IMPERFECTION POURED OUT:
RECAP OF JINGA UGANDA
For everyone following the trip and who invested spiritually and financially, I wanted to give you all at least a glimpse of the dividends of your investment. Uganda was all I imagined it to be and more. It is also appropriate that this is my first blog because it was Uganda that gave me the inspiration to begin this.
For the past year, I have been writing articles for The Odyssey, a millennial based news source, and The Tiger, Clemson's local newspaper. In doing so, my passion for writing has only grown and been molded into a hobby. Yet, with each new article posted, I felt like my need for approval only intensified. It became less about me and means of expressing myself, and more about making myself more acceptable to others. I spent less time writing articles that I wanted to write, and more time writing articles that would get me more likes of Facebook. It merely became another treasure I added to my jar (check out my "About Me" for clarification here). When I got to Uganda (after 38 hours of traveling) it was this willingness to be vulnerable that met me at the airport. These people who have so little and have seen so much, share their stories without holding anything back. They are without care of what others think and how they are viewed. Their only care is to ensure that their scars are their story. You cannot help but to become blinded by the Lord's grace that shines through their lives. It got me thinking. I am terrified of vulnerability. The idea of someone seeing my flaws, knowing my struggle, is terrifying. I have so much, I am so blessed, yet I share so little. There I was in a country where they make less in a year, than I make in a month working my minimum wage job. Yet, they share everything they know, everything they've been through, and everything they have.
"But He gives us more grace. That is why scripture says: God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble." - James 4:6
I started thinking about grace. We are to find our joy in His grace. We are to shine his light through sharing how His grace has brought us life. Yet, how many of us hide our stories. Out of fear of rejection, we don't share our short-comings. But, in doing so, we dim the light of His grace. We befoul His work when we mask our sin, our sadness, and our lacking. Because, when we are weak, His work in us makes us a strong vessel for carrying and displaying his goodness.
"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:10
In Uganda, there are recovering child soldiers on almost each street corner in Kampala. There are those that were persecuted under Idi Amin's reign. I met a man who had been given a knife and gun, forced to kill at the young age of 14. I met an eight year old boy who had lost his parents to a car accident. He didn't remember life outside of the orphanage we stayed in. I met a little boy who had HIV AIDS. He most likely will never experience being a teenager. I met a boy who had broken his leg. The surgery to fix it left his hip misaligned and in more pain than he had been in before. Without hope for the money to afford another surgery, he expected that he'll never be able to walk and play like the other kids his age again. I met a couple whose entire life devoted to the children in Uganda. They had opened a orphanage for babies. They had built churches and homes for their communities.
The people, their situations, and their strength to persevere captivated me. But, it was their stories that showed me Jesus. It is their stories of God's grace and goodness that frees them from their situations, from their trials, their hardships, their difficulties. For when they are weak, then they are strong.