This place is nothing short of beautiful. Everywhere I look, there is a simple beauty. One that I cannot explain. It’s like a song, a beautiful melody that you hear and it immediately touches your heart and you know that it’s a song you will never forget. One that you will forever hear in your heart and will *randomly* come to mind from time to time, likely, when you need it the most.
We have been here for three days serving the people here, yet, it’s me who feels the most blessed, I’m sure of it. I’m not sure I can ever explain how, or in what ways, but my heart, somehow it’s bigger and feeling more fulfilled.
Over the last three days we have loved on babies at an orphanage that houses 50 children, we have visited the slums and talked with the kids and adults there. We talked with them, loved them, showed them kindness, shared our story with them, listened to theirs. We treated their wounds, we bantered about which football (soccer) teams were the best and we laughed. We cried too, you better believe there were tears. But above all, when I left the slums I kept thinking about the organization we are working with that are on the ground there and all I could feel was hope.
So much hope. So much promise.
As I walked through the homesteads in the slums on my very first morning in Uganda, I was never once afraid. The people there, knew we were not there to bring harm to them or mistreat them, because we were walking with the Uncles. I have never seen a man, more respected and more looked up to than Lutaaya. His story is amazing, and I’ll share it another time, but thanks to him and the other Uncles, we were welcome there and we were safe. As we walked, we came to the homestead of a woman and her helper. The helper was the mother of four children, two of them were the same ages as my own sweet girls. My heart immediately put myself in her shoes. Another woman was with her and they told us she had a baby the night before and as we smiled, she said “come. see”. I followed her just the few feet to where the baby was laying. She had been born the evening prior. As I stood there the Mama looked at me and handed me her baby to hold. I’m not sure why she trusted me enough to hold her baby. We hardly speak the same language, but she did and I immediately knew there was a purpose.
Her sweet daughter hadn’t been named yet, but let me tell you, she was one of the most perfect and most beautiful babies I have ever seen and held. I will never, for as long as I live forget that moment. It changed me in ways I will never express.
She told me of her older daughter who was at the forever home and asked if I would send her news of the baby and tell her she sent her love. Of course I said yes, but my heart didn’t even know if that would be possible… In my head it seemed so unlikely, but I promised her I would and so, I knew it should happen. Somehow.
We finished up our time there touring the slums and headed off to lunch. That meeting, still heavy in my heart.
After lunch we went to the GEM foundation, and let me tell you. That place is an oasis here in Uganda. Emma and Josh have hearts of pure gold. We got to tour their home and meet their children. We got to play with them, paint with them. We were able to sing and laugh and snuggle those sweet children and oh my goodness, you guys, they have no idea that they were pouring into my cup that afternoon. I swear they blessed me way more than I blessed them.
We wrapped up the day by heading to the babies orphanage again and helping with baths and bedtime. What a full day. I experienced every single emotion under the sun and as I put my head on the pillow that night my last thought was hope.
So much hope.
In my heart, that baby I met in the slums, I will always remember as sweet baby Hope… My prayer is that one day, there will be no slum. There will be no need for it.
And sweet Hope, well, I pray that as her story unfolds she will do great things and she will bring hope to everyone she meets.
Photo credit: Young Living Foundation