Friday, October 30, 2009

at long last...

we are here! We arrived in the Entebbe airport at around 8:45 PM (12:45 PM in Tennessee/Texas time) after 27 hours of flying and sitting in airports.

We were greeted by Rev. James Adyeri and our driver for our trip, Elias. James and Elias are just really...kind (super outdated word, but the best one I could think of describe them). They're just heartwarming people. They picked us up and brought us over to our hotel for the night - The Crown Victoria of Entebbe. It's a nice hotel, so I'm just going to soak in a night of nice accommodations while I can! :) Tomorrow, we will drive into Kampala where we will pick up a computer that we're taking to the Kibbuse school and (hopefully) will be able to hit up the International Market!! (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that one...)

Then we will be traveling to the village of Mityana (Rev Adyeri's home) where we will spend the rest of the day and night. Then the next morning, Matt and Amy will be meeting up with us and we'll be traveling to Niyamarwa!!!!

I have said this a million times in the past couple of hours, but I just can't believe I'm here. After years of dreaming of coming to this place, I'm actually sitting in a hotel in Uganda. It's crazy...

One of the things I've noticed most about the people I've met so far here is their smiles. They have the warmest, most genuine smiles that make you feel like they care about you. It makes you just want to give them a hug.

I am so excited to sleep...but even more excited for tomorrow to get here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

waiting, waiting, waiting...

So we're at our almost 4 hour layover in Amsterdam. BARELY made the flight here. We literally heard our name over the speakers in the Amsterdam airport as we were running to our gate.

For the record, I thought our airplane meal was quite delish on the way here. They gave us these oatmeal bar things for desert...amazing! Like I wanted to buy some from the airline. Alas, no room whatsoever in my backpack. I also got to catch up on some reading and writing...and finally got to watch the movie 17 Again...I've been wanting to see that ever since it came out! don't hate...

The flight from here to Entebbe is 8 hours...I will definitely be doing some sleeping on that one. My body is telling me it's midnight...but the clock says 6:00 AM.

I am filled with expectancy right now...can't wait to see what God is going to do over the next 30 days. I can't wait to see how He's going to move, to see Him in new ways through the faces of my FAMILY in Uganda, to experience Him in new ways... I started reading Francis Chan's new book Forgotten God on the plane. He says, "...there will always be more to discover, more of His love to experience, and more of His power to use for His purposes." I love it. We serve an inexhaustible God!

My biggest prayer right now can be summed up in the bridge of one of the awesomest songs ever:

Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like You have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
Everything I am's for Your Kingdom's cause


So I woke up this morning, got all packed and ready to go, made my bed (which hasn't been done in who knows how long...) and then sat on my stairs, looked at my bags, and it kinda all hit me. And if there is one word to describe how I felt at that moment, it is: thankful.

I just sat on my stairs and thanked God for so many things...

For the opportunity to do life with my brothers and sisters on the other side of the world

For the fact that He has actually chosen to use someone as messed up as me to be HIM to a broken world and to love His children

For the amazing friends and family members that I have who have just showered me with prayers and hugs and support over the past few days

For the way He has provided for this trip in abundance

The list could go on and on... but of all the emotions I'm feeling this morning, the greatest one right thankful.

I am sitting at the gate in the Nashville airport...we take off in a little over an hour. We just stocked up on some Starbuck's Via and are ready to go! We will be flying to Detroit where we have a couple of hours of a layover. Then we head to Amsterdam and have about 6 hours of waiting there before we head to Entebbe, where we will SLEEP! From the time we leave Nashville, it will be 27 hours before we land in Entebbe. Then on Sunday, we will meet up with Matt and Amy and will all travel to Niyamarwa together.

27 hours....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

back to it!

So my last post was over a month ago...which makes me sad. There's definitely been a ton to write about...but just no time to write! I told someone today that every time I open my computer, I just think about the 10,000 things I need to get done and never just spend "fun time" on the computer!

In one week, I leave to Uganda. I am beside myself...if you haven't been able to check it out, I have written a couple of posts about where I'll be, who I'll be with, and what I'll be doing. There's an unbelievable amount of things to get done within this next week - I've been trying to get bills and rent set up to be drafted out while I'm gone, get everything set for youth group and have "coverage" set up for the month of November, get the major stuff set up and sent out about the big girls day we're doing in January, finish writing my Bible Study for all the women and girls reading through it while I'm gone, buy supplies for Uganda, pack, get in hours at my office job, see some people before I leave...the list goes on and on and on. Oh yeah, and then there's our big junior high retreat this weekend...and being sick isn't helping.

Sounds a little ridiculous once I write it all out. I had to remind myself today of Francis Chan's very wise words: "When I'm consumed with my problems - stressed out about my life...I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities."

I am not sure how reliable the internet will be in the village where I'm staying next month, but as long as we have internet, I'll be updating this blog with pictures and stories and STAY TUNED!