Friday, December 26, 2008

it's here.

in less than 48 hours, i will be on a plane headed for london. i think i’ve realized more than ever that our human brains can’t accurately wrap our minds around the concept of time. it’s something that is completely out of our control and something that our lives, in one way or another, depends on. each day that passes, i come one step closer to leaving and for once in my life, i’m liking that. but at the same time, with each day that passes, i come one step closer from leaving the place that has taught me so much. all of this is such a strange situation for me. i wouldn’t exactly name it as ‘bittersweet’ but maybe a version of that way.

everything that i’ve learned over the past ten months has been learned here. here in this country. here in this town. here in this house. here in this village. here in this heart. and as i leave, the only thing that i can physically take with me is my heart. and i suppose if anything, i am very thankful for that because i know that my heart can hold all of those things until i return. this country, this city, this house, these people…all of them can dwell with me in my heart. i’m [stubbornly] learning to not only accept this but enjoy it.

the past few days have been filled with ‘last times’ and ‘good-byes’ and somehow i have remained composed throughout all of it. i always imagined these days as some of the hardest in my life but i’m seeing now that the hardest days of my time here are past. i have experienced them, i have lived them and now i am different because of them. i am leaving here on a good note. it’s a note that sings out of peace and joy and thankfulness and calmness. God has showed up on many occasions to provide peace in crazy situations but i don’t think any situation can top this one. i am at peace with so many things right now. i’m finally at a healthy spot (:

as this season is coming to an end real quick,

there are a few things i want to say..

i have talked so much about light gives heat and all that i do with them but i want to take the time to write about things that aren’t often talked about. more specifically, the people behind it. dave, morgan and rachel. they are some of the most humble and hardworking people i’ve come across. without these three people [plus a slew of volunteers in the US] running things in the States, the work here in Uganda would be impossible. all of them have experienced life in Uganda, all of them have seen a need and now they are offering their time and heart to all that light gives heat is about. even in the crazy times, they believe in what we’re doing and they work hard to keep things. i am incredibly grateful for all they’ve done for me. for offering me this position and continually being there for me in so many ways. i want to thank them for their understanding and support in my decision to go back to the States again. and so, to the three of you, dave, morgan and rachel, i want you to know how thankful i am. you are all wonderful people and i’ve been more than blessed to work with you all.

to joe and Melissa, you’ll do great here. i want to thank you for your willingness and flexibility in all of this. both of your hearts are eager to be here and to love and to serve and the people you’re around will be blessed because of you. i know i won’t be here for your wedding but know that i am behind you two all the way. i am excited for your lives together.

and to josh, my best friend who probably will never read this, it’s a simple message to you. thank you for your constant support of everything i do. i couldn’t have lasted as long as i did here without you beside me.

so here we are…after many months and many words, this is my last blog in uganda. i’ll continue writing when i return to the States. your prayers over the next few days for safe travels and continued peace and joy would be so wonderful to me. i’ll write as soon as i can.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

good season.


To the women of Suubi,

I know that this day where I say good-bye to you has come sooner than we all thought it would but even so, I want to make the best of this hard day. I am better at writing my thoughts down than I at speaking and so I have decided to give you my “thank you” in a letter.

I need you ladies to know how thankful I am to have spent the past nine months with you. You have brought so much joy and fun to my life and heart. In the many months that I have been away from America and my own family, you have become like an extended family to me. The time spent with you in your homes has taught me so much about hospitality and kindness. The way that you all face problems with a smile on your face and hope in your heart is something that I admire of you. You have shown me what true beauty looks like.

Over the past nine months, you have taught me, with words and without words, so much about so many different subjects. What I’ve learned from you will travel with me to America next week. I have been here in Uganda working hard beside you over the past months and although it’s sad to say good-bye, please don’t forget that though you may not see my face every week, I will still be working for you.
ronald, mollys boy

If I have learned anything over the past months, it is that you all work hard and deserve so much. When I am in America, I will do my best to tell everyone I know about you. I’ll share your stories with people and I will tell them about your wonderful personalities. Your necklaces are beautiful and I will sell as many as possible to those around me.

You are being left with good people. Joe and Melissa love you all very much and they will take very good care of you. Be nice to them and continue to show them how great you are. I am sad to leave you but it is good for all of us to know that you won’t be left alone. Continue loving one another and taking care of one another. I pray you all live in peace with one another. Never forget that we are all working towards the same goal of peace and love and life.

So for now, I say good-bye. I love you all deeply and you will forever be in my heart. I am a different person because of you. Don’t forget how far God has brought us all.

I love you and we will be in touch soon.
julie, my "namesake"