CURE’s GO Team Uganda 2011 has now been home for about 3 weeks…
I still miss everyone!
While we were at the Kingfisher Resort, on the way out of Uganda, I was to share a team devotion the morning that we departed for Jinja. However, I got so sick, that I couldn’t get out of bed. Kasie sat next to my side and prayed for me to be comforted by ministering angels and for my body to be healed. She left me in the hut and went to breakfast…
The last thing I could do is think of eating. For this image kept coming to mind….
I still get nauseous looking at him looking at me looking at him….
So, I stayed in the bed, locked in the hut, while the team ate breakfast. I so badly wanted to share the word that the Lord had given me.
But, I never had the opportunity. We drove to Entebbe that afternoon and I was still weak and sick. Thanks to Meagan for capturing the moment….LOL!
What I had to share was wonderful. I had prepared it the night before. The Lord had shown me that I was to encourage each and every team member with my words. His desire was for me to edify them with praise. He had even given me the perfect scripture….
“….encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I was sad that I never got to share this. I tucked it away in my journal and since I’ve been home, I’ll read the thoughts of what I was to share from time to time.
I even thought about publishing the devotion on “Mighty River”…but then I thought, ‘no, the girls have moved on….nobody misses everyone like I do….no one longs for Uganda like I do….in fact, if I publish it, the team is gonna laugh and say,
‘Shannon, you gotta move on…you gotta close this chapter…’ 😀
Afterall, isn’t it time to focus on the GO Team Uganda 2012?
But the Lord said to write this and publish it for these girls….
His word will not return void here…
These words of encouragement are doing no good sitting in my journal.
What I know that He sees in these ladies is meant to be spoken out.
And now the world can read it….
I got affirmation to publish this last night after I recieved a text with a picture of this….
Underneath this picture from Ashley M, it said,
“Yeah I’m missin it….”
I smiled so big. She felt exactly the same way I do! I am missin it too!
I sit down with a cup of hot African tea every afternoon and think about Uganda.
I’ll pray for the faces that come to mind.
And then I got a card in the mail with some pictures from Emily. She sent me pictures of how the women reacted when I was showing them how to put on makeup! She wrote on the back of the picture…
“I loved watching the joy on their faces as you told them what ‘true beauty’ was…”
Her beautiful card made me cry. She said, “Thank you for being an amazing team member. You really showed me how God can take the struggles and weaknesses of our hearts/lives and make them our most beautiful qualities. Your testimony was beauty in the rawest form. Watching you minister to the mommas was a privilege. Thank you for your hope and faith in “your Husband”. Love, Em”
My heart was so touched. It is amazing who God touches when we obey. What she saw me share that day wasn’t my plan. It was His. Emily was encouraging me!
These two gestures of love yesterday let me know that I do indeed need to publish this….
So, beautiful women of CURE’s GO Team Uganda 2011….
Here is what the Lord wanted me to share with you on the morning that I was sick…Some of us were ready to be home, some of us quite frankly wanted to stay in Uganda forever…
The time is now to share….and I’ve had fire shut up in my bones to publish this…..and rivers of living water!
“My Kingfisher Devotion….”
I want to encourage each and every team member that you were divinely appointed to this team. You brought a quality that no one else had. I believe that He opened my eyes to the beauty that He sees in you….
Kasie. Whenever I say your name in my home, my little Ellie sings out, “Kasie Lake, Kasie Lake, everything’s better with Kasie Lake.” Oh how true that is! Kasie, I love that our spirits connected before we even met face to face. I love that the Lord gave us the same visions. How powerful! You have such a presence about you…its PEACE. You are a peacemaker….a violent peacemaker, just like Jesus, you do whatever it takes to bring peace to a situation. You are not a peacekeeper, showing weakness, but a mighty peacemaker. I love that! You blessed me by intently listening to every thought, concern or opinion. You lean in to hear and absorb. I saw you do that with mommas, doctors, team members, waitresses, etc. You care about people….no matter the outward appearance. You are strong…nothing moves you. Your testimony is one of the most powerful ones I have ever heard and is proof as to why nothing moves you. I loved walking the streets of Uganda with you and asking you if you see the womens faces like I do…the total sadness….when I asked you what it was, you said, “its called hopelessness, Shannon.” God had already spoken that word to me. I will never forget laying on a twin bed with you and sharing earbuds to listen to a sermon together. I love that the Lord called us together to lead a team back next year. I know that He is calling forth mighty warriors for the kingdom. My favorite memory of you will be eating with you at the Boma and picking your teeth for you! I am truly like your sister, huh?
