Saturday, July 2, 2011

God's plan is not my plan

So this morning we got up, and once AGAIN packed up all of our so so many bags. I don’t want to see another piece of luggage for quite a while until I get home. We headed out on 2 very shady looking boats for a “tour” of the source of the Nile River. We went out on Lake Victoria, and went to the very place where the lake and the Nile meet. It was pretty cool because the water sort of bubbled from below and swirled around in a circle, almost like it wasn’t sure which way it was supposed to go. We rode around for a little while (as our driver baled out the water that was leaking in our boat…..not so encouraging), and we saw some birds that poop a really lot of white poop, some other smaller happier less poopy birds, and a monkey.

After our exotic boat ride (ha) we loaded up the bus and the luggage truck and headed out to Amazima. We made a brief stop at Caanan’s Children’s Home (where the last VO trip spent a lot of their time) and then headed on up the hill just in time to arrive at Amazima for worship.

Uncle (all the men here are Uncle) Raul led the children in some songs and shared the story of the Good Samaritan. He was WONDERFUL with the kids and I don’t think I will ever look at Luke 10:25 the same way again. Just hearing him talk to these children who have so little about looking after the needs of others was really amazing.

Then we just sort of wandered around and played with the kids for a while as they had their snack (a boiled egg). I was able to play with a lot of the kids, but I also went to the kitchen to introduce myself to the women who were doing the cooking for the feeding program. I offered to help them and they said that when we started serving I could do the beans….must be the go-to job for the Mzungu. So, Katie gathered with the team and shared a little of her story, most of which I already knew from reading her blog. As she was finishing up, they were starting to serve so I ducked out to man the bean pot.

Let me just say, that serving a cup full of beans out of a HUGE pot to about 400 kids is no small task…..but I think I got the hang of it pretty quickly! :) I was really glad to be able to DO something, and to honor these women by serving along side of them. They all work so hard, and I am sure that people who come to visit these places often overlook them…..just because the kids are so darn stinking cute. But, part of my “mission” on this trip is clearly to minister to the women we meet as well.

I expected to be star struck by Katie when we arrived, just because she is really where this journey began for me. However, I was surprised yet again. I have a deep respect for her and what she does. I tried to put myself in her shoes and think of how it might feel to be her, and have a bus load of Americans stop by for half a day, finish their mission trip, and then head back to their respective comfy cozy homes while she has given her LIFE to these kids and this community. So, by staying out of Katie’s business, God put me in the way of another woman…..He always has a plan, and He is always in CONTROL.

As I visited with the women who were preparing the food, I began to talk to one lady in particular. She shared with me that she had one daughter, and that the girl had stayed with Katie for a little while. This wasn’t surprising because a lot of people stay with Katie for a little while! I told her my name was Jenny and she said her daughters name was the same. I found this odd because I had not encountered one Ugandan child who was named Jenny….and we have encountered A LOT of Ugandan children! She had one of the boys to go and fetch her and bring her to us. When she came up, all the pieces fell in to place….

Here in Uganda (maybe all of Africa I don’t know) they add an “E” to the end of some of their names. They don’t actually spell it that way, but if your name was Jett for example, they would call you “Jett-ey”. So, when the child came up I realized that her name was not Jenny but Jane and she was just calling her “Jane-ey” which sounds a lot like Jenny. She was Jane. The Jane. I would suggest that you read Katie’s blog post about Jane if you haven’t before. You can get to the “follow up” blog here, but I didn’t have time to look for the original post.

So there I sat, in Uganda, with Jane in my lap and her mother right next to me. Talk about coming full circle. My heart was broken as I tried to imagine the pain that Katie feels having Jane’s mother right there, working with the feeding program, and seeing Jane…..who is no longer…officially at least….one of hers. I know that for whatever reason, this is what God wanted me to see and feel today. I also know that God is doing an AMAZING work through Katie and her feeding program. They have blessed and will continue to bless soooooo many and it was really an honor just to stand on that same dirt and see all of those faces. I also got to spend some time talking with Agnes and Prossy, who are 2 of Katie’s older girls. Their mama is teaching them so well. Just watching them take care of others and serve the Aunties and Uncles who work with the program was truly a blessing. These kids came from literally nothing, and now they have so much….because of their sweet mama who sacrifices so much and works so hard to raise them to be good Christ followers.

So, Katie is still my hero, but I also have a new found respect for her after witnessing her life. I hope you will all follow her blog and be inspired as I have been by her great work and her amazing faith in a big God who clearly has this whole ministry in His Sovereign hands.

Guess what we did next? Yep, loaded up the bus and headed back to Kampala. It was about a 2 and a half hour drive, but it was nice to be back “home” at Namirembe!

We were greeted by Pastor Samuel of Return Ministries, as well as his wife Sarah and their kids Israel (almost 3) and Pearl (9 months and the fattest African baby I have seen!). A couple of us were able to hang out with the little ones for a while so that Samuel and Sarah could talk a little walk and just be without kids for a little while. Israel is a little spitfire and loves to play with cars. Pal literally weighs close to 30 lbs, and she feel asleep in my incredibly pain ridden arms! It was a nice moment to sit in the breeze holding a sweet healthy sleeping baby while looking out over the entire city view of Kampala.

Samuel and Sarah stayed with us for dinner, and he shared with us about his ministry. We will be attending church with them in the morning, and then we will begin the whirlwind of travel to Nairobi. I think we have a 2 hour plane ride back to Ethiopia, then a 2 hour layover, then a 2 hour plane ride to Kenya, then a 2 hour bus ride to Nairobi. So, we will be arriving at about 1 AM.

I will update again from Kenya! Blessings!



  1. Another blessing received from your blog. You write with so much heart and I can't wait to open the computer every day and read your latest writing.
    Thank you so much for taking us all on your journey with you sweetie.
    You are receiving a blessing but at the same time giving your family and friends one as well.
    Much love and admiration coming your way.

  2. God has used your posts each day to remind me of His Sovereign love for the nations. I pray that He will open your eyes each day to what He has for you. May the God of our Fathers and the faithful and the faithless draw you near to Himself! We are praying for you!

  3. I followed the post from facebook to here! I just finished reading Katie's book and was so curious to know the update on Jane and what is happening to that poor little girl! Just can't imagine her being taken away like that (it happens here in the US too)! Wish I could have heard Katie speak while she was here! May have to check some of the churches websites to see if her talk was taped! So neat that you were able to go to visit Katie's ministry!