This was written upon arriving in Kampala, so there's not any of the new stories yet, but I'll get to those in other blogs :)
I’m sitting awake in the guest house while Maegan is sleeping and I’m thinking about the love of my Father. I realized I haven’t been too great at blogging some actual circumstances and things my eyes have seen and my heart has felt. So this quite possibly might get long... I apologize in advance, I get wordy when sharing my heart.
While in the slums I saw some things that really wrecked my heart (that’s not always a bad thing). You have to understand that before coming to Africa God had been dealing with me about bridging the gap between me and those in need (I’m finding out more and more that I have everything I could ever need). He dealt with me about it strongly as I started a book titled 7 by Jan Hatmaker (great read, also check out interrupted by her, if you really want your life to be INTERRUPTED) As I read, prayed, and searched I was inwardly getting pretty “torn up”. I shared it with a few people, but there just wasn’t much I could say to explain what I was feeling or much I could do (because I was about to leave) to relieve how messed up I was feeling (In hindsight I should have called Kayce Clark or Amy Fornear, I think you would have definitely understood what I was feeling). I should also go ahead and apologize to the 2 or 3 people that got RANTS from me during those couple of days where I was seemingly quite emotional and passionate without true understanding of what was going on in my heart.
One morning while in S. Sudan I was looking out at all of the children in the village and God spoke. Not one of those “oh is that God?” moments, but one of those shut up, get still, pay attention, He’s talking moments. “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in, naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to me”
Now I’ll be honest I knew immediately that was in the gospels, but I didn’t have a clue where. I pulled out my Bible and looked it up. As God had already been doing so, I was reminded once again of my responsibility to care for others as I were doing it unto Jesus. I couldn’t quite identify with that scripture in the moment. When was the last time I fed, the hungry? Oh I feed young girls all the time and I know that’s something I am called to do, but wait... do I even know anyone who is actually... hungry? What about thirsty? or naked, or sick, or in prison. I’m not saying I didn’t do a watered down version of some of those things, but I realized there was a gap for me back home. A gap between those I’m called to feed spiritually and those I was called to feed naturally.
So here we are in the slums and we’re about to feed families that have extremely malnourished children, children who are legitimately hungry. Some families were Christians and some weren’t.
Let me tell a side story here: One family had recently had one of their children die from malnourishment. They were a muslim family. The day after the child died the mother had a vivid dream where their dead child came to her and said “Mama, I am in heaven with Jesus, He is the true Way to heaven, you have to be saved to be with me again.” The lady told Revelation Life about the dream and got saved. The father did not believe it and continued to practice Islam. A week later the father had the same experience. Now both parents have gotten saved and are teaching their other child about Jesus. PRAISE THE LORD.
OK, back to that day.
As we walked through one ally I watched a young boy RUN FULL FORCE to Maegan and grab her hand. That little boy would not leave Maegan’s side. As she’s walking with this young boy, a few kids came and circle around me and I began to hug them, kiss them, and play a little peek a boo with them! Maegan has always had this heart that I admire for just loving kids. That has not always come naturally for me. Can I be honest? I used to have this horrible pride and lack of compassion that felt like anything that wasn’t “tangible ministry” was a waste of time. So my former self would have looked at Maegan and said “go ahead hold that little boy’s hand and do nothing, while I come over here and lay hands on the sick and feed the hungry”. Praise God, He dealt with that a long time ago and as I played with these kids, I didn’t want to leave. I just wanted to sit there and hold them and love them. I wanted to convey to them how much the Father loved them and the only way to do that in that moment was to love on them and laugh with them. Love speaks a bolder language than any words I could ever say. If there’s one thing I’ve seen throughout my life it’s that the love of Jesus is it’s own language. That love breaks down barriers and walls, it heals and restores, and it saves in ways that only His perfect love can accomplish. It’s not always about having the “right” words as much as it is about love responding to love. Do we truly love? Do I honestly love my neighbor? I don’t, but I’m determined to make some changes and take some steps in the right direction.
My desire for my life is to love Him more and more, to live in His love for me, and to take His love inside of me and pour it out on others. It’s a beautiful love that hugs, it holds, it kisses, it feeds, it waters, it heals, it visits, it speaks truth, it sheds light, it’ll convict, it’ll exhort, it’s completely forgiving, it takes no account of suffered wrongs, it’s mercy is endless, it’s grace is sufficient. This beautiful love is limitless, it crosses denominations, cultures, age, status, race, location, and education level. This beautiful love has been demonstrated over and over again in the Word and is not shed abroad in our hearts for us to continue it’s demonstration to the world around us.
I just want to do my part.