Mandi. You are a woman that can do anything. I loved watching you do whatever is needed. You have a servant’s heart. The first time I met you is when you interviewed me for this team. I loved hearing about your adventures that you’ve been on around the world. I remember praying for you and thanking God for your adventurous spirit and your desire to meet the people that He has created all around the world. On this trip, I love that you had whatever we lacked….bugspray, snacks, drinks, etc. You looked out for all of us. You always kept the back of the team in order…you knew where everyone was. I love that you have a strong hand to correct where needed. You have a gentle firmness. You are a great leader. I thought about your upcoming marriage on this trip and wondered if Rob grasped how blessed he is to be getting a woman who will drop everything and just “go!” I love that everything you were asked to do you did with a smile….whether if it was cleaning, cutting meat, making chipottis, or buttering bread with me. My favorite memory of you is racing you to see who could butter the most bread the fastest….yes, you won!
Sam. You truly are Pocahontas. I seriously thought you had an airbrush tan for Africa. Ha! (She is Indian…I asked.) Wow, Sam…where do I start? You are such a talented nurse. You always knew what to do everytime. I loved to watch you engage with people. You truly care about what everyone is saying. Your heart for the people of Uganda is huge. And they love you too. Its as if they say, “we need her”. I saw that with Momma Jackie. She waited for you to return for a year. I loved seeing her call your name out in the dark and run into your arms. She is a picture of “hope rising in Mbarara”. She was waiting with anticipation. You have touched many lives there. I believe that you are just beginning in this part of your life. I can’t wait to see or hear about your husband walking right beside you in your call. It is a beautiful thing to see. My favorite memory of you is definitely Momma Jackie….she’s a part of you. But on a lighter note….I’ll never forget hearing you throw up while we ate breakfast one morning….and then coming out of the bathroom like we didn’t hear a thing….we heard it all!!!
Lena. Lena, Lena, Lena. I have to say that I admire the courage you have to go to the other side of the world at such a young age…you just graduated from high school! Never would I have done that at your age. I love the way you say what is on your mind. You have a confidence about you that your age is never a factor as to if you can or can’t do something….you’re going to do it anyway. I love that we shared a room in the beginning and you took the initiative to just start reading the Bible out loud to me and sharing with me your favorite scriptures….as well as preach me a sermon about it! I love the way that you played with the kids…it was as if you could sit in their presence for hours! The Lord has truly gifted you at such a young age….I can’t wait to see the woman that you will become. I believe you will be powerful. My favorite memory of you is….well….always hearing, “does anyone know where Lena is?”
Ashley R. You are such a cheerleader….always poised. 😀 I love that you are so funny!! You made me laugh so much. You brought a ray of sunshine to us and to every child you were around. I loved to see you interact with every child. You got right down on their level and looked them right in the eye. Your eyes just light up with His love. I loved hearing you preach to the women….I loved being your last minute prop-girl to help you complete your message. You had such peace in your voice as you delivered. My absolute favorite memory of you is hearing you scream from the room next door because you had a frog in your toilet!! Your eyes were bigger than saucers when we ran out into the hallway. Good thing you had Ashley M to catch the frog….
Ashley M. Talk about a mighty tower….you don’t fall! If I stood face to face with God Himself and He told me that I could only take ONE person back with me…who would it be? I’d choose you. I don’t say that in a negative way to any other team member….it is because a person like me needs a person like you. You are so leanable….and I love to lean. You can handle anything. You show no weakness. You faced the highest mountains and the biggest odds to be on this trip. The devil has tried to take you down with sickness and defeat and every time you stand up taller and shout, “I’m coming back!” I praise God for you! I loved sitting with you in an abandoned dormitory while you slept with a fever. I felt so bad for you, I killed bed bugs crawling around you and gasped when I watched a mouse crawl up the wall next to you….you didn’t flinch. I loved watching you with the children….especially Robert. He had such a love for you. I think that he’s like me, he notices the leanable people too, and he felt safe with you. I loved turning my fish towards you every night at dinner, so he could watch you. Thank you for the sweet note and fish charm in my suitcase when I came home. I wear it because he makes me laugh. Thank you for telling me that you love to hear me pray….that is the sweetest compliment ever. My favorite memory of you? Ha! Its when I took you as my bodyguard to go get water in Mbarara and the man scared us outside in the dark….we ran fast and screamed louder…..but you made me face the guy and tell him why we were so scared! Girl, you are crazy! I can’t wait to take you back next year….you excellent frog catcher, you!
