Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Especially the little things

Well...where do I start? How do I even begin to describe this place and all the things that we have done and seen and heard and smelled and touched? It's literally impossible. However, I can attempt to rehash some of the most precious moments from today...(to be honest though, they are all AMAZING!)

This morning started out a little before 7am...I woke up and ran downstairs to see the sunrise. But, of course, I missed it again! Elicia and I were up before almost everyone and even got to go pound on the door to wake up the "freaks" (chuck and Justin). Breakfast started later today and Emma (a boy - our driver) was on time (that never happens) despite the rain and thunder.

We headed out to Ssenge first thing today, for the last time. Chuck and Maswaa went to working on the roof right away and powered through all day...whether the trusses fit or not didn't seem to matter to Maswaa. He just wants it "tip it straight" and for Chuck to look at him. But they got them up. (Chuck was praisin' the Lord!)

While the roof was being worked on everyone else reformed a human chain and we tossed the rest of the brick pile on down the line...brick-by-brick. The boys were a great help. They are such hard workers. We also had a few extra hands, some of the guys from the Kampala house came and helped. And we finished the pile before snack time.

After snack/break time there wasn't a whole lot to do...other than finish putting up the trusses on the roof, but only a few guys at a time can do that. So some of the boys went for a drive with Lutiya (the guy who started African Hearts). They love driving around!! Elicia wasn't feeling too hot so she spent the afternoon trying to get some rest and watching the action from the front "patio" and talking to boys as they bustled about.

I had the awesome opportunity of learning how to cook chapate (similar to tortillas, but better!) with Moreen (an absolute saint and the most amazing woman ever). She is a great teacher and is incredibly patient. I am not a good cook, but it was fun to spend time with her and learn something new and Ugandan :)

At one point, once I was done cooking, I went outside and played soccer with some of the boys - they made goals with the safety net from the trampoline (they are so creative and don't waste anything). Of course they are all much better than me and go easy, but I still suck. During our game though, two of the little neighbor girls from the end of the driveway came over and stood by the net. I went and said "hi" to them and they instantly clung to me and wanted me to hold them. I happily lifted one into each arm and walked towards their mother who was at the "house" (it is more like a small storage room made with brick and has a tin roof and plywood door).

She was all smiles and giggles when we arrived. The girls were also grinning from ear-to-ear. Neither the girls or the mom spoke hardly any english, so it was extremely difficult to communicate with them. Fortunately, I did learn the kids names (but I cant pronounce them or even really remember them) and was able to just hang out with them while the mom cooked lunch (jack fruit) in her "kitchen"/3-sided shed. I decided to run back to the house and grab some candy and jewelry for the family. Before I left though the mom graciously gave me one of her jack fruits, I tried to decline but she insisted.

When I returned I gave each kid (there were four - a set of twins 4 yrs old, a 3 yr old and 9 yr old girl) and the mom a necklace or bracelet along with some starburst and other candy "sweets". They LOVED it!! One of the necklaces was a cross that said "Jesus Loves Me" and I told them that. Later I heard the mom tell another girl that the necklace said Jesus. It blessed my heart as she said it with a huge grin (missing a front tooth) and excitement beaming out of her.

This part of the day was by far my favorite. The boys even came and played for awhile, along with several other children from the village. It was blast. I didn't understand them and they didn't understand me but we enjoyed each others company.

Before I left I was playing with the girls and spinning them around, they were cracking up!! It was hilarious. I even set one down and she started spinning herself around. She was laughing, falling and having a bawl. Her mom couldn't stop laughing! It was brillant!

I departed with many hugs and smiles and "thank yous". I walked away with 3 avocados and a filled heart! Moments like these are what I am here for. Trying to show who Jesus is by simply loving those around me. I don't even have to speak the same language because, through Christ, I can speak with my heart and my actions. God can, will and does use anything we give Him. Even candy and pictures (they love having their picture taken!!).

There were several other moments that were gifts from God today but I won't blab on about them too. However, they did include: taking pictures with and of the cooks (making funny faces), jumping on the trampoline with the boys, eating sugar cane and talking about life, running out of gas on the way home and saying some very bittersweet goodbye's. These people hold such a special place in my heart and I am going to miss them terribly. Especially sweet sweet Moreen.

I wish I could better capture the Glory of God shining down on this trip and even through this place. Yes, there are some dark and sad scenes EVERYWHERE and yet I find a great sense of joy here and through the people. The simplest gestures can light up their whole world. It's unimaginable and unexplainable. But I love every moment.

I am thankful, blessed, undeserving and blown-away that I get to serve God in this way. He is doing a big work in me, on my heart and through my team.

Thank you all so much for your powerful prayer, excellent encouragement and staggering support. We love you all!



  1. This Auntie is beaming from ear to ear! Praise God! May He continue to lead the way!

  2. Ok my dear....I love that you learned to do a little Ugandan cooking, now you have to teach me something in the kitchen. I love that! Now, get up early enough in the morn to see that sunrise....Love ya....

  3. Oh are precious to me and even more precious to our Lord. So glad you are taking it ALL in!!! Especially the little things...God is always in the details.


  4. Finally, a word from Lashae...I have been waiting!! Sounds so amazing and did you remember to hug some of those little ones two extra times each for Ab and I? I want to be there SO bad:D Take care of Mark for us. We love you guys!
    - Carla

  5. I like how you titled your is often the little acts of kindness that bring joy to others and cause us to feel like we've had a part in making Jesus known. Keep it up and keep working hard :)

  6. You rock Sister Shae!! Thanks for the details. It is wonderful to read about all you are doing and such a blessing to experience it thru your eyes and ears and tastebuds!! Keep cooking 'cuz you're gonna be making it for the rest of us when you get home!!

  7. Lashae your stories brought tears of joy to my eyes and some perspective on my own days. You are a blessing. You have been given many gifts, but a new one I am discovering is your amazing "voice" as you write. To be able to share your experiences and make others feel as though we are there is a gift you may need to explore more!! You are a precious Child of God being used each day!!


  8. I am with Carla...finally Lashae writes something :) I am so glad that you are all having a great time and I can't wait to hear about ALL the little details when you get back! Keep it up guys!


    P.S. You better get up early for the sunrise one of these days!

  9. Lashae I have goosebumps..or God bumps reading your post. Beautifuly written and from your heart. Love it! Really enjoying reading all the posts. Praying for you all!

  10. Thank you for sharing your great thoughts Lashae! We continue to pray for you all! Hugs from good ol' Powell Butte!