world doesn't make sense and it feels like I'm losing myself in it. Burying you today in emptiness shook my body in exhaustion as I wept with a multitude asking me to stay strong. I've filled an ocean with tears with no shore in sight. And my heart weighs heavy as You ask me the hard questions. The night before she died You met me in my tear-filled bed covered in fear. I was losing sight because I couldn't see You any longer in the suffering. What you spoke tore through the heavy walls of my heart...

"If she dies, am I still good?"

And I wept.

Just like my tears fall now.

One of the hardest answers to uncover in the blood of a broken world.