(Yes….this is the perfect Christmas card picture!!)
Katie. You make me laugh thinking about you! I had the best time laughing with you in your room in Mbale when it dawned on me that we could never room together. You forgot all of your snacks at home and everywhere I went, I left my jacket. We laughed knowing that we need people to take care of us. You told me that you’ve accepted that you are that way, and I told you that I like the way I am….but we’d never make it together. I loved doing make-shift workouts with you. Lunges in the school room, no problem! You are a great encourager. I loved waking up to you and Ashley R playing African music as loud as you could at 5:30 am to work out. I really loved watching you play soccer with the kids at the clinic. I loved when you broke out the hands games during dinner one night….what fun! Everyone loved you! My favorite memory of you is this….wall push ups in the early morning in Mbarara. Praise the Lord that Meagan didn’t get a picture of the bench sit-ups! You have encouraged me to do a triathlon next summer. Katie, you will do great things in life….He has big plans for you!
Emily. Lady Di. Your smile just captivates me. It intrigues me. It never fades. I never heard one complaint from you. You always laughed and smiled. You see God in everything. I love that your keepsake from Africa is a large yellow water container. You said you were going to write a verse on it….I’d love to know what you choose. I will never forget you holding baby Benita’s head up for me as I held her body and cried. You joined me as I prayed for the child’s healing. Your hands seemed like Jesus’ hands touching her head. I kept telling you that I was sorry I was taking so long, worried that you weren’t strong enough to hold her head. You kept reassuring me that you were fine. You could have stayed there forever, I felt your heart. I loved watching you play with the kids and laugh with them. You really do look like Lady Di….its almost scary. You light up ministering to people. Em, my favorite thing about you is something you said to me…you took me off guard….I had you hand out my crosses to the 50 people standing to “carry your cross”. You came to me when you were finished and said this…”thank you for letting me be a part of that.” Your humility was beautiful…I didn’t know what to say. It still leaves me speechless.
Meagan. I know I’ve written a lot about you on this blog….and so has your family, I love them!….So, I may repeat myself. Oh, how I love Meagan! Before this trip, I felt a connection with you and I hadn’t even met you. I think that I realized it when we traveled to Mbarara and you were sick. I love that I was by your side when you fainted and I could guide your head to the ground. I loved that I could help take care of you. I loved praying with you through the night in Mbarara. I loved talking about your parents and family and home. You are always so sweet….but I really loved when you broke out the Bon Qui Qui immitation in Mbale while you painted your toenails green! Ha! I never knew that side was in sweet little Meagan. I loved that there were times when you would just walk up and hug me for no reason in the world. It reminded me of one of my sons at home…he does the same thing. I love your eye for the beautiful things of the world…you have a way of capturing images the way God sees them. Your heart is beautiful. You are wonderfully talented. I love you dearly….and miss you greatly. And I love that you had your 21st birthday with us!
I want all of you ladies to know that without you, this trip would not have been a success. I love that we could share the deepest thoughts and emotions with each other. Our lives and experiences and just who we are intertwined with one another and made a beautiful masterpiece to express His love to the women and children of Uganda.
I have no idea what His plans are for you next….but I know they will be full of courage and honor and strength. I know that all of your days are laid out before Him. You took a step of obedience to enter and complete this mission. My life is forever beautified because I got to know you. I take something from each of you….and its qualities that I would like to be more like.
I love you all….and I hope that every person you encounter in your life will be touched in the same way that you touched me….
For you bring the presence of Christ with you….
You bring hope…
Good bye sweet friends…
Amari, forever and a day….
“Ye, have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit shall remain: That whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16