Tuesday, September 18, 2012

That's the Problem, You See...

Everybody was still a little sleepy-eyed, there were cups of steaming coffee and its aroma swirled in the air around us as we joked and said "Good Morning". Someone mentioned a lunch meeting for the following day.

"Oh, sorry," I said, "But I won't be able to make that. I'll be out of town."

"And just where do you think you are going to be instead, Little Girl?" the friendly gentleman who will remain nameless asked.

"We've got a meeting. About Uganda." I answered.

The look on his almost-perpetually jovial face changed.

"You're not allowed to go, you know, " he said.

"Whatever do you mean?"

"You can't go. To Uganda. We want you here...for at least a good 10 years. After I retire, then you can go!"

That's the problem, you see. For those of us that understand how relationship is intended to be, we dig deep. We love abundantly. We allow the connections when we know there must be an end at some point. And we always hope that the "some point" is after we decide to move on, after we retire. When the change in our lives will mask the lonely space of the ones who are missing. It's a risk to allow other in, to develop relationship, to care about another when you know you have to let go.

It is, however, so good to know when you are loved.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

If God Wills...

We, as humans, have so much confidence in the future  actually being there. What do I mean by that? 

We are just always so sure that things will happen.

For example: We plan for things a year in advance. After being at a large sale yesterday, I caught myself saying to Collins, "Well, next year what we should do is-..." and then I stopped because it hit me that next year at this time, we won't be looking to take on any more furniture. In fact, we'll be looking to sell all, once again. We'll be preparing for packing up. And my mind raced (as it is again, even as I type this!)...In Haiti, you will often hear people add the phrase "si Dye vle-if God wills" to the end of a sentence that speaks of the future, weather it be 10 years, 6 months, or 1/2 a day from the present. I don't often express that phrase in English, but I do often catch myself thinking it. 

So yesterday, when I cut my sentence short and I thought about selling personal possessions instead of accruing more, the verse that says:
"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' James 4:13" (NIV)
 scrolled through my mind as if it were on a marquee. What makes us think that we will even be around to make plans for the next season of our lives? If it weren't for God and His great mercy...

But we have a hope for the future, because as Believers we know that we called to carry on until He returns. HE has created us for purpose. There IS a reason for each one of us to be here. We have something to do. We often try to "figure out" what we're supposed to be or do with our lives, but I honestly think that God puts it pretty plainly in front of us and equips us for our unique special task. 

I know that God has placed me personally in a very interesting position in life to which few people can relate  (although Nyakanzi, if you read this, you are here with me!!!). My life feels very temporary. If you are someone I am around on a daily basis, the truth is that I try to hide this a lot because it is a hard way to live but even harder to try to explain. I know that I am just biding time until God tells us (my little family) that it's the right time for us to go again. When Collins and I came to the US two years ago, we knew it would be for "a time". We didn't know how long that "time" would be. We still don't know exactly, but we know we're past 1/2 way...and so we always have a clause, albeit often unspoken, that any plans we make have the condition "if we're still here then"

All that to say- Keep planning, my friends!!! Live life to the fullest extent you can...but don't be surprised if God throws a twist in there that will bring glory to Him. And don't take a moment for granted because you never know when a season is going to pass! 

(Cousins Sam, Porter, Will, Corbin and Henry)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

To Learn Uganda As A Family

We're on our way! Collins, Corbin and I will be traveling back to Uganda, from October 14-27! We'll be part of a team (Team #13, actually!) that the Ugandan Water Project (ugandanwaterproject.com/) has put together. If you have followed Collins and I very much in the past couple of years, you might recognize UWP as the organization that we have been closely connected with- we highly recommend that you look into what they're doing to bring water-and life- to many communities and individuals in Uganda. 

We're excited to go. In many ways, we're heading home for a short time. We're also going to be testing the waters (no pun intended!) on what it will be like for us to be in Uganda as a family. No longer 2 individuals who can jump on the back of a bodaboda and go somewhere on a whim- Corbin makes 3, and he's going to help us learn Uganda as a family. 

And we need to learn Uganda as a family. Uganda is still home, and her red soil beckons us to stain our feet again on the dirt roads as we seek out the lives and the souls that God has drawn our hearts toward. Packing up our lives and moving across the globe will never be easy, but this short trip in October will set the wheels in motion for our eventual, indefinite move.

Sometimes I talk about moving back to Uganda with a smile on my face, but sometimes the thought of it produces a rush of salty water to my eyes. Its a bittersweet thing- having family a literal half-a-world apart; having friends and lifestyles that parallel but that shall never meet; and having hearts torn between living in the present and yearning for the time when we can be fulfilling that for which God has uniquely placed each of us here on planet Earth.

And yet- God has always shown Himself faithful, and He has provided so many family and friends on both sides of the oceans and continents that, no matter where our final destination is, the saying good-bye part is always painful, but there are always faces we are longing to see at the other end of the trip. 

We're not moving yet, in case the previous sentences have led you to believe that- this trip is to help co-lead a UWP team, to visit a few people, and to jump start our planning to the big move that we will eventually make, potentially at the end of 2013.

We need your prayers. We need your support. We need your encouragement. 

I know many people reading this will have a sour taste in their mouths that we're taking our darling Corbin to Uganda.  Rest assured, we're taking precautions for traveling with a baby...we're also going to introduce him to his other set of Grandparents, his other Aunts and Uncles, and his NUMEROUS brothers...the boys that Collins and I call our own, the boys that get prayed for on a daily basis right along with our blood brothers, the boys that we miss with a deep aching at the 2 years of their lives that we have missed out on. I get simply giddy with anticipation of introducing Corbin to all of my other boys!

In the next few weeks, I'll try to keep you updated on our preparations for our return visit, and then in the months to come I'll give you a sneak peek into the thoughts and emotions of once again starting a new chapter in this absolutely incredible journey God is taking us on, a second chance to be His hands and feet!